Glamour August 17, 2023



The Best Red Hair Color Ideas to Try Right Now 


From auburn to copper to burgundy.

Red hair color has never been hotter, and all the celebrities who recently dyed their hair the fiery shade prove it. This year alone, Megan Fox, Chrissy Teigen, Julia Fox, and Emily Ratajkowski have debuted their own takes on the hue, so we—and professional hairstylists—have a feeling the hair color trend is just getting started.

Shvonne Perkins, master colorist and lead educator at Madison Reed, agrees, adding that red hair mania isn’t going anyway any time soon. As for why the fiery shade is having such a moment? “We needed to see someone break the mold, and so many more celebrities and influencers have,” Perkins says. “We’ve lived in a world for a long time of brunettes versus blondes in print ads and film. Over the past five years we’ve seen many more nuanced variations of these shades, and it’s made people less afraid.”

Feeling inspired? You’re in the right place. We asked hair experts all about their favorite red hair colors, how to choose your best shade, and what it takes to maintain the look. Here’s what they had to say.

Which shade of red hair works best for me?

There is a shade of red for everyone, and Perkins says that gold and copper are universally flattering. "However, you’ll want to be more mindful of tones when you’re playing with truer reds, staying on cooler blue-based reds for ash-friendly tones,” she says.

One trick to help you figure out your best tones? “If you like violet lipsticks, blue eyeliners, and blackest-black mascara, you’ll likely look great in blue- and violet-based reds,” Perkins says. “If you tend to gravitate toward rosier looks with golden tones, brown to neutral shades and orange hues in red lips, then a more copper-toned red will likely work better for you.”

That said, choosing which red hair color works best for you comes down to how much maintenance you’re willing to put up with. Auburns and reds are notoriously tricky in terms of upkeep and require touch-ups every six to eight weeks. Plus, salon trips can be costly, with dye jobs ranging from $75 to $200 (or more) depending on the technique(s) used.

That’s likely why salons are noticing a surge in requests for more red-tinted browns, which are a much more low-maintenance ways to wear red hair. “We are seeing reddish brunettes a lot this year,” says Jennifer Korab, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in Hillsborough, New Jersey. “Brunettes are adding highlights of copper to accentuate and create a warm, vibrant look.”

How often should I visit the salon for touch-ups?

If you decide to go the professional route, how often you touch up your hair depends on the specific type of treatment you receive. “If you’re talking permanent color, root touch-ups usually happen every four to six weeks, but it doesn’t need to be that soon unless you’re keeping up on gray coverage,” says Perkins. “It’s really toner that you’re likely to be keeping up with, which is likely touched up every eight weeks if you’re following steady at-home maintenance.”

It also depends on specific shades. For example, celebrity hair colorist Jenna Perry of New York City’s Jenna Perry Studio recommends touch-ups and glazes every six to eight weeks for notoriously high-maintenance amber glaze red hair, as well as exclusively using sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners formulated for colored hair.

How to maintain red hair color at home

How well your color holds up largely depends on at-home care, “At-home care is essential,” Perkins reiterates. “Madison Reed’s latest launch, Bonding Time Bond Building Treatment, is the first bond-building treatment designed specifically to protect your color. Use this along with a color-depositing conditioner in the tone of choice for home maintenance at least every other shampoo. And do a gloss or toner monthly. Reds fade fast but are worth the upkeep.”

Korab suggests using a color-care hair care system, such as Pureology’s Hydrating and Color Protecting Hair Kit for Dry, Color-Treated Hair, to keep reds bright. “This shampoo and conditioner are color-safe, sulfate-free, and have antifade complex to help protect from fading,” she says. “I also love Kerastase Chroma Absolu Hair Masque; this mask is great to preserve the health of your hair, keep color vibrant, and enhance shine.”

Want to try a red hue yourself? You’re in the right place. We spoke with top celebrity colorists and stylists about trending red hair ideas for 2023, no matter your skin tone, hair type, or length—or how high- or low-maintenance you want the look to be. Whether you are a natural redhead or want to dabble in strawberry blonde, try auburn balayage, embrace bold burgundy, or go full-on firetruck neon red, there’s a red hair color idea for you.

