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Redhead Hair Color Categories

Melissa Gilbert With Auburn Red Hair

Redhead Hair Color Categories

Redheads have a long history of being both loved and feared.  In ancient Egypt the most powerful witches and sorcerers often had flame hued tresses which made them even more feared.  Red hair is sill considered by many in the hair, beauty and fashion world to be powerful.

Paul DeArmas, creative director for hair at Fred Segal in Los Angeles has been quoted as saying red hair "is a sensual, rich and mysterious color that says strength." Indeed, people who wear red tresses are often considered bold, brazen and strong.

One of the issues people who want to go red encounter is trying to select the proper tone and shade which complements their eye and skin tone.  If you select the right red hair color, your eyes and skin will look amazing.  Select the wrong color and it can overpower your eyes and skin tones.

There are literally hundreds of different hues in the red hair family ranging from deep dark auburn red on one side of the spectrum to light strawberry blonde on the other end.

There are also a wide range of red hues in-between including fire engine red, titian, brick, chestnut, flame, fire, copper, amber, honey, iced tea, ginger, paprika, Merlot, Burgundy, apple and cherry, to name a few of the colors in the red family.   Many of the reds merge with neighboring brunette or blonde hues to create a mash-up of red dominant hues.

Even when a red tone or hue is tagged with a name it is still subjective.  What one person might refer to as amber, someone else might think of it as iced tea or even honey.

Anna Trebunskaya

Selecting The Best Red Hair Color For Your Skin And Eye Tones

If you want to amp up the color nature gave you or adopt a brand new hue, there's a  perfect shade to flatter your eye and skin tones.  Check out the options below:

Skin Tone:  Fair Skin With Light Green Or Blue Eyes

Best Red Hair Choices:  Spicy, hot red hues.

If you have fair skin with a few pink or yellow undertones and light blue or green eyes you will look great with spicy or hot red colors like red pepper, fire, paprika, flame or bright salsa.

Former X Files star Gillian Anderson has creamy white skin, light blue eyes and looked spectacular with deep Titian red hair.   Even better, adopting a vibrant red hue will make light colored eyes look larger and emphasize their color.

If your skin is fair, but with lots of red tones the best red hair color for you are the yellow based reds such as honey, amber, light chestnut or iced tea.

Alicia Witt With Chestnut Red Hair Color

Before diving in and committing to a permanent hair color change be sure to  experiment with just a few highlights before making any permanent hair color decisions.

Once you take the plunge and color your hair red  if you decide you don't like it, the transition time getting back to your original or a different hue could take anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

When testing more subtle highlights to test drive red hair, opt for strawberry or amber for blonde, copper or cinnamon on medium brown or deep titian or burgandy red on dark brown or black.

Skin Tone:  Olive or golden

Best Red Hair Choices:  Cool, plum reds

To offset the yellow in your skin, opt for cool reds.  That translates to iced tea or strawberry for blonde or light-brown hair.    Opt for mahogany or violet/red for medium brown strands.  Plum or auburn work for hair which is dark brown or black.

When going with a permanent red go one to shades lighter than you think you want it to be.  It's always easier to go darker than lighter.

Marcia Cross Amber Red

Skin Tone:  Chocolate or black skin

Best Red Hair Choices:  Auburn accents

Chunky highlights and non-permanent rinses tend to work best on dark hair with dark skin.  Keep in mind that monochromatic red can look artificial against a dark complexion.

Instead add richness and dept by incorporating highlights of auburn, mahogany or violet red into the hair.  Because dark hair can often look flat, these highlights can add instant life and light reflections.

Or try a rinse in any of these shades, which will create a halo of red over your base color and bring out natural highlights.  Rinses can last four to six weeks.

Red Hair Maintenance

While red hair can be bold and brazen, its dye molecules are also the most vulnerable to fading because they're larger than blonde or brunette ones.

Emma Stone's Hot Red Hair

Emma Stone recently confessed to Ellen that her natural hair color, contrary to popular opinion, is actually blonde.  She also shared that she loved the red hair which had been created for a movie role, but that it was very hard to maintain.

Color Fade Issues

The star of The Help noted that her hair grows so fast that when it's dyed red she has to touch up the roots every 3-4 weeks and deal with how fast the red fades.

Eighty percent of color fade can be attributed to inappropriate washing.  When hair is wet, it swells, creating gaps for the color molecules to escape.  Before going into a pool or shower spritz hair with a sealant.


If your hair is prone to brassiness, ask your hair colorist or hair dresser for a product which will help to prevent brassiness and make color last two to three months longer

Red Haired Christina Hendricks As Joan Harris On Mad Men

Think red when you shampoo and condition.  A specially formulated color enhancing shampoo should be used every other washing to keep color fresh and make it last longer.  On alternate days, wash hair with a mild shampoo which will cleanse the hair without stripping the color.  Once a week use a vinegar shampoo to balance the pH of the hair and maintain the redness.

Celebrities With Red Hair Hues

Many celebrities over the last few years have embraced red hues.  Some celebrities are embracing red hues for their new dip dye or ombre strands.

Some of the famous celebrities with trademark hues include Melissa Gilbert's bright auburn, Nicole Kidman's strawberry red, Anna Trebunskaya's copper red, Alicia Witt's light chestnut and Marcia Cross' amber red hair.

American Idol Colton Dixon Season 11

AMC's Mad Men is a prime example of the popularity of red hair.  Christina Hendricks who plays Joan Harris is known for her flaming red hair.

Peggy Olson played by Elisabeth Moss started Season One on Mad Men as a dark haired brunette.  As the seasons of Mad Men have progressed from Season One to Season Six Peggy's hair has lightened, brightened and taken on lots of red tones.

Red Dip Dye Trends

Red hair is also a very popular dip dye color because it can hold its own on just about every other type of hair color.  Both men and women have been rocking red tipped strands.

Even Colton Dixon, one of the top male contestants on American Idol's current Season 11 rocked red dip dipped tresses for his last performance before eliminated.

Ultimately red hair can be worn by anyone either as a full blown base or a variety of highlights, low lights or dip dye splashes of color.

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