Woman with natural red hair
Hair Color | Red hair

How To: Dye Red Hair

Natural red hair looks great, but it’s trickier to dye than other natural colors. With some know-how, redheads can still color their locks. We reveal which red tones are best suited to a change, and what to keep in mind when coloring

Natural red hair is divine – but at some point, almost everyone longs for a change. When going darker or even lightening hair, there are a few things redheads need to consider before they make a change.

Why is it so difficult to color red hair?

Red pigments are not only beautiful, they are also quite persistent. Smaller than brown pigments, when present in a toner, red pigments are the last hints of color to wash out. Those wanting to dye natural red hair will have to work hard to get rid of every hint of red. Or, should we say: their colorist will have to work hard, because this process is best carried out by a professional color expert. You can find a Schwarzkopf Professional hairdresser with the help of our Salon Finder.

The bad news: you may not manage to cover every trace of red on your first attempt. The good news: dyeing red hair is definitely possible.

From red to brunette

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Stylish and warm: brunette hair with a red shimmer.

If you want to color your natural or dyed red hair brown, you should always choose a brunette tone which is at least one level darker than your current color. In other words: if you have cherry-red hair, you will not be able to achieve much with a medium-brown color. But go for a dark brown, and you can cover the red. A red glow will still be visible, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing: red-shimmering brunette tones are very on trend. If you don't want this shimmer, color hair a second time to achieve the desired result.

From red to blond

Woman with dyed hair

Follow the right steps, and you can turn red hair to blond.

Redheads can turn brunette relatively easily. But going blond is another story. Attempt to bleach red hair, and it may turn orange. Don’t try this at home! Blond hair should be created by a professional to avoid discoloration and to minimize damage. A hairdresser can apply a toner to remove redness from the hair, after which it can be lightened. To reduce stress on hair, give it some intensive care before and after dyeing it – for example by using a mask or oil.

Post-coloration care

Successfully gone from red to brunette or blond? Now’s the time to focus on aftercare to repair the hair structure and maintain your new color.


Use shampoo and conditioner designed for color-treated hair. These products contain a UV filter to avoid color fade from the sun’s harmful rays, and nourishing ingredients to help your hair retain its new shade.


A weekly hair treatment is also advisable. You can leave this on for several hours or even overnight if desired, allowing it to penetrate deep into the hair structure and repair it from the inside. Masks will smooth the surface of damaged hair, making it appear healthy and shiny again.
Top off your treatment by applying a hair oil to the ends of your hair. This will moisturize the driest hair, protecting against unattractive split ends.


We recommend applying a heat protection product to minimize additional damage to hair when styling. This applies a protective layer to ensure hair is not affected by the heat when blow-drying, straightening or curling.