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Red Hair for Your Skin Tone

Updated on August 23, 2017

The Best Red Hair Shade for Your Skin Tone

How to choose the most flattering and natural-looking shade of red hair for your skin tone? Although you've finally spotted the perfect red hair on the fashion magazine, it's important to realize that the color of your skin tone can affect whether that hair color looks perfect on your as well, or whether there's a different shade more suited to you. This is a lesson I've learned after years of choosing the wrong red hair shade for my skin.

Here are examples of the best shades of red hair for light, medium, olive, or dark skin tones. If you are not sure of your skin tone, ask a professional for his or her view. A hairdresser or cosmetics expert will advise you on your coloring and what red hair shades will and won't work for you.

How to Get the Perfect Red Hair Shade for Light Skin Tones

Red hair shade for light skin tones.
Red hair shade for light skin tones. | Source

For blondes or those who want a subtle red shade, try a strawberry blonde. This works great with pale skin tones because it won't overpower your coloring. Keep your color choice on the lighter side. Dark reds will wash out your skin coloring, so opt for the subtler reds such as terra-cottas.

Light brunettes and dark blondes can add a hint of red that will blend with their natural hair and give a slight but noticeable boost to their hair color.

Remember a little bit of red goes a long way. To ease yourself into the realm of red, try adding red highlights.

Stick to the warmer shades of red. Deep violet reds won't work, so choose warmer, softer shades.

Red Hair Dye for Light Skin Tones

Revlon ColorSilk Haircolor #72 Strawberry Blonde 3-PACK
Revlon ColorSilk Haircolor #72 Strawberry Blonde 3-PACK

This strawberry blonde is the perfect color for blondes with a light skin tone.


How to Get the Perfect Red Hair Shade for Medium Skin Tones

Red hair shade for medium skin tones.
Red hair shade for medium skin tones.

Medium skin tones should stick with medium red hair shades. Auburns are a great choice as long as they're not too dark (dark shades will make your skin looks pale and washed out).

Lowlights in a shade that is slightly darker and redder than your natural color are a great introduction into red. If you're unsure if red is for you, start slowly with this method.

Avoid extremely bright reds such as bright coppers or light orange-reds. A medium reddish brown is likely to compliment your coloring without looking drastic.

Red Hair Dye for Medium Skin Tones

Clairol Herbal Essence Color, 048.5 Spicy Ginger-deep Intense Copper (Pack of 3)
Clairol Herbal Essence Color, 048.5 Spicy Ginger-deep Intense Copper (Pack of 3)

This deep red is a great choice for natural brunettes with medium skin.


How to Get the Perfect Red Hair Color for Olive Skin Tones

Red hair shade for olive skin tones.
Red hair shade for olive skin tones.

Olive skin tones should choose cooler red shades. Burgundies and violet-based colors will flatter your skin tones best.

Avoid very light reds, such as strawberry blonde and bright auburn. Deep mahogany reds are subtle and a great introduction into red hair shades for your skin tone.

For a fun look, try having panels of slightly different reds applied throughout your hair. This dimensional look is eye-catching and will make you the center of attention.

Red Hair Dye for Olive Skin Tones

Clairol Herbal Essence Color, 041 Summer Passion-rich Auburn Brown (Pack of 3)
Clairol Herbal Essence Color, 041 Summer Passion-rich Auburn Brown (Pack of 3)

This deep mahogany is the perfect red for brunettes with a medium skin tone.


How to Get the Perfect Red Hair Color for Dark Skin Tones

Rihanna with fire-engine-red hair.
Rihanna with fire-engine-red hair. | Source

Darker skin also generally pairs will with cooler red shades. A deep burgundy is usually the most flattering shade. However, Kelis has gone for a bolder red and Tyra has worked a Lindsay-Lohan-copper, so you have a wide range of options available depending on your personality.

Other Factors for Choosing a New Hair Color

Of course, there is more than just skin tone to consider when choosing the perfect shade of red. In the end, you should choose the color with which you feel comfortable.