Scroll on for 25 shades of red hair and beauty inspo, and get ready to screenshot. And then book an appointment ASAP.

Apple Cider Copper

Perkins says that apple cider copper will be one of the top colors to watch for fall 2023. “It’s a mix of a warm, light auburn hue with subtle hints of gold and copper,” she says. “Think apple cider.”

To get the look, Perkins suggests asking for a golden, copper toner without a brown base. “This shade looks best when it’s allowed to build off your natural dimension and just act as a tinted topcoat for the hair,” she says. “Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella and Color Therapy Mask in Zucca  are both excellent for at-home upkeep of this tone.”

Golden Red

“This look is fun and head-turning without being too drastic of a change from deeper tones,” says Dark and Lovely celebrity stylist Derick Monroe. That said, if you want to take your hair a few shades lighter, be sure to keep your hair healthy enough to handle the dye.

“The last thing you want to do is a chemical process on already damaged hair,” he says. “A pro tip is to have a maintenance program to keep your hair healthy, shiny, and moisturized. That could be as simple as a deep-conditioning treatment at home.”

Pumpkin Spice Red

Lauren Mildice, hair colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, points to pumpkin spice “bropper,” which is brown hair and copper color mix, as a prime red shade to watch.

“This is a great option for the cozy months when you feel the urge to richen your color but do not want a dramatic change,” she says, adding that the best part about this color is that it’s so customizable. “This color keeps everyone guessing since it reflects differently in the light, like an amber gemstone, and you can keep it solid or add dimension,” she says. “Customize it with your coloris!”t

Auburn Red

Celebrity hairstylist Nicholas Taylor says that 2023 is basically the year of red and auburn hair colors. "This year is going to be a huge year for auburn hair,” he says. “Ciara is rocking gorgeous auburn hair that I’m obsessed with. Browns and auburns are taking the cake as 2023’s number one color trend.”

Amber Glaze Red

Emily Ratajkowski’s glazed amber red hair is ideal in-between shade for brunettes, since it's a relatively easy shade to transition back to their natural hue after the fad. “I wanted to create a red shade that not only complemented her skin and eye color, but something that was fun for summer and easy for her to transition back to her signature brunette,” Perry says of the look she created for Ratajkowski.

Burgundy Plum

Another red hair color that’s trending for 2023? Burgundy plum. “With its deep purple hue and hints of red, plum hair color adds a bold and dramatic touch,” says Mildice.

Strawberry Auburn

Strawberry auburn blonde hair color is the perfect way to ease into red. “This shade works for anyone interested in playing with warmer colors without fully committing to a fully saturated look,” says Lorena M. Valdes, hair colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon. “Since it utilizes different techniques that give the illusion of a fully saturated color, it gives a softer grow-out.”

Ruby Copper Red

Stephanie Brown, a colorist at IGK Soho, predicts that Zendaya’s toned-down copper red will be having a moment soon. The key to getting it just right, however, is the lived-in feel. “It’s darker at the root with brunette undertones,” she says, “so it doesn’t come across as a fashion color, meaning it’s wearable for everyday.”

Cherry Coke Red

“Cherry Coke red is a rich, brunette red with burgundy and violet undertones,” Alex Brownsell, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Bleach London, says. “The great thing about this red is that  everyone can achieve the color without having to lift your hair too much or even at all.”

Want to get the look at home? Here’s how: “All shades of blonde hair through to mid brunettes can use our conditioning Super Cool Colors to achieve this color without lifting the hair,” Brownsell says, and notes you can get the easy DIY with red hair dye. “Darker hair colors will need to lift the hair to a dark orange using one of our Bleach Kits. To achieve the color, I use two parts I Saw Red Super Cool Color with one part Bruised Violet Super Cool Color.”

