Last Updated on 28th September 2021 by Chauncey Morgan
While some say that blondes have more fun, that is simply not true. Dark hair with red highlights is a trendy and beautiful alternative to blonde highlights and balayage, and as it requires less lightening it’s often much kinder on the hair for naturally darker brunettes. Here you can find our favourite sources of inspiration for brown hair with red highlights, ranging from natural and sunkissed to high contrast bright. Bring them with you on your next visit to your hairdresser for inspiration, or try your DIY at home dye skills to become a part-time redhead.
Dark hair with bright red highlights
Dark brown hair with red highlights can be a high contrast affair with a lot of texture and gloss. It will require lightening the highlighted strands before applying a bright red hair dye. In this case, the stylist used Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Vibrant Red, a long lasting, semipermanent pure red dye. It will last over 10 weeks and fade slowly to blonde highlights.
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If you are looking for a low maintenance, high impact hair color, this is the perfect inspiration brown hair with red highlights picture to bring to your hairdresser. The color will fade but the roots will grow gracefully, so if you are not into monthly retouches this hair color will suit you perfectly. Depending on your skin tone you may want to ask for more copper tones to warm it up.
Brown hair with red highlights
For a more subtle take on the trend, baileydoeshair used a combination of Fudge’s semipermanent Raspberry Beret and Red Corvette to create cherry red highlights on a brown hair base. Despite the dye being semi-permanent, it is very long-lasting and can be applied on non-bleached dark brown hair for a subtle red highlight. The placement of the red highlights gives the hair texture and movement without being too out there. Wear it curly for extra dimension and let it grow into a beautiful red ombre if you get tired of all over red highlights.
|Fudge Paintbox Raspberry Beret 75ml||$$|
|Paintbox by Fudge Red Corvette 75ml||$|
Dark brown hair with red highlights
We love this dark brown hair with red highlights that minimises the use of lightening and bleach to create a subtle cherry red on very dark brown hair. It’s the perfect choice if you just want to dip your toes in the red trend, but don’t want to damage your hair or go too light. The result is a deep auburn shade that is rich and low maintenance.
Ask your stylist to add some lighter sections across the ends to highlight your best features and contour your face without makeup. A glossing treatment every few weeks will keep your hair looking its best.
Dark brown to red ombre
The ombre hair trend is still big news and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And despite it most often being blonde territory, this technique can also be used on brown hair color with highlights. A cherry red ombre looks great on naturally dark brown hair, and requires much less maintenance than a full head of highlights. As you can see, dark brown hair with red highlights can look great worn straight but it also shines on elaborate hair-dos that showcase the contrasting colors and the beautiful texture.
|Splat Rebellious Colors Hair Coloring Complete Kit Fire Ombre||$|
|Manic Panic - Rock N Roll Red Hair Dye, 4 fl oz||$|
|L'Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color, RR04 Intense Dark Red, 1 kit Hair Dye||$|
This is also a look that is relatively easy to accomplish at home with a kit such as the Splat Rebellious Colors Hair Coloring Complete Kit in Fire Ombre or your favourite bleach and Manic PanicRock N Roll Red for example. You can also use a permanent hair colour for this look, such as L’OrÃ©al Paris Superior Preference Permanent Hair Color in Intense Dark Red but it will be more difficult to change if you get tired of it, and it will require retouching.
Dark hair with red highlights (bright)
A red balayage on dark brown hair requires bleaching your hair, but the results are so beautiful! It’s a traditional technique with an unconventional twist that will suit hair that is naturally dark, or anybody wanted to give a previous blonde balayage a new look. Face framing red highlights draw attention to your best features and add volume to the hair visually.
|ARCTIC FOX CRUELTY FREE 100% VEGAN SEMI PERMANENT HAIR COLOR DYE (8 OZ, POISON)||$|
|Berina (A23) Permanent Hair Color Dye Bright Red Color 1 Box||$|
|Manic Panic Vampire Red Color Cream||$|
Very natural medium brown hair with red highlights
This is a very natural looking brown hair color with highlights in a copper tone. The end result is almost auburn, but with more texture and dimension than a full hair color. It is also much easier to grow out as the roots are kept natural.
Lots of tiny highlights are melted into the dark brown roots in a flawless and natural looking balayage, with an emphasis on face framing brighter red highlights.
