10 Red Hair Colours & How To Find The Best For Your Skin Tone

Discover our guide on the different shades of red hair and which ones suit your skin tone best. Plus, find out how to maintain your vibrant colour and keep it from fading with our expert tips and products.

woman with red hair wearing a hat and coat walking through a forest in autumn and holding leaves

by Sarah Joan Ross

From deep burgundies to bright oranges and lush-looking cherry reds, there are so many different types of red hair to choose from! 

The trick is figuring out the best shade of red for your skin tone and then investing in the right products (we'd recommend John Frieda's Radiant Red - Red Boosting Collection) to keep your vibrant colour from fading

Luckily, to help you on your quest to find the most suitable colour, we've put together 10 different shades of red hair below. We've even included guidance on finding the best shade for your skin tone. You'll be looking radiant in no time!

woman with red hair lying down in orange leaves and smiling

What's the best shade of red for my skin tone?

Red hair on pale skin

If you have pale skin, you'll want to avoid darker tones as they’ll leave you looking washed out. Instead, opt for lighter, more natural shades such as strawberry blonde, copper and red sand.

If you have naturally brown eyes, these shades of red hair will also accentuate them and add warmth to your facial features. 

woman with red hair covering part of her face with a strand of her hair and smiling

Red hair on medium skin

If your skin is medium in tone, you’ll find that shades of auburn and warmer hues give a healthy boost to your skin. We'd recommend avoiding purple-based colours as they have the tendency to make skin look on the yellow side.

Whilst too overpowering on fairer skin, brighter red hair colours (including coral and fire engine hues) will suit medium skin tones well. So, if you're looking for a style that stands out, this could be a good route to explore!

Red hair on olive skin

When it comes to deciding on a shade of red hair for olive skin, we'd recommend opting for coppery tones with golden highlights to bring out the best in your complexion.

Different red hair colours with bluey-purple tints (such as burgundy or deep violet) also complement olive skin nicely. 

Red hair on dark skin

If your skin is darker, the deeper or brighter the shade of red, the better! Dark purplish reds with rich colour will complement your skin (think dark burgundy or red violet) or, alternatively, go bold with a bright shade of coral or fire engine red to accentuate your features. 

If you do go for a bold shade of ginger hair, you'll want to invest in all the right products to keep your colour looking vibrant. Check out our tips on how to do this and stop your colour from fading too quickly. 

back of the head of a woman with long, wavy red hair looking away from us

Our 10 favourite shades of red hair 

Once you've figured out which shades of ginger hair look good on different skin tones, you'll now need to settle on a particular colour. Have a look below at some of our favourite red hair colour shades. 

1. Strawberry blonde

Also likened to red sand, strawberry blonde is a lighter type of ginger hair, mostly suited to those with pale skin. It's a fantastic shade if you want to redden up blonde beach streaks and maintain that sun-kissed hue year round.

For the ultimate beach babe look, style your red sand hair with bouncy, tousled waves. 

close-up of strawberry blonde hair strands of a woman wearing a denim jacket

2. Copper hair colour

Suitable for fair, medium and olive skin tones, copper hair colour is a mixture of red and bronze thrown together to create a warm and elegant hue.

Keep your copper locks from looking lacklustre with our guide to achieving healthy-looking hair.

3. Cherry red

A vibrant mixture of deep red and purple tones, cherry red hair works well on skin that tans easily and is equally great at accentuating brown eyes. 

If you're keen to create this vibrant cherry shade, check out our Precision Foam Colour Radiant Red Deep Cherry Brown vegan-friendly dye. 

woman with cherry red hair against a red background, looking to the side seriously

4. Dark burgundy hair

Also likened to 'merlot' in colour, the violet elements of this shade will enhance golden skin tones. It definitely leans more towards the darker side of the red hair spectrum, so keep the colour in check with our Radiant Red range, comprised of shampoo and conditioner that work wonders at boosting your colour. 

5. Bright orange hair

Bright orange adds a little more 'pop' to your copper hair, complementing cooler skin tones at the same time.

Fiery and not for the faint-hearted, this red hair colour is vibrant to say the least and can be combined nicely with other shades through balayage or ombre colouring techniques. 

woman with light red hair standing against an orange brick wall and talking on the phone

6. Brick red

This super warm shade complements pale to medium skin tones, as well as hazel and brown eyes. It's definitely more subtle than some of the other shades of red hair on this list, making it the perfect stepping stone from natural to more vibrant.

Give your brick red locks some TLC with a weekly masque and follow our tips on how to deep condition like a pro. 

7. Bright auburn hair

This is one of the easiest types of ginger hair to pull off as it strikes a balance between warm and cool and works across all skin tones. Bright auburn has an orange-red tinge, making it brighter than some of the other shades of ginger hair on this list.

Auburn hair is great at neutralising pink tones in fair skin, but also warming up olive and darker skin tones and making them look glowy. That's why it's one of the most versatile red hair colour shades. 

8. Coral red hair

Coral red hair has a pinky-orange undertone and really brings out the colour of blue and green eyes. It works on a multitude of different skin tones - from fair and medium to olive and dark. Because of its brightness, your stylist will need to bleach your hair to achieve this particular shade. Bleach can be quite rough on your locks, so after your trip to the salon, we'd recommend following our tips on giving your hair some post-bleaching TLC.

woman with red hair and pale skin looking to the side and dressed in black

9. Fire engine red

Fire engine red is great for medium to darker skin tones and nicely complements blue and green eye colours. 

Bold colours are more prone to fading, so you'll want to keep this shade of deep and vibrant red hair looking in tiptop condition with our Radiant Red - Red Boosting range. 

10. Red violet hair

Slightly lighter than burgundy, red violet hair is perfect for darker skin tones. It's all thanks to the reddish, purple base that brings out the skin colour, making your cheeks rosy and your skin glow. 

It's a 'wow' colour which will no doubt turn heads when you're out and about! Style your colour with Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse to help it look bouncy and textured throughout the day. 

woman with dark skin and a ginger afro standing in the wilderness and looking out in front of her

Three tips on how to keep red from fading

Once you choose a type of ginger hair that works for you, be sure to take proper care of the colour to stop it from fading. Here are three tips for keeping your red hair colour fresh for weeks after dyeing. 

1. Wait before you wash

After colouring your hair, wait at least three days before giving it a wash to ensure the cuticle is closed and the colour has settled.

2. Use heat protection before styling

Keep your usage of heat stylers, straighteners and curlers to a minimum for the first few weeks after dyeing your hair, as the heat from these tools can make the red colour fade faster.

If you do end up using heat stylers, make sure to spritz our Heat Defeat Protecting Spray beforehand to protect your luscious locks. 

3. Choose the right hair care products 

Always use hair care products dedicated to keeping the red colour looking vibrant. Our Radiant Red Shampoo and Conditioner not only preserve the tone, but the pomegranate and vitamin E formula leaves an incredible shine too.

Online reviewers love it because it replenishes red tones with every use!


For further tips and advice on keeping your hair colour in tiptop condition, visit our other articles on Hair Colour and Hair Care

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