How to Pick the Right Shade of Red Hair Color

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How to Pick the Right Shade of Red Hair Color

While only 2% of the world’s population has natural red hair, it’s actually one of the most popularly requested hair colors in salons across the nation. With roughly 10 billion shades of red hair color floating around on the internet, it’s easy to get dazed and confused when trying to pick the right shade of red hair color for your skin tone. That’s precisely why we’ve written this article: to help you figure out just how to pick the right shade of red hair color.

First things first, we need to acknowledge the fact that red hair—unlike blonde, brunette, or black hair—behaves vastly differently at different levels. Whereas other hair colors lighten or darken based on the number of the level, red hair color changes tone at every level.

One level may be darker with blue undertones, like terra cotta red, while a level up or down could be warm, rich copper or strawberry blonde. With that in mind, it’s extremely important to communicate exactly what you want with your stylist.

Now that we’ve armed you with that crucial information, it’s time to take a look at the ideal shades of red hair color for your specific skin tone.

(And if you’re interested in how to pick out the best overall hair color for your skin tone, be sure to check out How to Choose the Best Hair Color.)

Light Skin Tones

Ladies with light skin tones, red hair can add some color to your cheeks and some pep in your step if you pick the right shade.

If you’ve got creamy, pale skin, try vibrant orange-red. This dramatic look thrives on contrast and will make your gorgeous features pop instantly.

Medium Skin Tones

Warm golden red hues will suit you best if you have medium skin.

And if you’re not ready to take the plunge and go full ginger, dip your toes with a few face-framing copper highlights.

Dark Skin Tones

Darker skin tones look particularly magical with red hues that feature blue undertones. Stay away from orange-red, as it can often look harsh against darker skin tones.

A great pick for dark skin tones is actually one of this season’s hottest colors: terra cotta red. It’s a cool, deep red that’s sure to turn heads.  

To protect whichever shade of red looks best on you, be sure to invest in Fantastic Sams Color Protect Shampoo and Conditioner.


Did you know that Fantastic Sams Cut & Color is a full-service, "no-appointment-needed" hair salon with over 1,000 convenient locations? Find a Hair Salon near you.

Fantastic Looks Good On You.