Other factors that come into play when choosing hair shade include how much you want your hair to stand out. Women who are looking to get noticed may choose a more daring or intense shade of red. Other women prefer not to draw attention to themselves, simply seeking nice hair.

Don't worry if you've chosen a color that didn't turn out quite the way you wanted. Touching it up with a more appropriate color is easy, and there is a flattering, radiant shade for everyone.

Some Tips for Coloring Hair Red

Tips for maintaining the shade of red hair you choose.
Tips for maintaining the shade of red hair you choose.
  • A warm red that's a little bit lighter than your natural shade will give you a nice glow.
  • If you're a natural brunette, try a rich ruby red color. This shade is quite eye-catching.
  • If you have green eyes and a fair complexion, try s a true copper (orange tone)—it can look very sophisticated.
  • The most daring red is fire-engine red. It will look excellent if you have light skin and blue eyes.

Red Hair Shades Inspiration

Long vibrant red hair.
Long vibrant red hair.
Bold curly red hair.
Bold curly red hair.
A red ombre.
A red ombre.
Copper red.
Copper red.
Red hair with bangs.
Red hair with bangs.
A light auburn.
A light auburn.
Various shades of red hair.
Various shades of red hair.

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    • profile image

      Rosa 3 years ago

      They look really cool, nice hair styles.

    • AnnabreeWrites profile image

      AnnabreeWrites 4 years ago

      Red hair is so pretty. I wish I had a natural bold red, but my hair is more brown. :( Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @RedHairedRockHead: YESSSSSSSSS

    • seodress profile image

      seodress 4 years ago

      Love the red hair.

    • SquidooTutorials profile image

      SquidooTutorials 4 years ago

      So many shades of red:) Great read:)

    • profile image

      Annamadagan 4 years ago

      Sometimes I wish I had red hair. I'd honestly start dying my hair this second, except that I'm a little scared of the permanent factor. I really like how my hair is now. But red is beautiful!

    • leesholden profile image

      Lee 4 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      I don't really get the whole 'ginger' abuse I hear so often - there's so many pretty ladies showing off their red locks - I don't know where they get it from! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Women with skin darker than light olive pull off red shades well too you know. You just forgot about us. Boo!

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      Job well done, TCB

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That is incredibly shallow for you to "feel sorry" for people with a certain colour hair. I feel sorry for you and your narrow minded views, that you should probably learn to keep to yourself. Didn't your mother teach you that if you haven't anything nice to say you shouldn't say anything at all. On another note, and a bit of advice, if you weren't so shallow you wouldn't feel so bad about yourself. Really!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi. I really liked this article, because i really want to die my hair some shade of red, but that's one thing that this article couldn't help me with exactly. I have a medium skin tone and have seen the recommendations for that skin tone, but i have bluish grey eyes and wasn't sure if any shade of red looked ok with that. I have tried the programs that switches your hair color, but that doesn't work right.Hmm. But i like the article, well written, and it was pretty helpful. Thanks- I guess ill ask my hairdresser.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: oh god! yes! I'm a black girl but I have olive skin and there is no help for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Well thats your loss creepy blonde weirdo !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The examples were all White people

    • fungusclinic lm profile image

      fungusclinic lm 5 years ago

      Wow Really amazing lens because i got attracted .now i would like to coloring my hair.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I do quite enjoy red hair! Lovely lens - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love red hair! Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thanks for hair coloring tips

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      Great lens, lots of fun.

    • profile image

      tahirmahmood 5 years ago

      great! have you also liked my lens

    • attraction 42 profile image

      attraction 42 5 years ago

      Great article. I love red hair!

    • BelleBanks profile image

      BelleBanks 5 years ago

      I have reddish highlights in my hair but not sure I could pull off completely red hair. Cute styles though!

    • RedHairedRockHead profile image

      RedHairedRockHead 5 years ago

      @nicks44: Every man deserves to fall madly in love with a redhead at least once. :)

    • aaxiaa lm profile image

      aaxiaa lm 5 years ago

      all about redheads. lovely lens!

