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FLORA GILL Reveals What It’s Like To Embrace The Hair Color Of The Year: Red

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It was a TikTok filter that made me do it in the end. For years I thought about going red, but it wasn’t until I virtually ‘tried it out’ and saw that my blonde locks had turned deep rust that I decided to act.

I know filters can be misleading, but TikTok wasn’t the only draw to gingerdom. Until it got blonder, the first tufts of hair I grew as a baby were orange (I’m part Scottish) and every time I get a wax the esthetician notices that my hair behaves like a redhead’s (read : thick, stubborn and VERY painful to remove). Plus, I have the skin tone that suits me — so it turned out I could use Tipp-Ex as a concealer.

But I can’t argue that my decision was simply a tribute to my heritage; red really is the hue of 2022. Kendall Jenner turned copper for Paris Fashion Week in March of this year. Originally intended to be just for the Prada show, she decided to keep the look a little longer. Other models and actresses such as Gigi Hadid and Zendaya have recently dived into the shadows. Then, last month, The Wall Street Journal asked, “Why are there so many redheads all of a sudden?”

Floral Gill (pictured) has tried the most coveted hair color of the year – red, which has been seen on runways and on celebrities, including Kendall Jenner

I am obsessed with self makeover videos and am never shy about trying beauty DIYs. However, getting red was something that even I thought should be left to the professionals. I’ve put myself in the very capable hands of Jason Hogan at Josh Wood Color. A favorite colorist of citizens and celebrities alike, Jason was recently behind Bridgerton and Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan’s stunning Met Gala look.

When choosing a shade, I very much hoped that Jason would do the heavy lifting. I’m not good at making choices – too much of it and I’m paralyzed by indecision. I don’t want to look at a long menu of dishes in a restaurant, flavors in an ice cream parlor or clothing styles in a store; I just want someone knowledgeable to give me the best.

He didn’t disappoint – he didn’t even use the words ‘orange’, ‘ginger’ or ‘red’ once. Instead, we discussed the copper-gold hues in my roots and the hint of rose that would bring out the youthful pink in my cheeks.

For starters, Jason added highlights to my hair, working with the ones I already had and adding more to frame my face. After half-covering my head with foil to set in the highlights, he removed them to add the color all over my hair. Then Jason suggested I do my eyebrows, to bring a sense of harmony to my face and make my eyes ‘pop’.

Flora, who is naturally blonde (pictured), says the most noticeable change was her eyes appearing piercing blue

Flora, who is naturally blonde (pictured), says the most noticeable change was her eyes appearing piercing blue

Eyebrow revisions should be handled with extreme caution. There is a very fine line between facial harmony and total disaster. However, I trusted Jason so unconditionally that if he’d suggested I drop my pants and let him dye my bikini line auburn, I would have agreed. Finally, he applied a gloss treatment to bring out the brighter tones and add shine. Finally it was time for the new me.

It’s hard to talk about the results without sounding arrogant – but my God, I look amazing. My friend should be seriously concerned as I am way out of his league now. That jolt of confidence that a new look can give you is impressive.

The biggest change is that my eyes suddenly appear a piercing blue where I had previously had them blue-gray. The other difference is that with my pale skin I now look heavenly instead of sick.

Floral undergoing her transformation says she decided not to tell her friends about her hair color change

Floral undergoing her transformation says she decided not to tell her friends about her hair color change

YOUR RED REVEALED

The secret is to assess your skin tone, says expert colorist Jason Hogan.

  • A light complexion will suit pale copper tones, from strawberry blonde and golden apricot to light chestnut brown.
  • For a medium complexion, think of deeper, richer, warm butterscotch and more intense copper golds and cinnamon.
  • For a dark complexion, warm red, rich caramel and maple all look beautiful.

With all of the above, your tan should be adjusted depending on whether your skin has cool or warm undertones (if your veins are blue/purple, your skin is cool, if they’re green, your skin is warm).

For Jason’s tips on maintaining red hair, visit mailplus.co.uk

Jason was also right about my eyebrows. They are the perfect color accent on my face, but also mean I need new makeup. Luckily I have makeup artist Alice Theobald on speed dial. She recommends Benefit’s warm auburn brow pencil and points out reddish earth tones in my eye palette or, if I want to impress, a splash of green or purple on my eyes and berry red on my lips.

I decide not to tell my friends about my metamorphosis and stop posting on social media so I can see their reactions in person. Their shock is such that I feel like I showed up for lunch with a big pregnant belly that I’ve been hiding for months. However, a close friend doesn’t notice at all and is so convinced that I’ve always been a redhead that we argue about it. Maybe that’s the sign of a really good hair job – it looks like you could have been born that way.

I’ve always thought that being blonde makes any average-looking woman more attractive, especially to men. But there’s something magical about being a redhead. Now that I’ve done it, I can’t believe it took so long. I’ve been put off by other people, especially redheads. One of them told me she could always tell when someone wasn’t a real red one. (She’s completely wrong, because the “naturals” she cites – Christina Hendricks, Sophie Turner and Amy Adams – are in fact all natural blondes). Now I wonder if my red-haired friends didn’t warn me about the color, but actually kept it a closely guarded secret.

Nasty, dyed red hair fades quickly and needs constant maintenance to stay vibrant, but I would gladly sell my soul to keep this going. Now that I’ve let go of my inner fiery redhead, there’s no turning back.

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