12 Shades of Red Hair: Our Ultimate Guide to Red Hair Colors


12 Shades of Red Hair Our Ultimate Guide to Red Hair Colors

Red hair has always been associated with fiery personalities, individuality and a touch of the extraordinary. It’s a hue that stands out in a crowd and leaves a lasting impression. Whether your client is a natural redhead or they’re considering a transformation, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the spectrum of red shades and choose the perfect professional hair color. From the subtlest hints of strawberry blonde to the deep, rich hues of mahogany, the world of red hair colors is as diverse as it is captivating. Let’s explore this captivating palette and discover the shade that will unlock your client’s inner flame.

How to Determine Which Shade Is Right for Your Client

Look at Skin Tone and Undertone

Before diving in, it’s crucial to consider your client’s skin tone and undertone. Skin plays a major role in how well a particular shade of red complements your overall look. Understanding this will give you a better feel for what hair colors will look best on your client. It ensures that their hair will harmonize beautifully with their complexion, enhancing their natural beauty.

Determine Your Client’s Hair Color Level

The intensity of your client’s desired red hair color can vary widely — from soft and subtle to bold and vibrant. Working with your client to determine their current hair color level is a crucial step in the decision-making process. This will help them understand whether you need to pre-lighten your hair to achieve their desired shade. 

Assessing your client’s hair color level is like laying the foundation for your red transformation. It ensures that you achieve the stunning result they want, whether it’s a subtle change or a head-turning transformation.

Consider Maintenance and Upkeep

Red hair, while stunning, often requires more maintenance than other colors. The vibrancy of red hues can fade over time, especially with frequent washing and sun exposure. Advise your client to think about how much effort they’re willing to put into maintaining their red locks. From investing in professional hair care products to coming in for frequent touch-ups, it’s important your client knows that a lot of work goes into keeping red hair looking salon fresh.

Our Guide to Red Hair Shades

Now, let’s explore some of the shades your client could choose when they decide to go red. We’ve divided this list into light and dark shades to make it easier for you to help them find the color they crave. 

12 Shades of Red Hair - Chart

Light Red Shades

1. Copper

Copper is often associated with warmth and radiance, and when done properly, it’s like capturing a bit of sunshine in your hair. It brings a delightful glow to your complexion and creates a stunning contrast against a variety of skin tones. This shade can enhance your client’s features and provide a radiant, youthful appearance. 

Copper is a versatile and suitable choice for those looking to embrace the red spectrum without going too bold. But if your client isn’t ready to commit to a total change or just wants subtle hints of red in their locks, have them consider copper highlights on brown hair.

2. Rose Gold

Rose gold isn’t just for jewelry! It also effortlessly combines the elegance of pink with the mystique of red for a head-turning color you’re sure to love. This shade complements a wide range of complexions and adds an air of sophistication to your appearance. It’s a mesmerizing choice that adds a touch of luxury to your style.

3. Strawberry Blonde

Model with Strawberry blond hair

Strawberry blonde hair carries a whisper of summer’s warmth in every strand. Strawberry blonde is a delicate, light red shade that beautifully mimics the hues of ripe strawberries. It’s a perfect balance between red and blonde, offering a subtle yet noticeable transformation. Strawberry blonde hair exudes a sense of natural charm and understated elegance. It’s a shade that effortlessly captures attention without overwhelming, allowing you to embrace a timeless and romantic allure.

4. Light Auburn

Light auburn hair is akin to a cozy fireside evening, offering comfort and style in one stunning hue. This shade effortlessly merges the warmth of red with the sophistication of brown, creating a look that’s both inviting and intriguing. It is a warm, earthy color that flatters many skin tones. It’s a fantastic choice for those looking to venture into the world of red without going too bright. Light auburn hair adds depth and dimension to your locks, giving them a unique and captivating appearance.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon hair is like a dash of cinnamon in your favorite latte — a delightful twist that enhances the richness of your hair. This shade offers a touch of drama while maintaining an inviting and approachable appearance, and it exudes warmth. This medium-red shade adds depth and character to your locks, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a fun change. Cinnamon hair is reminiscent of a cozy autumn day, bringing a sense of comfort to your overall look.

6. Peach

You might not think of peach when you imagine red hair colors, but hear us out! Peachy red hair is a fusion of soft orange and warm red tones. It’s a unique, eye-catching choice that radiates charm and individuality. Peach hair is a breath of fresh air, infusing your style with a playful and whimsical vibe. It’s the perfect choice for those who want to stand out in a crowd without going for too bold of a color. It’s a shade that encourages you to embrace your uniqueness and celebrate your vivacious spirit.

Dark Red Shades

long curly red hair

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7. Wine

Wine-red hair oozes sophistication. It is like a fine wine aged to perfection — elegant, complex and impossible to ignore. This shade is for those who crave a touch of mystery and a dash of unapologetic confidence. This deep, dark shade is perfect for those who want to make a statement. Wine hair color is bold and dramatic, enhancing your overall presence and ensuring that you make a lasting impression on everyone you encounter.

