Although most leaves don't turn red during fall in New Orleans, many hairstyles might this season. "In the fall, everyone wants a change," says Chrissie Gilberti, a colorist for Paris Parker Salon (4900 Prytania St., 504-891-8874; www.parisparker.com). "Most people go to the auburn, red-brown and plum colors."
Niki Walker, owner of Niki Walker Salon (625 Baronne St., 504-522-5677; www.nikiwalkersalon.com), styled hair at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week last month for designers including Falguni and Shane Peacock and Mark and Estel. She reports seeing more natural, sun-kissed reds and strawberry blondes on the runway. Gilberti says deep plums also are gaining traction. "The trend is brighter, more unnatural colors," she says. "Plum and emerald are big colors for fall, and I'm seeing that travel into the hair world as well."
There's a spectrum of reds available for every skin tone and aesthetic. To get the look you want, Gilberti suggests bringing photos of hair colors you like — or those you dislike. "Go on Pinterest or whatever social media, save those pictures and bring them to the salon," she says. "It's a lot of fun, and [pictures] make my job easier."
Because red hair color deposits color molecules onto the shaft of the hair, and because the red molecule is one of the largest hair color molecules, the color fades quickly. "The red color molecule ... doesn't fully penetrate into the cuticle layer," Gilberti says. "If you're using harsh shampoos, you're taking that color molecule right off the hair shaft."
Gilberti recommends Aveda's Color Conserve shampoo, conditioner and daily hair repair treatment. Walker recommends Paul Mitchell's sulfate-free awapuhi wild ginger shampoo and conditioner. "It helps keep your color fresher 50 percent longer, and it helps repair damage," she says.
Finally, enjoy the attitude of your vibrant new hair color. "Redheads are sassy," Gilberti says. "I think being a redhead is more fun because it's so bright. People have more fun with their makeup and their wardrobe, and it changes their energy."
For a hint of red in chocolate tresses, consider a demi-permanent color. "The demi is like a glaze, and that's gorgeous over brown hair that you want to make a little richer without it being slap-your-mama red," Walker says. Demi-permanent colors last four to six weeks and will fade without leaving obvious roots. Photo courtesy of Aveda
Walker says the trend she saw on runways was "dimensional" color: "It's not one color," she says. "It has many different colors going through it." Walker uses a technique she calls "three-dimensional color": A lighter, strawberry blonde is applied to the crown; a more natural red is applied from ear to ear and the bottom layer is a dark blonde. "It's that sunkissed look," Walker says. Photo courtesy of Aveda
Getting a super-saturated, crayon-red hair color is usually a two-step process. First, hair needs to be lightened, then a red dye is applied. "We lighten the area and color over it with pure pigments," Gilberti says. "If you come in with blonde hair, we can put sheer color on top and it will be Twizzler red." The color will last two to three months. Photo courtesy of Aveda