Black and red hair | All the best ideas and inspiration.

Are you looking for a fabulous new hair colour? Or maybe two? Black and red hair is the perfect combination of two bold and striking colours.

It’s not about having black or red hair – it’s about rocking them both! And finding the perfect balance between the two.

Red can be too bright on its own, while black can look too harsh without any other colour to soften it up.

But when they come together in harmony, they make one hell of a statement!

These two colours compliment one another beautifully.

Whether you’re looking for an edgy style or a more understated look, this colour combo has all the attitude that you could ever want.

Whether your hair is already black, naturally red or ready for a radical change – if you want to know how to wear the look, this article is for you. Read on!

What is black and red hair?

These are two of the most popular shades to wear thanks to being totally versatile and always in season.

There are plenty of different shades and tones you can play around with if you want to mix things up.

From ombre, balayage, two-tone split dye and colourful streaks, the style possibilities that work with these colours are endless.

All that’s necessary is either black and red hair dye and a statement style in mind!

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

black and red hair color collection pinterest board

Do black and red go together?

Yes! These two equally stunning shades of colour compliment each other perfectly.

And there are so many different ways you can wear them.

You can opt to dye your hair just black, just red, or go for the classic mix of the two.

Red dye looks particularly striking when paired with jet black hair.

While a true scarlet shade looks fantastic on top of bold strands of inky colour.

Will black and red hair suit me?

This is a great way to experiment with new styles and colours if you’re looking to be adventurous.

You never know, you might find that this combination of hair colours suits your skin tone more than you ever imagined.

Redheads are most commonly associated with this look, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else can’t enjoy it.

If you have naturally black hair, adding a pop of red colour is easy too.

All you need to do is find the right shade for you. This will involve finding out if you have cool or warm undertones.

Black and green, black and orange and black and white hair are alternative statement color combos if you have lighter hair.

If you’re not sure what skin tones you have, you can use our handy checklist below!

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.
cool or warm undertones infographic

If you’re still unsure, take out quick quiz! This will tell you what hair colours will suit you.

Just answer a few quick questions and you can apply this colour theory to your hair, your wardrobe and your life!

Just click on the image below!

which hair colour suits me

Can I dye my own hair black and red?

If you want to dye your hair this trend, there are plenty of great hair dyes on the market designed specifically to create this look.

You can use permanent or semi permanent dye.

We’d recommend permanent black for full coverage and semi-permanent for reds to get that brightness and tone.

If you’re going to brave DIYing the look at home, make sure to start off with the right base colour.

This will probably involve bleaching your hair to get it light enough to dye again.

Of course, the style you’re going for makes all the difference!

Check out these awesome hairstyles below! They’re perfect for showing off this hair colour combo.

Beginners can start with dipped ends or streaks.

Go for something more tricky like ombre and balayage if you’re feeling confident and ambitious!

If you’re unsure, your hairdresser is your friend.

Talk to them about the right options for you with your hair condition and skin tone in mind.

Will I need bleach to get the look?

It’s likely you will! But this all depends on the colour your hair is now and whether it’s been dyed before (and how much!).

If you have dark hair – you may need to lighten it with bleach or tint it red if you want this look. It may take a few processes if your hair is very dark.

If you have fair hair, you could have the right base to take these strong colours.

If you’re looking for a more subtle change, balayage or highlights are probably what you’ll need!

What hairstyles suit black and red hair?


ombre hair color instagram post

Ombré is a popular choice for these two vibrant hues.

This colouring method involves starting with darker roots and gradually lightening the ends of the hair, rather than going from dark to light all in one go.

This style looks particularly good on people who want to add some colour into their look without it being too obvious or flashy.

Go for a deep black ombré base with burgundy-red as your accent colour.

Or swap it around for a reverse ombre.


balayage hair color instagram post

Balayage is an option if you want to go for something slightly more subtle.

This is a less noticeable form of highlighting, where the stylist applies dye in painted sweeps throughout your hair.

This works most beautifully with a soft black base and copper or mahogany accents for an intense and stunning look.

Half and half hair

split dye color instagram post

Another option for people who want to enjoy the benefits of both red and black hair, but don’t want to commit one way or another, is half and half hair.

Also known as split dye, it’s basically like it sounds; half your hair will be dyed black while the other half is red!

