11 Hot Red Highlights to Add to Your Hair Bucket List

When you hear “red highlights”, you might think of bright fire engine red! But just wait until you see the variations of red highlights below. They can be bold and bright, fiery copper, or soft shades of strawberry blonde. Your stylist can place them all through your hair, or strategically to enhance your haircut and face shape. The options are endless!

Bright and Center

Bright bold red and copper highlights are placed heavily in the fringe area and around the face in this daring look. Combined with a dark brown, these highlights really pop!

Bright Red Highlights Bright and Center Bright Red Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Medium skin tones that can wear bright shades of red and pink in their wardrobe look stunning with these bold highlights, while hair that is medium to thick in texture is a perfect fit for this fun look!


Keeping bright red highlights vibrant starts with great care at home. Make sure you are using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner with cool water. Try a dry shampoo in between washes as well.

Copper Sunrise

Rich, copper-colored hair paired with lighter and brighter copper highlights and gold accents mirror a beautiful sunrise. The only difference is that this look keeps going strong all day and night!

Copper Sunrise Red Highlights

Best Skin Tone and Hair Texture:

Fair complexions wear this color stunningly. Long hair that is medium to thick and has a natural wave will hold this curled style best.


To achieve these loose curls, start by misting hair with a sea salt spray (try Kevin.Murphy Resort Spray). Then, take larger sections and wrap them around a curling wand. Let each curl cool completely before shaking out with your fingers.

Red Ribbons

Brilliant red ribbon highlights woven through a rich dark mahogany base color will keep your hair fresh and fun! Plus, these ribbon highlights showcase layers and curls beautifully as well.

Red Ribbons Wavy Brunette Hair with Red Highlights Red Ribbons Wavy Brunette Hair with Red Highlights Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Texture:

Light to medium skin tones wear this combination of reds beautifully. Hair that is thick and has a natural wave to hold curls all day shows off this layered cut and color best.

Bright and Bold Copper

This color is my favorite! A combination of a deep copper base and copper gold highlights placed heavily in your part makes an amazing statement.

Bright and Bold Copper Bright and Bold Copper Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Texture:

Lighter skin tones who look great in oranges and pinks wear this bold copper best. Hair that is medium in thickness and texture is an excellent match for both this a-line cut and curly texture.


Want to tone down this color during the day, maybe for work?  Talk to your stylist about the option of parting your hair on the opposite side so it creates a veil over the brightest highlights and tones them down.

Strawberry Ombre’

The ombre trend is still going strong! However, it’s evolved into ombre’ highlights, and this look is right on cue. Adding strawberry blonde at the ends of this rich copper base is a perfect match. Seamless highlights accentuate curls and add texture and definition.

Strawberry Ombre Wavy Red Hair Strawberry Ombre Wavy Red Hair Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Fair skin tones that have a touch of freckles wear this color amazingly! To create this curly look, it’s easiest to start with natural curls that are medium to thick in texture.


When lightening the ends of your hair, keep up on your trims! When your ends get a little frazzled the color can start to look a little dull.

A Cherry on Top

Cool red highlights focusing around the face and top are exciting and oh so trendy! Be prepared to accept the compliments that will follow with this sleek and fun look.

Cherry On Top Cool Red Highlights Cherry On Top Cool Red Highlights Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Medium skin tones that look great wearing violet based reds will look amazing in this color. Medium thick hair that is naturally straight is a good fit for this look.


Keeping your red highlights bright will help keep this look fresh. A sulfate-free shampoo, cool water, low heat on your flat iron and dry shampoo are great ways to achieve this!

Soft Sophistication

Soft copper highlights through a rich chocolate base creates texture, interest and massive style. Paired with a pixie, this look is unstoppable!

Soft Sophistication Pixie Red Highlights Soft Sophistication Long Pixie Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Fair skin tones with soft pink undertones wear this color stunningly! This super stylish pixie is easy to achieve with thick straight or slightly wavy hair.


When styling your pixie cut, try different types of pastes, waxes and fiber products to find the right one for you. For example, some are softer, and others harden when dry. Also, products can be shiny or matte. The best bet is to ask your stylist for a recommendation.

Vivid Crimson

Bright crimson red highlights brighten your hair and create an all over red effect. These gorgeous highlights look great with curly, wavy or straight hair.

Vivid Crimson Red Highlights Vivid Crimson Red Highlights Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Medium to dark skin tones wear this red best, especially when paired with a lot of dark red and violet in their wardrobe. Thick hair that is wavy to curly will hold these tight ringlets best and show off these beautiful red highlights.


When pairing red highlights with brown, discuss with your stylist what shade will look best. If your red shade is on the cool side, you can keep your brown cool too. However, keep in mind that, as a general rule, cool brown and warm red do not compliment one another.

Fringe Benefits

A bright vivid red (with a touch of magenta in it) makes a bold statement. This look is not for the faint of heart, you WILL draw attention to yourself! Be prepared to hand out your stylist’s card.

Fringe Benefits Short Style with Wisps Fringe Benefits Short Red Style with Wisps Side View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type

Fair skin tones with a hint of pink undertone carry this color wonderfully. To achieve this cute asymmetric pixie, finer hair works best.


To create the fringy soft look of this cut, ask your stylist to use a razor. Be prepared to also keep up on haircuts. Depending on how fast it grows, you will be visiting your stylist every 4-6 weeks.


Adding bright copper highlights underneath creates a fun look that you can expose whenever you choose! This look is perfect for a job that is a bit more serious, but a girl who is not.

Underlights Red Highlights Underlights Red Highlights Back View

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

Those with fair to medium skin tones that look great in shades of orange and green can look amazing with copper shades added to their hair! The best hair type for this look is medium to fine straight hair.


To create this fun style, use a volumizer at your root area through the top before blow drying. While drying, give your hair a flip over and dry the top straight up. This technique will help to achieve extra volume. Create a deep part and tease the root area on top if needed. Secure the top area back and off to the side with bobby pins or maybe a fun clip!

Asymmetric Red Lights

This is a fun way to add interest and change up naturally curly hair that is worn long. The tone of red is up to you! The model pictured below has cherry red highlights, but you could explore any number of reddish shades from the violet, copper or strawberry range of colors.

Asymmetric Red Highlights Curly Hair

Best Skin Tone and Hair Type:

For this red shade, fairer skin tones work best. Hair that is naturally curly or permed is the best fit for this style.


To keep red highlights that are bright and concentrated in a specific area, apply conditioner to the crimson strands before you shampoo. This is my favorite tip for my clients that get fun bright colors and want them to last as long as possible. The conditioner keeps the shampoo from washing off some of the color. Do this every other shampoo.

Blondes have been cornering the highlight field for long enough! Let’s get out there and show what red can do for you. You can add bright crimson, cherry, copper or fire engine red highlights. Or, if you want to keep your look on the more natural side, go with soft coppers, dark reds and bronzes.

Piecey, ribbons, fine, concentrated, asymmetrical…the choices for red highlights are endless!  Have fun with your new look and make everyone think that maybe it’s redheads that have the most fun.