Auburn Hair Color | How to get the lush look at home.

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Auburn 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 color at home?

It’s one of the most popular hair color ideas that’s growing its fan base for it’s ability to look on point from season to season.

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 lush look at home.

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What color is auburn hair?

Auburn is a rich, red-brown color from the red hair family.

It’s a luxurious red-orange hue with brown and red undertones. We love it because it’s a natural looking shade of red that suits pretty much everyone.

The red gradient can be anything from a medium rust to a dark red, with chestnut, copper, caramel blonde highlights and strawberry hues thrown into the mix.

So warm or cool, you’re likely to find a few different shades of auburn to suit you.

Best of all, it’s a multidimensional color that’s always on trend because it’s so versatile.

It looks amazing as an eye-catching base for color blended styles like balayage and auburn highlights and mixed with darker shades for ombre and lowlights.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

auburn hair color ideas
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Can I dye my hair auburn at home?

Simply, yes. You can get auburn hair color at home.

There are a wonderful range of box dyes that you can buy off the shelf to achieve that perfect all over glimmer. The color you’ll achieve will depend on the color your hair is now.

If your hair is currently light brown to blonde – you have a good base for getting the look. Make sure you match up the color chart on the side of the box to get the right match.

If you want to go lighter or brighter color, you’ll need to pre-lighten your hair first with bleach to get the best base for the color to take.

If your hair is currently mid-brunette or darker – rich, dark colors and lowlights will work for you. You’ll need to pre-lighten your hair with bleach first for an all over lighter effect.

Don’t be afraid to experiment!

The great thing about it is that there’s a shade for almost everyone. From sun-kissed light hues to deep reds and browns.

How To Dye Your Hair Auburn At Home.

Auburn is a fiery and bold color that is perfect for fall.

Whether you’re going for a light or dark auburn shade, this guide will walk you through the process of dyeing your hair auburn. Let’s go!

Step 1: Choose the Right Auburn Shade

The first step in dyeing your hair auburn is choosing the right shade of auburn.

Auburn hair comes in different shades, ranging from light auburn to dark auburn.

The shade you choose will depend on your skin tone, natural hair color, and personal preference.

If you’re not sure which shade to choose, consult with a hairstylist or take our quiz to find the perfect shade of auburn hair color for you!

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Once you’ve chosen your preferred shade of auburn, it’s time to gather your supplies.

You’ll need:

  • A box of auburn hair dye
  • Gloves
  • Petroleum jelly or barrier cream
  • A hair dye applicator brush
  • An old towel
  • A timer.

Before starting, remember to put on an old t-shirt to avoid staining your clothes!

Step 3: Prep Your Hair

Before you begin the dyeing process, it’s essential to prep your hair and get it ready for dyeing.

Avoid washing your hair 24 hours before the process – you need some natural oils that help protect your scalp from the dye.

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or conditioner around your hairline, ears, and back of your neck to prevent the dye from staining your skin.

Step 4: Apply the Auburn Dye

Now it’s time to apply the auburn dye!

Follow the instructions on the box and mix the dye in a non-metallic bowl.

Start applying the dye on your hairline, then work it back to the crown of your head.

Ensure that you apply the dye evenly throughout your hair.

Once you’ve applied the dye, set your timer for the recommended time.

Step 5: Rinse and Condition Your Hair

Once the dyeing time is up, rinse the dye out of your hair with warm water until your hair runs clear of any excess color.

Follow with a conditioner, preferably the one included in the kit, to seal in the color and keep your hair moisturized.

Watch and learn: How to dye your hair Auburn at home the easy way!

Here’s a great video tutorial that walks you through how to dye your hair auburn at home step by step.

Which is the best auburn hair dye?

Here are some of our best tried and tested hair dyes you can buy today.

Always do a strand test to determine what the color will look like on your hair, compared to the picture on the box.

And a patch test 48 hours before to check for allergic reactions.

Find out more about each one in our Best auburn hair dye reviews.

Best auburn hair dyes

Hair dyeLooks likeBest forBuy now
Clairol Nice' n Easy Crème, Light Auburn.
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best auburn hair dye nice n easy light auburn
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Warm tones and blending.
Schwarzkopf Colour Expert, Auburn Brown.
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best auburn hair dye schwartzkopf
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Cool brunettes.
Revlon Colorsilk Bright Auburn
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best auburn hair dye revlon
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Warm blondes/Light Browns.
Garnier Nutrisse Creme Colour, Chestnut Auburn.
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best auburn hair dye  garnier chestnut
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Cool mid to dark browns.
John Frieda Precision Foam, Medium Red Brown.
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best auburn hair dye john frieda
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Long-lasting colour for cool, dark tones.


Preference Infinia, Brooklyn Intense Copper Auburn.

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hair dye preference infinia
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Features & Ingredients:

  • 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.

