This is the only red hair colour guide you’ll ever need!

Thinking of getting red hair? Bookmark this before heading to the salon. 

As with any hair colour, going red isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, especially since it can be one of the boldest and striking looks to rock! But if you are brave enough to take the plunge, you’ll definitely see that it’s worth it.auburn

However, what many women worry about most when it comes to red hair, is that is simply won’t suit them – but that just isn’t the case. There are plenty of red hair colour ideas out there to suit almost any taste, base colour or skin tone.

Still not sure where to begin when it comes to choosing the right red for you? Well, we’ve put together a huge array of stunning ideas that are guaranteed to flatter your complexion and save you from your red hair qualms! Take a look.

We know that some hair colours can be super difficult to pull off (think platinum blonde or metallic hues), but with shades of red, it’s just about finding the right shade.

But while red hair usually looks great on all skin tones and hair types, you still need to do the legwork to find the right shade of red to suit you – and that’s where we come in! Helping you to find your perfect shade of red we have compiled a handy little guide to get you started just below.

Red hair colour handbook:

  • If you have very pale skin, light blue or green eyes, and freckles, try a warmer red hair colour, like strawberry blondes and coppers.
  • If you have a cool skin tone with brown or dark blue eyes, you can experiment with deeper reds, like cinnamon and auburn.
  • If you have olive or darker skin, opting for opulent red shades, like a mahogany or a true red tones are more likely to blend with your base hair colour or complement your rich skin colouring.
fair skinned model with long wavy ginger copper red hair wearing blue top and berry lipstick
Ginger biscuit balayage is good enough to eat. Credit:

1. Ginger biscuit balayage

Another delicious-sounding shade of red, this colour is out to tempt those with a weakness for biscuits (or is that just us?). Made up of varying shades of strawberry blonde, ginger and copper, this colour is perfect for those who want a unique look that feels luxuriously natural. So, if you have a pale to medium complexion, and cooler undertones, you’re in for a real treat!

woman on the street with long pumpkin spice red hair with side parting
Pumpkin spice is surprisingly versatile. Credit: Dvora

2. Spiced pumpkin

Yep, the Starbucks drink-inspired hair colour really is a thing now, but besides the name, we really do love this striking spiced pumpkin hue, thanks to the fact that it’s actually super versatile! It’ll look great on those with pale to medium skin tones, and it’ll work wonders regardless of your undertones. Bonus points if you have super cute freckles, obvs.

blake lively with long wavy strawberry blonde hair in side braid style wearing white lace dress
Strawberry blonde hues give hair a sun-kissed finish. Credit: Getty Images

3. Strawberry blonde

The most delicate of all red hair tones, strawberry blonde, makes a perfect match for fairer skin with yellow undertones not to mention it is also perfect for ladies with naturally blonde locks who are looking to take their first steps into the world of red hair. 

Combining strawberry-pink tones with light blonde hues results in a delicate shade of red, and thanks to their brightening qualities and sun-kissed finish, strawberry blonde is one of the most popular shades of red hair out there.

While a classic strawberry blonde shade might washout olive undertoned complexions, if you have your heart set on this pretty hue, a lighter rose gold may be a more flattering option.

Editor’s tip: If you’re tempted to take on one of these luscious shade of red for yourself, then don’t forget to swap your usual shampoo and conditioner for one specially formulated for colour-treated hair. We’d recommend using the TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Colour Vibrance Protection Shampoo and Conditioner.

woman with long curly dark auburn red hair wearing red lipstick
Dark lush auburn hair will work wonders on warm or natural tones.

4. Dark auburn

Don’t be fooled by its deceptively dark finish, because this colour is still part of the red hair family! Dark auburn hair brings together deep, golden-red tones and rich, warm browns to create a sophisticated shade that’s universally appealing. This dark, lush colour will work wonders on those with warmer undertones or neutral skin tones, and with blue, green, warm brown, or hazel eyes.

woman with long cherry brown red hair with side-parting and wavy finish wearing pattern top
Cherry brown hair hues are not for the faint-hearted.

5. Cherry red

This certainly isn’t one for the faint of heart, but if you’re after some truly head-turning red hair colour ideas, then cherry red hair makes the ideal choice for autumn. This luscious deep red hair hue was made for ladies with medium complexions and cooler undertones, and is also perfect for off-setting beautiful hazel or green eyes.

florence welch with bright copper red hair at grammy awards styled in a low updo with full fringe wearing green dress
Go bright or go home. Credit: Getty Images

6. Bright orange-red

This wonderfully orange-auburn colour is perfect for those with pale skin and pink undertones. The intense brightness is ideal for complementing and illuminating the slight transparency of porcelain skin, like Christina Hendricks, Florence Welch (above), and model Karen Elson.

