I Thought This Hair Trend Was "Dated"—Now It's Dominating Summer

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(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

There's one hair colour that is dominating this season, and I'm seeing it everywhere. The red hair trend has been gaining momentum for a while (remember when Gigi Hadid and Zendaya's copper transformations started it all?), but it has now become the number-one hair-colour trend. I've seen it on the fashion set and the runways, and a number of celebrities have dipped their toes in the trend. It started off as subtle tones, but as the look continues to snowball, the pigments are getting stronger.

Right now, red hair's comeback feels quite refreshing. Every time I speak with hair stylists, they say that for a long time, their clients asked for cooler, ashier tones, but now, demand is picking up again for those warmer-toned shades of red—the likes of which were very popular in the noughties. "Our brunette clients are starting to gravitate towards richer tones for added warmth, and we're seeing the return of glossy, blended colours rather than strips of colour like money pieces," says Paul Percival, Redken session artist, founder of Percy & Reed and all-round hair expert.

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(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

This deep, plum-red hair colour is making a comeback.

Between deep mahogany red, bright-flame orange, and subtler auburn and copper tones, there's a shade to suit every skin tone and personality. You can opt for a bold, all-over red hair colour, or if you want to test-drive the hair trend, why not try some subtler ribbons of copper balayage through your hair?

What red hair colour will suit me?

"The first step to finding the right colour is understanding what undertone you have," says Cliphair stylist Lynn Chambers. "Your undertone is not the same as your skin tone or colour, and it won't change with age or the sun. It can make a huge difference when it comes to what hair colour will suit you, particularly when it comes to red." So how can you work out your undertone? "If the veins in your arm look greenish in natural light, you have warm undertones. If they're purple or blue, you have cool undertones, and if you can't tell (or they're a mix of both), you're probably neutral," says Chambers.

If you have cool undertones, lighter or pink-toned reds will work best. "The colour will bring out the pinkness in your cheeks to create a natural blush, and as cool undertones often have flecks of blue or grey in their eyes, it will bring out the brightness there, too," says Chambers. "A light auburn or a strawberry blonde will look great on fair skin, or a luxurious plum or cherry red is perfect for darker skin tones," she says.

If you have a warm complexion, then opt for copper or golden-toned red. "Coppery colours will bring out the warmth in your skin and brighten your complexion. Multi-dimensional highlights or a soft balayage with hints of creamy blonde will be perfect all year round," says Chambers. "Try a mahogany or deep cinnamon with darker roots, or a natural-looking ginger red."

Neutral undertones, however, are the most versatile. "Neutral undertones have the most options when it comes to red hair because they'll suit pretty much anything from a blue- or purple-toned red to the brightest neon orange," says Chambers. "As with all shades, you want as much dimension as possible to avoid the colour looking flat, so go for something that will bring out a little warmth and brightness."

Ahead, you'll find the 21 best red-hair looks I've found to suit every skin undertone, and they'll convince you to make that hair appointment pronto.

The 21 Best Red-Hair Looks

1. Burnt Orange

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(Image credit: @alllisonho)

I love how this vibrant, copper colour blends seamlessly into burnt orange towards the ends.

2. Cherry Red

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(Image credit: GETTY images)

A glossy cherry is the ultimate way to take your hair colour into autumn and winter, as Shay Mitchell demonstrates.

3. Glossy Copper

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(Image credit: GETTY images)

I love this bouncy, '90s-inspired blowout on Zendaya, but I love her copper hair colour even more. This is an ideal look for brunettes who want to experiment with warmer colours.

4. Renaissance Red

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(Image credit: @andylecompte)

Madonna recently stepped out with this vibrant red hair transformation, and I expect others will follow suit.

5. Chili Red

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(Image credit: @alwaysjudging)

Feeling spicy? Chili red makes a bold statement. 

6. Bordeaux Red

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(Image credit: @alwaysjudging)

Full-bodied and vibrant, this hair colour is the one if you want a deep hue.

7. Auburn Balayage

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(Image credit: @nayelizabeth)

If an all-over hair colour is too bold, why not try some subtle red tones through the lengths of your hair for a seasonal update?

8. Neon Red

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(Image credit: SPOTLIGHT)

Coming in hot off the Koché S/S 23 runway is this flaming, neon-red hair colour. I'm obsessed.

9. Copper Brunette

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(Image credit: @anaasmood )

Red doesn't have to mean a block of colour as this multi-dimensional red hair proves. Ask your hair colourist to apply different red tones throughout your lengths, which will also give the illusion of fuller and thicker hair.

10. Vamp Red

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(Image credit: SPOTLIGHT)

Not just reserved for Halloween, this vampy red hue had Versace's seal of approval at its S/S 23 show.

11. Red Money Piece

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(Image credit: @bellahadid)

The "money piece" (aka face-framing highlights) is a great way to tap into the trend without the full commitment (à la Bella Hadid).

12. Copper Balayage

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(Image credit: @eniswardrobe)

Whether you usually opt for blonde balayage or want to try a new hair colour, why not experiment with copper balayage through the lengths on dark hair?

13. Glossy Auburn

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(Image credit: @laurennicolefk)

I'm really into this expensive-looking auburn hair colour, which is warmer than brunette and subtler than bright cherry.

14. Strawberry Blonde

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(Image credit: @marygreenwell)

If you're blonde or fair-haired and not already blessed with copper hair, then why not try strawberry blonde?

15. Bright Copper

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(Image credit: @oumaymaboumeshouli)

A vivid copper shade makes a real statement on a bob haircut

16. Cinnamon Red

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(Image credit: @oumaymaboumeshouli)

Subtle spice hues like cinnamon are so flattering.

17. Pumpkin-Spiced Red

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(Image credit: @sydney_sweeney)

Pumpkin hues give blonde hair a seasonal update.

18. Copper Braids

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(Image credit: @the_oluwaseun )

Why not experiment with copper braids?

19. Spiced Chocolate

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(Image credit: @raeannlangas)

If you're brunette, take your hair colour up a notch to a warmer chocolate hue.

20. Deep Auburn

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(Image credit: GETTY images)

Glossy? Check. Autumnal? Check.

21. Neon Copper

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(Image credit: SPOTLIGHT)

The bolder the better—as proved at Botter's S/S 23 show.

The Best Products for Red Hair

Up Next: It's Official—These Are the 8 Hair Colours You'll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2023

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.