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The 21 Most Popular Red Hair Color Shades

the 21 most popular red hair color shades

Have you ever thought about dying your hair red? Maybe you were a redhead as a kid, or maybe you’ve always just loved red hair. Red is a high-impact hair color—it grabs attention immediately! So if you do opt for a red hair color shade, get ready to turn heads! To help you decide on the right red hair color for you, here are some great options, along with tips for going red, from the pros at Matrix.
warm red hair color shade examples

Warm Reds

1. Bright Copper Hair Color

Bright copper hair color is vivid and intense—like a shiny, new penny!  It’s an exciting choice if you have fair, peach-colored or golden-toned skin and green or hazel eyes.  Get ready to stand out in a crowd—this is a color that gets noticed!

2. Ginger Red Hair Color

Ginger red hair color is a spicy, light or medium reddish brown tone that is one of the most natural-looking reds in the spectrum.  (In fact, in the UK, natural redheads like Prince Harry are called “gingers.)  Natural redheads have fair skin and green or brown eyes, and often have freckled complexions, so opt for this shade if you can tick those boxes on your skin tone and eye color profile!

3. Copper Highlights

Copper highlights can be added to darker red shades to add realistic dimension and make red hair color look brighter and more energized. Ask your stylist to try balayage highlights for a modern, natural effect.  Add copper highlights to red hair color if your skin is fair or golden, and if you have green, brown or hazel eyes.

warm red hair color shade examples

4. Light Auburn Hair Color

Light auburn hair color is a blend of light golden red and light brown.  It’s been worn to perfection by actress Emma Stone!  It’s a beautiful shade if you have a creamy, peach-toned or golden complexion with blue, green or warm brown eyes.

5. Medium Auburn Hair Color

Medium auburn hair color is a combination of medium golden red and medium brown.  Scandal’s Darby Stanchfield’s remarkable hue is a perfect example of this shade.  It’s striking with her porcelain complexion and blue eyes.  It’s also an ideal red shade for people with green or warm brown eyes.

6. Golden Copper Hair Color

Golden copper is a warm and spicy hue—a blend of dark golden blonde and light, bright red.  Actresses Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain wear this shade beautifully.  Choose this shade if your complexion is porcelain, peach, golden or neutral, and if you have blue, green, hazel or warm brown eyes.


warm red hair color shade examples

7. Red Copper Hair Color

Red copper hair color is a rich, bright blend of red and orange/brownThis shade will flatter fair-to-medium, peach-colored or golden-toned skin and blue, green or hazel eyes.  Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks makes a strong and sexy statement with red copper hair color!

8. Dark Auburn Hair Color

Dark auburn hair color combines deep golden red and rich, warm brown.  It’s an elegant and sophisticated shade of red that is beautiful on people with any warm or neutral skin tone—from peaches and cream to golden or bisque—and with blue, green, warm brown or hazel eyes. Actress Julianne Moore has made dark auburn hair her signature.

warm red hair color shade examples

Cool Reds

9. Red Mahogany Hair Color

Red mahogany hair color is a deep, cool, reddish brown color.  It’s a beautiful choice if you have fair or medium cool-toned skin and green, blue or brown eyes. 

10. Cherry Brown Hair Color

Cherry brown hair color is a delicious blend of rosy red and rich brown—think of cherry cola!  Choose this shade if you have medium to deep and cool-toned skin and brown eyes.

11. Intense Red Hair Color

Intense red hair color is just that—a bright, intense, true red shade.  A million paparazzi grabbed photos of Rihanna when she sported intense red hair in 2012.  It was striking with her brown eyes and deep golden complexion; try it also if you have an olive complexion.

warm red hair color shade examples

12. Rose Gold Hair Color

Rose gold hair color is one of today’s trendiest shades—it’s a coppery pink shade inspired by the jewelry of the same name.  Rose gold hair color can be subtle or intense, and it’s great for people with porcelain, tan or olive complexions and all eye colors.

13. Cherry Hair Color

Cherry hair color is a rich, deep red with a touch of blue/brown.  It looks best on darker skin tones and brings out the richness of brown eyes.

14. Burgundy Hair Color

Burgundy hair color is a dark red violet shade that is dramatic and memorable.  It suits people with complexions that are dark or olive-toned and looks striking with brown or icy blue eyes.

warm red hair color shade examples

15. Black Cherry Hair Color

Black cherry hair color is a rich, deep blue black shade with a touch of very dark red.  It looks best on darker skin tones and on people with cool brown eyes.

16. Red Velvet Hair Color

Red velvet hair color is a rich, cool, deep red—reminiscent of the luscious hue of red velvet cupcakes!  Choose this color if your complexion is cool, dark or olive, and if you have brown, cool blue or emerald eyes.

17. Ruby Red Hair Color

Ruby red hair color is a clear, deep, rich red inspired by the gemstone of the same name.  It’s a dramatic shade when paired with a pale, porcelain complexion and with light blue or light green eyes.  

warm red hair color shade examples

18. Red Black Hair Color

Red black hair color is an extremely dramatic hue—very deep and dark with just a hint of red.  Another popular way to combine red and black hair color is to add dark ruby or garnet red highlights or panels to an overall black shade.  Wear this color if your skin is dark or olive, and if you have brown or green eyes.

19. Aubergine Red Hair Color

Aubergine red hair color is a highly exotic shade.  It’s a deep eggplant hue that can be very dramatic.  This shade should only be worn by people with cool skin tones and cool or neutral eye colors.  It will be highly unflattering to warm, golden or tawny complexions! 

20. Red Violet Hair Color

Red violet hair color is a rich, exotic shade that is a blend of red and purple.  It wouldn’t be a choice for anyone looking for a natural shade, but it can be very fashionable and dramatic.  It’s beautiful on people with dark complexions and dark eyes.

21. Magenta Hair Color

Magenta hair color is a deep purplish red shade that definitely makes a statement!  It’s a favorite of fashion-forward and artistic types of people, whether worn as an accent color in streaks, highlights or panels, or as an all-over shade of red hair dye.  It’s most flattering for people with medium-to-dark complexions and dark eyes.

A Few Tips On How To Dye Your Hair Red

  • Shade selection is critical!  The right red hair color will make your skin come alive; the wrong choice will make you appear sallow and ill!  As a general rule of thumb, select warm red hair colors like ginger, copper and auburn if you have very fair or very warm skin.  Select cool red hair colors like red violet, ruby and red velvet if you have dark or cool skin.
  • Red hair color looks best when it’s vivid.  To prevent red hair color from fading, ask your hair stylist for shampoo and conditioner formulas that are specifically made for colored hair.  These formulas are free of the ingredients that tend to strip hair color, and they keep hair shiny and keep red hair color vibrant.
  • Red hair color should be kept out of the sun.  The sun will cause any hair color to fade, and since it’s important to keep red hair color bright and vivid, it’s a good idea to keep it covered with a hat or scarf when outdoors to avoid UV exposure.
  • Avoid over-shampooing.  Shampooing too frequently is another way that red hair color can become faded.  Try to skip a few days between shampoos if possible.  If your roots become oily or dirty, try using a dry shampoo to keep your scalp fresh between shampoos.
  • See your stylist regularly.  Because red hair color can fade quickly, it’s important to make regular appointments for retouches.  Your stylist will touch up your roots, and also use a gentle, ammonia-free hair color on the rest of your hair that will keep your red hair color even and vibrant without damaging your hair.
  • Select your makeup carefully.  Play up the warmth of your red hair color with rosy or peach cheek and lip colors.  Green shadows and liners can be beautiful on eyes if you have red hair color, as can various shades of brown!

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