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What is archie from riverdale natural hair color?

Archie Andrews is one of the main characters on the hit CW show Riverdale. Portrayed by actor KJ Apa, Archie is known for his striking red hair. But is that Archie’s natural hair color or does KJ Apa dye his hair for the role? Let’s take a look at what Archie’s real hair color is and how KJ Apa transforms into the iconic red-headed character.

KJ Apa’s Natural Hair Color

KJ Apa was born in 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand. His natural hair color is dark brown. Here are some photos of him with his natural brunette locks:

Photo Description
KJ Apa with dark brown hair KJ Apa attending an event in 2014 with dark brown hair
KJ Apa with dark brown hair KJ Apa posing for photos in 2017 with his natural brunette hair

As you can see, KJ Apa’s natural hair color is a very dark brown. It is almost black in certain lighting. This is quite different from the bright orange hair he sports as Archie Andrews on Riverdale.

How KJ Apa Transforms into Archie

So how does KJ Apa go from brunette to redhead for his role as Archie? It requires a lengthy, multi-step process to dye and style his hair into Archie’s signature look.


First, Apa’s natural hair is pre-lightened through bleaching. This removes his natural pigment and provides a blank canvas for the red color. According to Apa, it takes about 4-5 hours in the salon chair to complete the initial bleaching.


After bleaching, Apa’s hair is then colored with a bright orange-red dye to achieve Archie’s hair tone. His hair is colored every 2 weeks to maintain the brightness of the red.


Finally, Apa’s hair is styled into Archie’s signature loose waves and texture. This gives it the mussed, windswept look that Archie rocks on the show. Lots of volumizing products are used to give it that fuller, thicker texture.

The Evolution of Archie’s Hair

While Archie’s hair has stayed pretty consistent with the same red tone, there have been some slight changes to the styling over Riverdale’s seasons.

Season Description of Archie’s Hair
Season 1 Archie sports longer, looser waves and his hair appears more tousled. His hairline is also more natural.
Season 2 Archie’s hair is cut shorter on the sides and back but remains longer and wavy on top. His hairline appears more defined.
Season 3 Archie’s waves are tighter and more neatly coiffed. His hair also seems thicker.
Season 4 Archie goes for a more textured look, with messier, uneven waves.
Season 5 Archie sports a cropped cut with short sides and textured waves on top. His hairline is sharply defined.

So while the color remains vibrant orange-red, stylists have given Archie’s hair subtle trims and texturizing over the seasons to update his look.

Fan Reactions to Archie’s Hair

Archie’s fiery red hair has become an iconic part of his character on Riverdale. Fans seem to have strong opinions about Archie’s hair!

Positive Reactions

Many fans love Archie’s red hair and think it suits the character well. They appreciate how the bold color makes Archie stand out from the crowd. Some positive fan reactions include:

  • “Archie’s hair is my favorite thing about him!”
  • “That orange red hair… Archie just wouldn’t be Archie without it.”
  • “The red hair gives Archie such a fun, vibrant look that matches his personality.”
  • “KJ Apa really pulls off the redhead look flawlessly.”

Negative Reactions

However, other fans think the red hair is too exaggerated on the show and doesn’t look natural enough. Some negative reactions include:

  • “Archie’s hair is so intensely red, it doesn’t look realistic at all.”
  • “The red is just too bright and distracting sometimes.”
  • “I wish they would tone down the color a bit or make it look more natural.”
  • “The hair doesn’t match KJ Apa’s complexion very well.”

Nonetheless, even those who don’t love the hue must admit Archie’s vibrant hair has become iconic for the character.

Impact on KJ Apa

Dyeing his hair red for Archie has had a significant impact on KJ Apa. Here are some of the effects the process has had:

Damage to Hair

All the bleaching and dyeing has undoubtedly damaged Apa’s hair. The harsh chemicals lead to dry, brittle hair that breaks easily. Apa has said he can’t wash his hair too often and needs to take care to keep it hydrated.

Skin Irritation

The dye chemicals also irritate Apa’s skin, especially around his ears and neck. He gets rashes and scaly skin from the color treatments.

Hair Loss

At one point, Apa said he was losing clumps of hair from the constant processing. He had to take a break between seasons to give his hair a chance to recover.

Can’t Change Color

As long as he is on Riverdale, Apa can’t drastically change his hair color or cut it too short. This inhibits his ability to take on other roles that require a different look.


On the positive side, Archie’s red hair makes KJ Apa instantly recognizable. It has become his signature look. He stands out at public appearances and red carpets.

So while being a redhead is high maintenance, it has also given Apa an iconic TV character to portray.

KJ Apa’s Thoughts on Archie’s Hair

What does KJ Apa himself have to say about taking on Archie’s red locks?

Initial Reaction

Apa has said he was shocked when he first saw himself with red hair: “I looked in the mirror and I was like, ‘Whoa no way!’ I was definitely pretty taken aback.”

How He Feels Now

While it took some getting used to, Apa doesn’t mind being a redhead for the role. In an interview he said “I like it. It’s part of Archie’s character. I feel like I’m become more like Archie as I spend more time in the role.”

Funny Moments

Apa also relates funny stories about being Archie. Like how he accidentally dyed half his dog red and had to shave the dog’s fur off! Or when his brown roots grow back quickly and fans comment that Archie “needs a touch up.”

Worth the Sacrifice

Despite the hair damage, Apa feels being Archie’s redhead is worth it. He says “If I have to sacrifice my hair for a TV show and the character, I’m absolutely fine with that.” The vibrant color helps him get into character.

The Future of Archie’s Hair

What does the future hold for Archie’s signature locks?

As Long as Riverdale Runs

The red hair will definitely stick around as long as Apa keeps playing Archie on Riverdale. It’s too iconic to change at this point. Fans would revolt if Archie went back to brunette!

After Riverdale

If Riverdale ends after the upcoming Season 7, KJ Apa may decide to return to his natural dark hair. Going back to brunette would allow him to transform his look for new acting roles.

Maybe Not Right Away

However, Apa has said he might keep the red hair for a little while after Riverdale finishes. After so many years, he feels weird about quickly dyeing it dark again.

Wig as an Option

Once he’s ready to make a change, Apa could wear a wig if required for a role. A wig would allow him to switch between red and brown hair as needed.


While Archie Andrews is known for his bright orange-red hair, actor KJ Apa’s natural hair color is a dark brunette. Apa undergoes an intensive bleaching and dyeing process to transform into the iconic red-headed Archie for Riverdale. Fans have strong opinions on Archie’s hair color, both positive and negative. Being a redhead has also impacted Apa’s hair health and skin. But he doesn’t mind the sacrifices to bring Archie’s hair to life. Archie’s hair has become synonymous with the character. So KJ Apa will likely remain a redhead as long as he continues portraying Archie Andrews on Riverdale.