Demand for red hair dye has increased 163% since Black Widow came out

Hollywood has been inspiring fashion and beauty for decades. From Mia Farrow’s pixie cut to Rachel from Friends’ bob, women follow style and beauty trends set by celebrities. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow has started a hair trend. According to UK beauty retailer JustMyLook, since Black Widow was released two weeks ago, there has been a 163% increase in demand for red hair dye. Below are a few more details about the summer color trend:

According to the website Justmylook, there has been a 163% spike in demand for the colour since the release of Black Widow, presumably because lots of people sat through two hours and 14 minutes of a film about a woman grappling with the psychological torment of knowing she was part of a Soviet military programme that brainwashed, sterilised and murdered hundreds of abandoned girls, only to think: “Ooh, I bet I’d look lovely with her hair.”

There’s a great compilation video on YouTube in which Scarlett Johansson suffers through question after insulting question posed to her by journalists about Black Widow’s appearance. Her co-stars are asked about stunts and character motivation, and she is asked what food she had to eat to get in shape. How does it feel to be a sex symbol? What are Black Widow’s key fashion elements? Does she wear knickers under her jumpsuit? Perhaps this latest news, that the main thing audiences are taking from Black Widow is her lovely shiny hair, is an extension of that same trend.

Maybe we need to explore this further. Have people tracked down the brand of makeup Johansson wore in the scene where she falls off a roof and bashes her body into an agonising state of disrepair? Have sales of photogenic yet utterly impractical leather jumpsuits shot up as well, along with a corresponding surge in talcum powder? Are more and more women having their necks surgically dislocated so they can pose for photos while simultaneously displaying their bum, boobs and face like Black Widow did in that first Avengers poster?

[From The Guardian]

The hairstyles in Black Widow were also practical, unlike what we usually see on superhero women. One of my favorite parts of Black Widow was when Yelena, played by Florence Pugh, was teasing Natasha about her hair flip and super hero pose. It really was ridiculous. Hollywood doesn’t know how to have a strong female lead without sexualizing her and making her into a love-besotted damsel like Wonder Woman. The Natasha in Black Widow had definitely matured and gotten over herself. She wasn’t hyper intent on proving a point or being sexy while kicking ass. Natasha just was. This is why I am excited that women are just now catching “scarlet fever” and wanting to dye their hair red. This says something about what women find not only attractive but inspiring. I feel Hollywood and in particular Marvel should take note.

I am so happy to see the gingers getting some love. Red hair is one of my favorite hair colors. Especially the deep rich auburn kind. It looks good on many different skin tones and I wish more people would opt for scarlet over blonde. It is awesome to see that red hair is trending in the UK as well. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing all the red heads coming out this summer. I don’t care that probably 90% of them will be bottled gingers.


Photos via Instagram

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44 Responses to “Demand for red hair dye has increased 163% since Black Widow came out”

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  1. cassandra says:

    Godspeed friends. I did it for about 2 years and it was pain in the butt to maintain-and my hair is lighter.

    • FHMom says:

      I had the perfect shade of red once, for about a week. I got so many complements. But, it oxidized or whatever it is that red colors do. I tried special shampoos, rinses. I ended up disliking red because of its fickleness. This was about 25 years ago, so hopefully things have changed. Blonde is easy compared to red.

      • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

        It has changed…now you can get the perfect shade of red for 2 weeks. 😇 I’m a natural ginger whose hair started to fade to brown before graying so I am always on the lookout for a great shade of red.

        Also +1000 on the issues of sexualizing the female superheroes. We only get a handful anyway…can we NOT teach young girls that the standard is to be strong as long as you are sexy too.

    • Becks1 says:

      I went from long, straight blonde/highlighted hair to short red hair when I studied abroad in Spain and I love it so much. She chopped off like 8 inches and I was able to style it and the color was so much fresher and more modern than what I had been doing.

      But when I got back to the states they could not replicate that color for some reason, even though I saw a very $$ hair stylist, and it went from red to blonde after about a week.

      So then my BFF dyed it red for me during spring break senior year and it was orange. Bright orange. So all the pics of me from graduation and the like are pics with this orange-ish-blonde-ish-brown-ish hair (it had faded somewhat by then.)

