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How to Achieve a Natural Red Hair Color

With these tips, everyone will think it’s your natural color.
December 08, 2023


While there are plenty of fun hair colors to experiment with, season after season, red hair proves to be one of the most sought-after hues, and understandably so. It’s stunning and unique (only 2% of the population are natural redheads) — plus, it looks bold with any hair type and texture, whether it be wavy, curly or straight.


If you weren’t born with coppery red tresses, you’ve likely spent your fair share of time trying to figure out how you can fake the perfect red mane, but it’s a bit more complicated than simply dyeing your hair red. Keep reading for our tips to achieve a natural red hair look, plus our favorite shades of red hair dye to kick start your transformation.


1. Use the Right Hair Dye

Fire engine red hair is undeniably a gorgeous, eye-catching hue, but true redheads don’t naturally have that shade. Natural red tresses are typically a reddish-brown color. As with any hair hue, there are variations to it based on how light or dark the hair color is. This means you can have natural, light red hair or natural, dark red hair. The first step to looking like a natural redhead is using a hair dye that resembles a natural red hair color, whether it's light, medium or dark in color. Here are our top picks.


Natural-Looking Light Red Hair

If you’re craving a natural-looking light red hair color, look no further than L’Oréal Paris Excellence Créme Permanent Triple Protection Hair Color in Medium Reddish Blonde. This gorgeous auburn hue is universally flattering and natural-looking on many different skin tones.  The formula is designed with an exclusive triple protection system that deeply cares for your hair and provides 100 percent gray coverage. It’s also formulated with a Pro-Keratin complex that helps protect the hair and maintain color.

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Natural-Looking Medium Red Hair

If it’s a natural-looking medium red hair color that you’re after, then the L'Oréal Paris Féria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Color in Brilliant Bordeaux is a great choice. The warm shade is a happy medium between light red and deep red, and complements several skin tones. Not to mention, the formula is hydrating and vibrant, so it won’t wreak havoc on your hair during the dyeing process.

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Natural-Looking Dark Red Hair

If you’re ready to step into bold territory with a natural-looking dark red hair color, grab the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Hair Color in Dark Auburn. The shade is rich, beautiful and bound to make you stand out in a crowd. Plus, the dye delivers ultimate shine to hair and won’t fade for several weeks.


Customized Red Hair

But perhaps you’re looking for something a bit more unique to you. That’s where the L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Concierge can be a great resource. You can live chat with professional colorists and even do video consultations to help you find the right shade for the look you desire — all right from your home.


2. Maintain Your Color

One of the biggest giveaways of a faux redhead is if your natural hair color peeks through. To keep your “natural” red hair dye looking its best, be sure to touch it up as often as you can. 


When going to the salon isn’t an option, you can try different techniques to make your color last longer between appointments, such as keeping a root touch up spray on hand, like L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up in Red, to make sure your outgrown roots stay hidden. You can also use a weekly hair gloss, like L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Copper or Auburn, to enhance your tone and add shine and vibrancy to your color. 


3. Consider Your Brows

Think twice before you reach for a hair dye to color your brows because matching your eyebrows to your hair color can be easily achieved with eyebrow makeup. Typically, people with red hair naturally have brown or dark blonde brows. So if you’re trying to pull off the redhead look, you don’t need to dye your brows red or even look for a red eyebrow pencil.


When choosing a brow pencil, opt for a shade that has warm undertones, like L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil in Light Brunette. If you prefer gel formulas, reach for L'Oréal Paris Infallible Volumizing 24H Wear Brow Mascara in Light Brunette — it works like a brow gel and pencil in one. 

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4. Opt for Brown Eyeliner and Mascara

In order to achieve the natural redhead look, swap your black eyeliners and mascaras for brown options. Black can sometimes appear harsh on natural redheads, especially since this hair color is commonly paired with fair, freckled skin. Instead, try out softer shades, like L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Mechanical Gel Eyeliner in Brown Denim and L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara in Black Brown.


Next: What to Do When You Find Your First Gray Hair


Photo Credit: Mary Honkus

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