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12 Auburn Hair Colors That Complement Every Skin Tone

woman with red hair getting hair brushed

True or false: Auburn is a sexy hair color. We don’t often see the shade mentioned, and that’s largely because of the name. It’s a little dowdy-sounding, especially beside labels like “platinum” and “copper.” 

Although the name might be outdated, auburn color is anything but. The mix of red and brown (usually leaning a bit on the warm side) brings life to pale complexions while simultaneously flattering those with medium-dark and very dark skin.

In short, auburn is a workhorse of a color that comes in near infinite iterations. Because the shade is so bold and rich, it can handle the addition of other colors: gold and caramel, on the light end of the spectrum, as well as purple on the other.

Don’t let the name fool you—auburn will breathe new life into your hair. Light or dark, it’s a hair power move you won’t regret making.

Rose Auburn

If auburn is a classic shade, one that inspires thoughts of romantic novels and courting rituals, then rose auburn is its modern-day sister. The color plays on the pastel pink and rose gold trends, adding top notes of dusty mauve to the classic brown-red base.

Looking for a younger, fresher take on auburn? Rose auburn is for you. We’ll happily stand by as you take dozens of selfies for Instagram—that’s a key part of the pink hair game.

Blonde Auburn

Unlike rose auburn, blonde auburn doesn’t mess around with trends. This shade is a classic light red-gold that appears very close in shade to strawberry blonde. That is, if strawberry blonde had brown undertones.

Every celebrity who’s anybody has tried out blonde auburn, enjoying its sunny glow. To mimic the stars’ approach to the shade, ask your stylist for face-framing honey highlights.

Copper Auburn

Here’s a shade of auburn that’s truly fiery. Copper auburn brings even more warm notes to the equation, resulting in flame-colored hair that doesn’t overwhelm or verge on neon. You can credit the balanced nature of the shade to its chocolatey base. 

Copper auburn is a sophisticated, upscale color. We recommend it to natural redheads who’d like to stay in the same color family, but look a little more polished.

Golden Auburn

Copper auburn may bring the heat, but gold auburn’s molten orange shade is just as impressive. As the name implies, this variation on classic auburn brings bright gold top notes to the color that result in bright orange-brown locks. 

Interestingly, this shade is very similar to the red we call Venetian blonde. In all its strawberry glory, this shade is a show stopper. Try it on a bob or lob.

Auburn with Caramel

Where are all our blondes at? Auburn with caramel is the perfect transition shade for you. It combines muted red-brown with golden highlights, resulting in a shade that’s both summery and effortless looking.

To get the best version of auburn with caramel, avoid chunky or stripe-like highlights at all costs. We’d opt for balayage, the most natural-looking technique on the hair salon market right now.

Orange Red

Caution: We’re now entering neon territory. Orange red is all about the shock value of a bright shade, albeit one that’s grounded in medium brown. 

We like this color best when it’s taken to the very cool side. The mango-like shade looks incredible on very short hair, where it can act as a pop of shocking color without blinding anybody.

Light Auburn

We’ll warn you ahead of time that light auburn is a very addictive hair color. The shade blends light brown, gold, and warm red seamlessly, resulting in a burnt sienna shade that’s stunning.

If you’re concerned that auburn may wash you out, ask your stylist for light auburn. It’s a medium shade that’s wearable no matter the season. If you love it, you can take the color darker on your next salon visit.

Dark Ginger

Ahem. Meet your next shade. Dark ginger is a cool red that leads with notes of cherry, followed by hints of dark brown. It’s a vampy take on classic auburn, one that’s flattering for both dark and light skin. 

To make the best of dark ginger, wear it in a medium-length or short cut. The bold shade will really pop, making as much of an impact as any fashion statement could.

Chestnut Auburn

If you’re wary of venturing too far into the realm of red, dial it back a bit with a shade of auburn that puts the emphasis on chocolatey brown. Chestnut auburn is a glowing, rich shade of brown-red that’s appropriate for any skin tone.

To get the most out of your new color, we recommend applying regular hair masks to keep your mane ultra-shiny. Feeling really hardcore? Ask your stylist to apply a gloss over top of your color.

Dark Auburn

If you’re a diehard brunette who’s never experimented with salon color before, it can be overwhelming trying to find an entry point into the world of elaborately colored manes. We’ve got you covered: dark auburn.

This shade is all about the drama, combining purple-red notes with a near-black base. Swipe on dramatic cat-eye liner, and you’re all set. Just don’t forget about us when you’re a hair color professional.

Cherry Auburn

On the very dark end of the auburn spectrum, it can feel as though all hair roads lead to the color purple. That’s not the case, we promise. In fact, we’re feeling some serious love for cherry auburn, a color that’s plummy-red with deep undertones.

Whether you’re a pin-up lover who’s looking for a statement color or just a fan of bright shades, we love the look of cherry auburn on all lengths of hair and cool skin tones.

True Auburn

Let’s start with the simplest version of auburn, one that’s absolutely a classic. True auburn looks a lot like chestnut with an orange glaze over top, deep chocolate notes buried underneath the glint of red.

If you have a pale complexion, auburn is a good fit for you. It’s unforgettable against your skin, especially during the winter. If you’re still in doubt, stay tuned. There’s more than one way to try out auburn hair.

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