Chocolate Cherry Red

If you have naturally dark brown or black hair, or you simply prefer the brunette vibe, you might want to try chocolate cherry red, says Jason Lee, hairstylist, colorist, and founder of Mela & Kera. “It’s an alternative to auburn but still in the warm, reddish family,” he says, defining the shade as adding a red wine undertone throughout brunette, which can also be accomplished through red highlights or balayage.

“For those of us who aren’t ready to take the full plunge into red, chocolate cherry seems to be a great way to update your look and make it modern but still live in the brunette world,” he says.

Auburn Brunette

Another way to add a red, auburn-inspired tint to brunette? Auburn ombré hair with highlights. “We are seeing a lot of copper brunettes that are high in shine and rich in copper, golden tones,” Korab says. “This hair color is soft and seamless. We are seeing a lot of brunettes also add highlights of copper to accentuate and create a warm vibrant look.”

Ginger Spice Red

Megan Fox’s new shade of ginger spice hair is equal parts eye-catching and natural looking, and that’s what Meche Salon stylist Jacob Schwartz wanted to convey with the shade. “For Megan’s color, we looked through different variations of red. Her eyes are so blue, so I knew adding more copper would be the move,” he says. “I wanted her change to be a full-on moment, but also wanted to approach it with a natural touch, so I kept it a deeper copper tone.” This look is especially well-suited to those with blue eyes, as proven by Fox.

Cinnamon Brown Red

For a low-maintenance reddish brown hair color, Korab suggests adding hints of red to your usual shade of rich brunette. “Try adding a little red to this trend to really spice things up,” she says. “This hair color looks great on most skin tones and will never go out of style. This a great color to try if you already have brunette hair and just want to enhance it.”

Strawberry Blonde

Like your reds bordering on blonde? Or do you simply want to elevate your natural red? Strawberry blonde might be the tint for you. The tone is deeper than peach but not as bright as orange or copper, making it the ideal in-between shade. “You can do this a couple ways,” says Patterson.

The first is to overlay it with a demi permanent on top of an existing blonde that has become brassy. “My favorite formula to achieve this is with Color Brilliance by Ion Rose Quartz Semi Permanent Hair Color or Color Brilliance by Ion Salmon + 13/4 Ion Clear Semi Permanent Hair Color. This works beautifully to refresh and bring a new tone to brassy hair by using the gold tone in your hair and combining it with the peachy tones to create a beautiful strawberry hue.” If you want more red in your end result, use one to two pea-size dots in that formula.

Tangerine Peach Red

If you prefer your hair to have lighter vibes, Kevin Kelly, owner of Kevin Kelly salon, has seen an uptick in warm-toned reds with hints of honey, like honey red and tangerine peach. Plus, it looks amazing on both fair and dark skin tones. Mark DeBolt, master colorist and co-owner of New York’s Mark Ryan Salon, concurs: “Peach is so pretty on so many different skin tones. Because it’s such a warm color, it makes skin and eyes glow and makes your hair look so healthy.”

Cinnamon Copper Red

One of the most popular red pigments is cinnamon copper, as proven by Chrissy Teigen’s new shade, which is also super easy to DIY. “Some of the best copper shades come from the land of vivid hair colors,” says Gregory Patterson, celebrity stylist and DIY color and stylist expert for Sally Beauty. “Of course everything will appear brighter on pre-lifted hair, but you can also overlay these on top of your existing shades as long as you’re at a natural hair color level 6 and above.” To get the look, Patterson suggests Strawberry Leopard Sundown Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color, and Strawberry Leopard Fire Semi Permanent Conditioning Hair Color. “I like the squeeze of red here to ground the Sundown shade and give it more depth and staying power.”

’90s Red

If you want seriously show-stopping bright red hair, this is the color for you. “Nineties red is bright with a purple undertone and is sometimes so bright it’s hard to look at, but is a super-fun shade when done right,” says Brownsell, who points to Julia Fox’s recent shade as a prime example.

