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Red Hair- Best Shades


Christina Hendricks All rights reserved

Ashlee Simpson has red hair, as does Julianne Moore, Debra Messing, Kathy Griffin, Marcia Cross and Sharon Osbourne. Every one of the red haired celebrities rocks a different shade of red.

Is there a best shade of red? If so, how do you figure out which is the absolute best hue of red for you. After all, red hair colors can range from orange to deep ruby with lots of different variations along the way.

Can everyone, regardless of their skin tone and eye color go red? Absolutely. The key is to selecting a red hair color that works best for you.

When red hues are paired with other colors they can convey an exceptionally wide range of results ranging from rich to subtle and sassy.

When searching for the best red hair color for you, consider both the level and tone of the color. Hair color level describes the lightness and darkness of the individual hue. The tone is what is reflected in the color.

Listed below are some of the various red color options. Although there are a vast number of combinations, the red colors listed below are currently the most popular.

Copper Red Hue

Mena Suvari Say It Isn't So Premiere Copper Red/Blonde 03-12-01 All rights reserved

Redheads with strong copper tones ultimately reflect a mixture of gold interspersed with red. Copper coded redheads work best for those with warm skin tones or with fake bake or dark natural tans.

Copper red, especially if not diluted, is a very strong shade and can work exceptionally well with naturally curly strands that have a hard time reflecting shine. Of course copper can rock natural waves but may be too intense for stick straight strands.

Copper reds can also be used as accent hues with warm brunette tones to provide contrast and warmth. Depending on the skin tones, copper may or may not work near the face and might need to be contained to the dashes of color throughout the interior of the hairstyle.

Copper reds can range from very light, taking on a strawberry blonde tone to deep dark auburns.

Mena Suvari in 2001 wore her hair with a dark blonde base highlighted with splashes of copper red. The coppery tones are interwoven around Mena's face giving her tresses radiant shine.

Persimmon Red Hue

This is a shade of medium orange-red that has prominent tones of coral red and vermilion.

Rich Red Tomato

Christina Hendricks Rich Red Tomato All rights reserved

Tomato red hair can range from deep and multi-tonal to multi-dimensional when mixed with an array of subtle blonde highlights. Natural blondes with light complexions look great with the highlighted tomato which can take on an almost orange red.

Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives rocks a beautiful orange/red tomato hue. It works for the actress because of her cool skin tones and light eyes.

Reds that are similar to red tomato would be sangria, ruby and carmine which are part of a family of deep rich reds. Falu or Falum red resembles a red barn.

Perfect Plum Red

Plum red shades have a violet base which means it is beautifully suited for cool tones. When you mix plum red with brown you achieve a spectacular darker plum. Swirl plum red hues with light or baby blonde and you have much lighter red shade which can border on a deep honey or strawberry blonde.

Marcia Cross of Desperate Housewives rocks a beautiful orange/red tomato hue. It works for the actress because of her cool skin tones and light eyes. A brunette base foiled with plum red highlights will create a light auburn shade.

Plum red can also look fabulous when painted on as accents. Hues of red which are similar to plum red might include Burgundy.

Maroon red tends to have more of a brown base than the plum or purple bases of Burgundy and Plum. Sangria.

Crimson Red

Crimson red is a strong, bright, deep red that has a blue base. The strong blue base would work well for cool tones. A true crimson red would have tiny swirls of purple throughout the base.

A light crimson red color would be closer to a rose red rather than a deeper red. Crimson red can be combined with blonde tones to create hints of strawberry blonde. A deep crimson red would be similar to fire engine red.

Russet Red

This shade is the custom combination of browns and reds. Only those with a brave heart will take on a vibrant russet red due to its intense color. Unless you balance your vibrant russet hue with the appropriate make-up palette there is a danger your hair can wear you.

A similar brown red mixture is carnelian like the stone. Chestnut, also known as Indian Red is a combination of red with brown with the brown tones taking more of a prominence.

Black Cherry Red/Cherry Color Red

Sharon Osbourne Black Cherry Red Haircolor All rights reserved

Black cherry is a major attention grabbing hue that benefits from carefully developed dimensions. If the black cherry is not carefully graduated, the color will have a tendency to run together.

Cherry color is another name for black cherry. Dark brunettes can achieve lots of sensuous depth when color is warmed up and dusted with cherry highlights. Dark brunette should first be lightened 2-4 shades.

Once the base has been lightened cherry highlights should be interwoven throughout the interior and exterior with splashes of cherry painted around the face.

The result? A warm red glow. Heavily textured layers will show off this spectacular red color.

Sharon Osbourne who appears to have a cool skin tone often wears her hair in a black cherry/cherry color red hue which she shows off with a variety of medium length soft layered hairstyles. Sharon is known for her stark whites, rich raven blacks and other jewel tones. The black cherry red hues looks gorgeous against her

Orange Red Hues

Christina Hendricks Orange Red Haircolor All rights reserved

Orange red hues can scale a wide range of hues from the lightest strawberry blonde to light coppers, carrot top orange, pumpkin and deep persimmon.

Depending on how the base and colors are woven together, the orange red may take on a stronger orange than a red tone.

Actress Mena Suvari wore her hair in a coppery red hue for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2001.


The key to finding the best red hair color for you is to do your homework. Whether you decide to work with a professional hair colorist or do the color at home, make sure one you color your hair that you adjust your make-up to work with your new red.

Some red hair colors look very natural and others don't. The more exotic red shades such as Plum-Red will definitely not look like you were born with that hue.

For a more natural red shade, opt for the red-orange shades. Red-orange can range from a very pale strawberry or light copper to a very deep red-orange.

Show off a spectacular radiant red hue, match the hair color with an edgy haircut.

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- Revised Publication Date: 04/10/10

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