I’m really into shocking red hair at the moment. There seems to be a few women around, particularly musicians, who are rocking some bright red hair. It seems to be a look that is equal parts delicate and strong, fragile and fierce.
Florence Welsh of Florence and the Machine. I’m also madly in love with her debut album, Lungs.
Alison Sudol, who records under the name A Fine Frenzy.
And while it’s not a new look for her, I’ve always loved Shirley Manson’s red hair.
It’s a look I’d love to have, in theory, but there are some things that put me off –
a) you would have to completely alter your wardrobe. I once dyed my hair black, and it kind of amazed me how it completely changed the clothes you could wear. When I ended up going back to my natural colour, I had to get rid of some of those ‘black hair’ clothes, as I no longer could wear such strong colours. This kind of bright red hair would be the same. There would be some colours that you look amazing in and really pop with the hair colour (like that turquoise in the A Fine Frenzy picture above), but there would be other colours that clash terribly.
b) it would be high on upkeep. To keep that really bright colour, I imagine you’d have to colour your hair fairly frequently. My hair is uncoloured, virgin hair at the moment. After the black hair, I got the colour stripped back to blonde, but it was never quite the same and was pretty damaged. I was trying to work out what colour to go next when my boyfriend at the time suggested a radical new idea – why not just have your natural colour? So I chopped my hair off into an ultra short Mia Farrow ‘do and grew it out (a painfully slow process).
While I can sometimes feel my hair’s a bit boring, because of the lack of colour or highlights, it’s definitely easier and cheaper. I only have to go to the hairdresser a couple of times a year, instead of every six weeks. And I just try to fool myself that it looks very French chic to have natural healthy hair.
c) I don’t think I have the skin for it. Red hair tends to look best paired with a milky white complexion and pretty perfect skin, with maybe just a smattering of freckles.
So I think I’ll just have to admire these ladies and their beautiful hair from afar.
Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.
– from Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath