Beauty Dilemmas: The Search for the Perfect Red

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I wasn’t born a redhead but I’m really happy when people think I’m a natural one (even here in the UK, land of gingers, I have been asked about it, which is really flattering). Until my late teens, I applied a kind of golden blonde, honey-toned colour but in 2004, started thinking about a more radical change. Back then, there was a boom of red-haired models and Karen Elson was my top icon, along Elise Crombez and Jessica Stam. After a few months studying the idea I scheduled an appointment at the hairdresser, taking a magazine (I guess it was a W) to show the picture with the exact hue I wanted: a copper red, much more subtle than that super intense cherry red.

Well, I still believe that’s important to check with a professional when you want to adopt a new look, however, in my case the result was really disappointing and in less than a week, the colour – far from the one I had in mind – was fading. From that day on, I dedicated myself to an intensive course in “finding the perfect red”, which made me a self-taught colour specialist, expert in hue codes and numbers. Unfortunately, in Brazil the colour I longed for wasn’t available from regular pharmacy brands, so I learned to mix it up.

When I moved to London, thought I would be in a red colour heaven, but it wasn’t quite the case. Overall, the options are either too coppery – going to a golden/honey blond in a few washes, or too cherry red. It’s really difficult to find a hue close to the natural red hair. So far I’ve tried Garnier Olia 7.40, Clairol Nice n’ Easy #6R, L’Oreál Prodigy 7.40, Garnier Nutrisse 7.64, and Naturtint 8C , which has a more natural formula and has been my choice for the past months. Anyway, I still dream about that perfect, long-lasting ginger-reddish colour achievable in one bottle, not after some mixture of golden blond + fire red. Meanwhile, my bathroom is my lab!

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