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3 Red Hair Tips from Ellie Kemper’s Colorist

For natural and 'by choice' redheads!

Nikki Ferrara, a senior hair colorist at White Rose Collective in NYC, is an expert when it comes to achieving and enhancing red hues. Her redhead clients include Ellie Kemper and Deborah Ann Woll.

We spoke with Nikki to get the scoop on how she achieves Ellie’s hair and more tips for natural redheads, especially if turning grey/white.

1. Get the 411 on Ellie’s hair:

“Ellie does have a natural warmth to her, so I honestly don’t have to do much to it. I use mostly a dark golden blonde base for her with a hint of golden copper to really make the color pop. After we touch up her roots I refresh everything with an all over copper gloss for shine and added pop,” Ferrara shares.

2. How to pick the ‘right’ shade of red: 

If you’re experiencing fading red hair or want to turn red in 2019, Ferrara recommends you never go too much darker than your base. “The roots will show very quickly and chances are it won’t be on par with the client’s skin tone and will more than likely wash them out.”

“When I’m deciding on a shade for my clients, what I typically like to do is keep their natural base color in mind. For instance, if a client is naturally a medium blonde I will suggest a medium or lighter strawberry shade. If you’re a brunette, perhaps a deeper auburn would suit you better or a coppery chestnut. Chances are she is going to have fairer skin, so the shade of red will be perfect.”


3. Tips if you’re going grey or white: 

If you’re seeing a few grey or white hairs come through, Ferrara suggests having your hair colorist start adding a few painted highlights and give it an overall gloss that is the same as the tone of your hair.

If you’re seeing more than 50% grey, have your hair colorist add more gold and naturals into your formula rather than copper or auburn. Why? “The reason for this is because you want to steer away from a “hot” root or a root that looks redder than the ends of the hair. Also, when you add more copper to a formula for a formula that has more than 50% grey you run the risk of the greys not completely covering. So in this case, less red is better!”

Rock it like a Redhead! 

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