woman with rose gold bob-length hair in side-parting with tousled undone finish
We adore rose gold everything, especially for our hair. Credit:

7. Rose gold

While not classed as your typical red (as you may have noticed), rose gold is one of this season’s hottest hair colour trends, with A-list celebs and style icons around the world embracing the look. The great thing about this sweet-as-candy colour is that it can be as subtle or intense as you like, so it works just as well on ladies with porcelain complexions, as it does for tan or olive skin tones.

model with auburn curly medium-length red hair in centre parting
Auburn waves for days. Credit:

8. Mid auburn

Bringing together a luscious blend of light, golden-red and very subtle, light brown tones, this mid auburn shade is one of our favourite red hairstyles on our list. Ideal for creamy, peach-toned or golden complexions with blue or green eyes, this absolutely stunning shade of red is the perfect colour to give your mane a seasonal shake-up!

Editor’s tip: If you are considering showing off your red hair hue with a set of stunning curls, we suggest prepping your hair for heat with VO5 Express Primer Spray. Simply spray onto towel-dried hair and comb through from root to tip and blow dry and style.

julianne moore ronze brown red hair medium-length wearing white shirt and black blazer
Ronze hair (and no that’s not a typo) is a A-list fave. Credit: Getty Images

9. Ronze

As the name suggests: a mixture of copper red and bronze. The advantage of this sophisticated shade is that it works all year round and there are varying hues to suit pretty much most skin tones.

If you have a fair complexion with neutral undertones like Julianne Moore, a burgundy hair colour will complement it perfectly, whereas a gold-based ronze will better suit medium skin tones. As for deeper ronze? It works best on darker complexions.

Editor’s tip: Make your hair the envy of them all with VO5 Tame & Shine Spray. We love this nifty product for taming flyaways and adding a high-shine finish, plus it also comes with a heat defence to help protect hair against the damage caused by heated-styling tools – jackpot!

model with straight cinnamon red hair in centre parting style with dark eye make-up
Spice it up with soft cinnamon hues. Credit:

10. Soft cinnamon

A nutty, spicy shade that glimmers with a hint of redness, this cinnamon colour is perfect for those looking for shades of red hair that are soft and subtle. Perfect for those with medium complexions and pinkish undertones, this is a lovely and super flattering hue that’ll help you boost that healthy sun-kissed glow (which you’ll no doubt be sporting at the end of summer)!

model with copper brown tousled wavy medium-length hair wirth micro fringe
Fashionable copper brown hues make this hair colour one to try. Credit:

11. Copper brown

A deeper, ultra-fashionable shade that straddles the perfect line between elegant brunette and fiery red, copper brown looks utterly gorgeous on paler skin tones, and can help inject a boost of exotic warmth to your look. Ideal for brightening your style when there’s not enough sun during the day, this shade of red hair will ensure you shine at all times!

molly sims long golden copper wavy hair wearing black dress
Medium tones will love golden copper hues. Credit: Getty Images

12. Golden copper

Tried and tested by many a celebrity including Amy Adams and Molly Sims (above), this gorgeous golden colour is more orange than red, but is not too saturated, which means it’s perfect for fair to medium skin with yellow or olive undertones.

model on runway with fiery red hair styled straight with long bangs
Make this fiery hue your choice for summer. Credit:

13. Fiery auburn

This striking, fiery auburn shade is perfect if you’re looking for a colour that’ll show off your mane fantastically in the sun. In the summer, this hue catches the sunlight really well to give off a beautiful, glimmering sheen, while in winter, it’s great for brightening up your complexion.

womanw it long dark brown red balayage straight hair
Try the style with a red balayage. Credit:

14. Red balayage

Want to add a fiery touch to your look without going all the way? Balayage is a great way to try out the red hair trend with a subtle, graduated effect through the length of your locks. If your natural hair colour is lighter, try adding hints of deeper strawberry blondes; and if you have a darker base, a bolder ginger shade (for a dramatic effect) or softer, more sophisticated copper tones will work a treat.

Editor’s tip: Now, whichever shade of red hair you pick, protect your locks with a colour specific wash and care system, like the Dove Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner. Formulated with Vibrant Colour Lock technology, it’ll help leave your coloured hair feeling silky and manageable!

drew barrymore with long dark red hair in a curly finish wearing white t-shirt
If Drew can do it, so can you. Credit: Getty Images

15. Dark copper

Championed by the likes of Debra Messing and Drew Barrymore, this alluringly sultry rust hue has surprising brightening qualities and makes a perfect red hair match for medium skin with pink or yellow undertones.

side view of woman with dark brown long wavy hair with red ombre finish
Turn heads with a striking ombre.

