Whether you’ve been a blonde, brunette, or somewhere in between, there’s never been a better time to try out red if you’re looking for a hair color update for spring. “Red hair will give you a boost of confidence, make you stand out, and brighten up your features,” says Rubyna Kim, StyleSeat colorist. Not only is red hair vibrant, but there are also numerous shades you can choose from depending on what look you’re trying to achieve.
Your skin's undertone is, however, important when choosing a flattering red shade. According to Matrix brand ambassador, George Papanikolas, darker complexions and neutral skin tones (meaning neither cool or warm) look best with a bright auburn, whereas people with pale to medium skin tones should opt for copper, coral, and ginger to compliment their skin.
And since switching up your hair color is one of the easiest ways to hit the reset button on your look, TZR discovered seven expert-approved red shades for your spring beauty inspiration. Hint: they are predicting a lot of coppers and strawberry blondes. And as a bonus, there are also hair care tips to maintain the vibrant color at home.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
According to Papanikolas, bright auburn, a glossy take on a medium-auburn, pairs well with fair to neutral skin tones. “To help lock in the hair cuticle and preserve the delicate red molecules, grab Keep Me Vivid Color Velvetizer,” he says, for long-lasting wear in between color services. Rita Hazan colorist Carlina Ortega suggests heading to the salon every four to six weeks to touch up your new growth and brighten up your look.
If you’d like to stand out even more, Matt Swinney, global creative director of Rusk Hair recommends a pinot red with bold red tones. “A blue-based pinot red tends to be the most striking,” the expert tells TZR. “It’s a bit different from the deeper wine tones you see in the fall and winter, [since] pinot red brings a touch more brightness.” And because using color protecting products at home is a great way to maintain the vibrancy of your red between salon visits, Rusk Hair’s global artistic director Laura Gibson suggests Fresh Pomegranate Color Protecting Conditioner. “It’s formulated with UV protection and antioxidants to prevent color fading and ensure moisture,” she says.
Copper red is a beautiful and rich blend of red and orange-brown. The color works well on fair and medium complexions with peach or golden undertones and blue, green, or hazel eyes. To keep your new shade looking fresh between appointments, celebrity hair stylist Kiyah Wright, suggests swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner with a system formulated to protect color-treated hair. The stylist recommends ColorGlam Shampoo and ColorGlam Conditioner to her clients for prolonged color radiance and enhanced shine. “With the gentle sulfate-free surfactants formula, the duo won’t strip strands of moisture and is paraben-free for the ultimate color-safe product.”
Similar to the grape used in the wine, Shiraz red resembles a deep dark purple shade. It’s great for brave personalities looking for a mysterious red. “Red dye is the most susceptible to fading, so it is important to make sure you are using the right products at home,” Kim tells TZR. Preserve the beauty of the shade and moisture with Smooth Perfection Shampoo and Smooth Perfection Conditioner.
According to Swinney, pale strawberry look best with cool and fair skin tones and when the highlights are tone on tone. “This look can easily be created over blonde hair with light glosses and lifting the base color to a strawberry shade,” the pro notes. If you are worried to go full red, pale strawberry is a great introduction to the copper red family. “While this shade still reads blonde, it has those rich undertones of a deeper hue. It’s also a great way to fade out of a deeper red.”
Similar to the reds, oranges, and pinks you see in an epic sunset, sunset reds are, “reflective, shiny, rich and a color people tend to be drawn to due to its stunning appeal,” Swinney tells TZR. “This color makes a statement with its warm gold and copper tones.” Although this shade is a slight carry over from the ginger reds that were trending in previous seasons, the spring 2022 update has a touch more gold to the popular hue. For an at-home tip, Kim recommends minimizing washing your hair to two to three times a week to prevent early fading.
If you’re looking to take a traditional copper hue even further, dimensional copper is definitely for you. “This color looks incredible on all textures and hair types while providing a reflective glow from the orange and yellow tones,” says Hairstory colorist Cyd Charisse. “The copper color can also add depth by layering dark and light versions of the color throughout the hair.”