A FLARE Hair Makeover

Our beauty blogger goes red

Photo by Adam Moco

Photo by Andy Wood

After seeing tons of celebs switch over to the ginger side (think: Alexis Bledel, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, Cher and, of course, Rihanna’s electric tresses) and being told by countless colourists that I should go red too, I finally found the courage to make it happen. For my mane transformation, I headed to the Woody Michleb Hair Salon to seek the trusted expertise of stylist Amy Michleb, the only Canadian to compete on the American hairstyling reality show Shear Genius.

Though I was mega nervous to part from my beloved blonde, Michleb convinced me that a warm red hue would suit my skin tone and be dark enough to avoid fading to orange on my previously highlighted hair. To start, Michleb covered my hair from root to tip with a medium brown-red shade of Wella Koleston Perfect, an ammonia-free permanent dye. Next, she hand-painted a more vivid hue (also known as balayage) to add dimension to the look. The result? A multi-tonal mane that looks way healthier and shinier than before.

Think you’d like to join me as a redhead? Here are Michleb’s top three tips for going red:

1) Consult your colourist: “There’s a shade of red that suits everyone,” says the pro. “It’s a matter of getting the shade to suit your skin tone.” Generally, cool tones can pull of violet-based hues, whereas warmer tones work a copper shade best.
2) Care for your colour: To keep your colour from washing out, you need to keep your hair’s pH level low. Pick a shampoo and conditioner specifically tailored for colour-treated hair to keep your new hue looking its finest.
3) Leave your brows alone: “Eyebrows are meant to frame the face,” explains Michleb. “If you go too light, you’ll lose that definition.” Plus, colour-matching can be nearly impossible since eyebrow hair colour is quite different from the hair on your head. For the best look, just leave them be.

This was definitely the biggest hair risk I’ve ever taken, but I’m glad I did. I love the pop of colour to warm up my winter look, plus the rich shade reflects light to boost shine. What was your most dramatic beauty transformation? Have any plans to switch it up in the new year?