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Tips for Hair Colorists: How To Dye Hair The Perfect Red

Women are dying their hair red left and right, and when one sits down in your chair, you’re going to want her to leave feeling empowered and confident about her new color choice. Patrick McIvor, Artistic and TechniCulture Director for Goldwell and KMS California, spoke with How to be a Redhead about how colorists should approach dying a woman’s hair red.

“For this season if you are not red, it’s go red or go home,” says Patrick. “There are three simple keys to making great redheads, and with stars like Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rumer Willis, Drew Barrymore, Blake Lively and Hayden Panettiere dappling in red, colorists need to master how to make GREAT redheads.”

Patrick’s 5 Step Guide on How to Make Great Redheads: 

“I love red hair, it’s always been my favorite color to create,” explains Patrick. “To make great redheads, you need to know the following”:

  • The Color Red Fades
  • Don’t Over Glaze
  • Look to Direct Dyes

1. “I love Goldwell’s MAX Red’s that give amazing vibrancy and have fade resistant technology in addition to intralipids that repair the hair so the color holds longer and the hair is healthier. To refresh down the strand, I love Goldwell ELUMEN with vibrant Reds, Coppers, Golds and Violet Reds that create mirror like shine with the right red tone. So, no matter how light or dark you have the perfect red for this season in the tone you want.”

2. “People get specific when describing blondes and brunettes because there is caramel, golden, warm, cool, rich, etc.; but when it comes to red, descriptors disappear and everyone’s simply ‘a Œredhead’ whether they’re orange or wine,” says Patrick. This is why he believes the second reflect color is the more important color to consider because it’s the orange, violet, gold or copper in the red that the eye responds to.

But it gives me leeway to speak my mind-2

3. “If you color a redhead to the exact color they want, the minute they leave the salon they’re already starting to fade. We need to color them to the red they want to be. Yes, advanced technology has prolonged color vibrancy, but let’s face the facts, all colors fade a little. So, the important thing is to color a redhead more red than they want to be, so when they fade they are red they want to be,” says Patrick.

4. “It’s best to color the base a stronger and more intense red and then mellowing it out with a glaze or color enhancing shampoo. The trick is to turn to direct dyes. A direct dye’s deposit molecule is better to stain the hair, it won’t over saturate it. If a red is oversaturated, it starts to look brown. Direct dyes are also designed to hold better because they fill in the protein bonds for longer lasting color and shine.”

5. “Give a redhead the red she wants and she will keep coming back to you,” adds Patrick.

Hair colorists, for more step-by-step instructions, see his Youtube video below:

Rock it like a Redhead!