Reviewers say:

“Amazing hair color. Very vibrant. and super easy to apply.”

“I’ve been a red head on and off for years – this 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!!”

Our experience:

This a gorgeous warm, red-brown autumn color.

We tried it on dark brown hair and the depth of color is stunning. It has multidimensional undertones of metallic copper-brown hues.

The dye comes with a color extender so you can brighten the color back up in between dyes. Loads of the reviews said it lasted really well too. This is the favourite one for us.

Best for: Long-lasting auburn hair color.

Do you have to bleach your hair to dye it auburn?

The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to bleach your hair first to get auburn hair.

While bleaching your hair can help the color show up better and last longer, it’s not always necessary.

If you have naturally light hair or have previously colored your strands a lighter shade, you may be able to achieve the auburn look without any lightening.

However, keep in mind that every head of hair is unique, so consulting with a professional stylist can help you determine the best treatment plan for your locks.

Ultimately, whether you bleach or not, auburn hair can be a wonderful way to change up your look and boost your confidence!


Be prepared for a little upkeep – red pigments tend to fade faster than other shades. Avoid harsh shampoos and conditioning treatments to keep your new auburn locks looking radiant for longer.

Is auburn a natural hair color?

Yes, auburn is a natural hair color, but there are many different shades of this autumn hue.

This is because it’s a combination of red and brown hues, so it can range from a light copper or cinnamon to a dark mahogany.

This lush color is commonly mistaken as brown that has red highlights.

In actual fact, this hair color tends to be naturally red-brown as its base, with a high proportion of blonde and brown tones.

The best thing about this hair color is that it suits everyone because it’s so natural looking.

Is auburn hair color orange?

It’s a funny color 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!

These rusty colors 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 color spectrum.

These colors are fantastic for lowlights blended with lighter shades.

Ultimately, where your hair will look on the scale of brown-to-red-to-orange will depend on the natural color of your skin, your eye color and the base color of your hair to begin with.

As well as which hair dye you choose to help you get the perfect shade at home!

What is the difference between auburn and red hair?

Auburn is a mix of red and brown hues, whereas red is a purer form of the red hair color.

This means that auburn is warmer and has more brown tones, whereas red is brighter and cooler.

Auburn is also more versatile because it comes in different shades, whereas red is one solid hue.

Auburn hair vs red hair
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What skin tone suits auburn hair?

Auburn is a color that’s extremely versatile.

You’ll just need to know if you suit more cool or warmer colors to make the right choice of shade for you.

To find out your undertones, things like your skin tone, eye color and even the jewellery you wear all come into the mix.

Warm colors – this is mostly a warmer color so all true shades will suit those with warm undertones. Rich colors, warm highlights and natural red hues are all part of the warm spectrum.

Cool colors – although it’s a warm color, it can be easily blended with cooler colors to tone down the warmth.

Dark brown balayage and colors with a purple base such as burgundy are perfect for cool undertone bases mixed in with dark red 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 colors are so your thing.
  • The color 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.
auburn hair at home infographic
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Does auburn hair color fade quickly?

This is a ravishing red hair color which means unfortunately, it will fade quick as it’s one of the hardest colors to maintain.

This is because red dye is made up of extra large color molecules that slip and slide out of your hair with every wash. If your natural hair color is lighter, it’ll fade even faster.

And external factors like sunshine, salt and pool water won’t help either.

To keep the color locked in, you’ll need to use specially formulated shampoos and conditioners to make the color 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 brunettes go auburn?

Yes they can! This rich hair color is a great option for those looking to change up their natural brunette locks and go from brown to auburn hair.

If you’re blessed with dark hair and would like to dye it red but are worried about the stark contrast between shades, then this color variation will be perfect for you.

How can I make my auburn color last for longer?

Red shades need more love than almost any other color and will fade fast if you don’t look after it.

To keep your hair color looking fresh, follow these tips:

1. Use a shampoo and conditioner that are designed for colored hair. This will help to protect your hair color and keep it looking vibrant.

2. Avoid washing your hair every day. Washing your hair too often can strip it of its natural oils and cause your hair color to fade. Try to wash your hair 2-3 times a week at most.

3. Use a heat protectant when styling your hair with hot tools. This will help to prevent your hair from being damaged and will keep your hair color looking bright.

4. Get regular haircuts. A good haircut will remove any split ends and damage that can cause your hair color to fade.

5. Use a hair mask once a week. A hair mask will help to keep your hair hydrated and will prevent it from becoming dry and brittle, which can cause your hair color to fade.

And don’t forget to follow all of our top colored hair care tips in How to look after colored hair can keep it luscious for longer.

Parting words

Auburn is one of the most popular colours, and for good reason.

It can be worn in different shades to suit any personality or style. We hope you enjoyed reading about what it takes to get this look at home!

Good luck!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
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    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 lockdown 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!