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What hair color is brown with a red tint?

What hair color is brown with a red tint?

Hair color that is brown with a red tint is typically described as auburn hair. Auburn hair is characterized by a rich red-brown color with the red tones providing warmth and vibrancy to the brown base shade. The red tints can range from subtle coppery highlights to more prominent red hues blended throughout, creating an overall reddish-brown hair color.

What Causes Auburn Hair?

Auburn hair gets its red tint from the pigment pheomelanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its color, and there are two types – eumelanin which produces black and brown shades, and pheomelanin which produces red and blonde shades. People with auburn hair have a higher ratio of pheomelanin to eumelanin in their hair strands, which results in the warm reddish-brown color.

Genetics plays a major role in determining whether someone will have auburn hair. The MC1R gene regulates melanin production in hair follicles. Certain variants of this gene boost pheomelanin synthesis, making auburn hair more likely. Environmental factors like sun exposure can also intensify red pigments. Auburn hair tends to fade and darken over time as melanin ratios change with aging.

Auburn vs. Other Red Hair Shades

While auburn features red tones, it differs from other red hair shades like ginger and strawberry blonde. Here’s how it compares:

  • Ginger hair – Very light blondish orange to deeper burnt orange shade, with little to no brown.
  • Strawberry blonde – Golden blond base with red highlights concentrated on tips.
  • Auburn – Richer red tones throughout a dominant brown base.

Auburn also overlaps sometimes with shades like copper and mahogany that sit on the brown spectrum with reddish notes.

Different Types of Auburn Hair

There are a few different categories of auburn hair that vary in their ratio of brown to red:

  • Light auburn – Dark blondish base with subtle red highlights. May also be described as strawberry blond.
  • Medium auburn – Balanced mix of brown and red resulting in a reddish-brown shade.
  • Dark auburn – Deeper brown base with bold red tones mixed throughout.

Within those types, the red tint in auburn hair can range from a warm coppery color to more vibrant hues bordering on red or burgundy.

Auburn Hair Color Chart

This chart shows some common shades of light, medium, and dark auburn hair:

Type Shade Description
Light Auburn Copper Reddish brown with golden copper tones
Light Auburn Strawberry Blonde Golden blond base with subtle red highlights
Medium Auburn Reddish Brown Rich brown with prominent red tones
Medium Auburn Chestnut Deep reddish brown
Dark Auburn Mahogany Deep brownish red
Dark Auburn Burgundy Very dark brown base with deep red tones

Skin Tone Compatibility

Auburn hair tends to suit fair to medium skin tones with cool, pinkish undertones. The red tones can make it look extra vibrant against paler complexions. However, with the right shades, auburn can potentially complement:

  • Fair skin – Light auburn with coppery hues.
  • Medium skin – Medium to dark auburn.
  • Olive skin – Dark auburn with chocolate undertones.
  • Dark skin – Very dark auburn with blue undertones.

Eye Color Compatibility

Auburn hair color can work well with a variety of light and dark eye colors:

  • Blue eyes – Stunning with light or medium auburn.
  • Green eyes – Beautiful with light, warm auburn.
  • Brown eyes – Nice with medium to dark auburn.
  • Hazel eyes – Complements redder auburn tones.
  • Dark eyes – Pair well with very dark auburn.

Auburn Hair Dye Options

There are a few ways to achieve the look of auburn hair if your natural color is different:

  • Permanent dye – Provides long-lasting coverage and permanenetly alters natural pigment.
  • Semi-permanent dye – Deposits color that fades over 4-8 weeks with no bleach.
  • Highlighting – Adds red tones through subtle highlights and lowlights.
  • Gloss – Boosts vibrancy of red hues in permanent or natural auburn hair.

It’s best to get a professional dye job for challenging transitions like dark to light auburn. Box dyes can work for some easy touch-ups but may not lift hair enough. Always do allergy tests before permanent dyeing.

Auburn Hair Care Tips

Caring for auburn hair involves retaining vibrancy of red tones while keeping hair healthy. Useful tips include:

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and cold water washes.
  • Boost shine with conditioner masks 1-2 times a week.
  • Rinse with apple cider vinegar to seal cuticles.
  • Let hair air dry instead of heat styling when possible.
  • Use heat protectant if blow-drying or using hot tools.
  • Refresh color between dye jobs withreddening shampoos.
  • Get regular trims to keep ends healthy.

Celebrities with Auburn Hair

Some famous people sporting auburn locks include:

  • Julianne Moore – Light auburn
  • Jessica Chastain – Strawberry blonde
  • Madelaine Petsch – Medium auburn
  • Emma Stone – Dark auburn
  • Amy Adams – Dyed redhead/auburn


Auburn hair features varying ratios of brown and red shades for a warm, reddish-brown color. Genetics and melanin content give natural auburn hair its distinctive tint. Many people also choose to dye their hair auburn to get the look. With proactive care, vibrant auburn hair can be maintained to showcase beautiful red tones.