The Little Mermaid has made our expectations for red hair exceptionally high, when in fact, being a redhead doesn't always mean having locks in the same hue as Ariel's. Even naturally ginger-haired people have something close to a copper hair color, which is essentially a reddish brown (or a 10-centavo coin fresh out of the press). It's a shade that skates through the brown, red, and orange spectrum—warm colors that can look good on absolutely anyone. Want to try out this half low-key, half-statement dye job? Keep scrolling for ideas!
1. Dark Copper
A dark copper hue is essentially a deep, reddish brown that's the level one of copper hair colors. Try it out for a change that's a step above subtle but still relatively low-maintenance. It's a great way to introduce some red to your locks, which ICYDK, can enhance your the warm tones of medium skin!
2. Copper Balayage
For a fun dye job with a little more dimension, ask your stylist for a copper balayage. How bright you want to go with this is totally up to you, but the great thing about this coloring technique is it will save you from having to touch up your roots often. It'll eventually grow out into a natural-looking ombré!
3. Cherry Blossom Copper/Soft Copper Gold
Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch has made a ton of people consider becoming a redhead since the hit show aired. Unfortunately, hers is completely natural, so copping the exact shade for your hair will be up to your colorist. For reference, celebrity stylist George Papanikolas describes this shade as a "soft copper gold" or a medium-dark red with gold and copper hues, so you can either tell that to your stylist or show Madelaine's picture just in case!
4. Copper Melt
Color melting is a technique that removes the distinction between your base color and your highlights—melting the two shades together to create a color that almost looks natural. You can try this technique if you have a portion of your locks lightened (like old, faded highlights) and want to add vibrance and dimension without having visible streaks.
5. Brown with Copper Highlights
Highlights are never a bad idea when you want to spice up your plain brown locks without getting rid of it completely. Some copper streaks, for example, will add warmth and life to your dark tresses. It can make your color a better fit for your face shape, too, combined with the right haircut.
6. Copper Roots
This reverse ombré look might not be the most low-maintenance of the bunch, but it's a statement look that you might regret not trying at least once in your life. Instead of going for Billie Eilish green roots though, try a vibrant copper instead. Not only will it fade more gracefully, unlike the highlighter-like hue, it won't be as big of a pain to color over when you're up for a change.
7. Copper Ends
If you're not ready for the commitment bleached roots requires, just flip the entire look over and do a dip-dye à la Itaewon Class' Jo Yi Seo (Kim Da Mi) for your ends. An orangey copper shade looks amazing with dark brown hair even as the dye slowly fades. Of course, there's also the fact that you don't need to bleach a huge portion of your tresses to cop it!
8. Faded Golden Copper
Toe the line between blonde and redhead with a light copper that leans on the orange and golden spectrum. FYI, keeping your roots a little darker than the rest of your hair for this takes off some pressure for frequent touch-ups. And if you have wavy hair, the color contrast will actually help accentuate your natural texture!
9. Light Peach Copper
This shade is a step up from Cheryl Blossom's mid-tone copper, and it's one to try for that almost-blonde-but-not-really vibe. You'll love this if you already have pre-lightened base that needs some reviving, or if bleaching until bright platinum is too much work for you. A peachy gloss will make this shade look even more flattering, as recommended from the stylist of the look below!
10. Reddish Copper
Choosing between copper and red can be tough, so just in case you can't make up you mind, why not go for something in between? A solid color with unbleached roots adds a more lived-in vibe to this look, but picking it as your highlight hue is a chic and low-key way to wear it, too.