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‘Cherry Red’ Hair is Having Its Moment on TikTok Right Now

Keke Palmer with cherry red (or cherry coke) hair
Getty Images

The seasons have changed – which means it’s probably time for your hair to change, too. If you’re looking to switch up your hair colour now that the warm weather is on the horizon, it could be time to turn to the go-to shade that’s been all over TikTok lately.

While spring and summer are often about lighter hues and airy aesthetics, it seems like all the it-girls on TikTok are ready to embrace a darker shade. With the rise of Wednesdaycore, raven black hair was all the rage for a while, but now people are taking that drastic, sultry look and giving it a crimson twist. Enter: cherry red (AKA “cherry Coke”) hair.

See also: Our predictions for spring 2023 nail colours

Megan Thee Stallion with cherry red hair
Getty Images

What is cherry red hair?

Cherry red hair (or black cherry hair) is as refreshing as it sounds, with stylists mixing up “a dark, reddish, maroon colour that’s brunette but also in the red family,” hair colourist Cherin Choi to Teen Vogue. But, achieving a cherry Coke shade can take quite a bit of work, as you may have to lift and lighten your hair a little first, depending on your initial colour.

“You typically have to lift the natural colour enough to deposit the cherry-coke red-burgundy tone,” Goldie & Co Salon owner Sassy Medchill tells PopSugar. “It might take a couple of trips to the salon to get the colour you want.”

Medchill also adds that, “once the colour is in, it’s also hard to get out.”

Related: The most popular TikTok beauty trends for 2023, ranked

Dove Cameron
Getty Images

Which celebrities are jumping on the cherry red hair trend?

Celebs far and wide are turning to that cherry cola hue, from Megan Thee Stallion’s dark crimson colour to Dove Cameron’s on-trend mane. But this fad isn’t as new as it feels – in fact, it’s yet another Y2K style revival. In the late 90s and early aughts, everyone from Christina Aguilera to Rihanna rocked the daring look.

“It’s a throwback to the early 2000s,” Medchill adds, in her PopSugar interview. “I remember everyone was doing this colour.”


Rihanna arrives at the 2010 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California
Getty Images

How to get the cherry red hair look

If you’re ready to channel your inner “Disturbia”-era Rihanna, Choi explains to Teen Vogue that you should make sure to head to the salon instead of jumping on an at-home box dye.

“I can never truly recommend doing [an] adventurous hair colour at home,” Choi says. “Especially considering, depending on your hair colour, your hair colourist may have to first do a base break, a single process application or a bleach-and-tone.”

Related: Take care of your crown: a full guide to scalp care and hair growth

How to care for cherry Coke hair

Getting that quintessential black cherry hair colour is the first step of many, as a lot of the real work comes after the dye job. Regular root touch-ups and toning will be key to maintaining cherry red hair, and you’ll definitely have to stick to a pretty strict hair routine.

L'Oreal Sulfate-Free shampoo

First and foremost you’ll have to switch up your shower routine by making room for a colour-safe shampoo and conditioner. Search for the perfect sulfate-free or pH-balancing hair care routine to ensure your colour lasts longer and your hair stays healthy – we recommend this L’Oreal Paris EverPure sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo (Amazon, $8) and conditioner (Amazon, $8). Consider hair masks to treat, shine and soften your hair after the dying and bleaching process.

We hate to break it to you, but hot showers may be a thing of the past for you if you choose to dye your hair cherry red. Hot water can strip your hair of essential oils and dry them out, which results in fading colour, so make sure to both wash and rinse your hair in lukewarm water instead.

Bumble and Bumble Primer


Bumble and Bumble’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer, Sephora, $39

Last, but definitely not least, avoid styling your hair with heat wherever possible. This means opting for heatless waves instead of stylized curling iron-based looks, or leaving your hair natural instead of reaching for the straightening iron. But, if you do choose to use a heat tool, make sure to prime your hair with a heat protectant first. We’re thinking something like Bumble and Bumble’s Invisible Oil Heat & UV Protective Primer (Sephora, $39).

So if you’re looking to dye your hair that bold, yet finnicky, shade of cherry Coke, be ready to invest some time and money because, as Medchill says, “the cherry-cola trend is definitely for someone who is willing to stick with it.”

If you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, but are still looking for a big hairstyle change, check out some of the other biggest hair trends of 2023.

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