Guide to Selecting the Perfect Red Hair Color: Strawberry to Copper Hues

You’ve likely seen celebrities with red hair in different shades if you keep up with pop culture trends. It’s no surprise, then, that more people are sporting red hair in real life. Staci Barton, a colorist, said that clients are more likely to come in for a red hairstyle after seeing models like Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner.

If the thought of high maintenance hair color does not scare you, then this could be the year you go bold. Barton says that red is timeless. It’s all about finding the perfect shade of red for you.

Find your perfect red shade with Barton & Cleveland.

Strawberry Blonde

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How many different hair colors has Rachel McAdams worn? There is no limit. This strawberry blonde can be used as a transitional shade to introduce red hair. Barton suggests that if you are blonde and considering red hair, it is best to start with warmer blonde tones to allow your eyes to adjust to the new tone before going deeper.

Cleveland says that to achieve this look you should use golden reds at level 9.

Light Copper

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Emma Stone’s lighter copper is similar to strawberry blonde and best suits skin with a lighter tone. Copper is a neutral shade of red, as opposed to strawberry blonde.

Cleveland shares that to achieve this look you should use a level 8 tone with a brown/red tint.

Light Bold red

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@lindsaylohan / Instagram

Lindsay Lohan is one of the most iconic red haired women from Hollywood. Her natural locks have made us envious since The Parents Trap. Lohan’s red hair is a perfect blend of strawberry and copper.

Experts warn that you will need to be committed to this look once you reach this level of red. Use level 7 in a reddish-brown tone to achieve this look.

Barton advises, “If there is any advice I can offer as a stylist for anyone who wants to go red it’s to stay away from box dye.” Consult a professional stylist and strongly consider semi- or demidi-permanent colors. I caution blondes in particular, as it is hard to get your former blonde color back once you have gone red. It will usually require multiple appointments.

Medium Copper

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Jourdan’s copper curls are the perfect, subtle red. This look is ideal for olive or brown skin tones. Mix level 5 with medium to get a barely there tint.

Barton reveals that if you’re not ready to commit fully, you can still achieve this shade with less. “If you’re a brunette, without highlights, and have virgin hair, today is your lucky day,” she says. This look can be achieved with a glaze or toner, depending on the desired result.

True Red

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You can achieve Sadie Sink’s true red hair by following the same steps. Some might say that this color is inherited. However, experts suggest mixing warm and neutral medium reds to achieve this look.

If you’re going to be bold with your color, bring extra inspiration photos to show to your stylist. Also note that this will not be an easy look to maintain. Barton says that reds, mahogany, mahogany, and copper will be difficult to maintain. They require color-treated shampoos, cold water for shampooing and perhaps even a color-depositing condition. All of this is done between [glazing and tone].

Bold Cherry

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@theestallion / Instagram

Megan Thee Stallion’s bold cherry hair is, in fact real hot girl sh*t. Reds with violet undertones look especially vibrant and complementary on darker skin tones.

It’s more important than ever to hire a professional to color your hair, especially if you want to achieve a vibrant shade (despite how tempting it may be to use box dyes). This look may also require bleaching the base, so a visit to a salon is essential.

Bold Copper

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Jeff Spicer / Stringer

Zendaya is a true artist who can dye her hair in any color. This bold copper is no different. Experts say that copper-based reds look great on olive or light brown skin tones.

Use a medium brown tone with a level 5.


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Tyra Banks is not afraid to be bold and big with her style. This throwback Tyra hairstyle is the perfect auburn, striking the perfect balance between brown, red, and golden tones.

You’ll need a brown-red base with a level 4.5.

Dark Auburn

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Shay Mitchell has dark auburn hair that is a perfect introduction to red. Those with darker hair who want to try something new can easily miss the red hints. This shade works well with a variety of skin tones, from olive to darker.

To get this look, combine level 4 with a reddish-brown tone.

Dark Cherry

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Steve Granitz / Contributor

Kelly Rowland’s 2001 signature color has seen a major revival. TikTok users have dubbed it “cherry cola”. It’s not surprising–it is a classic shade that works well with darker skin tones. If we haven’t already reminded you, you should visit a salon to get this shade so that you can be sure it will be done correctly.

Experts note that this look is a combination of a dark base, (likely a level 3), with blonde highlights dyed a bright cherry red for an extra pop of colour.


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@sophiet / Instagram

Wine red is one of the shades that can compliment all skin tones, from fair to dark. Sophie Turner’s fierce look is reminiscent of Queen of the North. It can be created with a level five base, cherry red, and warm toner.


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@lala/ Instagram

Lala Anthony’s burgundy locks are always in fashion (and with good reason). Her hazel eyes, with their neutral undertones and deep purple compliment her gorgeous mix of red and purple.

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