    • RedHairedRockHead profile image

      RedHairedRockHead 5 years ago

      @RamondaWillis: Blondes have more fun...but Redheads are better in bed!

    • january962 profile image

      january962 5 years ago

      Your lens remembered me i have to go to my hairdresser...soon=)

    • RamondaWillis profile image

      RamondaWillis 5 years ago

      Great lens - in my opinion redheads have the most fun! Something to think about!

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Very nice. Being a redhead I can sympathise... ;) x

    • erin-elise profile image

      erin-elise 5 years ago

      What a great lens! Thank you for the information. I always think about dying my hair red, but have never colored it so I'm a little hesitant. Now I know what color would be good if I ever decide to do it.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Great lens and a great variety of redheads.

    • profile image

      JennySui 5 years ago

      Fantastic Lens! I really like way you have laid out your page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Ramkitten2000: My hair is natural red and I feel proud of it!!

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      Fun lens! Lots of great info and pictures here! :)

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Love the red options to choose from.

    • Slevara profile image

      Slevara 5 years ago

      Love it! and it's perfect for the rainbow week quest. ;)

    • profile image

      workday 5 years ago

      My hair is now brownish/black/grey. My natural color is auburn. I really miss seeing those red lights in my hair.

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 5 years ago

      Awesome ... I could go out with a redhead anytime, anywhere :)

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      Fabulous lens - I love vibrant red hair!

    • TheBonchy profile image

      Danielle 5 years ago from Australia

      Ooh fantastic advice. I've always wanted to go properly red.

      I think professional advice is a wise move.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      so i guess dark skinned girls never dye their hair red then...?

    • bjesparza profile image

      bjesparza 5 years ago

      Hey great idea on a lens!

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 5 years ago

      never considered once getting a red hair.. but now i'm thinking about it! :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      like your len :)

      i have tried all hair colours but red is the one i like the most <3

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I <3 the shades in the first and 2nd Photoðâ:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the chick whos rocking The Doors tshirt. Never forget the classics =) also love the hair shade ^_^

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i love the first picture(:

    • McBub-Squidoo profile image

      McBub-Squidoo 5 years ago

      Beautiful hair styles.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      The photos are beautiful. Great lens.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Good advice to help dye your hair redder. I've had some reddish highlights before, but they didn't look quite right. This will help if I ever go red again.

    • four synergy profile image

      four synergy 5 years ago

      Beautiful ladies...just beautiful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My 'fantasy' hair is long and red and curly! My 'natural' color is mousy brown and my hair is to the middle of my thighs. I LOVE red hair!

    • profile image

      caregiver-jobs 5 years ago

      Great Job.....Very well done!

    • profile image

      Sage62 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens! As a natural redhead (more copper) I was teased even bullied at school and it took me until I was well into my 30s (and had my colors done) before I actually began to appreciate it. Now I love it and I'm starting to go white! Thanks for the positive images of red hair.

    • SailingPassion LM profile image

      SailingPassion LM 5 years ago

      I am more natural but just love some of these colours - wish I could pull them off.

    • PristeamDetail LM profile image

      PristeamDetail LM 5 years ago

      I just go with my good old natural ginger hair ;)

    • cheapmicrowave lm profile image

      cheapmicrowave lm 5 years ago

      Great advice on here, found it very useful :-)

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Very nice post here! Squidlikes!

    • Keepingscore profile image

      Keepingscore 5 years ago

      Really pretty pictures

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      nice lens!! Brown hair is just gorgeous! Blessed!!

    • profile image

      GabrielaFargasch 5 years ago

      I just dyed my hair in a redish brown color today! I love red hair! :)

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 5 years ago

      I've got naturally red and I grew up hearing how ugly and horrible it is. My mother used to want to bleach it blond all through elementary school. She'd tell me how nasty red hair is and she kept hers platinum blonde her whole life. I've never seen her natural color. Ever. So in all honesty, I hate red hair. It has never been accepted by society ("red-headed stepchild," "gingers have no soul,") and my own upbringing reinforced society's message. I prefer blonde or pink or purple. ANYTHING but red.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Really cool lens. Blessed!

