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How to Go from Brown Hair to Red Hair

Hair Color Tutorials

How to Go from Brown Hair to Red Hair How to Go from Brown Hair to Red Hair How to Go from Brown Hair to Red Hair

If you’re a brunette, you’ve probably found yourself thinking about trading your chestnut locks in for red hair at one point or another. But perhaps you haven’t made the switch yet because you’re worried red hair won’t look quite right on you. If that’s the case, we’ve got good news: It turns out there’s an ideal red for every skin tone, meaning you won’t have to miss out on going red. Keep reading to find your perfect match—and learn how to trade your brown hair color for a new red hue.


Red shades are either copper, blue, or purple-based—but there’s a whole lot more to it than just picking your favorite undertone. When it comes to taking your hair from natural earthy tones to those resembling fire, the first thing you want to do is think about your skin tone so that you can pair it with a complementary shade of red. Here are some basic tips to follow:

If you have light skin…anything from strawberry to copper to a bright orange-red will look fab. When you have a lighter skin tone, you want to avoid super-deep hues because they can look overly harsh and may cause you to look paler than you want. Try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Power Copper.

If you have medium skin…you can rock more highly pigmented shades of red. Just remember that warmer shades will look better than cooler ones because they’ll be able to really brighten up your features. When selecting your perfect shade, think along the lines of golden red, deep copper, and gorgeous auburn hues, like the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Rich Auburn True Red.

If you have dark skin…the darker your skin, the better blue and purple-based reds will look on you. That means dyes of the berry and wine variety will be showstoppers on you. Try the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Deep Burgundy.


If the color you choose is lighter or more vibrant than your current hue, you will need to have your hair lifted (a.k.a. lightened) first. The darker your starting color, the more lifting your hair will require. In that case, visiting a professional colorist will probably be your best bet to get the gorgeous red result you want. If you want to lift your hair at home, use an at-home hair color bleach like the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach.


Just making a subtle change? Try one of the following at-home hair color kits, each of which is available in a variety of red hues: L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference, L’Oréal Paris Féria, and L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme.


Anytime you make a hair color change, it’s important to switch up your hair care routine in an effort to help preserve the color and keep your hair feeling soft and looking shiny. Keep these tips in mind after you’ve gone red:

1. Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner

A good place to start is with switching to a color-safe shampoo and conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner. They’re 100% sulfate-free and can help preserve color and deeply replenish moisture. Apply the shampoo to wet hair, massaging it into a lather, then rinse. Follow up by applying the conditioner and leave it on for one to two minutes before rinsing.

2. Add a hair mask to your weekly routine

Once or twice a week, swap out your conditioner for a mask designed for colored hair, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask, and apply it after shampooing, leaving the mask on for five minutes before rinsing.

3. Embrace your natural texture

Step away from the heat tools and rock the beautiful texture you were born with—this is just as pretty, if not more so—than a blowout! Seriously, whether you’ve got straight strands or wavy ones, a fiery red hue will power up any look. Apply the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray to towel-dried hair to define the natural shape and texture of your mane.

Want some more red hair color inspiration? Read our article, 15 Pretty Cool, Warm, and Neutral Shades of Red Hair.