Which Red Hair Dye Is Right For You?

What shade and type of red hair dye should you use? If you're ready to go red, take a look at the questions to ask before you choose a new hue.

What is Your Personal Preference?

Your hair makes a statement. If you aren't comfortable or proud of that statement—you need a change. Whether you prefer a light hue or a maroon-like dark shade, the red you choose should match your personal style. Even though your overall appearance and coloring can guide the decision-making process, your preference is the top priority.

Do You Want a Natural Color? 

Red is a tricky hue that can range from completely natural in color to bold or outrageous. As you explore red options, consider whether you prefer a natural look or want a color that stands out. While a stand-out shade may get attention, this route gives you an obviously dyed color. If you want people to think you were born as a redhead, opt for a subdued copper or dimensional type of hue.

Is a Natural Red Hair Dye Important?

The word natural doesn't always apply to your appearance. If you want a chemical-free color, a natural (or plant-based) dye is an option to explore. These dyes vary in ingredient makeup. Before you choose one product, carefully review the full ingredient list. An experienced hair stylist/colorist can help you to understand the pros and cons of each type of red dye product.

According to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the hair dye industry uses more than 5,000 chemicals in hundreds of different products. While there are plenty of products stylists consider safe, a natural dye shouldn't include questionable chemical ingredients.

Do You Want a Permanent Color?

Even though every hair color will eventually fade or grow out, some stay on the strands longer than others. If you're not sure whether you want to remain red for days, weeks, or months, a temporary or semi-permanent dye is the best option. Temporary dyes wash out over days, while semi-permanent products may last for weeks.

Is a Light or Dark Hue Best for You?

A summery rose gold or strawberry blond can brighten your appearance. But these types of lighter hues aren't the right choice for everyone. If you want a dark red—maroon or purple tones can create a cool, bold look. Warm cinnamon colors or glossy scarlets are in the middle of the red spectrum. Consider these options if you want a medium (not light or dark) red color.