From ginger to strawberry blonde, we believe that anyone can find their perfect red shade. While this hair color has often been maligned (never by us, we may add), it seems like this warm hue is finally getting the celebration it deserves, largely thanks to lots of celebrity fanfare. You don't need to be a born redhead to join in on the fun because these days, coloring services and dyes are so high tech that getting natural-looking hair has never been easier. So if you're considering adding russet tones to your strawberry-blonde hair, thinking about turning your blonde strands into a shade of copper, or fancy adding a wash of rich auburn to your brunette locks, we've compiled a comprehensive list of red hair looks for you to show your hairdresser.
Choosing a shade: "Your skin color and eye color need to be the number one thing taken into consideration," says Joico celebrity colorist Jill Buck. "As a stylist, I like to look to the flecks of color in my clients' eyes as a good indicator of their natural undertones." According to Buck, "The warmer and lighter bright reds complement someone with a fair complexion, and more neutral and deeper red shades are good for darker complexions."
Maintenance level: High. "Red is tricky," says Nicole Tresch, senior colorist at Rita Hazan in NYC. "It’s the first color to fade and needs to be maintained for its vibrancy, often with glosses."
Goes great with: Red hair can really make your eyes stand out, so playing them up with fun colors or smoky shadow is always a winning look.
Similar shades: Copper, midlight red, auburn, pumpkin spice, strawberry-blonde, cinnamon
Price: Cost will vary depending on the techniques your stylist will use. "It’s helpful to bring in multiple pictures during the consultation, and your stylist can quote you before the service begins," says Buck.
Meet the Expert
• Jill Buck is a Joico celebrity colorist at Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles.
• Nicole Tresch is a senior colorist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City.
There's a real brightness to Florence Welch's red hair, which works well with the pinkish undertones in her skin. If you want to try this style yourself, find a balm or serum that adds definition to the braid, like Moroccanoil's Hydrating Styling Cream ($14).
Lily Cole is known for her naturally red hair, and in recent years we've seen her experiment with different shades. We're especially delighted by her natural auburn hue. According to Tresch, red looks especially great with freckled complexions.
We love how this color is beautifully blended into a more vibrant red-orange as it moves towards her ends.
Here you'll find Zendaya sporting the red ombré of our dreams. Her wine-colored locks elegantly turn into copper towards the tips of her hair, creating a warm, rich color story. "Ask your colorist to keep the base richer/deeper than the ends," suggests Buck. "This will keep it natural looking and avoid what we call in the biz a 'hot root.'"
This dark strawberry blonde looks so incredible on the classically dirty blonde Blake Lively. To get her mega-watt shine, try misting on Ouai's Hair Oil($28).
FKA Twigs has always been a trendsetter, and the way she uses this bright-red hue to frame her face has us once again taking notes. She keeps her roots raven except for a few strands shaping her face, which are a gorgeous rust shade, matching the rest of her beautiful ombré.
Was this look inspired by her very own name? Scarlett Johansson's unfussy up-do is an elegant (you guessed it) scarlet shade.
"Using permanent [dye] will give you the richest reds; however, it comes with a grow out maintenance as well," says Buck. "A demi-permanent will give you a rich tone, however, it rinses within six to eight weeks."
Be the Change
Your hair color is a form of expression, and sometimes we need to be the change we want to see. Hot red curls may be a signifier for the fire that's being carried within. Never underestimate the power of the story your hair color can tell.
Joséphine de La Baume
Want to give your light blonde locks a bit of a red hue? Take your inspiration from Joséphine de La Baume. If you try this look on your own, keep the curls intact with Joico's JoiMist Firm Finishing Spray 09 ($17). It will get the job done without any crunchy stiffness.
K-pop star and actress Hani is known to experiment with different hair colors, but this is one of our absolute favorites. Her long, silky waves and blunt bangs look absolutely lovely in this dark copper shade.
How gorgeous are Keke Palmer's maroon braids? Whether she wears them down or in a high ponytail, as pictured here, this regal hue brings a flair to any of her excellent looks.
As one of the biggest Hollywood stars with red hair, Jessica Chastain always looks totally chic and polished. The slicked-back, tucked-behind-the-ears look allows her fair skin and strawberry strands to shine.
While Rihanna has worn many different styles and hair colors over the years, this bold merlot hue still sticks out in our minds. This shade is so rich and intoxicating and was the perfect match for Rihanna's bouncy curls.
