Color trends come and go, but auburn hair color has been in high demand for the past few years, and without a doubt, it’s the most versatile side of the reds palette. The reddish-brown hue is classy, has tons of dimension, and, if you need any more convincing, auburn hair looks amazing on every skin tone.
If you’re wondering which shade of auburn hair color will flatter you, we’re here to help! We’re breaking down everything you need to know about the shade, including how your colorist will create the best shade for your skin tone and how to maintain your new auburn hue at home. We’re also sharing 65 of our top auburn hair color ideas to bring to the salon to make your fiery hair goals come true.
What Color Is Auburn Hair?
Auburn is made up of various red shades, all of which have brown and ginger undertones and range from light to dark.
If you’re wondering how rare auburn hair color is, know that only one to two percent of the global population is known to have natural auburn hair, making it one of the most popular shades to ask for at the salon.
Is auburn the same as red hair?
Auburn is a variation of red hair, and while all auburn hair is red, not all red hair is auburn. Dark auburn hair leans toward deep reddish-brown, and light auburn hair may appear more orange.
Is auburn a natural hair color?
Although natural shades are the traditional definition of auburn, we must not forget that auburn is a spectrum that can also include brighter and even fantasy colors. Just as there are light and dark auburn shades, there can be variations in the intensity of red within the auburn spectrum. Bright orange and red hues are sometimes seen as an extreme or intense end of the auburn range.
Ultimately, the categorization of hair colors can be somewhat subjective. So, we’re here to help you decide your next look by giving you broad options of auburn hair color for you to choose what speaks to you the best. After all, every personal style and skin tone deserves its own variation of auburn!
Is auburn hair cool or warm?
While auburn is traditionally considered a cool-toned color because of its slight blue undertones, auburn can be worn either cool or warm, depending on your chosen shade. Opt for an auburn shade with coppery, golden undertones if you want to go warm. If you’re more into cool tones, stick with the deeper shades with purple undertones.
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 Get Auburn Hair
First and foremost, consult with a professional hair colorist to determine the ideal shade of auburn that complements your skin tone and features. With their expertise, they'll help you select from a range of hues, spanning from rich chestnuts to fiery coppers.
Balayage or ombre techniques can add dimension and depth to your locks for a subtle transition into auburn. However, a full-color application may be the way to go if you prefer a more dramatic transformation.
How to Maintain Auburn Hair Color
When you opt for any shade of red, you can expect your haircare 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 to prolong its vibrancy. We recommend L'Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Resveratrol Color Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner to keep the dye looking its very best.
If your colorist needs to use bleach to achieve your desired auburn shade, you’ll want to add a weekly hair mask like Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment to your routine. This highly reparative rinse-off formula works within your hair to strengthen hair bonds weakened by stressors like hair color, lightening, aggressive brushing, daily heat-styling, and more.
It’s no secret that heat styling can strip the vibrancy from your salon color. We always suggest 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.
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 65 of our favorite auburn hair color ideas.
The Best Auburn Hair Color Ideas to Try for 2023
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.
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.
Chocolate Auburn Balayage
Unlike its wine-inspired cousin, this auburn brown hair color leans more toward true brown. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add dimension and depth to their rich dark brown hair.
For those who aren’t completely sold on a full head of auburn locks, ask your colorist for auburn highlights on brown hair to add spice and dimension to your natural base color.
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.
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 spice to your look. If you have a pale complexion, this one’s for you!
Sugar and Spice Copper
Sweetly spun streaks of light auburn, copper, and golden blonde bring beautiful dimension to strands and can be easily recreated on both a natural red or blonde base.
Fiery auburn is what you get when you mix deeper auburn with accents of ginger. This rich color will thrive with a high-gloss clear topcoat that restores vibrancy and shine like Pureology Color Fanatic Top Coat + Sheer Clear..
If you’re 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.
Natural brunettes searching for something a bit more muted should look to a chestnut-auburn shade. This warm-toned, reddish-brown hue leans more towards brown with just the right amount of red to ease your transition.
Ginger beer was one of the hottest red hair color trends of 2020 and 2021, and this spicy, orangey-red hue is still one of the most desirable. Click here to find out how to achieve it.
If you're on the lookout for a vibrant variation of auburn, you can't go wrong with cherry, no matter your skin tone. To maintain a shade as bright as cherry, you’ll need a shampoo and conditioner system formulated to prolong the vibrancy of fast-fading hair colors like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo and Conditioner.
You’ll find that dark auburn hair color is the extra nudge your hair has always needed to attain true bombshell status.
While it looks great on everyone, auburn is (somewhat famously) a shade that’s especially gorgeous on women with dark skin tones. If you have dark or medium skin, go for it.
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.
Mahogany is to auburn what honey is to blonde: a rich, luscious shade that flatters the complexion and looks good on every skin tone.
Auburn and Caramel
Let’s be honest: A few caramel highlights can do wonders for any hair color. If you want warmth and shine to your auburn hue, ask your colorist to add a few caramel highlights throughout your strands.
