5 Reasons Auburn Hair Rocks and Hues for Darker Skin Tones

All Things Hair | 28 October 2016

Not just red, not just brown—get a color, like auburn hair, that can do both.

We are digging auburn hair right now, and really: what’s not to love?! Bright, succulent harvest gains, spicy lattes, cozy sweaters, comfort food—they all seem to suggest all things warm and fuzzy, and truly everything takes on an earthier, sensual feel. And as far as hair trends go, reds, nutty browns and auburn color ideas are probably the most evocative, as they conjure up the colors of autumn the best.

In case you’re on the market for a new hair color this season, why not try your hand at fall’s favorite reddish hue, auburn hair? It’s a richer take on the classic copper, with just enough hints of brown to mellow it out. Scroll down to check out a few reasons why auburn hair color is one of the classiest, most versatile shades you’ll ever wear, plus five auburn hues to wear on darker skin tones.

5 Reasons We Love Auburn Hair Color

long auburn hair trend
Auburn hair is a dynamic medium brown. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. It’s a crisp, sophisticated brown.

If you’re ever going for a single-process shade, auburn brown hair color is one of the best hues to choose. Ruddy notes give this neat, medium brown more dimension than other shades. It can flatter both cool and warm undertones, making it a great neutral shade to check out if you’re looking to flirt with a brown this fall.

highlights on auburn hair
Highlighting is a cinch. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Highlights come out super-gorgeous.

Because it has both warm and cool tones, applying light auburn hair color tones to your hair with highlights (via a reputable stylist, of course) is nearly foolproof. It can complement both the golds and the ashes, and, as in the balayage above, can also gain more depth with a hint of copper—it brings out the red in your base and results in a deep, luscious, multi-tonal color job.

pigtails on auburn hair
No makeup? No problem. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. It wakes you up.

No one wants to cake on the makeup in a polar vortex, least of all us. Which is why we love how an auburn brown hair shade can instantly perk up a bare face when we need it the most. It can warm up the most winter-weary of complexions, and helps you look put together even with just an additional swipe of tinted lip balm or mascara (leave that rosy flush to Mother Nature). Sold!

auburn hair with waves
Waves and curls come to life on dark reddish tones.

4. It’s made to be curled.

Unlike black or really dark browns, which don’t really define as much texture, waves, curls and even crimped styles take on a more sophisticated, healthy-looking shine on auburn hair. It’s light enough to showcase the nuances in your texture, but dark enough to mask any dryness or damage. Our fave way to style this auburn red hair: big and full-bodied, just like a glass of good Bordeaux.

shiny and dark auburn hair
Not your average brown. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. It sets you apart.

Auburn hair is a bright brown that’s like the lovechild of red and dark brown. That said, it will never get lost in a sea of regular browns and blondes and sets you apart, even during times you’re rocking your winter uniform of all black everything. It’s versatile too, and retains a down-to-earth vibe while still looking fashionable.

Best Auburn Hair Color Ideas for Dark Skin

auburn hair color ideas red curly hair
A rich shade of auburn can really make your darker hair ‘pop.’


1. Trio-Colored Ringlets with Auburn Tones

Awaken your complexion by trying a trio of dark auburn hair colors on your natural hair. This multidimensional look is fun and great for the girl who likes to try something a little wilder and dramatically different. Try out a mix of auburn, honey brown and espresso or toffee shades as they blend well to create a natural look.

2. Auburn Semi-Permanent Dye on Gray Hair

While gray hair is super hot these days (we mean it!), some still choose to hide their gray locks. Cover up or blend away your grays by giving your strands a modern coverage with a semi-permanent or permanent dark auburn dye. These subtle streaks of auburn looks vibrant and give you an instant makeover. To maintain, color hair every three to four weeks or when you begin to see new gray roots.

3. Long, Auburn Ombré Locks 

Choose dark auburn hair color ideas like deep reds or hues with brown undertones to boost your long locks. Ombré hair color with these tones looks especially vibrant against dark skin, as the colors blend well against the naturally dark brown or black hair you may have. Your long locks will be packed with definition and will especially stand out when worn with loose curls or waves.  

auburn hair on natural hair
Try out a touch of auburn ombré to your ends. The color plays well on dark hair, and when worn curly, it gives your curls a subtle highlight. Photo credit: Dvora

4. Auburn Highlights

This subtle coloring technique, especially when employed around face framing areas, brings out your skin tone. Try out brownish auburn tones on dark skin that fall on the lighter end of the spectrum. For deeper and rich, chocolatey skin, employ some copper and red auburn tones to bring out the warmth in your complexion. Go bold to end up with a strong effect or add auburn highlights to very fine areas for a natural look.

5. Full-On Auburn

Go for it! Take the plunge and change your entire hair color. Before you do though, play around with swatches, a wig or clip-ins to see which shade of auburn is best for you and your skin tone. Darker skin tends to have red undertones in their hair, so you want to use this as your guide. However, this isn’t always the case. If you have dark brown hair, opt for a lighter auburn brown hair color. On black hair, try auburn reds with burgundy undertones.

Craving for more hair color trends like these auburn colors? Check out our holiday hair color guide for more shades we’re loving this winter.

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