8. Burgundy

Burgundy hair is reminiscent of the deep, mysterious appeal of a moonlit night. It adds a regal touch to your look and allows you to embrace your inner royalty with grace and style. A blend of red and purple, it’s a bold choice that showcases your fearless and adventurous side. Burgundy hair is also like a fine wine, maturing gracefully and becoming more captivating with time. It’s a shade that demands attention and turns heads for all of the right reasons. 

9. Dark Cherry

Dark cherry hair captures the essence of ripe, juicy cherries. It’s an intense shade that adds an intriguing twist to your look. It is both sultry and mysterious, creating an air of mystery. It’s a color that embodies sensuality and confidence and a shade that draws people in and invites them to discover the layers of personality hidden beneath the surface.

10. Dark Auburn

Dark auburn hair is akin to a classic novel, filled with timeless charm and grace. Combining deep red with brown tones, it’s a perfect choice for those who prefer a more understated red. Dark auburn hair is like a hidden gem, revealing its beauty in subtle, understated ways. This shade is perfect for those who appreciate understated beauty in their everyday look.

11. Mahogany

Mahogany hair is the epitome of sophistication, embodying the essence of classic beauty. It is a rich, deep and enchanting color that reflects the elegance of the hardwood it’s named after. This shade offers a sense of refinement and luxury that elevates your look to new heights. Much like a fine piece of mahogany furniture, this hair color adds a sense of opulence and refinement to your style. 

hairstylist holding client red hair

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12. Ruby Red

Ruby red hair is like a blazing fire, radiating warmth and energy. It’s a shade that empowers you to embrace your inner fire and seize every moment, and it is as intense and precious as the gemstone for which it’s named. This vibrant shade is perfect for anyone who wants to stand out with their fiery locks. Ruby red hair is bold and captivating, drawing attention wherever you go. It’s a color that symbolizes passion, confidence and a zest for life.

Red Hair Color Maintenance and Care Tips

Professionally coloring your client’s hair is only the first step in the process. Maintaining the vibrancy of their red hair requires some TLC. Read on for red hair color maintenance tips to share with your clients.

Use Color-Protecting Shampoo and Conditioners

Ensure your client invests in high-quality color-protecting hair products specifically formulated for red hair. Choosing the right color-protecting products is like giving your red hair a suit of armor. They protect your color from the elements and ensure that your hair remains a radiant showstopper by sealing in the color and preventing premature fading. Recommend sulfate-free options to ensure the longevity of their vibrant hue.

Limit Sun Exposure

UV rays can fade red hair, so urge your clients to protect their locks with hats or hair products for UV protection. Think of your hat as a fashion accessory that not only adds flair to your look but also safeguards your hair from the sun’s rays.

Reduce Washing Frequency

Washing your hair less frequently helps preserve the color. Advise your client to consider using dry shampoo between washes to keep their hair looking fresh without stripping away the red pigment. Have them aim for washing their hair no more than two to three times a week. Doing so allows the hair to retain its brilliance while also saving them time in their daily routine.

Rinse with Cold Water

When your client does wash their hair, suggest they finish their showers with a cool rinse to seal the hair cuticle and prevent color loss. Cold water rinses are like a refreshing spa treatment for your hair. They not only lock in the color but also invigorate your scalp and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Schedule Regular Touch-Ups

Recommend to your client to plan regular touch-up appointments to keep their red hair looking fresh and vibrant. These appointments will help maintain the intensity and depth of their chosen shade, ensuring that their color remains true and allowing them to flaunt their fiery locks with confidence.

Do Deep Conditioning Treatments

Red hair can become dry and brittle, so ensure your client uses deep conditioning treatments to keep it healthy and lustrous. Recommend weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning sessions to nourish their locks and prevent breakage. These treatments help maintain the softness and shine of their red locks, ensuring that every strand is as stunning as the next. Look for products containing moisturizing ingredients like argan oil or shea butter for added hydration. 

Avoid Chlorine 

Like blonde hair, chlorine in swimming pools can cause red hair to turn green. To prevent this, ensure your client avoids pools and hot tubs and suggest they wet their hair and apply a leave-in conditioner or coconut oil before swimming. Afterwards, your client should rinse their hair thoroughly with clean, cool water to remove any residual chlorine. Doing so allows them to enjoy the pool while keeping their red hair looking stunning.

Choose Heat Styling Wisely

Excessive heat styling can lead to color fading and damage. Your client should consider embracing their hair’s natural texture whenever possible to reduce the need for heat styling. When they do style their hair, apply a heat protectant spray before using hot tools. Heat protectant spray is like a guardian angel for your client’s red hair. It shields the locks from the damaging effects of heat styling, ensuring that their color remains vibrant and healthy.

red curly hair

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Wrapping Up

In the world of hair color, red is the choice of those who dare to be different. Whether your client opts for the fiery brilliance of copper or the sultry allure of dark cherry, red hair offers a unique and captivating style statement. With the right shade and proper care, their red hair will be the envy of all who see it, as well as a testament to their individuality and style. 

So, why wait? 

Share the mesmerizing world of red hair colors with your client and ignite their inner fire with a dazzling new look that’s unique to them! Embrace the magic of the shades of red hair mentioned above, and let them transform not only your client’s hair but their entire outlook on life.


Image Credits

Ozz Design/

Sofia Zhuravetc/

Miss Linnea/

LightField Studios/

Roman Chazov/


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