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.
Bleach will likely be used to recreate this shade, which can leave hair dry and prone to split ends. On top of your color-preserving products, adding an anti-breakage formula to your regimen is essential to keep ends healthy and more resistant to snapping off. We love Matrix Total Results Instacure Anti-Breakage Porosity Spray because it fills in porosity, smooths the cuticle, and controls frizz in dry, damaged, brittle hair.
Choose a fiery, dimensional shade like cayenne to spice up your hue. We love the way this shade pairs with medium and dark skin tones.
Medium auburn hair color perfectly balances red and brown shades, making it a neutral choice that complements any complexion.
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.
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.
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. p>
If you’re searching for a metallic-inspired auburn hue, we recommend trying rust, an orangey-copper shade with tons of natural shine.
Auburn Money Piece
Face-framing money piece highlights add a pop of auburn color and brightness to a deep brunette mane, accentuating your complexion and facial features.
Espresso with Auburn Babylights
When ever-so-subtle auburn babylights catch the light, they enhance the warmth of deep brown tresses and create beautiful depth and dimension.
An easy way to sharpen the vibrancy of these ultra-fine streaks is to treat hair with a shine-restoring mask, like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalization Hair Mask. Infused with the self-regenerating Japanese Ashitaba Extract, this deeply nourishing formula softens, smoothes, and leaves hair with a glowing shine.
Red Hot Auburn
Looking for a bolder way to try out auburn? Try this stunningly blended combination of fire-engine-red-meets-brown!
While all red hair tends to fade fast, a bright hue such as this is even more prone to dullness. Refresh it between salon visits with a color-depositing conditioner like Biolage Professional Red Poppy Color Depositing Conditioner. This temporary vegan color depositing conditioner adds a cool red luster and dimension.
Chunky Auburn and Blonde
Another daring look not for the faint of heart is chunky streaks of red, orange, and gold atop a deep auburn base. Because why limit the colors of the sunset to just one?
Mocha with Auburn Highlights and Lowlights
We’re so used to seeing blondes and brunettes create multi-tonal looks using highlights and lowlights, but trying the technique with mocha and auburn colors looks equally as enchanting. Lighter streaks infused with caramel help the final look pop.
Auburn and Plum
If you’re into dark, rich auburn shades, ask your colorist for a plum base with bright auburn highlights. Consider us mildly obsessed.
Looking for a fiery, bright, and vibrant look? Going full red is the way to do it. Bright red can be considered a middle ground between the natural auburn hair and fantasy colors for having a stand-out effect without going full rainbow. It’s a trendy yet timeless color. After achieving this luscious color, don’t forget to do maintenance at home with a colored hair care line—we love Redken’s Color Extend Shampoo for longer-lasting vibrant hair color.
Why choose between blonde or auburn when you can be strawberry blonde? Adding extra warmth is an easy transformation if you already have a light base. Since this hair color is achieved with just a hint of auburn in the mix, strawberry blonde is notorious for its quick fading, so be mindful that you’ll have to commit to a maintenance routine.
Adding auburn highlights to a brunette base is not only possible, but it also looks stunning. It’s a brilliant way to add warmth without committing to monthly root touch-ups. The Pumpkin Spice hair looks good all year round, but it’s an autumn favorite!
Don’t forget to explore all the fun of the fantasy side of the auburn color palette. Going orange will give you a bright and colorful glow-up. Since you’ll need a bleached base to achieve this look, a repair treatment is a must. We love Kérastase Cicanuit Hair Serum for an intense overnight recovery post-bleach.
Deep Auburn Ombré
Combine deep auburn hair on the roots with bright red ends, and you’ll achieve the fiery ombré hair of your dreams. This hair color will keep you looking stylish and bold every day without even trying.
Rust is a must. Puns aside, everybody loves rusty shades of auburn, and this richer variation gives an extra dose of vibrancy to a classic hair color. Permanent hair colors like Redken Color Gel Oils achieve deep, saturated results while keeping the shine and condition for all hair textures.
Explore the citrus side of auburn with this breathtaking fantasy hair color. Neon Tangerine is an enticing choice for those who lean more experimental with their hair color transformations.
Bright Red Balayage
If you want to go bright but keep your naturally dark roots, this red balayage will deliver your desired look. It’s also a flawless look to accentuate length in any hair texture.
A vibrant copper never misses its wow effect. This true bombshell look has a more intense copper hue, but the golden undertones keep it on the lighter side. It’s a classic and timeless hair color that’s assured to look beautiful on any skin tone. Use an ammonia-free permanent color that provides up to 100% gray coverage, like Redken Color Gel Oils.
Lava hair combines the fantasy and natural shades of the auburn spectrum. This truly fiery look mixes both amber and cherry colors with bright red and orange. If you’re looking for uniqueness, this is the style.
You don’t have to go dark to be bold. Bright ginger fully embraces the orange but still keeps it on the natural side. Consider going bright ginger if you start with a light base—the golden undertones will fit just right!
