Hair Highlighting With Dramatic Red Color and Styles

Red hair turns you into a rock star.

Photo: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you're a sucker for a little style drama, nothing turns heads quite like a splash of red in your look. You can pull it off with some lipstick or a purse, but opting for something more permanent, such as hair color, is the mark of a true style provocateur. Pair bold red streaks with a signature cut for a look that's a conversation starter.

Realm of Reds

The world of reds is vast when it comes to highlights, so knowing what reds entice your taste is the first step to changing your look. On the lighter end of the spectrum, you can choose from more strawberry-style reds that add warm shimmer but steer clear of saturated shades. If you like something bolder, go for medium red shades in spicy cinnamon, shimmery copper or dark auburn. The most dramatic shades depart the realm of natural colors: think fiery pure red, borderline hot pink and rich, elegant burgundy.

Back to Base-ics

The dramatic success of your red highlights depends largely on the base color beneath. For example, if your hair is dirty blonde, a strawberry shade will blend in instead of stand out. When bold is your desire, opt for pairings that show off a serious contrast. If you're a blonde, coppery, cinnamon shades of red add just enough color to make your look pop. If brunette is your base, embrace true reds for a touch of fire. Darker haired beauties can pull off the depth of burgundy shades or the pop of bright pink reds. If your hair is dark, consider bleaching your highlighting strands first so the red color really makes a statement.

Kicked-up Classics

A kick of red highlights turns up the volume on even standard styles, so if you want a look that's versatile, opt for a cut that gives you lots of options. If you want to showcase your highlights, opt for a choppy layered cut that shows off red streaks at each hair level. Low-maintenance bobs or more romantic layered waves are both options that leave you space to style while still focusing on your color contrasts. If your locks are long, boost the effect of your red highlights by pairing them with red dyed tips for a nod to rocker chic.

To the Edge

An edgy haircut perfectly pairs with your over-the-top red highlights. Make a statement with a super structured bob that hits you at your chin and features blunt, eyebrow-length bangs. Toss in thin burgundy highlights to add dimension to the geometrical 'do. If you dig angular looks, opt for a reverse V-shape cut with longer pieces in the front and a shorter cut in the back. Fiery red highlights complement the unexpected shape and sharp angles of the look.

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