Yahoo Beauty welcomes Veronica Webb as our new celebrity columnist. Known for being one of the first black supermodels to break barriers in the beauty and fashion industries, Veronica uses her experiences as a model, health and fitness enthusiast, lifestyle blogger (Webb on the Fly), mother, and wife to exclusively report on what’s trending in beauty.
I’m inspired by my upcoming runway appearance during New York Fashion Week in the Red Dress Collection show to promote awareness of heart-related health issues in women. Here’s the lowdown from two of my personal favorite hairdressers on what you need to know to get the hottest new shade of red, even if you weren’t born that way.
Jason Backe is a colorist at the Ted Gibson Academy and L’Oreal Professionel brand ambassador. He is famous among celebrities and in New York and Los Angeles’s chicest and smartest circles, mostly for creating uncannily natural-looking red hair.
Veronica Webb: As a master colorist, could you bust this myth for me, please: What is the rarest natural hair color in the world? White, blond, or red?
Backe: The rarest minority in the world is a blue-eyed redhead. Both are recessive genes, meaning the gene for red hair and the gene for blue eyes has to come from both parents.
Who can wear red hair?
There is a perfect red for everyone. It’s all about finding the right tone for your eyes and skin. It’s also important to think about how often you want to color your hair. A demi permanent color can give a pretty red that will gently fade. A permanent color will give a more vibrant red that will require regular salon visits.
What are the basic guidelines for light olive and deep skin tones when you dare to go red?
If your skin is fair (burns easily in the sun) and your eyes are light, you are more likely to look good in a warm (gold/copper) red. If you tan easily, have dark eyes or olive skin, a true red will suit you best. If your complexion is very dark, a red violet will make you sparkle!
You told me that you judge a colorist by how well they dye hair red. Can you give me three things to look out for that let me know a colorist is on point with turning out redheads?
Look at his or her Instagram! If they don’t have any redheads on their feed, pick someone else.
What’s the hottest new red right now?
Honestly, if you are daring enough to be the center of attention (redheads always get attention), this is the time to do it. The good news is the trend is red in general, not one specific red. Stick to what makes you feel pretty, and it will be a win for sure!
Andrea E. Wilson is a highly sought after hairstylist for fashion and celebrity photo shoots. Her true gift is working with custom-made wigs, weaves, and extensions to create spectacular transformations for her clients that work as well in real life as they do on the runway.
Andrea and I met shortly after my second child was born, and I was experiencing postpartum hair loss like many women do. My hair loss was exacerbated by years of chemicals, coloring, and harsh styling practices I underwent almost daily to achieve many of the spectacular styles I wore during my career.
Now a little older and a lot wiser, I turn to Andrea’s expertise when it comes to safely creating the kaleidoscope of hair transformations that thrill a beauty junkie like me. Here is Andrea’s advice on having a fling with red hair without making the commitment.
Veronica Webb: I want to go red but I don’t want it to be permanent. What do I do?
Wilson: If you want to go red without the commitment, try hair extensions or a wig. It can be the most economical solution. Because hair extensions and wigs are such a huge part of fashion and lifestyle, the work is already done for you [to] save time and money. You only have to color a wig once because there’s no hair growth involved.
What’s better: synthetic or human-hair wigs and extensions?
There’s nothing like the real thing, right? Natural hair can be colored and styled any way you’d like, and both feels and falls like real hair. There have been amazing advances in synthetic hair, in terms of being able to take heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. But in almost all cases, dying synthetic hair is a no go.
Which reds look better on darker skin tones?
The deeper your skin, the richer the hair color is always a golden rule. That means you should go for a warm auburn or true burgundy.
Crazy-color hair has been all the rage for the last few seasons. How can I wear the trend if I’m over 40?
I usually recommend darker reds in an ombré effect that will keep you on trend in a fashionable way.
My teenager wants crazy-color red hair. How do I keep her kinky-curly hair from breaking off?
Kids are so lucky. They can go wild with temporary hair color, especially if they have virgin, unprocessed hair. If you don’t want to go the bleach and dye route, then play around with temporary hair chalk or spray-in color and call it a day!