Go for a jet black and poppy red combo and you can’t go wrong.


dark highlights color instagram post

Highlights are another easy way to add some splash of colour into your look, without actually dyeing your entire head.

Off-black hair looks stunning with intense or fiery red highlights because the contrast really stands out.

However, if you just want a splash of colour rather than making it an all-year-round thing then you can always opt for some temporary highlights instead.


bright amber streaks on midnight hair

Streaks are a really easy and subtle way of wearing these two glossy colours together.

Just make sure that the difference between your dark and light colours contrasts enough to look noticeable.

A Transylvania black base with a bright pop of cool raspberry coloured hair streaks around your face will look incredible.

Red hair with black roots

cherry hair color on jet dark roots Instagram post

If you want to go for a more traditional look, then we suggest choosing a really deep shade of midnight black and a bright, vibrant fire engine red.

What you should aim to do is make it so that your roots are dark, creating a striking contrast and a gorgeous finish.

Dipped ends

ruby dip dye onyx hair color instagram post

Another option is the dip dye look, where you dye your hair at the bottom but leave the top free from colour change.

This creates a striking effect which will look great however you wear it.

Try a raven black base with cherry red tips and vice versa.

Peekaboo hair

peekaboo raven hair color with warm berry Instagram post

This underneath hair colour style is great for people who want to experiment with something a little bit different, but don’t like the idea of dyeing their entire head.

You can experiment with jet black hair with a pop of bright red like ruby or crimson underneath, or vice versa!

This versatile style is the best of both colourful worlds.

How to dye your hair black and red.

Once you’ve chosen your black or red hair dye, it’s time to get started!

Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to dye your hair black and red:

Step 1. Create a clean base

If you’re starting with blonde hair then skip this step.

But if you have dark hair you’ll need to lighten it with bleach!

Be careful not to leave it in too long or over-process your hair.

If the bleaching leaves your hair feeling dry and damaged, wait a couple of days before completing the next steps.

This will give your hair time to recover!

Step 2. Mix up your dyes

Your next step is to mix together the dyes that are going onto the areas you want coloured black/red with developer.

Follow the instructions on the hair dye packaging carefully.

Make sure all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together to avoid any unwanted streaks.

You can then apply the dye using a brush or your fingers, depending on the area you are dyeing.

Step 3. Work it!

Work the dye into your hair until there are no patches visible.

Leave it to develop for the recommended amount of time before rinsing out under cold water.

Step 4. Finish with a great toner

Once hair is dry, use a toner applied directly onto damp hair to create extra depth between reds and blacks.

Apply equal amounts of each product separately to each colour before blowing-dry your tresses.

Voila! You’re done!

Watch and learn: How the professionals do it.

YouTube player

How long will black and red hair last?

This colour combination is stunning, but it isn’t very long-lasting.

Your hair dye will start to fade after just a few washes. So you’ll have to re-dye your locks fairly regularly if this is the look you’re going for.

If you’d dyed your hair both colours, red is more likely to fade first.

But don’t be tempted to top it up or re-dye it on its own.

It’s best to refresh both your tones to keep the style looking fresh!

How often should I dye my hair?

It will fade after a few washes, so you’ll have to dye it again fairly soon.

How often you should dye your hair depends on how much you want your colour to show up.

For the best results, we recommend getting your hair touched up again every four-six weeks if you don’t want it to fade away completely!

How to care for black and red hair.

Any of these styles are easy to care for, but needs a little bit of extra TLC in comparison to other shades.

Make sure you’re using quality, sulphate-free shampoos and colour-safe conditioners to keep your colour looking bright and healthy!

To prevent fading, opt for a deep conditioning treatment every time you wash your hair to restore moisture and shine.

Products that will help keep your locks protected include those which contain UV filters, as well as those with moisturising properties.

If you want your colour to look bright and glossy then we recommend using a good heat protector every time you heat style your hair.

Parting words

This truly is a striking combination that looks awesome when it’s done properly.

If you’re already a black or a redhead then it can be nice to switch things up a little bit.

If not, there are plenty of ways to get this look without dyeing your whole head.

Dip-dye some highlights, add some temporary streaks or try the peekaboo technique – whatever you choose, we hope this article has proved helpful!


  • Nicola Freeman

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during Covid for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player. Win me over with a plate of sushi anytime!