Brunette woman having copper dye added to her hair at the hairdressers

Copper is a versatile, daring and stylish shade of red hair that suits just about everyone. There are plenty of different shades and styles of copper hair you can choose from, so you can make the look your own.

Here’s our ultimate guide to copper hair, including how to ask your hairdresser for the colour you want, as well as maintaining your new shade.

What is copper hair?

Copper hair is an eye-catching but natural-looking shade of red, with warm, rich tones. It can contain hues of red, ginger, brown and blonde, with golden undertones like bronze and gold.

There are many different shades of copper hair, ranging from dark shades of copper brown to lighter, golden tones with a hint of strawberry blonde. You can also style copper hair with highlights, or add copper highlights to your usual colour.

Which shade of copper hair is best for my skin tone?

If you’re unsure whether you’ll suit a copper hair colour, your hairdresser should be able to help you choose the right copper shade for your skin tone.
  • If you have paler skin, then rose gold, copper and gold shades will work well
  • For those of you with olive skin tones, opt for plum and berry tones
  • For darker skin tones, wine and cherry tones are most suitable
Finding your perfect shade is also down to personal preference. Before you visit your hairdresser, it helps to browse online for some inspiration. You can even choose a few tones you have your eye on and show these to your hairdresser to see what they think.

How can I try out copper hair?

If you’re currently a brunette and not 100% sure whether you want to commit to copper hair, then you could dye your hair at home using our Precision Foam Colour in 5R Medium Red Brown.

If you have darker hair, redder tones will be more prominent once you dye it copper. It could also take a few more steps to see brighter shades of copper if you have darker hair.

If you do decide on a more permanent switch to copper, we’d recommend visiting a professional hairdresser rather than doing it yourself. This way, they can advise on the right hues for your skin tone, as well as using a copper shade to complement the colour combinations in your hair.

How can I look after copper hair?

If you don’t maintain your new hair colour, copper hair can be prone to premature fading.

However, when maintained properly, copper hair can stay colourful and vibrant for much longer. To prevent your new copper hair from fading quickly, you can use colour-protecting shampoos and conditioners, like our Radiant Red or Pro Colour Revive ranges.

You should also visit your hairdresser every 4-6 weeks to stay on top of any colour-fade and minimise the look of regrowth at your roots.

Types of copper hair

Strawberry blonde copper hair

If you have blonde or fair hair already, then one easy route to copper hair is with a strawberry blonde undertone. This flattering shade combines the shine of copper and the lightness of blonde hair that warms up paler complexions. It’s very similar to rose gold hair, except your shade will be less pink, and more golden red.

Swatch of strawberry blonde copper hair

Golden copper hair

Golden copper is another shade that’s easy to transition to from being blonde. This honey-hued shade contains a range of orange and red hues for a vibrant and deep colour that’s perfect for lightening your look up in the summer.

Close-up swatch of golden copper hair

Cherry red copper hair

This shade uses subtle, deep tones of red, for a unique, daring look that helps you stand out from the crowd. This autumnal colour is perfect for brunettes looking to embrace copper, and gives dark, multi-dimensional tints to darker hair.

Swatch of cherry red copper hair

Natural-look copper hair

If you’re not lucky enough to have naturally copper or auburn hair, you can replicate this look easily enough by going for a ‘natural’ copper shade. The most natural-looking shade of copper you can go for is true copper, which suits paler skins, and contains vivid, warm shades of copper and red.

Close up of a swatch of natural-looking copper hair

Dark copper hair

Dark copper - much like cherry copper - gives a darker, dramatic look which is ideal for the colder months, and it’s a deeper, richer version of ‘true’ copper. This eye-catching colour can also be paired with balayage or lighter shades of copper highlights for a look with movement and dimension.

Swatch of smooth, shiny dark copper hair

Light copper hair

Coppery hair doesn’t have to shout to make itself heard - as this sophisticated, summery shade shows. Light copper is a ‘soft’ red shade somewhere between blonde and strawberry blonde. If you already have blonde hair, it isn’t as much of a commitment to switch to light copper as it might be to change to other copper shades.

Swatch of light copper hair

Copper highlights in red and brunette hair

If you’re wary of dying your hair a completely new shade, you could also opt for gentle, reflective copper highlights. This eases the transition and also gives you lots of options - you can either go back towards your original colour later on, or move towards an all-over copper shade.

Close-up swatch of red hair with copper highlights

Copper brunette hair

Copper brown is on the darker side of the copper spectrum, often with a slightly lighter auburn hue. You can spot the copper when light catches the strands, giving your colour depth and movement. Ask your stylist for chocolate brown and dark copper colour; the brown will stay in place as the copper gradually fades.

Close-up of dark copper brunette hair

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