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.
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.
Red hair colour: The basics but essential info to know
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 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.
21 red hair colour ideas to inspire your new season look
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Bright orange-red
This wonderfully vibrant 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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!
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 vibrant 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!
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)!
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!
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.
13. Fiery auburn
Vibrant and striking, fiery auburn is the perfect shade if you’re looking for a colour that’ll show off your mane fantastically in the sun. In the summer, this head-turning hue catches the sunlight really well to give off a beautiful, glimmering sheen, while in winter, it’s great for brightening up your complexion.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.