5 Reasons why you shouldn’t dye your hair red (and one reason why you should!)

The Dua Lipa effect


By Redzhanna Jazmin

Image: Instagram/@dualipa
5 Reasons why you shouldn’t dye your hair red (and one reason why you should!)

From constant touch-ups to ruined clothes, here’s why you may want to think twice before hopping on the redhead trend.

So, you’re scrolling through Instagram and TikTok, minding your business, when your algorithm decides to screw with you a little. First, a picture of Billie Eilish turns up. Her roots are a striking scarlet, and she’s an absolute vision. You admire her locks before you think to yourself, “I’ll never be able to pull that look off! It’s far too edgy.”

Then, you see a picture of Dua Lipa with Calum Turner. Scandal! The singer’s new dish is interesting to some, for sure, but what actually catches your eye are her vibrant cherry locks. They’re incredible! So effortless and so chic. You click into her profile and the grid only confirms your suspicions—red hair looks fabulous…on her. Of course, Miss Lipa is an exception to most rules—she made chemical cut bangs look chic rather than tragic, after all. Plus, you’re not quite sure how the cherry red will look on your complexion, so you shake off the urge to dye your locks.

But then, it clicks—as you doom scroll you come across a redhead compilation. Influencers like Shi Qi and Lara Adkins are rocking red in every way. From scarlet to cherry to ginger and strawberry blonde, you’ve opened your eyes to the possibilities! The decider for you is when you see your Year 10 classmate Jessica’s take on the trend, and you realise that if she can pull it off, you can too. You think: “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Woah, woah, woah. Let’s stop right there. Red hair looks great, but it can be bad news. We think you should know all the potential cons before you commit to the bit. If you then choose to go ahead with it, then so be it, but we’d like you to be fully informed first. That’s why we’ve rounded up all the things you should know before booking your appointment. Ahead, find five reasons why you shouldn’t dye your hair red (and one reason why you should!):


Reason #1: It’s extremely high-maintenance


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PSA: Red dye fades really quickly. If you’re cool with the fade-out process, great—but if you’re planning to keep the colour fresh for a long while, you’re going to have to make some major routine changes. Namely, keeping wash days more infrequent and being prepared to touch up the dye with either a coloured shampoo or more dye with every wash.


Reason #2: You may have to commit to it until it grows out


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We know it sounds contradictory, but it’s not. You see, while red dye fades quickly, it’s not so easy to remove the pigment from your hair entirely. Essentially, once you’ve dyed your hair red, it’ll stain your tresses until your hair grows out and you’ve cut it off. This, naturally, could make it difficult for you to change colours afterwards. So, if you’re thinking you’ll be able to fade it out to a nice even blonde or even go back to your natural colour once it’s all washed out, think again. You’re a ginger now, baby! However, with a little help from some bleach wash or colour remover, it can be dealt with over time—albeit at the expense of your hair’s health.


Reason #3: You may have to bleach it

Image: Instagram/@dualipa

The good news is that whether or not you subject your hair to bleach entirely depends on the shade of red you’re going for. So, for deeper reds or more tinted reds, you can probably get away with just colour and developer. However, if you’re hoping for vibrancy, chances are you’ll have to undergo a few rounds of bleach to lighten your strands enough for the dye to show up. So, before you go for it, make sure you’re ready to commit to the look (and the damage!).


Reason #4: It’ll bleed on everything you own


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Say goodbye to lounging around with your hair wet (or airdrying your hair at all, for that matter). Unless you’d like to dye your bedsheets, couch, and clothes crimson, you’ll want to make sure you’re wrapping your hair up in a towel at the very least, or just blow drying your locks straight out of the shower. While every dye bleeds a little here and there, red dye really goes the extra mile. Every time you step out of the shower, it’s going to look like a murder scene.

There are, of course, a few ways to minimise bleeding (and, therefore, fading), like washing your hair in cold water, but chances are you’ll have to endure the bleeding for at least a few weeks before it stops. Our best advice is to use a black towel or t-shirt to wrap up your hair and avoid any unsightly stains on your linens.


Reason #5: You’ll have to start carrying around an umbrella


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A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

Say goodbye to carefree strolls in a drizzle and passionate, The Notebook-style kisses under a downpour. If you choose to go red, you’ll have to make sure you’re prepared to protect your locks from any rain, lest you sacrifice your garms. PSA: Red dye doesn’t just run after a shower. It runs any time your hair gets wet. So, if you decide to go auburn, ginger, or whatever your choice of red may be, just be prepared to accessorise with an umbrella or a shower cap—or start wearing black everywhere you go!


And that about sums up the cons! We know what you’re thinking—we’ve left you hanging. What’s the one reason why you should dye your hair red? Well, it’s simple: You should because you want to. Ultimately, going red is cute and trendy, and what you do with your hair is up to you—just make sure you’re aware of the no-nos so you’re not caught off guard (and so that none of your belongings are ruined in the process!).


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