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Orange Red Hair? Expert Tips by Vasken Demirjian

tangerine hair
Tangerine Tango Hair

To Vasken Demirjian, hair is an intellectual and artistic pursuit. His impeccable aesthetic pedigree combined with the highest European education and training has solidified him as a true artist and master colorist. Knowing of his affinity for the colors red and orange, beautypress asked Vasken to share some of his views on Tangerine Tango trend, The Pantone Color of the Year 2012.

Why is this vibrant, orange-red one of your favorite colors to work with?

Ever since I was a little kid, I was fascinated by the colors red and yellow, particularly reds. This new color, Tangerine Tango, is a perfect combination of the two, although carries stronger red than yellow. Growing up and still to this day, I have always worn orange accessories, Hermes, needless to say, is a company I should own stock in, that’s how many Hermes pieces I have, from ties to pocket squares. So, when the time came for me to design my boutique salon, the main accents were reds and oranges, as you can see in the attached photo. I am truly passionate about the color, it personifies my innate being. I am a driven, confident, fiery, passionate person and no other color does justice to who I am than orange-red. I am also a leo, fire sign, so naturally I gravitate towards the warmth of this color.

I was delighted when Pantone came out with this selection. Tangerine Tango (Orange) is my favorite color to work with, I use it in every occasion, so much so that it actually identifies my branding. There will always be a hint or an accent of orange in everything I do. It is provocative, radiant, warm and uplifting. It is an attention-getter, more so than any other color. Whenever I wear orange (see pictures), I always get compliments, every single time, often they associate it with my flamboyant and energetic nature. It is extraordinarily stylish when put together appropriately. It reflects my personal mood and flair.

How versatile is it?

It is extremely versatile. It allows movement and can be most accommodating, and as a neutral accent, it can compliment as well as define. We see it in everyday life, from Easter to Thanksgiving, morning light to sunset, there is a clear nuance of orange in everything. I would say it’s more than versatile, it’s universal and therefore extremely wearable and useful, whether making a bold statement or a demure expression. What I like most about its versatility is that it can be used as an accent in almost everything, beauty, architecture, interiors, clothing – face, mood and attitude. When you have all these elements in one color, versatility becomes universal.

What skin tone does red work best for?

In my opinion, depending on the use of red, fair skin tone will work best with this color. However, depending on the depth and tonal values of reds, medium to dark skin can also work well.

How can it be adapted to suit different skin tones?

-Fair skin

On fair skin, which means a warm toned skin, I suggest warmer version of the color, lighter red and orange tones can be appropriate, but one must be careful, for instance, when it comes to hair color on fair skin, I suggest less provocative orange tones, perhaps softer versions. In hair version, I suggest more copper than deeper reds.

– Medium skin

Medium skin is open to all sorts of possibilities, as it is more forgiving and accommodating to the orange tones, I can choose to go with bolder, richer tones to deeper darker shades. Of course, when referring to hair color, I suggest more red in the mix than yellow, meaning coppery-reds, not blond.

– Olive skin

That’s a complicated skin tone, not everything will work well, I would stick with deeper and cooler tonal values. Keep the tones darker specifically as not to clash with the skin tone.

– Dark skin

I love bright orange-red tones on dark skin. Dark skin can pull off red-orange particularly well and can handle bright colors.

What hair processes would you recommend that reflect this trend, ranging from bold to subtle?

This is when I differ from slew of most colorists, I don’t see the fascination in highlights when working with bolder colors or when trying to create a bolder look. The dimensional difference should be achieved through the distribution of colors all in the same family, rather than through highlights.

Often I see blond (goldeny yellow highlights) on red to coppery hair, which in my opinion, it completely takes away from the full effect of the color. It’s oxymoronic to have yellow with red-copper colors. My reds (coppers), whether soft or bold tones, are all reflective definitive and carry the dimensional tones through a single process application. I do have a technique however, “Canvassing” which encompasses bold to subtle colors, all in a natural variation, deeper and richer tones on the roots and gradually getting lighter from midshaft to the ends. The trick is to keep the color variation no more than 1-2 shades apart as to protect the integrity and the richness of the final result. Hair is your #1 accessory, and the color must be right at all times. Oscar Wilde said it best “When the result is beautiful, the method is insignificant”. Regardless of its ranging from bold to subtle, color should always be dimensional.

Vasken Demirjian
Vasken Demirjian

Article by Beautypress.com.

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Jen Mathews is the Chief Bunny and social media maestro for My Beauty Bunny. She is also the President of Top Tier Media, a social media agency for beauty, fashion, health and lifestyle brands.

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  2. Thanks a lot for revealing that information

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