24 Stunning Dark Red Hair Colors We're Tempted to Try

Try out a Malbec or cognac shade.

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@micaelaverrelien | Design by Zackary Angeline.

Although creative hair colors have seen more cultural acceptance over the past ten years or so, dark red hair feels like it's held widespread popularity much longer. While cotton candy-type blue and pink hues might (wrongfully) garner some judgmental looks, burgundy and auburn locks have long been so common that they might as well be naturally occurring. Most "natural only" offices will even let these shades slip by without a second thought—they're that embedded in the collective consciousness.

This is fortunate for us, because not only do we love dark reds, but you're sure to find at least one that works on every skin tone. This shade is super complementary and usually comes down to personal preference, colorist Angelica Triana says.

For more proof of that, we talked to the red hair expert herself, Chelsey Pickthorn.

"Dark red hair is different from copper and other red tones as it is on the deeper side of the spectrum," Pickthorn says, "Depending on what your natural color is, generally deeper reds show more in the light and have a reflection that reads red. Many times the undertones are red-orange or red-violet." 

A bevy of celebrities frequent the color as well, like Ariana Grande (known for the red hair she had during her Nickelodeon days), Demi Lovato, Rihanna, and (famously) Lana Del Rey. While these are all good starting points when it comes to inspiration, Pickthorn says it's important to go with what works for you, and tailors her work based on each individual's unique qualities, taking hair texture, base color, and natural undertones into consideration.

Before you schedule an appointment, know that as with any red color, deep red is, "the hardest to keep up and the hardest to get rid of."

This is due to the amount of pigment, and the special mixing that goes into creating 'your perfect red' Pickthron says. Triana echoes this, noting that every hair type needs different amounts of saturation, so make sure to discuss the finer details with your chosen stylist.

Now that you've got the top tips, we rounded up a few of our favorite shades on a few celebrities, in case you're thinking about a deep yet subtle hair change. Keep scrolling for all the dark red hair inspiration, including maintenance tips from the pro.

Dark Red Hair

Choosing a Shade: The shade should be tailored to you and is not usually recommended for people with naturally light hair. Dark reds or burgundy are more of a free for all, Triana says, but talk to your stylist about creating a color that's complementary to your specific tones.

Maintenance Level: Depending on what the natural base is, this can be a high maintenance color. Six to 10 weeks between touch-ups is usually recommended.

Similar Shades: Copper, pumpkin spice, red ombré

Price: Usually, $200 is the base point, though it can vary depending on where you're starting from as well as the result you're going for. Work with your stylist to figure out what plan makes sense for your budget and ideal look.

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Rihanna's Curls

Dark Red Hair Colors Rihanna

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We're forever living for Rihanna's hair transformations. These auburn ringlets she wore at the 2010 American Music Awards looked absolutely stunning with her matching gown.

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Keke Palmer's Braids

Dark Red Hair Colors Braids Keke Palmer

@keke

Braids are always a good idea—but Keke Palmer proved that burgundy braids are even better. Feed-in braids pulled back into a high ponytail make such an effortlessly gorgeous, protective style.

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Kristin Ess' Long Waves

A hair master herself, Kristin Ess is known for her work on major celebs, but her own hair is our source of inspiration when it comes to getting a deep red hue.

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Lana Del Rey's Deep Hue

Dark Red Hair Colors Auburn Lana Del Rey

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We loved Lana Del Rey's brunette 'do with hints of auburn, which she wore at the 2012 Met Gala. We don't know what's better: her romantic curls or her sultry berry-stained lips. Good thing we don't have to choose. 

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Wine Toned Curls

Dark Red Hair Colors Wine-Toned Curls

@naomisoms

These ruby red curls are on another level. Dark red hair totally suits these springy ringlets. Plus, a touch of warmth will go a long way.

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Ali Larter's Vibrant Color

Dark Red Hair Colors Ali Larter

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The cool red tone of Ali Larter's locks is so eye-catching. With a color that pops as much as this, a simple middle part is the perfect choice.

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Red Velvet Hair

Dark Red Hair Colors

@overtonecolor

Hairstylist Frances Brittnie Garcia, who goes by both Frances and Brittnie, used Overtone and Pravana for this incredible red velvet melt.

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Drew Barrymore's Signature Curls

Dark Red Hair Colors Drew Barrymore

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Drew Barrymore always has luscious hair, and these face-framing, dark feathered curls are a favorite moment of ours.

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Tyra Banks' Spiral Curls

Dark Red Hair Colors Tyra Banks

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Tyra Banks has served lots of iconic hair moments over the years, but there's something about this color and those spiral curls that makes a perfect match.

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Lily Collins's Fire-Red

Dark Red Hair Colors Bob Lily Collins

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Is it just me, or is the contrast between Lily Collins's fiery bob and her dark brows everything? The soft bend in her waves adds texture to this cool style.