    • profile image

      ruberduckzilla 5 years ago

      Red hair is purely amazing!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      I have always loved red hair. I have red highlights but it would be good to have it all red.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i really really want red hair like emma stone but i am hesitant to touch my brown hair because it has a lot of natural highlights already and is pretty but i still want red!

    • carolinarobin profile image

      carolinarobin 5 years ago

      What a great lens! I am considering going red myself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      hott shades! :)

    • profile image

      livingfrontiers 5 years ago

      what a great lens...keep em coming:)

    • profile image

      Angel_Lou 5 years ago

      Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi i would like to dye my hair a bright red but im not sure if would go with my tipe of skin :/ can u guys help me i have like a kinda of tan sking not dark more white than dark i domt nou if u guys understand me:/

    • profile image

      PinkInk 6 years ago

      I love the pictures you've posted! I'm definitely going to dye my hair red now! I've been putting it off for so long to avoid touching my natural color, but after this I'm convinced it's what I want. Wonderful lens....and effectively persuasive!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      It's hard to maintain as my hair is naturally black, but it is well worth it! Thanks for featuring my photos - see more of me and my red hair at

    • nophie lm profile image

      nophie lm 6 years ago

      red hair is also looks so sexy

    • profile image

      Adrijan 6 years ago

      great lens

    • dannydeu profile image

      dannydeu 6 years ago

      Great Lens. I'm a natural red head, and my wife has bown hair. My girls a little brown with a lot of red highlights. Keep up the good work.

    • profile image

      rovered777 6 years ago

      Red hair looks beautiful on some people. Thanks for a gorgeous article.

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 6 years ago

      Really cute lens.

    • profile image

      shoefiend 6 years ago

      great article two thumbs up

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 6 years ago

      This lens made me realize how much I like brunette's with red in them! Great Lens! I really 'liked' it!

    • profile image

      ShopElizabethLauren 6 years ago

      I LOVE having red hair! I've been blonde, brunette and red, and red is my favorite.

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 6 years ago

      Love this lens =D

    • TopToysForKids profile image

      TopToysForKids 6 years ago

      I like red hair....very nice. :)

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

      I'm a guy and I guess I don't have much say, but if your skin is lighter in color, you'll match a lighter red hair color. If your skin tone is darker, auburn and darker reds will work for you.

    • profile image

      mslittleblogger 6 years ago

      this is making me think of a new hair color to try.. =D

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 6 years ago

      great lens and great timing. Been thinking about red for a while. There's a lot of red in my hair in the form of lowlights; time to brighten them up. thanks for the tips.

    • profile image

      vitralyoz 6 years ago

      i like these girls

    • profile image

      smicks 6 years ago

      love redheads,and your lens :)

    • laurenrose lm profile image

      laurenrose lm 6 years ago

      Great lens

    • Shana rios Chavez profile image

      Shana rios Chavez 6 years ago

      nice lens

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Some of these shades of red hair are just beautiful!

    • profile image

      seosmm 6 years ago

      Great info. Very nice lens!

    • profile image

      TheGreenHornet 6 years ago

      I think as long as the woman is good looking to begin with, the hair color will never take that away.

    • Elhamstero profile image

      Elhamstero 6 years ago

      I love red hair - there's a lot of prejudice against redheads out there and it's great to see this lens.

    • profile image

      AngelPadillia 6 years ago

      Bless you redheads... even the ones that come from a bottle. I love the RED!

    • fionajean profile image

      Fiona 6 years ago from South Africa

      Great lens, blessed

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm a faded strawberry blonde, so now it's just blonde. I'd like to have my red back.

      Blessed by a squid angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. One squid thumbs up vote issued!

    • nigel7725 profile image

      nigel7725 6 years ago

      Thanks for the insights about the best red hair shade for your skin tone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great article! I dyed my hair a medium auburn color a while ago. And I'm naturally bleach blonde, and now my roots are showing! I might keep this going as a candy cane look for Christmas! LOL!