Dark brown hair with copper highlights
This melty copper balayage creates dark hair with red highlights on the warmer end of the spectrum for a result that evoques luxurious and rich chocolate. Unlike traditional ombre, a melt is a technique where the highlights are blended with the base color so there is no harsh demarcation lines. If you are tired of blonde highlights and want to try something new, or if your hair turns naturally towards warm colors, give this style a try.
You can achieve a similar effect at home with hair dyes like Vidal Sassoon Salonist in 7/43 2 Intense Red Copper but it is not an easy technique to do on yourself. A professional hair stylist will be able to choose the perfect placement of the highlights to suit your natural hair texture and style.
|Vidal Sassoon Salonist Hair Colour Permanent Color Kit, 7 43 2 Intense Red Copper||$|
Short dark brown hair with red highlights
Brown hair with red highlights can also complement a short, structured hairstyle perfectly. This type of bright red highlights can be accomplished using foil to avoid bleeding and keep the highlights structured and focused, while keeping the look natural with a rooted effect. This minimises the appearance of regrowth.
|Arctic Fox Vegan and Cruelty-Free Semi-Permanent Hair Color Dye - Poison (Red) 4 Fl. Ounce 118 mL||$|
|Adore Semi-Permanent Haircolor 064 Ruby Red 4 Ounce 118ml||$|
|Manic Panic Vampire Red Color Cream 4 fl oz||$|
This color was created by rpssalons using Rusk hair care.
Natural medium brown hair with light copper highlights
If your hair naturally falls on the medium brown or auburn side, this combination of copper highlights and medium brown hair will be perfect for you. It’s a beautiful variation on tiger eye balayage, where rich copper, honey and caramel highlights blend into a darker warm brown base. Perfect to update your hair for autumn, it gives naturally warm brown hair a richness that can’t be matched.
|L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Brush On Glam Highlights, GL50 Medium Brown to Dark||$|
|L'Oréal Paris Superior Preference Ombre Touch Hair Color, OT4 Dark Brown||$|
If you are looking to get hair like this, talk to your stylist about color melting to achieve this flawless blend of rich copper tones and a natural medium brown base.
Multicolor and red highlights on dark hair
If basic red bores, you, what about this multicolour rainbow hair dye job, mixing ruby red, blues, purples and even yellow to achieve a fun result perfect for fall? And once you get bored of it, you can remove the rainbow hair dye and do a full color on a natural dark brown to go back to your original hair color.
Level 3 dark hair with red highlights
Rich and deep red highlights add dimension to a level 3 dark hair. It also includes some lighter copper pieces to add texture and round up the color. This will suit you if you are scared of damaging your hair by bleaching it, but you want to make dark brown richer and less boring. It’s perfectly work appropriate even on a conservative office but still fun.
Brown Hair With Red Highlights Maintenance Tips
Sadly, red hair is high maintenance and red highlights are still red hair so… If you have chosen dark brown hair with red highlights you will need to change your haircare regime to match. In order to keep the red from washing out too quickly, sulphate free shampoos and products specifically for colored hair are a must. Red fades really quickly, so if you want to avoid ending up with pink or orange hair it’s better to give it as much love as possible and avoid heat styling and chlorine from swimming pools. If you absolutely must heat style your hair, remember to use heat protection sprays religiously and give your hair a break every so often (and take the chance to showcase that beautiful red texture on an updo or braided hairstyle).
In order to keep your color vibrant it’s a good idea to top it up every few weeks, either at the hairdresser or using a matching vegetable dye color such as Manic Panic vampire red at home. Unless you are a dab hand at highlighting you may need to enlist the help of a friend to prevent the dye from bleeding all over your brown base and spoiling the effect. However, even if you do an all over color with a vegetable dye, the highlights will still be visible as they are lighter. This can be a quick fix if you want to tone the effect down and reduce the contrast, or if you don’t fancy a trip to the hairdresser.
If you bleached your hair to get red highlights your hair may be feeling weak and dry. A protein mask once a week and a nutritive leave in conditioner will help it recover and should form part of your routine, even if you didn’t need to bleach all your hair. Keep in mind that the better the health of your hair, the longer the red hair dye will last without fading, so it’s definitely a win win.
Dark brown hair with red highlights is often a better alternative than traditional blonde for naturally dark haired people or darker and warmer skin tones. However there is a red for every skin tone, and you can choose between cooler, cherry reds or even burgundy tones if you rather avoid warm copper and auburn tones.