      And thus ended my saga of red hair.

      • Deb says:

        Becks, the reason the salons in the US can’t reproduce the red you had is because of a particular dye. I forgot what the dye number is, red dye # something. It was banned by the FDA decades ago as a carcinogen. And not one single maker of red hair dye approved for use here has been able to replace that one component. It was the magic in the red hair dye bottle.

        Trying to maintain red hair in a salon is unfortunately a waste of time and money. I’m a natural ginger and when I started going gray I tried the salon route. Frustrating and disappointing. I spent so much money on different brands and all of them were a big fat fail. I switched to henna and I was able to reproduce my natural color by mixing 2 henna red shades together. Haven’t looked back since.

      • North of Boston says:

        Deb, thanks for the tips. I’m a natural ginger – strawberry blonde. And I’m starting to get the first greys, which right now kind of blend in and look like blonde highlights. And I’ve always wondered how I’m going to handle it when I start to really go grey. Henna sounds like it might be a great option.

        Even now, I’ve been trying to think of ways to brighten my color up a bit, as the red has gotten more blond, less copper as I’ve gotten older. Highlights oddly tend to just wash me out … I think because my skin tone is so fair, with freckles. Maybe a henna wash might be a way to bring back the redder tones.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Deb – that’s very interesting! My hair was a lovely auburn-ish shade and I just loved it. The salon in spain did a great job. It makes sense that the particular dye shade is not available here because I was so bummed I couldn’t upkeep the color.

        The box dye job was no one’s fault but my own though. And my bFF. lol.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        Henna can create beautiful colours. But the chemicals can interact poorly with other chemicals in processed/ dyed hair. And lead to hair snapping off. So I’d double check with your hairdresser before using it.
        Plus once you use it you can’t dye your hair with other colours because of those chemical reactions.

      • Deb says:

        MarcelMarcel, pure henna contains zero chemicals. The one exception is black henna which has PPD. Red henna is pure and safe and will not make your hair break off. You are correct in that you cannot use salon dye over henna but that is because of the chemicals in salon dye, not the henna.

      • Deb says:

        North of Boston, google Henna King. They’re the only henna I’ve used for eons and the products are great. They have various reds like ginger, auburn ,strawberry, copper, etc. I custom mix auburn and ginger to replicate my natural color. That’s the great thing about henna, you can play around with it as much as you like without worrying about damaging your hair. Make sure you use pure henna, it has NO chemicals.

  2. Ariel says:

    I dyed my hair various shades of red for 30 years. Red is so much fun. From Irish auburns, copper tones that shine in the sun and a few more obnoxious versions.

    2 years ago i let it go natural – grey. But I miss that red.

    And I will always believe that the men who run marvel undersold, undervalued, and wasted potential of Natasha and marvel’s women fans- for years.

    • Lightpurple says:

      @Ariel, it’s no secret that Ike Perlmutter blocked early plans for a Black Widow film in Phase 1 and was the reason Black Widow items weren’t included in The Avengers promotional marketing (toys, posters). He was also notorious for being cheap so actors not named Robert Downey Jr in Phases 1 and 2 weren’t making the big money people thought they were and the international press junkets they were sent on had minimal perks for the actors. Perlmutter has been pushed aside so we get Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Black Panther, with all those glorious women, WandaVision, Wasp gets added to Antman titles.

      • North of Boston says:

        Yeah it sounds like Perlmutter really wanted to stifle interest in the Black Widow character. The strangest thing was his bit about limiting Black Widow toys because he said* they wouldn’t sell. But by limiting production of Black Widow toys, it is a self-fulfilling prediction; they couldn’t sell more than they produced.

        There was also some nonsense about making BW and the few other female characters be the “chase” characters in promos. So for example, it was like out of 120 Avenger character toys put in McDonald’s Happy Meals, you’d have 23 each of Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and even Hawkeye, but only 5 Black Widows. So if little kids wanted BW, they probably wouldn’t be able to get it. It was really strange.

        *I suspect it was just plain ol’ misogyny, not actual business factors driving that.

