Summer hair color usually springs to mind lighter, highlighted locks, but this year, a lot of women seem to be trading blonde for a new shade—"midlight red." This year's midlight red isn't the bright, one-dimensional Hayley Williams shade we rocked, or wanted to rock, in the mid-2000s (no shade to our girl Hayley, though—that look was iconic). Instead, the 2018 version is a much more complex hue that we've noticed on more and more celebs like Julianne Hough, Rita Ora, and Blake Lively.
To learn more about this growing trend, we talked to celebrity colorist Matt Rez, who just so happens to also be the creator of the midlight technique. Rez attributes the recent rise in red shades to a cultural shift. "As women have become more and more empowered over the last decade alone, I see more and more requests and openness to and less insecurity about going red," he explains. "Celebs are no different. More and more parts are being written for redhead characters, and I have had a few myself that went red for their roles."
Want to learn more about midlight red (and see a ton of inspiration)? Just keep scrolling.
Rez explains that the midlight technique involves creating a multidimensional red shade that looks natural. "My midlight technique creates the perfect glow of light that connects the red base and the lightest highlight flawlessly," he says. "It makes for no jump of the deeper color to the highlight, hence avoiding a stripy outcome which screams a fake redhead."
To achieve this look, Rez suggests being specific with your colorist. "Ask your colorist for multidimensional red," he advises. "In the case of red hair color, ask to have a midlight that's no lighter than one level of your red base color and a highlight that's no lighter than one level of the midlight. In professional terms, typically, a redhead looks the most natural somewhere along the lines of a level seven."
Scroll on to see more examples of the trend.
We can't get over this vibrant yet natural look.
This shade totally complements lighter skin tones.
We love this lighter twist on the popular trend.
Intimidated to go full-on red? Try a coppery shade like this instead.
This warm, multidimensional red is total hair goals.
Julianne Hough is in love with her new hue. As she wrote in an Instagram post, "I have never felt more like ME than I do right now!! I have always felt like a red head my whole life, even to the point that I've thought that my future daughter would 100% be a red head! I've seriously talked about doing this for 6 years, ask anyone who knows me...and now that I'm on this new journey, exploring and finding out who I truly am, I said screw it! I feel more feminine and alive and I love it!"
Ready to try it for yourself? Here are a few products that will take your redhead transformation to the next level:
To really make his clients' dynamic strands pop, Rez uses Redken Shades EQ Gloss Processing Solution.
Once you're out of the salon, be sure to wait 24 hours before washing your hair, as color generally takes around 24 hours to set. When you do finally wash it, we recommend using products specially formulated for red hair. Redhead icon Christina Hendricks told us she swears by Pureology Reviving Red Shamp'Oil ($30) and Reviving Red Reflective Condition ($30).
FYI: Here are seven expert tips for keeping your red hair color bright.