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In the sharply dressed, stunningly colorful, picture-effing-perfect world of Mad Men, there is rarely a hair out of place. That’s particularly true for Christina Hendricks’s character, Joan, the ad-agency partner whose strawberry strands are as polished as the office’s bottomless supply of cocktail glasses. Of course, we can’t all be Christina Hendricks. (Sigh.) But according to Terra Therapos, a colorist at Chicago’s award-winning Circle Salon, we can all be redheads. It’s just an issue of choosing the right shade. “The level of lightness to darkness can vary, but I believe that anyone can wear red or a color that has red in it,” Terra said. But when shades of red hair range from strawberry blond to deep burgundy, how do you know which one is right for you? It’s (fairly) simple. Here are three factors to keep in mind when going red, as well as what you can expect for maintaining your new color. 1. Your natural hair color. This is important for both aesthetic and scientific reasons. “Stay close to your hair’s natural level and work with the tones that naturally exist at that level,” Terra said. Blonds should consider light copper or strawberry blond; brunettes can play with mahogany and other red-browns. Not only will this naturally complement your features, it also won’t upset the laws of science. As Terra explained it, red is the smallest molecule in the color spectrum. So if, for example, you’re a blond, you would need a lot of synthetic color to achieve a deep, dark red. But your hair already contains plenty of blond pigment, and there simply isn’t room for it all. “No matter what your colorist does, the hair will always fade back to a lighter shade,” she said. 2. Your undertone.Honoring your skin’s natural tone is the best way to ensure your red hair will look sultry, not scary. “Try not to oppose your skin tone with your hair color because you can look washed out,” Terra advised. (Figure out your undertone here.) For those with yellow undertones, Terra recommends a red “that has warmth in it, like a golden copper, auburn, or brown red.” She cited Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Debra Messing (pictured at right) as examples. If you have pink undertones, you should aim for something cooler. Think Nicole Kidman’s strawberry blond or the ruby red sported by Karen Elson (pictured above) and Florence Welch. If your hair is naturally darker, mahogany can be beautiful as well. Neutral undertones work with most any color. Think about it—Jessica Chastain (pictured at left), Amy Adams, and Emma Stone all have neutral skin tones but have all pulled off very different shades of red hair. If this is you, use your natural hair color and eye color (more on that in a second) as your guides instead. 3. Your eye color.Although it’s a less important factor to consider, the right shade of red can really play up your eyes. Let’s circle back to Christina Hendricks (pictured at right). Because orange and blue are complementary colors, her hair and eyes make for a striking match.By that same token, green’s complementary color is red. So good news, green-eyed girls: your peepers will pop against most any red tones. Brown eyes, like brown hair, will warm to warmer hues, like golden copper or auburn.How to maintain your red Remember what Terra said earlier about red being the smallest color molecule? That also means it takes less time for those molecules to fade away. “Red hair tends to have the most noticeable fading of all hair colors,” Terra said. “Expect to visit the salon more often to keep it looking its best.” For more vibrant shades, she estimated touchups every four to six weeks. To combat color fade as much as possible, Terra recommends staying vigilant about your hair’s health. Use products with UVA and UVB protection on sunny days, and shop for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners that are loaded with antioxidants. You can also try pigmented shampoos and conditioners (like the red or copper versions from Davines), which will actually add color to your hair with every wash. Oh, and one last thing—if you’re gonna go red, really embrace it. “I do believe that there is a red for everyone,” Terra said. “But it definitely takes the right personality and vote of confidence to wear it well.” Photos courtesy of the Instagrams of Karen Elson, Debra Messing, and Jessica Chastain and the Facebook page of Christina Hendricks. Photo illustration by Becca Murray, Groupon.Embrace red from head to toe with these articles:Find the Right Red Lipstick for Your Skin ToneHow to Wear Marsala, Pantone’s Color of the Year, All Year LongRead More