  3. Waitwhat says:

    I’ve been a redhead for the past 6 or 7 years. A good, deep scarlet is my favourite but it is crazy hard to maintain – it really only stays vibrant for a week or two and then starts to fade. At the moment I’m a copper red with a few blonde highlights which is much easier to look after (and gets a lot of compliments), but I will go scarlet again in the winter 🙂

  4. Merricat says:

    My hair has been many different colors over the years, but red is one of my favorites.

  5. terra says:

    You know, for a natural redhead I feel surprisingly ambivalent about this development.

    I HATED having red hair when I was a kid. I was the only redhead in my family, I went to school with only one or two others throughout all of elementary school. I felt awkward and different for many reasons and my hair was just another way I’d never fit in, as far as I was concerned.

    Time and getting older has softened me and I began to love my red hair, although a lot of that had to do with the fact that I had to accept it because I realized young that I’d never have the patience for keeping up with dying it all the time, despite growing up in hair salons my whole life, what with my grandmother running a series of high-end salons since I was a baby.

    The universe really has a sick sense of humor sometimes, though, because now that I’m in my thirties and I’ve fully come around and embraced the ginger I’ve started to notice an increasingly amount of gray hairs near my hairline.

    One step forward, two steps back, am I right, friends?

    • Purplehazeforever says:

      I’m 50, a redhead & I’ve yet to see gray hairs. My hair has faded from orange red hair from my youth to a lighter red with blond, almost’s going white at the hairline. I was told by my hairdresser it will most likely go white but I do have brown, red & blond hair throughout my head…not so when I was younger. I was all orange red & brown. I hated my hair color, I wanted to be a blond or brunette like everyone else.

      • Lightpurple says:

        We have redheads in our family who did not start to see grays until they were in their 60s. We have others who went prematurely gray in their 20s.

      • Purplehazeforever says:

        It depends on genetics, some redheads will go gray, others white. I am seeing very blond hair right now so I think my hair will go white. Don’t know for sure but it definitely has lost quite a bit of it’s color.

      • T.Fanty says:

        Same here. I’m almost 46 and don’t have any grey, but I’m definitely getting lighter. My daughter has the same auburn hair as me, and we compare regularly, so I know it’s fading. My sister is all brunette, and went completely grey by 35. It’s a fair trade, though, as I’ve spent a lifetime under sun umbrellas, wearing SPF 700000000 sunscreen.

      • North of Boston says:

        I’m a red head, more strawberry blonde and have just started to see some greys.

        But I still remember this guy I worked with when I was in my 20’s. He was in his 60’s I think, and had sandy blonde hair. He told me once not to worry about going grey, because he said he’d had the same hair color I did when he was young, so my old-me hair would look like his. I’m kind of hoping that’s true.

        I think a lot of it is genetics, though. And that doesn’t help me much because I’m the only person in my remaining extended family with red hair (there were a few gingers in older generations… every one else has brown hair) so there are no examples. And I’ve got relatives who went fully grey in their 40’s and 50’s, other’s who stayed salt and pepper into their 80’s and 90’s. The strangest case is my mother, who had brown hair and went nearly fully grey in her 60’s … but then started to get a salt and pepper look, and as she’s reached her 80’s, her hair is about 80% brown ago, with just 20% grey spread around, and it’s getting less grey every year.

      • Charfromdarock says:

        I’m a natural in my 40s with no greys.

        My Mom is in her 70s and still 90% red, she’s turned white and it looks like blonde highlights.

        My Grandmother lived to 92 and she still had about 75% of her natural colour.

    • VIV says:

      Exactly the same here! I hated it so much and was never allowed to dye it. (Three of us in school, and were called each others names until the day we graduated lol). I eventually did grow to like it, and enjoyed a few years before it started turning to a darker vaguely-red brown color where the whites are much easier to see. And as everyone said dying to get it back is a huge pain. It’s so sad!

    • Suzybontime says:

      Grey hair is unusual for Redheads.

  6. Paloma says:

    I’ve been wanting to try red on my ash blonde (bleached) long hair for a while. I think after seeing Nicole Kidman in some series maybe the one with hugh grant it was she redhead in big little lies? My first choice would be a long straight wig with bangs but it’s not cheap to obtain a nice looking one ethically. (Especially as i don’t know if I would really use a wig? I just want to try!) I wouldn’t mind to dye it but I can’t figure out if it will come out easily or not. Since my hair is now a cool tone by choice I don’t want to let go of all the maintenance I did just to try ginger when I don’t know if I’ll enjoy it

    • Joanna says:

      In my opinion it will be hard to take bleach blonde hair to a red tone.. the red tones were hard for me to get out once I was tired of it. More than likely that you will end up a strawberry blonde. Don’t try to do it at home, consult with a hairdresser.