Jolly Rancher Red
Look for color inspiration everywhere to find unique shades for your colorist to blend. We like to think a cherry Jolly Rancher inspired this one.
Emma Stone has always been one of our favorite redheads, even though she's a natural blonde. This short hairstyle complements her face shape, while the ginger shade brings out the natural flush in her cheeks.
Dip-dyeing your curls at the tips is a super chic color statement. It's also very convenient for the day you get over red and are ready to switch it up to some other shade—just go in for a trim and kiss those ends goodbye.
Amy Adams is known for her long, red locks, and we like seeing them up in a sophisticated ponytail. Her shade here is a toned-down, very natural shade of auburn.
Curly Ginger Hair
If you want to try out red for nothing more than a brief moment, consider using temporary tints or colored conditioners, like this shade of ginger coloring conditioner from Overtone.
Want a true ginger color? Let this hue, sported by actress Christina Hendricks, be your guide. We love her soft waves and bangs, and she proves that bright red hair goes perfectly with an even brighter red lipstick.
Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner famously had fiery hair when playing Sansa Stark, so it's exciting to see her sporting a lighter hue. This gorgeous strawberry-blonde pairs nicely with her pale blue eyes.
Amandla Stenberg is no stranger to a pop of color in their hair, from seafoam blues to deep purples to shimmering silvers. While we could go on and on, we want to highlight this stunning amber shade with architectural curls.
A Bold Buzz
If this color isn't bold enough on its own, try pairing it with a buzz-worthy clipper cut.
Michelle Williams has become known for her chic pixie cut. We usually see her sporting this cut as a platinum blonde, so it's fun to see her switch things up for this apricot shade. She's even dyed her eyebrows the same warm hue—now that's commitment!
If you're ready to commit to a permanent red instead of a semi-permanent that will fade with each rinse, consider dyeing your eyebrows as well to lock in a cohesive look that will last.
Isla Fisher and red hair go together like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes—has there ever been a better pair? While Fisher has sported different hues over the years, this dark ginger is one of our favorites. When paired with a classic emerald-colored earring, this look feels totally glamorous.
One of the most iconic redheads around, Julianne Moore's iconic style is deep auburn. While it looks to be all one shade at first glance, looking closer, you can see a few subtle highlights.
Supermodel Tyra Banks is most known for brunette and honey blonde hair, but she's been a redhead several times over. Here, she rocks a caramel base with auburn streaks.
To maintain red hair, Tresch recommends using a gloss about once a week to keep the tone intact. She likes Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss in Red ($26).
This soft burgundy ombre has perfect color placement, allowing all that red to flow down from her casually snatched ponytail with its dark natural base color.
Riverdale's resident redhead, Madelaine Petsch, demonstrates what we like to think of as "cherry wood" hair—the perfect balance between brunette and auburn.
Riley Keough pulls off any color she tries, but we're particularly obsessed with this curly copper look. If you're going to make the brunette-to-red switch, be sure to invest in color-saving shampoo. We like the Rossano Ferretti Parma Splendido Color Maintenance Shampoo($35).
Proving Buck's tips to be true, this deep red shade looks beautiful against this model's olive complexion.
Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie is known for her rich cinnamon shade of red, pictured here in an elegant swooped updo.
When it comes to braids, you have a lot of flexibility in wearing your favorite shade of red. You can work in a supersaturated punch of ruby red on the ends, or you can weave in varying shades, all without doing any damage to your strands.
Ditch your next round of highlights for some red babylights instead. We love the way this subtle red shade blends into her dark brunette texture.
Transitioning to red from a darker natural base color will not only provide some added warmth to your complexion, but it will also take a while to get there. Be inquisitive and learn about how your colorist is going to approach the transition. Going with a low developer and using a bonder like Olaplex are signs that your colorist has your hair's health and integrity at the forefront of their approach.
Faux for Naturals
Even if you're a natural redhead, you might be tempted to deepen your color with something richer and less orange-y. Bryce Dallas Howard wears this berry-colored auburn beautifully.
What colors go best with red hair?
It really depends on the undertones and shade of red, but striking jewel tones like rich navy and emerald green typically set off red hair. More pared-down neutrals like gray can also put the focus on the show-stopping shade.
Is red hair trendy?
Red hair has been a hot trend for several years now, but it's also a classic shade that always turns heads no matter the season. There are so many different shades and undertones you can play around with for a unique look.