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What is the best red color for black hair?

What is the best red color for black hair?

When dyeing black hair red, choosing the right shade of red is crucial for achieving the desired look. With so many red hair dye options available, from bright copper to deep burgundy, it can be challenging to select the most flattering red for dark hair. Certain shades will stand out vividly on black hair, while others may appear dull or washed-out. The intensity of the red can also vary greatly depending on your natural hair color and tone. In this article, we’ll break down how to pick the best red hair dye for black hair and recommend some top red shade options.

How Color Shows Up on Dark Hair

Black hair has a very dark base, so colors tend to appear darker and more muted on it than on lighter shades of hair. For vibrant red hues to show up properly on black hair, the dye needs to deposit enough color pigment to overcome the dark base. Otherwise, the red will mix with the black undertones and end up coming out more as a red tinted brown. This is why bold, intense reds usually work best for making a noticeable impact on black hair. Softer reds can still work, but may translate more as a subtle tint unless you pre-lighten the hair first. Here are some other factors that affect how red hair dye turns out on black hair:

– Natural Hair Color – Is your black hair cool-toned, warm-toned, or neutral? Warm black hair tends to pick up red/orange tones better.

– Hair Condition – Healthy, undamaged hair accepts color better than porous or over-processed hair.

– Hair Texture – Coarse or thick hair is more resistant to color than fine, thin hair.

– Skin Tone – Choose a red that flatters your complexion. Gold skin tones suit warm reds, pinkish skin tones suit cool reds.

– Eye Color – Reds that contrast your eye color make them pop. Blue eyes pop against orange-reds, brown eyes pop against cherry-reds.

Best Red Hair Dye Shades for Black Hair

Here are some top red hair color ideas to stand out beautifully on black hair:

Red Shade Best For
Intense Copper Warm black hair tones
Vibrant Orange-Red Making a bold color impact
Deep Blood Red Dramatic effect on cool-toned hair
Bright Cherry Red Warming up neutral black hair
Blue-Based Red Very cool skin tones
Purple Red Edgy, punk-inspired look

Let’s take a closer look at how these shades of red hair dye work with black hair:

Intense Copper Red

A rich copper or reddish-orange shade is a great choice for black hair with warm tones. The golden orange undertones in this red will complement the warm base and show up vibrantly. Just beware copper red can pull especially brassy on hair that wasn’t pre-lightened. Using a color-depositing shampoo can help keep the tone fresh between dye touch-ups.

Vibrant Orange-Red

For making the most dramatic impact on black hair, go for an intense, orangey-red shade. The strong orange base overrides the dark hair and creates a fiery color that really catches the eye. This attention-getting red works well on any skin tone. Just know it requires more maintenance to stop the bright color from fading quickly.

Deep Blood Red

Darker berry and blood red hues are a sophisticated option for black hair, especially with blue or neutral-cool undertones. As these deeper reds don’t have orange or gold undertones, they’ll match seamlessly with cool-toned hair instead of looking brassy. The result is a rich crimson shade that looks polished.

Bright Cherry Red

Warm up jet black hair that has neutral-to-cool undertones with a vivid cherry red shade. While cool reds would look muddy on neutral black hair, the touch of vibrancy from this reddish-pink brightens things up. It’s also a complementary color for those with warm, golden skin tones.

Blue-Based Red

Does your black hair have very cool undertones? For a natural-looking red that flatters this, go for a blue-based ruby or burgundy shade. The subtle cool undertones will sync with your hair’s undertones, not fight against them. Great for fair, pink-toned complexions.

Purple Red

Alternatively, amp up the cool tones in your hair with an edgy purple-tinted red. The contrast of red and purple makes for an eye-catching color, while the purple cancels out brassiness. This exotic shade works well with both warm and cool skin tones.

Choosing the Right Red Dye for Your Hair

Now that you know which shades typically work best on black hair, keep these tips in mind when selecting a red dye for your hair:

– Check the dye’s intensity level – Look for vivid, highly pigmented reds.

– Match the tone to your hair – Warm reds for warm hair, cool reds for cool hair.

– Do a strand test – See how the color develops on your hair before doing all-over color.

– Use a color-protecting formula – This helps the red last longer on dark hair.

– Consider lightening first for soft reds – Pre-lightening allows pastel reds to show up properly.

– Read reviews – Get feedback from others with similar hair who’ve used the dye.

– Consider bleach and dye kits – These provide everything needed for dramatic color makeovers.

– See a professional – They can help match the ideal red and properly lighten hair if needed.

Maintaining Red Hair Color on Dark Hair

The main challenge of dyeing black hair red is keeping the color vibrant in between dyeing sessions. As the red color washes out, it fades quickly back to black. Here are tips to extend the life of red hair color on black hair:

– Use sulfate-free shampoo and cold water washes. This prevents excessive fading.

– Wash less frequently, around 1-2 times per week. Too-frequent washing strips the red color.

– Use a color-depositing conditioner or mask for refreshed color. Reds require constant color renewal.

– Avoid chlorine and saltwater. These environments leach out red hair dye quickly.

– Use a UV-protectant spray for hair before going in sunlight. UV rays speed up fading.

– Get a gloss or tinted conditioner touch-up between full dye sessions. This boosts color vibrancy.

– Use semi-permanent dye for root re-touch ups rather than permanent dye all over. Limiting overlap preserves the ends.


Dyeing black hair red can really make your color pop, as long as you choose the right shade of red. Stick with vivid, intense reds that are matched to your natural hair tone to get the best results. Maintain your new red hair color by using sulfate-free and color-depositing hair products. Limit washing and sun exposure as much as possible. With the right maintenance routine, your bold new red shade should continue looking fabulous against your black locks. Just be prepared for all the attention your new hair is sure to grab!