Yes, Madelaine Petsch's Red Hair Is Real — & Here's How She Maintains It

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.
Madelaine Petsch is largely known to her fans as Cheryl Blossom, the high-school mean girl turned Southside Serpent on Riverdale. But as we've learned with her co-stars, Camila Mendes (who plays Veronica Lodge) and Lili Reinhart (who plays Betty Cooper), Petsch is not her character. In fact, the only thing the two share is their red hair color.
Petsch's fiery red hair color is almost as important to Cheryl Blossom's mainframe as her quick comebacks and archery skills. In fact, when the show first aired two years ago, early fans rushed to the internet to find out if Petsch's vibrant color was, in fact, real. Turns out, it is.
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"My hair is very much real," she told Flare in 2017. "If I dyed my hair, my mother would actually disown me." Despite the fact that we've known the truth for awhile now, it hasn't stopped us from wanting to know more about Petsch's now-famous, signature look. So, we tracked down her go-to hairstylist, Marc Mena, to get the details — and he told us everything.
Check out Mena's favorite products, learn how he keeps Petsch's look different from Cheryl's, and discover the haircut he hopes she gets when Riverdale ends, ahead.
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One-Of-A-Kind Fantasy
"I started working with Madelaine about two years ago during her first Upfronts for Riverdale in New York. Hers is one of the most beautiful manes I’ve ever worked with. It's so vibrant from root to ends — it’s like fantasy hair, which I don’t see very often.

"As a client, she is so open to trying new things and different styles. I loved the first look I did for her [at Upfronts] when I wove two braids together to make one. It was a fresh, a modern twist on the traditional French braid. And not only is she a great client, but she’s become a great friend."
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Redhead Requirements
"Since there aren't that many redheads [I work with], I haven't always stocked my kit with red hair-specific products. Instead, I've tried to find products that work for Madelaine. I typically recommend that she use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to prevent dulling and keep her color vibrant. I'm a fan of the Aveda red-hair shampoo and conditioner. I also love the Oribe pre-shampoo mask, which is great for her because it deep conditions hair without weighing it down."

Editor's Note: Aveda's Madder Root red hair shampoo is no longer available.
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Post-Riverdale Bangs
"We always try to steer clear of styling Madelaine like her on-screen character [Cheryl Blossom]. She has a personality and style that's completely opposite of Cheryl's, so we let that speak for itself. Although, I did just cut her hair in a way that will work with her character's signature look and with her own personality. I decided to go with a Brigitte Bardot vibe and add more movement.

"Eventually, when she isn’t playing Cheryl [anymore], I would love to do a bang on her. I think it would be a super-dramatic shift without messing with the length of her hair, but even then, I would never touch her [hair] color. You couldn’t pay me to do it! Natural redheads are rare, and I think that every tone of red is beautiful, so [I] don't mess with perfection [by using glosses or toners]."
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