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What brown hair dye has red undertones?

When looking for a brown hair dye with red undertones, it’s important to understand how color theory works. Red and brown are adjacent colors on the color wheel, which means brown hair color can take on a subtle warm, reddish tone. The level of red pigment in the dye will affect how intense the red undertones appear.

What are red undertones?

Hair color undertones refer to the subtle secondary color that comes through in your overall hair color. For brunettes, undertones can range from cool ash tones to warm golden or red tones. Red undertones don’t necessarily make your hair look red – it adds warmth and dimension to brown hair.

Some examples of red undertone shades for brown hair:

  • Mahogany – A rich, dark brown with subtle red tones
  • Auburn – A brown base with noticeable red tones
  • Chestnut – A reddish-brown shade
  • Cinnamon – A light to medium warm brown with red undertones

The level of redness will depend on the specific dye color and formula. When shopping for brown dye with red undertones, look for keywords like “warm,” “golden,” “reddish,” or specific shade names like “cinnamon,” “auburn,” and “mahogany.”

Best Red Undertone Brown Hair Dyes

Here are some top-rated brown hair dye options with red or warm undertones:

Permanent Hair Dye

Brand Shade Name Undertone
L’Oreal Excellence HiColor Light Auburn Brown Reddish brown
Clairol Natural Instincts 29 Medium Auburn Brown Warm, reddish brown
Revlon Colorsilk 56 Medium Auburn Reddish brown
Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme 62 Marshmallow Brown Golden brown
Schwarzkopf Igora Royal 6-66 Intense Mahogany Dark reddish brown

Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

Brand Shade Name Undertone
Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Auburn Shimmer Warm, reddish brown
Manic Panic Marshmallow Golden beige brown
Arctic Fox Chestnut Golden reddish brown
Ion Color Brilliance Medium Auburn Brown Reddish brown
Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color 60 Coffee Golden brown

How to Choose the Best Red Brown Hair Dye

Here are some tips for picking the right red brown hair color for your needs:

  • Consider your base color – Lighter browns will show more red, while darker brunettes will get more subtle mahogany tones.
  • Choose permanent vs semi-permanent – Permanent brown dyes will last longer but are harder to remove. Semi-perms fade faster but cause less damage.
  • Read reviews – Check reviews and before & after photos to ensure the shade matches claims of being warm, reddish, or golden toned.
  • Do a strand test – Testing dye on a small section of hair first helps avoid surprises with the final color.
  • Prep your hair – Use a clarifying shampoo a few days before dyeing to remove residue and ensure even coloring.

How to Use Brown Hair Dye With Red Undertones

When applying your chosen brown hair dye with red undertones, follow these steps for best results:

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry your hair – dye adheres better to clean hair.
  2. Put on gloves and prep your work station with towels.
  3. Mix the color according to instructions and do a skin allergy test.
  4. Section your hair and start applying dye at the roots using the applicator brush.
  5. Work the dye through the mid-lengths and ends of your hair.
  6. Let the dye process for the recommended development time.
  7. Rinse until water runs clear. Use conditioner to hydrate.
  8. Style as usual and enjoy your new red toned brown locks!

Be sure to carefully follow the usage instructions for your specific dye brand. Doing a patch test before full application can help prevent adverse reactions.

Caring for Brown Hair With Red Undertones

Red hair dye is vibrant but prone to fading faster than darker shades. Here are some tips for keeping red toned brown hair looking its best:

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and cool water when washing.
  • Limit washing to 2-3 times per week to prevent fading.
  • Use a color-protecting conditioner and avoid direct heat styling.
  • Apply a weekly nourishing hair mask to boost shine.
  • Use a tinted shampoo or glossing treatment between dye jobs.
  • Avoid chlorine and salt water which can strip red tones.
  • Get a refresh touch up every 6-8 weeks.

Taking steps to protect color treated hair will help red brown shades stay vibrant and keep that warmth in your hair longer.

How to Remove Red Tones from Brown Hair

If your reddish brown shade turns out more intense than expected, here are some ways to counteract and remove excess red tones:

  • Use an anti-redness shampoo with blue or green pigments.
  • Try a color-correcting toner in an ash or platinum shade.
  • Dye hair again using a cool toned brown with ash or neutral undertones.
  • Fully strip color with a remover kit before re-dyeing.
  • Let hair fade before using a darker neutral brown dye.
  • Schedule a color correction service at your salon.

It’s best to consult a professional stylist if you need to significantly alter your current color. Bleaching or aggressively stripping hair too soon can cause damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does brown hair dye wash out?

Semi-permanent brown dyes will gradually wash out over 4-8 weeks. Permanent hair color requires growing out or removal with bleach or stripping kits. Tones may fade faster than base color.

What is the best brown hair dye brand?

Top brands for brown hair dye include L’Oreal Excellence, Clairol Natural Instincts, Revlon Colorsilk, Garnier Nutrisse, and Schwarzkopf Igora Royal. Always do a patch test before dyeing hair.

Can you put brown dye over red hair?

Yes, you can dye red hair brown. The brown may still have a reddish tint. Using a darker ash or cool-toned brown will help neutralize more of the redness.


Brown hair with red undertones provides beautiful dimension, warmth, and glow. Look for shade names like cinnamon, chestnut, auburn, and mahogany when shopping for brown dye with a touch of red. Protecting and nourishing color-treated hair will help the red tones last longer. With the right formula and proper care, you can rock gorgeous red-toned brown locks.