Auburn hair is a heady mix of brown-red-orange gorgeousness that sets our hearts on fire. Red hair is massively in this year and we’re all over rich reds like no one’s business. But how do you get auburn hair at home?
One of the most popular hair colours that’s growing its fan base for it’s ability to look on point from season to season – is auburn. It’s a hot fave in our Best red hair shades to dye for right now with it’s warm, rich, multidimensional tones.
We’re here to tell you all about it, how to wear it and how to get the awesome auburn sass at home.
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What is auburn hair?
Auburn is a rich colour from the red hair family and is a luxurious red-orange hue with brown and red undertones. It’s fab because, like brown and red hair colour, it’s a natural looking shade that suits pretty much everyone.
The red gradient can be anything from a medium to a dark auburn red, with chestnut, copper, blonde and strawberry hues thrown into the mix. So warm or cool, you’re likely to find a few different shades to suit you.
Best of all, it’s a multidimensional colour that’s always on trend because it’s so versatile. It looks amazing as an eye-catching base for colour blended styles like balayage and highlights and mixed with darker shades for ombre and lowlights.
Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.
Is auburn hair colour orange?
Auburn is a funny colour to describe and you’ll hear people calling it everything from reddish-brown, to dark red to ginger and orange.
The word ‘Auburn’ comes from an old french word, alborne which means blonde, so that’s no help to us either! Auburn colours can also be mistaken for on-trend copper, although it has more natural dark rich red tones than it’s brighter metallic look-a-like.
Chestnut and other rich red-browns such as mahogany can also often called auburn but these are more on the brunette than the red colour spectrum. These colours are fantastic for lowlights blended with lighter auburn shades.
Ultimately, where your hair will look on the auburn scale of brown-to-red-to-orange will depend on the natural colour of your skin, your eyes and the base colour of your hair to begin with. As well as which hair dye you choose to help you get auburn hair at home.
Will auburn suit me?
Auburn is a colour that’s extremely versatile. You’ll just need to know if you suit more cool or warmer colours to make the right choice of shade for you.
To find out your undertones, things like your skin tone, eye colour and even the jewellery you wear all come into the mix.
Warm auburn colours – Auburn is mostly a warmer colour so all true shades of auburn will suit those with warm undertones. Rich auburn colours, auburn highlights and natural red hues are all part of the warm auburn spectrum.
Cool auburn colours – auburn can be easily blended with cooler colours to tone down the warmth. Dark brown and black balayage and colours with a purple base such as burgundy are perfect for cool undertone bases mixed in with dark auburn hair.
So are you warm or cool? Use the checklist below to find out!
If you have cool undertones:
- Your skin tone is pink or pale.
- You blush easily!
- Jewel and pastel colours are so your thing.
- The colour yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.
- You have blue not green veins in your wrist.
- Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.
If you have warm undertones:
- You have red or golden tones in your natural hair.
- Your skin tone is golden, tan or olive.
- You might have freckles.
- You have green not blue veins in your wrist.
- You suit bright or rich shades better.
- Gold jewellery looks awesome on you.
If you’re still unsure whether auburn will suit you, you can also take our QUICK QUIZ! to find out what colours you’re most suited to! Just click the image below.
You can also try on some virtual hair colours with the Best hair colour changing apps you need to use in 2021!
Does auburn hair colour fade quickly?
Auburn is a ravishing red hair colour which means unfortunately, it will fade quick as it’s one of the hardest colours to maintain.
This is because red dye is made up of extra large colour molecules that slip and slide out of your hair with every wash. If your natural hair colour is lighter, it’ll fade even faster. And external factors like sunshine, salt and pool water won’t help either.
To keep the colour locked in, you’ll need to use specially formulated shampoos and conditioners to make the colour stay vibrant for longer. Washing your hair less often, covering up in the sun and using heat protection sprays that contain UV protection can also really help make it last.
Can I dye my hair auburn at home?
Simply, yes. You can achieve on-trend, auburn hair at home. There are a wonderful range of box dyes that you can buy off the shelf to achieve that perfect all over auburn glimmer. The colour you’ll achieve will depend on the colour your hair is now.
If your hair is currently light brown to blonde – you have a good base for going auburn. Make sure you match up the colour chart on the side of the box to get the right match.
If you want to go lighter or brighter auburn, you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair first with bleach to get the best base for the colour to take.
If your hair is currently mid-brunette or darker – rich, dark auburn colours and lowlights will work for you. You’ll need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach first for an all over lighter auburn effect.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! The great thing about auburn is that there’s a shade for almost everyone. From sun-kissed light auburn hues to deep auburn reds and browns.
The auburn hair colour lookbook.
Which is the best auburn hair dye?
Here are some of our best tried and tested auburn box dyes you can buy today to get auburn hair at home.
Find out more about each one in our Best auburn hair dye reviews.
Best auburn hair dyes
Preference Infinia, Brooklyn Intense Copper Auburn.
- Lustrous colour results, and fade-resistant formula.
- Comes with a new precious High Shine Elixir.
- Colour radiance for up to 8 weeks.
- Improved fragrance for a better colour experience.
“Amazing hair colour. Very vibrant. and super easy to apply.”
“I’ve been a red head on and off for years – this auburn shade is absolutely gorgeous.”
“The best hair dye I’ve ever used. Long lasting so you don’t have to worry about it fading any time soon. Glossy finish and easy to apply!!”
This a gorgeous warm auburn colour. We tried it on dark brown hair and the depth of colour is stunning. It has multidimensional undertones of metallic copper-auburn hues. The dye comes with a colour extender so you can brighten the colour back up in between dyes. Loads of the reviews said it lasted really well too. This is the favourite one for us.
The one for: Long-lasting luscious colour.
How can I make my auburn colour last for longer?
Red shades like auburn need more love than almost any other colour and will fade fast if you don’t look after it.
This is because red hair dye molecules are larger than most other colours, which means they don’t cling to your hair as well as smaller molecules do and are easier to wash out.
Don’t wash your hair until at least 48 hours after you dye it and try to wash it more than once a week if you can get away with it.
When you do, make sure you wash only with a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for coloured hair. We love these from Joico.
Joico Colour Infusem Shampoo and Conditioner
Once a week, give your hair a deep conditioning mask like this one we love from Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Hair Masque.
Invest in the little miracle in a bottle that is Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector to treat and strengthen your hair between hair dyeing.
And don’t forget to follow all of our top coloured hair care tips in How to look after coloured hair can keep it luscious for longer.