The demand for red hair shows no signs of stopping. Avoid these common pitfalls for a flawless result every time

Headshot of Karen Perry from Room 97
More and more clients are looking to make the switch to red hair – it’s a statement colour choice that has become a major trend across social this year. While it may be considered the shade of the season, as colourists it can soon become a dye disaster if application is not considered carefully. 

To help you avoid making future mistakes when colouring red hair in the salon, we spoke to L’Oréal Professionnel Paris colour specialist and owner of Room 97 in Leeds, Karen Perry, to find out what major faux pas to avoid when working with the fiery hue.  

The five most common colouring mistakes to avoid  

Using the wrong shade of red 
Using the wrong shade of any colour can leave a client looking washed out or just plain wrong. But, as red is such a bold choice, choosing the wrong shade for the client’s skin tone can have drastic results. Take extra time to consult with the client by using a colour chart and if possible coloured hair pieces. This will help confirm that you are using the right red hue for them. 
Not considering fade 
Because the particles in red hair dye are larger than in other colours, red dye does not penetrate the hair shaft as deeply or as proficiently as other colours. For this reason, it tends to fade more quickly than other shades. With this in mind, try and pick a colour that not only suits the client straight after application, but that will also compliment their skin tone once it begins to fade. 

Model with red hair, wearing a black tshirt
All images @karenperryroom97
Model with short copper hair and fringe
Not giving the right aftercare advice 
With red colour services, it’s important to manage the client’s expectations and warn them about fade. But some of these issues can be addressed with the right homecare advice. Recommend gentler shampoos that won’t strip colour, such as L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Vitamino Color and suggest less frequent washing. Also, advise clients to wash their hair in cold or lukewarm water to help prolong the colour. 
Not using the right finishing products 
All colour will benefit from the right finishing products but red hair will really stand out if given a vibrant finish using a glossing treatment, or even just a light coating with a high-shine spray. Recommend finishing products for the client to take home to help keep their red looking vibrant for longer. The new L’Oréal Professionnel Paris Metal Detox Oil is the perfect retail product for clients to keep their hair in good condition between salon appointments. 
Trying to achieve the right shade with just one application  
Often a deeper and longer-lasting red result can be achieved with a second application of colour. Leaving red colour to develop for longer won’t always make a huge difference to the end result, as the larger particles will only penetrate so far into the hair shaft no matter how long they are left. It is often more effective to rinse the first application and re-apply the colour. This way, a larger number of colour particles will be given access to the hair shaft and the result will be richer and potentially more durable. 

Get more colour inspiration and advice here >