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Zoey Deutch's Sleek Bob

Dark Red Hair Color Zoey Deutch

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Deutch's sleek bob—by hairstylist Tracey Cunningham—emulates old-Hollywood glamour, but we can't take our eyes off her eye-popping deep auburn hue.

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Going Red on Brunette

Dark Red Hair Colors Brunette

@overtonecolor

Looking for something not as permanent as a full dye? Overtone makes a great Red For Brown Hair Coloring Conditioner for a low-commitment look that lasts for a few washes. While this particular set is often on backorder, the Red for Brown Hair Daily Conditioner ($18) is also available to help maintain any existing color.

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Kehlani's Bob

Dark Red Hair Colors Kehlani

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Kehlani found the perfect shade of red velvet. Plus, her tousled bob is another win in our book.

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Julianne Moore's Toned Down Look

Dark Red Hair Colors Julianne Moore

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Julianne Moore stunned on the 2013 SAG Awards red carpet in this sleek, side-swept look. Known for creating iconic hair colors, stylist Serge Normant works on the likes of Moore and Julia Roberts. Moore regularly rocks a toned-down dark red color we'll be emulating ASAP.

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These Deep Red Curls

I mean, these curls are almost impossibly beautiful, plus the dark red color has us even more in love. To keep hair moisturized, apply an at-home treatment mask once a week.

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Amazing Merlot Waves

Dark Red Hair Colors Merlot Waves

@arcticfoxhaircolor

Defined waves on a bright lob? We're so in. Stylist Jessica Celona used a blend of Arctic Fox Hair Color dyes to get this vibrant balayage look.

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Madeline Brewer's Velvety Waves

Dark Red Hair Colors Madeline Brewer

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The Handmaid's Tale actress Madeline Brewer has rocked some seriously covetable velvety red hair. For a darker red like this, Pickthorn notes, "As long as the color is custom mixed for you personally, most people can pull off a deeper red." 

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Emma Stone's Layered Lob

Dark Red Hair Color Emma Stone

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Besides the fact that this tousled bob done by celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak is one of our all-time favorite cuts on Emma Stone, this hair color she donned at the 72nd annual Golden Globes is picture-perfect. Pickthorn recommends non-natural redheads such as Stone use a custom mixed color conditioner once a week to help keep vibrancy and rich color around for longer.

Reds do fade quickly, so using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner is extremely important. Pickthorn has been on an Iles Formula kick for the past year, noting, "It keeps the integrity of the hair intact, so in turn your color holds up and looks fresh with every wash." 

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Brittany Snow's Deep Auburn

Dark Red Hair Colors Auburn Brittany Snow

@brittanysnow

Brittany Snow is not a natural redhead, though a quick scroll through her Instagram might convince you otherwise. Though she now rocks a more copper-toned look, this deep auburn shade is so amazing and really brings out her eyes.

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Ayesha Curry's Waves

Dark Red Hair Color Ayesha Curry

@ayeshacurry

Ayesha Curry has been known to rock many cool styles and shades, but this toned-down take on dark red may be our favorite.

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Kaitlyn Dever's Sleek and Straight 'Do

Dark Red Hair Colors Kaitlyn Dever

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Like with Booksmart actress Kaitlyn Dever, Pickthorn likes to encourage people to enhance what they are given, noting, if they want red and are on the lighter side, she would lead them to color that would not scream artificial hair color. Though the actress borders on brunette at first glance, her hair actually features some incredible red undertones.

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Half Berry, Half Wine

Dark Red Hair Colors Half and Half

@arcticfoxhaircolor

Talk about going for it all—this split dye style incorporates the deep berry we love as well as a great fiery red.

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Wine with Sparkle

Dark Red Hair Colors Accessorized

@overtonecolor

Go all in with accessories if you want to. Nicole Romero at One to One Salon in Orange County added some sparkly gems to this mulled wine-inspired hue.

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Toned Down Red

Dark Red Hair Colors Toned Down Zendaya

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The best thing about this shade is it doesn't have to stick to one particular color. Zendaya has tried a toned-down, but equally stunning take on the dark red hair trend, proving it can work for everyone as it's tailored specifically to you.

FAQ
  • How do you care for dyed red hair?

    Forgo shampoo and conditioner for two days after your dye session and be gentle with you hair. Try using cold water when you do wash your hair (heat will open the hair shaft and could cause you to lose some dye in the shower).

  • What color cancels out red hair dye?

    Green is opposite red on the color wheel, and serves as a way to neutralize red tones in the hair. The blue-green shade in ash toning shampoos will work to tone down red that's just a little too rich.

  • What color eyebrows go best with red hair?

    A lot of those on our list above match their brows to their hair, but a contrast is fun, too. Look at Lily Collins, who rocks her signature jet black brows with a red head, or try using a pencil to tone darker brows a more chocolate hue.

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