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Women with beautiful auburn color hair

23 Auburn Hair Colors That Complement Every Skin Tone

Ready to try auburn hair color? We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the reddish-brown shade plus 23 of our favorite auburn hair color ideas.

When it comes to red hair colors, auburn is without a doubt the most versatile. The reddish-brown hue is classy, dimensional, and just in case you needed any more convincing: It looks amazing on every single skin tone.

If you’re wondering which shade of auburn hair color is best for you, we’re here to help! We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the shade, including how your colorist will create it, how to find the best shade for your skin tone, and how to maintain an auburn hue. We’re also sharing 23 of our top auburn hair color ideas you can bring to the salon. 

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What colors make auburn hair color?

Auburn is made up of a variety of red shades, all of which have brown and ginger undertones and range from light to dark. 

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Is auburn a natural hair color? 

While auburn is one of the most popular shades to ask for at the salon, it’s possible to have a natural auburn hair color. It’s possible to be a natural redhead, but it’s also rare. In fact, only one to two percent of the global population is known to have natural red hair. 

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Is auburn hair cool or warm?

While auburn is sometimes considered a cool-toned color because of its slight blue undertones, auburn can be worn either cool or warm depending on your chosen shade. If you want to go warm, opt for an auburn shade with coppery, golden undertones. If you’re more into cool tones, stick with the deeper shades with purple undertones.

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What skin tone looks good with auburn hair?

Since auburn ranges in shades from light to dark and cool to warm, it can be customized to flatter any skin tone. If you have a cool complexion, ask your colorist for an auburn hue with cool undertones. For those with warm undertones in their skin, auburn shades with warm, copper undertones will work best. 

How To Maintain Auburn Hair Color

When you opt for any shade of red, you can expect your hair care routine to change a bit. First, you’ll need to swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated for color-treated hair. We recommend Biolage R.A.W Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. This system nourishes and protects to help maintain the depth, tone, and shine of color-treated hair.

If your colorist needs to use bleach to achieve your desired auburn shade, you’ll want to add a weekly hair mask like Redken All Soft Mega Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask to your routine. This two-in-one hair mask is both an intense conditioner and care extender designed specifically for your dry, brittle hair.

It’s no secret that heat styling can strip the vibrancy from your salon color. That’s why we recommend always using products formulated with heat protection like Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-in Spray. This lightweight mist primes, protects, and perfects while delivering 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.

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What is the best auburn hair color?

The best shade of auburn hair for you depends on your skin tone and desired level of maintenance. If you’re ready to try auburn hair for yourself, keep scrolling for 23 of our favorite auburn hair color ideas.

The Best Auburn Hair Color Ideas To Try Now

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True Auburn

Not too dark or too light, true auburn falls somewhere in between the two. If you’re a sucker for a classic shade, true auburn is the perfect choice for you.

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Mulled Wine

An auburn hair color named after our favorite date night beverage? We’ll drink to that! If you’re looking for an auburn hue that’s deep and sultry, we recommend giving mulled wine a try.

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Chocolate Auburn

Unlike its wine-inspired cousin, chocolate auburn leans more toward true brown. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add dimension and depth to their very dark brown hair.

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Auburn Highlights

Edging into auburn territory for the first time? If you’re not completely sold on a full head of auburn locks, ask your colorist for auburn highlights to add spice and dimension to your natural base color.

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Auburn falls into a gorgeous middle ground between brown and red, one that flatters almost every complexion. Amber is an excellent starter shade because it’s basically an over-the-top brunette with red accents.

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While some enjoy a toned-down and sophisticated auburn hair color, others like a little zest. Case in point: copper. This lighter, punchier take on auburn is perfect for adding a little spice to your look. If you have a pale complexion, this one’s for you!

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Fiery Auburn

What do you get when you mix deeper auburn with accents of ginger? A fiery, dimensional color that’s wearable for every skin tone.

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Rose Gold

Partial to hair colors with intense shine and vibrancy? Ask your colorist to add hints of rose gold throughout your auburn hue to give it a touch of radiance.


If you’re a natural brunette looking for something a bit more muted, look to chestnut. This warm-toned, reddish-brown hue leans more towards brown with just the right amount of red to ease your transition.

Good hair day by @lynn__styles.

Ginger Beer

According to our experts, ginger beer is the hottest red hair color trend of 2020. Looking to make this spicy, orangey-red hue yours this year? Click here to find out how.

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On the lookout for a vibrant variation of auburn? No matter your skin tone, you can’t go wrong with cherry.

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Golden Auburn

Golden brown and blonde are on-trend for 2020, so why shouldn’t red follow suit? Golden auburn is a warm-toned, sunkissed hue that flatters any skin tone.

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Dark Auburn

Auburn is (somewhat famously) a shade that’s gorgeous on women with dark skin tones. If you have dark or medium skin, go for it. You’ll find that dark auburn is the extra nudge your hair has always needed to truly attain bombshell status.

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Strawberry Auburn

Who could forget about strawberry? Strawberry auburn walks the thin line between red, blonde, and brown. In other words, it’s a versatile shade that suits a range of skin tones.

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Mahogany is to auburn what honey is to blonde: a rich, luscious shade that flatters the complexion and looks good on every skin tone.

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Auburn And Caramel

Let’s be real: A few caramel highlights can do wonders for any hair color. If you want to add just a bit more warmth and shine to your auburn hue, ask your colorist to add a few caramel highlights throughout your strands.

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Light Auburn

Whether you like to keep your hue bright or you’re looking to switch it up from dark hair colors, you’ll love light auburn hair color.

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If you’re hoping to spice up your hue for 2021, choose a fiery, dimensional shade like cayenne. We love the way this shade pairs with medium and dark skin tones.

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Medium Auburn

Medium auburn hair color is the perfect balance between red and brown shades—which also makes it a neutral choice that complements any complexion.

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Golden Auburn

If you want to add that golden hour glow to your mane (without going blonde), ask your colorist for an auburn shade with hints of gold. Amp up the shine with a few spritzes of shine spray like Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray.

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Copper And Auburn Balayage

While we used to cringe at the thought of dark roots, now we embrace them! Ask for a balayage to show off your dark brown roots while trying an auburn shade.

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To create a cinnamon shade, your colorist will incorporate hints of orange-red throughout a medium to dark brown base to create a shade inspired by the spice of the same name.

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If you’re searching for a metallic-inspired auburn hue, we recommend trying rust, an orangey-copper shade with tons of natural shine.

Interested in trying an auburn hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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