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    ScarJo suits the red hair and its a nice colour but its upkeep is expensive and a pain in the ass.

  8. Humbugged says:

    And the Flo getting the posing line was a joke .They admitted it came from Florence bringing up how dangerous it actually was to Scarlett and they decided to write it in

    • Algernon says:

      The superhero landing/hair flip move is practical and comes from stunt performers. It’s a way for a character to complete a stunt in-camera and then smoothly cut to the actor showing their face once the stunt is finished. Florence will learn this herself when she inevitably has to do some hair flips/face reveals when she resumes portraying Yelena in the middle of an action scene.

  9. Nicole says:

    My mom has red hair. I got mousy brown hair with red highlights. I remember telling my mom I hated the color of her hair when I was growing up, but adults seemed to LOVE it. 😀 It seemed like someone was always commenting on her hair. She’s in her 60s and her hairline is just turning gray.

  10. Joanna says:

    I was a redhead for years. Because I’m pale with freckles, a lot of men thought it was natural. Some men have an obsession with redheads. The others are neutral or don’t like it imo. If you’re looking to appeal to males, blonde is their favorite color ime. I had a hell of a time getting the red color out once I didn’t want to do that color anymore.

  11. Case says:

    Good luck to these people. Red is difficult to maintain and difficult to get rid of at the same time.

  12. iconoclast59 says:

    I wonder how much of this can be attributed to the pandemic. People have been using lockdown and social distancing as a chance to experiment with their look and change it up a bit. I have a co-worker who did a full buzz cut, and I’ve seen different hair colors on my video calls.

  13. Jules says:

    It’s a little depressing how easily influenced people are be celebrities.

  14. Sophie says:

    Hope they all like their new hair color, because red dye is forever

  15. Sof says:

    Dark red is my favourite hair colour, I can’t believe redheads get teased at school.
    If my hair wasn’t wavy I would definitely try to dye it red. Unfortunately, it’s dry already so I imagine that if I combine this with the roots upkeep I would burn it all, no thank you.

  16. Eh says:

    I dyed my hair red in college and even got married as a redhead (I’m a natural blond) and what my colorist would do is dye it a brighter red than I wanted and it would fade after a few days to a natural-looking auburn. I loved it and people actually thought I was a natural redhead. I miss it but I don’t want the expense or hassle of dying my hair at all.

  17. Jessi says:

    10/10 would attend the Black Widow class on Hairbraiding For Fun & Combat

    (I had a lot of fun seeing this movie!)

  18. The Recluse says:

    My hair used to do wonderful shade changes depending on the season: golden brown in the summer, auburn brown in the winter. Then it started to silver. For a few years I would dump red hair dye in my hair in honor of the autumn leaves and then again for the holidays and one last time in February, just for the fun of it. When I hit 50 I let it go natural. It is mostly white in the front and top, but underneath there is still some of those shades of brown, including golden and auburn.

  19. Algernon says:

    The hair flip joke was a good one, but any time you see people in action movies doing hair flips, that’s the moment they swapped with their stunt double in the scene. The double finishes the stunt with their head down, the actor comes in, assumes the finishing pose, and lifts their head, revealing their face. If they have long hair, the head lift turns into a hair flip. The jokes are good, but no one is going to stop doing the hair flips until face replacement technology is absolutely seamless and can keep up with fast paced action.

  20. Theothermia says:

    I totally learned how to french braid after watching the trailer for this movie 😂

  21. Rose says:

    Re: Black Widow: I’m so over women who don’t/can’t have kids being othered or viewed as “monsters”.

  22. mgmoviegirl says:

    If anyone looking to go red and maintain it I would recommend using color depositing shampoo. It’s was one of the best things to discover in order to maintain and keep the color. It used to fade very fast on me, a little less when trying for dark colors, but using keracolor I was able to maintain the color for two years or more before going back to blonde