“To achieve this color, lift hair to a dark mustard or copper using Bleach London’s No Bleach Bleach Kit (way less damaging), tone with Bleach London’s Copper Toner, then go in with the I Saw Red Super Cool Color for a deep, vibrant red—or for a more muted hue, use equal parts Proper Copper Super Cool Color and I Saw Red,” she says. “For a brighter hue, mix equal parts I Saw Red and Tangerine Dream.”

True Copper

True copper has been at its peak for a few years. “Copper is having its own moment,” celebrity hairstylist Jamie Wiley says, noting that several of her clients are opting for a deep red tone and trying true copper. And seeing as it’s been spotted all over the red carpet, and every A-lister seems to have debuted their own take on the look over the past year, it’s clear this trend isn’t going anywhere.

Rustic Mahogany Red

Another option is to elevate your auburn hair with highlights in an unexpected way. “I think raspberry auburn hair color is so appealing because it feels like highlight,” says Devin Toth, hairstylist at NYC’s Salon SCK. “The depth is still there, but it melts into this bright, rustic mahogany tone. It’s an evolution of the cherry hair color with an added hint of purple.”

If you prefer your hair on the brighter side, Toth recommends asking for a hint of purple in your highlights and balayage on the ends. If you want something more subtle, “ask for foil highlights if you want to see the raspberry hues throughout the whole style from roots to ends,” he says.

Apricot Bronde

For a fresh twist on the light red copper craze, Perkins suggests apricot bronde, which features a light brown base with apricot golden red tones. “A touch darker than strawberry blonde, this color will beautifully warm up your skin tone and complement a natural makeup look,” she says. “The perfect way to nail this color is with our Radiant Hair Color Kit in Genova Red and refresh the color at home with Color Therapy Mask in Zucca and Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella.”

Ruby Burgundy Red

If you love the look of ruby red burgundy hair, you might want to consider trying a gloss, especially if you’re not sure if you’re ready to commit to the shade. “I like glosses for everyone, but mostly for people who don’t want to, or aren’t quite ready to, fully commit,” says Perry. “Glosses are not permanent, there is no damage to the hair, and they add shine and depth. It’s also good for in-between coloring and for refreshes—it stretches the longevity.”

Vibrant Ginger Red

“Vibrant ginger hair is a vibrant pink-based copper meets strawberry blonde,” says Brownsell of the rose gold shade. “Really great for the upcoming warm summer months!” To achieve this color, Brownsell suggest lifting hair to a mid to light buttery shade using Bleach London’s Total Bleach. “For a vibrant color, tone with Bleach London’s Champagne Super Toner—this will keep the warmth but neutralize the brassy tones. If you’re looking for something more on the copper side, I recommend toning with our Copper Toner.”

Finally, color with two parts Awkward Peach Super Cool Color and one part Proper Copper or Curious Orange for bright, ginger tone.

Auburn Balayage Red

Balayage is making a comeback, especially when it comes to enhancing brown hair color with red and auburn tones. “These looks are popular because they are changing the norm of heavy balayaged hair,” says Valdes. “It’s usually so dark at the roots to extremely blonde on the ends, but that is time-consuming. Now people want more simplicity”—and to look like Rihanna, of course. And since light auburn and red ombré look so good grown out, you don’t have to worry about frequent touch-ups.

Blood Orange Red

Mermaid red is bright neon red hair with a hint of burnt orange, and it fits right in with the slew of bold tints Brownsell has seen lately. “Multihued hair is taking off more than ever,” she says. “We have had many requests at our West Hollywood Bleach Salon for mixing natural shades with bright greens, blues, purples, and pinks."

The key to nailing it is to keep the overall look grounded in your natural hair base tone to make the other colors pop, Bronswell says. You can easily DIY the look with Bleach London’s Total Bleach Kit and conditioning Super Cool Colors. You can even mix it up with some bold blonde highlights.

Carnelian Auburn

“A beautiful auburn color with a copper cast has been here and will continue to be one of the most desired looks,” says Valdes, who cites Phoebe Dynevor’s shade as a prime example of the look. “This be achieved with an allover color, highlights, or balayage, depending on the style and vibrancy desired.”