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Interview with a hair colourist: Tips for dyeing redheads from Harriet Stokes

Harriet Stokes, a hair stylist and colourist for East London’s Not Another Salon,
has made a name for herself thanks to her unending love of red hair shades.

She caught our eye on Instagram, where she regularly showcases her intricate and bright colour transformations, of which she often favours ginger shades. Her love of vibrant red hair has even earned her a L’Oréal Colour Trophy Star Award.

We caught up with Harriet about her top tips for red hair care, both natural and dyed…

How did you get into hair styling? Have you always loved colouring?

I started out hairdressing when I was 14 years old, coming from a family of hairdressers that was always really going to happen. If I’m honest I thought I was going to be a footballer but I quit my team and become a Saturday girl in my local salon instead.

I have always loved every aspect of hairdressing but I didn’t know what my ‘thing’ was until I moved to London in 2016, which was when I found my passion for colour.

I literally got chucked in at the deep end when I started at Not Another Salon, doing colour after colour after colour every single day. I’d never worked anywhere as creative and full on, which really strengthened my colouring.

Winning the L’Oréal Colour Trophy Star Award must’ve been an amazing feeling – what made you choose a ginger shade to showcase?

Winning the Colour Trophy Star Award really was my highlight of last year – all the hard work and endless hours of colouring paid off.

My look was inspired by two of the biggest trends that were happening for SS16: copper hair and vivid hair. At the time I was having soooo many clients come in and transforming to copper and people having Vivid hair was still massively rising.

I knew that copper was going to be a popular choice in the competition so I needed to make mine stand out from the rest, which is why I combined the two trends together.

I always tell my young redhead clients to leave their natural hair as along as they can and too not let colourists near them!

You’ve previously said that ginger is your favourite shade to colour. Why?

It wasn’t until recently that I realised, for most of my hair shows and competitions, I’ve used redhead models. I must have a thing about redheads – I do personally think it’s the most beautiful colour, natural or coloured.

I always tell my young redhead clients to leave their natural hair as along as they can and too not let colourists near them!

Have you ever had red hair yourself?

I went copper a couple of years ago – I absolutely LOVED it and then I started my journey back to blonde for the summer. This winter I want to go copper again, I’ve been talking about it for so long, maybe so now it’s in writing I’ll have to do it!

If you could pick any redhead’s hair in the world to style, who would you pick?

Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine – I love her vibe!

What’s your top haircare tip for redheads, dyed or natural?

Invest in really good haircare, the most important thing for your hair is a protective shampoo and a mask. At Not Another Salon we use Pureology – the hydrate range is perfect for most hair types as it builds up the moisture levels, protects the colour, it’s sulphate-free and vegan too.

My top tip would be to replace your conditioner with a mask!

There has been a huge change in how everyone sees ginger as a colour, I believe that’s down to the fashion industry on how ginger is now perceived

What advice do you have for non-redheads thinking about going ginger? How should they choose the right shade for them?

Do it, do it, do it! Book a consultation with your hairdresser, take a selection of images, coppers you love and even coppers you don’t like. Then your colourist can get a really good understanding of what you like and don’t like and they can then offer their professional opinion.

Have you found that more people are choosing red hair shades when they dye their hair? Would you say there’s a shift in negativity around gingers?

There has been a huge change in how everyone sees ginger as a colour, I believe that’s down to the fashion industry on how ginger is now perceived. In the last couple of years, more models have been encouraged to use their natural beauty but I also think it has something to do with the fact that prejudice of any kind is becoming increasingly unfashionable.

Last year we saw a huge rise in clients being more open to going red. At Not Another Salon we specialise in colour and we’ve noticed some clients choosing to go red for a bold/statement look.

What’s next for you?

I have had the craziest and most amazing two years working at Not Another Salon so far. I’ve built the most amazing clientele, taught around the world with my boss in Shanghai, South Africa and around the UK. I’ve been part of some awesome shows and competitions with L’Oréal and get to be part of Not Another Salon’s creative team.

And this year will be just as crazy! I have lots of competitions and photoshoots planned but I would love to focus on learning as much as I can so I can continue to grow as a colourist. Oh and possibly go back to the ginger side!

Interview by Emma

For more information of Harriet’s work at Not Another Salon, visit notanothersalon.com

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Ginger Parrot is ready and raring to report on all things nice and gingerful, and provides an online store too, offering Ginger Parrot merchandise, clothing, hair products, gifts and more for the redhead and redhead lover community.