16. Red ombre

Red ombre hair is an instant traffic stopper – and giving it a mermaid twist amps it up to a whole new level! The trick here is to take the mermaid trend and rework it with red hair. This means you should stick with the same colour family, or keep the shades as close as possible, to really enhance the richness and depth of your chosen red.

For a really hot look, try combining fiery orange-red shades, or muted pastel reds, with deeper touches of the colour.

emma stone at red carpet event with long bob wavy ginger red hair styled in side-parting with one side of hair tucked behind her ear wearing strapless blue grey pattern dress
It’s time to embrace ginger hues. Credit: Getty Images

17. Soft ginger

This much paler, almost biscuity, version of auburn has recently risen in the ranks on the red carpet. We especially loved it on Kate Mara and Emma Stone, both of whom have fair skin with yellow undertones. Consult your colourist on picking just the right shade for your complexion as this muted ginger tone can help create the illusion of healthier, glowing skin, too.

rihanna at brit awards with bob-length deep red hair in side parting swept fringe wearing strapless purple dress
Follow hair chameleon Rihanna with deep red hair. Credit: Getty Images

18. Blue or purple-based red

Not as strange as it sounds. In fact, this is the one that guarantees success with all dark-skinned ladies. Make serial colour experimenter Rihanna your poster girl and don’t be afraid to go for bright red hair. You’re on the right track as long as it’s blue or purple-based. Want to know the basic rule of thumb? The darker your skin tone, the deeper the shade.

Editor’s tip: Don’t let your colour be a wash-out, invest in a colour specific hair mask likes the TIGI Bed Head Colour Goddess Miracle Treatment Mask. Use as a weekly treatment for an intensive moisture treat, which enhances your colour vibrancy.

model with auburn brown red straight medium-length hair with full bangs
Woody auburn shades are perfect all year round. Credit:

19. Woody auburn

Summery in tone, but autumnal in attitude, this earthy auburn shade will work wonders on a variety of skin tones, from those at the paler end of the spectrum to neutral, medium complexions. One of the most sophisticated, natural-looking red hair ideas, this shade is both flattering and easy to wear.

Don’t be fooled by its subdued tone, this high-impact colour is one that’ll definitely help lift your complexion and add a unique touch to your overall look.

model with ginger straight medium-length hair in side-parting
Add a touch of fire with a muted ginger hue. Credit:

20. Muted ginger

Want some red hair ideas to add a hint of fire to your mane without being too dramatic? This muted shade of ginger is a lovely, softer red hair colour that’s ideal for pinkish and beige skin tones. Flattering and surprisingly, brightening, this hue is ultra wearable, but will never fail to turn heads.

model with strawberry blonde hair with copper highlights styled with a tousled wave
Dazzle with highlights. Credit:

21. Copper highlights

Those with dark locks looking for the right red hair colour should try to simply introduce a hint of fieriness in the form of subtle highlights. Copper highlights, in particular, look gorgeous paired with deeper chestnut and brunette bases, as they’ll add a touch of brightness and depth to your natural colour without appearing too in your face.

Model on runway with long tousled red hair wearing a striped outfit at Louis Vuitton SS18.
Calling all you grunge girls! Credit:

22. Vivid red

If you have tanned or dark skin tones and want an eye-catching hue, this vivid red shade is for you! The tousled finish and dark roots on this models hair are perfect for all you grunge girls out there.

Woman on runway with long brown red hair wearing a white shirt and trousers.
Transition to red hair with this brown-toned hair colour. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

23. Muted red

We can’t get enough of this cool-girl muted red shade. Ideal for those looking for a red hue that doesn’t stray too far from their brunette locks, this brown-red shade is the transitional shade you’ve been waiting for.

Madeline Brewer with red shoulder length hair with Hollywood waves wearing a off the shoulder dress.
Make this your autumn hue and we promise you won’t regret it. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

24. Rich auburn

Rich glossy shades like this auburn hue make for a great autumn colour. Just like actress Madeline Brewer, this shade will look best on fair skin tones with blue or green eyes. Add Hollywood waves for a sultry red carpet finish.

Woman on runway with long red hair wearing a yellow skirt and brown teddy coat at Louis Vuitton FW18 show.
Cancel that root touch-up as stretched roots are your new BFF. Credit:

25. Stretched roots

Grown out roots are a fun and exciting way to make your red hair more interesting. Ask your hair colourist to colour your hair leaving the roots for the desired stretch roots finish, or, even better, opt for a full head of tint and when your root re-growth starts to grow through, simply leave it!

Madelaine Petsch with long red hair with curly ends wearing a strapless colour block dress with her hand on her hip.
Blossom with this Mermaid-esque hue. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

26. Mermaid waves

Say hello to the new poster girl for red hair! On and off-screen, this Riverdale actress has been serving up a host of amazing hairstyles, but it’s this over the shoulder hairstyle with curls at the ends that we love most.