Zendaya has dyed her hair red, but how can you find the best shade for you?

18th Jun 19 | Beauty

We ask the experts for advice if you want to change your hair to a more fiery colour.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Photocall – London

Zendaya Coleman – known mainly as just Zendaya – is in the UK promoting the new Spiderman movie, and surprised us all by debuting a new red hair colour.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Photocall – London
It’s a departure from her normal brown hair (Ian West/PA)

The new look isn’t an accident – Zendaya confirmed on Twitter her hair was an homage to the Spiderman character Mary-Jane. At the end of the last movie Zendaya’s character Michelle says she goes by ‘MJ’, so now fans think she’s the new Mary-Jane – a character who’s known for her red locks in both the comic books and the previous movies.

Zendaya replied to another fan on Twitter asking whether it was a wig, saying: “I dyed it, semi-permanent.”

It is thought that roughly around 1-2% of the world’s population is naturally red-haired, so it’s unsurprising that a lot of people turn to the bottle to achieve the look. Dying your hair – even semi-permanently – is always a bit nerve-wracking, so we asked the experts for a bit of advice.

Hairstylist Jo Hansford explains: “Firstly, you need to decide what shade of red you want to be as it can vary from orange to blue reds, and think about your skin tone and eye colour.

“If you have pink tones in your skin, blue reds generally won’t suit you as they will emphasise it but copper colours will be fine. If you have porcelain or sallow [yellower] tones, then blue reds can look very striking.”

The MET Gala 2018 – New York
Zendaya has gone red before, at the 2018 Met Gala (Ian West/PA)

If you’re not quite sure whether you have pink tones or otherwise, Valerie and Kirstin Maine from Live True London break it down a bit more, saying: “Strawberry blondes look great against pale skin tones whilst red-violet shades are beautiful against darker skin. Brown-reds are a bit more neutral and easier to wear whilst those with green or blue eyes will suit copper tones. Those wanting to be a bit more bold with their hair colour can opt for a bright vivid red, either as an all-over colour or in the form of a balayage blended with their natural hair tones.”

They also add that red is “an extremely versatile colour that can be a perfect match for any skin tone and complexion”.

Hansford does warn that dying your hair red “can be very high maintenance, as the red pigment is the fastest one to fade out your hair.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Photocall – London
Zendaya wore an Alexandre Vauthier suit to debut her new hairstyle (Ian West/PA)

“Therefore you need to be prepared to have the time to have it refreshed regularly and the money to spend doing this. It is also a very difficult colour to remove from the hair so do not take a chance if there is any element of doubt.”
The Maines agree with how high maintenance it is as a colour, so they recommend regular toning sessions at the salon as well as investing in professional level shampoos and conditioners, such as Redken’s Colour Extend range.

To make sure you really want to go red, you could try a semi-permanent dye like Zendaya, or Hansford also advises trying a wig before fully committing.

© Press Association 2019