Imagine lighting up a room with your hair—just like a neon sign. This hair color requires a bleached base, so be sure to use repairing products, like L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Resurfacing Golden Mask.
This luscious auburn hair color combines a muted cherry red with dark roots. Although it’s always important to use a colored hair care line like Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo, the red wine look keeps the touch-up maintenance on the lower side.
Peach hair is the ultimate ethereal look. Dying your entire hair with this fantasy color will look gorgeous, and another great idea is doing peach highlights in light auburn hair.
Copper to Blonde Ombré
A copper to blond ombré is a stunning way to go out of the obvious and accentuate hair length with any texture. Ask your stylist to start with a dark auburn color in the roots and fade into a lighter copper until it turns honey in the ends.
The cranberry hair color resembles cherry red but with a purple hint. The purple makes this a cooler auburn, and it’s a beautiful choice for those with cooler skin tones who are not too fond of warmth.
Ask your colorist for a chocolate auburn base with chunky light copper highlights to achieve this hazelnut perfection. We love using Redken Oil For All to ensure all this dimensional beauty will pop.
Combine cranberry roots with lava ends, and you’ll have outstanding sunset hair. This hair color requires bleach, so we recommend investing in a deeply nourishing recovery treatment like Redken Extreme Bleach Recovery Cica Cream Leave-In Treatment.
Auburn hair doesn’t have to be bright and vibrant. This ashy copper is the perfect match for cooler undertones. You can get this look by asking for complimenting a medium copper base with ashy blonde babylights.
When starting with a bleached base, there are a million ways an orange hue can go, and coral is one of our favorites. We love scalp treatments to give that much-needed extra love to bleached hair, and Kérastase Initialiste Scalp & Hair Serum is a must.
If you have high contrasting features, this pumpkin balayage is a flawless way to go ginger while keeping your natural contrast. While subtle, the hint of orange is just enough to add a pop of color and warmth to your look.
Vibrant Auburn Highlights
Hop on the trend of chunky highlights with this vibrant auburn hair. There’s nothing that screams autumn more than the combination of red, copper, rust, and strawberry blonde shades.
Do you recognize the difference between a ruby and a garnet? Rubies have a more vibrant and bright red tone, while garnets have an intense darker red hue. Besides being a snippet of curiosity to learn about gemstones, it’s a distinctive characteristic to know when describing your wanted hair color for your colorist.
Ginger with Blonde Babylights
The ‘90s are in full effect with this ginger with platinum blonde babylights look! Since you’ll be taking care of both bleached and colored hair, we recommend using an ultra-conditioning mask that provides deep hydration and repair on all hair types and textures like Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate 5-Min Liquid Hair Mask.
Fiery Copper Balayage
If you want to elevate your dark auburn hair, this fiery copper balayage might be the best way. Ask your colorist to use red, orange, and yellow tones in the bleached ends for that breathtaking effect. We love using Kérastase Elixir Ultime L'Huile Original Hair Oil to protect and nourish the hair ends.
A muted red is an elegant way to add a stand-out color to your look without going too bright. This auburn shade will work on any skin tone, but it looks exceptional on olive undertones.
This hair color embraces naturally dark roots for a low-maintenance, contrasted look. Bonfire Copper is a balayage on brown hair with shades of dark auburn, rust, and vibrant copper.
The spicy auburn of our dreams! Just like the cocktail, bloody mary hair color is a dark copper red with a blend of golden red highlights and lowlights. This earth-toned shade is more wearable than brighter reds.
Dark Roots with Flame Ends
If you like the playful side of the auburn color palette but don’t want to commit dying roots to ends, we suggest rocking this flame ends look. You’ll keep your natural roots while still looking fire. To get the flame effect, merge bright red locks with a cooler red, such as cranberry, and finish off with orange at the very ends.
Let us introduce you to cowgirl copper, the shade for you if you’re a fan of the cowgirl core aesthetic. This blend of caramel, brunette, red, and a hint of blonde creates the perfect amount of warmth and depth to be a statement and a wearable color at the same time.
Auburn hair inspo is everywhere—take a brick wall, for instance! Brick red hair gets the multi-dimensional look by combining a vibrant rust with a golden undertone and deep auburn.
Muted Ginger Balayage
This light auburn uses the same technique as a blonde balayage but with a ginger hue. A muted ginger with dark roots is an excellent choice for those with high-contrasted features.
Gem tones are always magnificently elegant. Ruby hair is red with purple undertones, and it’s an ideal choice for those with a cooler skin color.
This elegant hue blends dark brown undertones with warm red and copper accents, creating a truly enchanting fusion. Reminiscent of autumn leaves and flickering embers, Dark Rust adds a touch of mystery and allure to any look.
Whether you're going for a chic, edgy vibe or a more classic and elegant look, Maroon has got you covered. This versatile shade should be a go-to option for anyone looking to make a statement with their locks.
Interested in trying auburn hair color for yourself? Discover everything you need to keep the shade looking healthy and lustrous at Hair.com, and then use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon with a pro near you.