9 Ways to Make Redheads Fall in Love With Your Salon

by charlottegw / last updated February 20, 2019


Kate Bosworth, Sophie Turner, Stacey Dooley – being ‘in the red’ has never looked so good. But when it comes to catering to redheads (both natural and dyed) in your salon are you on red alert or feeling a little red in the face about your lack of services?

After all, gorgeous redheads equal regular colour appointments and the opportunity for retailing red-specific professional products and intensive treatments. Get it right and your redhead clients will be loyal (and lucrative) for life. Here are nine ways you can reignite the red services in your salon.

Give redheads some love in your social media and salon marketing
Look at the services you are promoting in the salon and on social media – what colour hair do the models have and is your retail shelf red-friendly? “Sometimes it can feel like red shades are neglected from a marketing point of view, as advertising doesn’t always feature flame-haired beauties,” points out Heffy Wheeler, OSMO brand ambassador and owner of HX Hair. Red hair is certainly a hit on Instagram – there were 14.6 million posts with #redhair at last count – so regularly posting more images of red hair certainly won’t do your engagement any harm! 

Get the right red for your client’s skin tone
The new influx of red colour shades are broad, ranging from the brightest pillar-box red to a muted rouges. “Red can absolutely be a soft and subtle colour choice in the same way that blondes can be bold or bright, delicate or punchy,” assures Robert Eaton, Wella Professionals UK and Ireland technical director. But when it comes to finding the right tone we like this top tip from Carolyn Newman, founder of Carolyn Newman Academy: “To check whether cool shades or warm shades work best on your client place a hot pink then a bright orange scarf under their chin. Whichever tone makes their eyes sparkle and their skin look healthy is the correct one.” If the hot pink looks best, opt for cool tones,  if the bright orange makes their features pop, use warmer tones. Gemma Hensman, director at Hensmans and Schwarzkopf ambassador even goes as far as placing trial pieces in her client’s hair first. Word of warning – if your client’s skin has very red undertones, you might want to completely avoid dying their hair red.


Make sure client’s hair is in top condition before colouring
The integrity of your client’s hair is paramount. Before you colour always ensure the hair is in the best possible condition. “I always try to do a month of treatments to give the hair strength and infuse it with moisture,” explains Carolyn. A treatment such as TIGI Copyright Care SOS Extreme Recovery Treatment contains 100 times more keratin than a shampoo and conditioner combined. It’s simple to use, requires no mixing, processes in just five minutes and helps to improve the hair’s condition prior to colouring.

Understand your client and their style
There are countless shade variations so understanding your client’s needs, personality and even style is crucial to make sure you don’t give a wallflower a pillar-box red or a sexy vixen a demure rouge tone. “We always advise our newly red clients to think about changing their make-up and sometimes even their wardrobe as some colours may not work with their new shade,” explains Mark Leeson, Revlon Professional global artistic ambassador. This year Revlon has heralded a so-called ‘Redvolution’ with new red and copper shades by Revlonissimo Color Sublime which makes it easier than ever to cherry pick the right colour for your client and their style.

Be realistic
Changing a client from blonde to red, for example, can be challenging. Always follow the fundamental rules of hair colour, and don’t be tempted to rush. “It’s important to pre-pigment the hair to the correct desired undertone as this will help maintain the longevity of the colour,” explains Warren Boodaghians, TIGI European technical academy director. You could always play the long game and change a client’s hair over the course of several appointments. “My recommendation is to start softly and take a client on a journey starting with a soft copper blonde and transitioning into red over time,” he says.

Don’t rule out red on Afro hair
Due to technological advances in colour red is now a viable option for those with Afro hair. Previously, lightening Afro hair would have ran the risk of damage due to its porous and fragile nature. Advances in formulations led Gemma Amura, Celeb Luxury regional technical educator, to create a rich red on her her Afro-haired client. She explains: “I pre-lightened my client’s natural base 4 hair to a level 7. I applied Celeb Luxury Viral Colorditioner in Magenta and Red. My client took Colorditioner home and added colour herself before she came back for a lightener touch-up on her roots.”


Make sure you are looking after natural-born redheads too
Natural red hair can be dry and it has the potential to look lacklustre if it’s not being given intensive conditioning and glossing treatments. If your client is coming in for a cut, fringe trim or restyle book them in for a glossing service and think about how the retail offering can be tailored to them. “As red pigments are light sensitive, we recommend products with UV ray protection, particularly if we know they are going on holiday,” says Carly Price, partner for Muse of London. There are lots of ways to tempt natural redheads with colour too. For example, L’Oréal Professionnel is spreading the message that ‘balayage is not just for blondes’.The brand has launched four new INOA shades ranging from cool coppers to dark browns, all with an ammonia-free formula and patented oil delivery system technology.

Remind your client their red hair requires maintenance
Your client’s hair looks fabulous when they leave the salon, but you don’t want them to return in four to six weeks with lacklustre hair that is past its best. “Red colour fades quickly (especially over blonde) and when a client leaves the salon they should be advised their colour is a journey and an investment,” explains Andrew Tott-Barn, creative director at Advanced Pro Salon. “Always endorse colour protecting shampoos, conditioners and boosters. If you’re going from brown to red, it’s more likely to have depth rather than vibrancy so recommend shine-inducing products too.” Why not think about selling them a colour-depositing conditioner so they can top up their hue at home?

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