Skip to main content

Red Hair for Your Skin Tone


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.

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.

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

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

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

Rihanna with fire-engine-red hair.

Rihanna with fire-engine-red hair.

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.

Scroll to Continue

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.

Vote here :)


What do you prefer?

Natural red hair or dyed red hair?

Leave a note :)

AnnabreeWrites on November 03, 2013:

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

anonymous on August 07, 2013:

@RedHairedRockHead: YESSSSSSSSS

seodress on July 26, 2013:

Love the red hair.

SquidooTutorials on July 11, 2013:

So many shades of red:) Great read:)

Annamadagan on July 03, 2013:

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!

Lee from Derbyshire, UK on April 25, 2013:

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! :)

anonymous on March 22, 2013:

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

opatoday on February 23, 2013:

Job well done, TCB

anonymous on February 18, 2013:

@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!

anonymous on January 26, 2013:

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.

anonymous on January 23, 2013:

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

anonymous on January 11, 2013:

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

anonymous on December 21, 2012:


anonymous on December 17, 2012:

The examples were all White people

fungusclinic lm on November 08, 2012:

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

JoshK47 on October 26, 2012:

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

anonymous on October 25, 2012:

I love red hair! Thanks.

anonymous on October 12, 2012:

thanks for hair coloring tips

oiloflife on September 28, 2012:

Great lens, lots of fun.

tahirmahmood on September 27, 2012:

great! have you also liked my lens

attraction 42 on September 13, 2012:

Great article. I love red hair!

BelleBanks on September 10, 2012:

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

RedHairedRockHead on September 01, 2012:

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

RedHairedRockHead on September 01, 2012:

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

january962 on August 23, 2012:

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

RamondaWillis on August 20, 2012:

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

BillyPilgrim LM on August 16, 2012:

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

erin-elise on August 14, 2012:

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.

mouse1996 lm on August 14, 2012:

Great lens and a great variety of redheads.

JennySui on August 14, 2012:

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

anonymous on August 13, 2012:

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

Blonde Blythe from U.S.A. on August 13, 2012:

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

VspaBotanicals on August 13, 2012:

Love the red options to choose from.

Slevara on August 13, 2012:

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

workday on August 13, 2012:

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

nicks44 on August 11, 2012:

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

aaxiaa lm on August 06, 2012:

all about redheads. lovely lens!

aquarian_insight on August 01, 2012:

Fabulous lens - I love vibrant red hair!

Danielle from Australia on July 31, 2012:

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

I think professional advice is a wise move.

anonymous on July 21, 2012:

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

bjesparza on July 05, 2012:

Hey great idea on a lens!

ae dc on July 04, 2012:

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

anonymous on July 02, 2012:

like your len :)

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

anonymous on June 28, 2012:

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

anonymous on June 24, 2012:

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

anonymous on June 22, 2012:

i love the first picture(:

McBub-Squidoo on June 19, 2012:

Beautiful hair styles.

SteveKaye on June 19, 2012:

The photos are beautiful. Great lens.

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on June 13, 2012:

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 on June 13, 2012:

Beautiful ladies...just beautiful.

anonymous on June 13, 2012:

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!

caregiver-jobs on June 12, 2012:

Great Job.....Very well done!

Sage62 on June 12, 2012:

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 on June 12, 2012:

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

PristeamDetail LM on June 12, 2012:

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

cheapmicrowave lm on May 24, 2012:

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

sheezie77 on May 20, 2012:

Very nice post here! Squidlikes!

Keepingscore on May 11, 2012:

Really pretty pictures

anonymous on May 05, 2012:

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

GabrielaFargasch on May 02, 2012:

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

Cinnamonbite on May 01, 2012:

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 on April 25, 2012:

Really cool lens. Blessed!

ruberduckzilla on April 21, 2012:

Red hair is purely amazing!

BestRatedStuff on April 18, 2012:

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

anonymous on April 06, 2012:

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 on April 04, 2012:

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

anonymous on March 31, 2012:

hott shades! :)

livingfrontiers on March 11, 2012:

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

Angel_Lou on March 10, 2012:

Well done!

anonymous on February 21, 2012:

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:/

PinkInk on February 15, 2012:

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!

anonymous on February 12, 2012:

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 on February 09, 2012:

red hair is also looks so sexy

Adrijan on February 02, 2012:

great lens

dannydeu on January 26, 2012:

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.

rovered777 on January 17, 2012:

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

Stacy Birch on January 16, 2012:

Really cute lens.

shoefiend on January 13, 2012:

great article two thumbs up

SecondHandJoe LM on January 13, 2012:

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

ShopElizabethLauren on January 04, 2012:

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

queenofduvetcover on December 22, 2011:

Love this lens =D

TopToysForKids on December 14, 2011:

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

jimmyworldstar on December 11, 2011:

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.

mslittleblogger on December 10, 2011:

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

fullofshoes on December 09, 2011:

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.

vitralyoz on December 09, 2011:

i like these girls

smicks on December 08, 2011:

love redheads,and your lens :)

laurenrose lm on December 05, 2011:

Great lens

Shana rios Chavez on November 29, 2011:

nice lens

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on November 27, 2011:

Some of these shades of red hair are just beautiful!

seosmm on November 26, 2011:

Great info. Very nice lens!

TheGreenHornet on November 22, 2011:

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

Elhamstero on November 18, 2011:

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

AngelPadillia on November 16, 2011:

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

Fiona from South Africa on November 09, 2011:

Great lens, blessed

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on November 06, 2011:

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.

anonymous on November 04, 2011:

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

nigel7725 on November 03, 2011:

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

anonymous on November 02, 2011:

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!

Shivani09 LM on October 13, 2011:

Great article! I love red hair

Related Articles