Maroon and burgundy hair color shades can be part of all kinds of looks and images, with some famous examples being so diverse as to include Game of Thrones’ witchy Melisandre, sophisticated class act Sharon Osbourne, and R&B bad girl Rihanna. No matter who it is from whom you take your inspiration, it is undeniable that women with burgundy hair are complex characters that will never fade into the background.
In this article, we’ll help you choose the perfect shade of burgundy or maroon for your skin tone. We’ll explain how you can dye your hair burgundy at home, and also give some tips on how to maintain it once it’s been colored. We’ve also covered how to remove burgundy hair dye, although honestly, why would you want to? We’ve also got makeup and fashion tips aplenty, since burgundy is more than just a hair color – it absolutely demands a look.
In this article:
- Choosing the Best Burgundy Hair Color for Your Skin Tone
- How to Dye Hair Burgundy at Home?
- How to Maintain Your Burgundy Hair Color?
- How to Remove Burgundy Hair Dye?
- Makeup Tips for Wine Red/ Maroon/ Burgundy Hair
- Fashion Tips for Burgundy Hair
Choosing the Best Burgundy Hair Color for Your Skin Tone
To choose the right maroon, wine, or burgundy hair color for you, it is first and foremost important to understand what these colors are, and what are their undertones.
- First and foremost, we have burgundy hair. Burgundy is a dark shade of brownish red that has a touch of purple to it, making it more of a cool color. It is not quite as purple as eggplant, for example. The name comes from the Burgundy region of France, which is famous for its wine. The most popular burgundy hair shades are: Cabarnet, which is a deep redder burgundy color, Claret, which is a reddish color with hints of brown, Cordovan, which has more brown pigments than true burgundy, Cranberry, which has pink notes, Maroon, which is a chestnut red color, and Merlot, which is a touch lighter and a bit redder than burgundy.
- Then we have the maroon hair color. Maroon is a neutral yet dark red tone that has a bit of brown mixed in. It is neither warm nor cool, but instead it just sits in the middle.
- Then we have the wine hair color, which is also neutral and dark like maroon hair, but has much more red pigment to it and a lot less brown.
Wine, Maroon and Burgundy Hair Color Shades for Warm Skin Undertones
The next thing you want to do is identify your skin’s own undertone. You can figure out your undertone most easily by looking at your veins, and seeing what color they seem to be through your skin.
If your skin is warm toned, this means that it has a more yellow undertone, so your veins will appear a little greenish or blue-green. In that case, it is better to stick to more neutral shades like maroon or wine, which will look vivid without clashing.
Burgundy hair, on the other hand, can make very warm skin appear sallow. This is especially true for light warm skin tones – the darker your skin tone is, the less likely it is that burgundy hair will make you look sallow.
The same applies to olive skin, which can be recognized by very green veins, even though it’s debatable whether olive is cool or warm. Regardless, what is clear that is olive skin can look almost truly green when placed next to red-purple shades like burgundy.
This is because green and purple are opposites on the color wheel, and they tend to bring each other out when placed together. This is a nice effect for color blocking clothes, but it just doesn’t work for hair and skin.
Wine, Maroon and Burgundy Hair Color Shades for Cool Skin Undertones
If your skin is cool toned, meaning that you have a pink undertone, which you can recognize by more purple-toned veins, you can play around with both the cooler burgundy hair color shades and with the neutrals like maroon and wine hair color.
The same applies if you have truly neutral skin, which can be recognized because the veins will appear more bluish.
How light or dark your skin may be actually doesn’t matter too much. Fair and deep skin tones alike tend to look great with burgundy and wine hair colors.
That being said, if your skin is very pale, then deep burgundy hair might give you a bit of a dark, gothy effect, while if your skin is very dark, then wine hair color will have a very balanced and therefore slightly less dramatic effect.
Take this into account when choosing your particular shade of burgundy hair dye, but be happy to know that there are no specific rules here!
How to Dye Hair Burgundy at Home?
The great thing about burgundy hair is that it normally doesn’t require pre-bleaching. With lighter hair colors, you have to use both bleach and burgundy hair dye to the get the right shade, but since a burgundy or maroon hair color is already so deep, burgundy hair dye is all it will normally take to achieve a gorgeous result.
With that being said, only an expert hair stylist can really give you complex burgundy hair with a mixture of lighter and darker tones that will make your hair look shiny, healthy, and voluminous.
When we dye our hair at home with a single color, the effect is always going to be a little flatter than what a colorist can achieve by creating highlights and lowlights with different shades of burgundy hair dye.
At home you might be able to achieve a balayage, which is something you can consider if you only want a touch of burgundy or maroon hair color and if you don’t want to have to re-dye your roots every few weeks. Read our article to learn how to dye your hair at home in the balayage technique instead of dyeing your hair all one solid color.
- Get your hair in good shape for hair dyeing by not washing it too much, and perhaps by fortifying it with a nourishing hair mask or treatment.
- Before you start you might want to do a strand test to make sure you really will end up with the burgundy hair color you want. You can also do a patch test to check if you might have an allergic reaction to the hair dye.
Tips on Going from Blonde or Ginger to Burgundy
On lighter hair, burgundy hair dye can fade down to a pink after a few washes, while on ginger hair, it will look redder than it would on a brunette. To get your dye looking truer to its color you will likely want to first add more pigment to your hair by dyeing it a medium brown. This will give a base of darkness from which your burgundy hair will look more saturated.
Tips on Going from Brunette to Burgundy
If you’re a brunette and want a low-fuss dyeing process, aim for a burgundy or wine hair color that is not much darker or lighter than your natural hair color. Hair dye doesn’t lighten hair, it just tints it, which is why it is normally quite easy to go from brown to burgundy hair.
If your hair is extremely dark, and you are hoping for a slightly lighter burgundy shade, it is possible you may have to bleach your hair a touch before dyeing it, or you might simply want to use a 30-strength developer instead of the normally recommended 20.
As always, you are best off going to a professional, as achieving such precise colors at home can be difficult, especially if you don’t have much experience dyeing your hair.
Tools of the Trade for Burgundy Hair
- Hair dye or dyes if you’d like to make your own color mix. A burgundy hair dye box kit will be easiest, especially if you’re starting out with medium or light brown hair. However, it won’t give you as much control over the final color. We recommend Feria by L’Oreal, which is available on Amazon or Ulta Beauty.
- If you’re not going to the box kit route you will need a developer at strength 20 for light and medium hair or 30 for transforming very dark hair.
- Hair coloring brush
- Mixing bowl or bottle
- Plastic gloves
- Old button-up shirt
- Hair clips
- Color-safe hair conditioner
- Shower cap or plastic bag
- Petroleum jelly
Step 1: Burgundy Hair Dyeing Process – Prepping
- Start by assembling all of the things you will need for dyeing your hair burgundy. Great cooks know that this is the secret to a perfect dish the same way colorists know that this is a must for a perfect dyeing process.
- Start off by mixing your burgundy hair color and developer together, as they will need some time to develop. Follow the instructions on the packaging to figure out exact amounts, and either mix the two products in a bowl with your applicator brush, or place them both into a dyeing bottle and shake it up to mix.
- Put on a sacrificial shirt that you don’t mind covering in burgundy hair dye (a button-up is best for easy removal), slip on your plastic gloves, and cover the perimeter of your hair and ears with petroleum jelly to prevent your skin getting stained red or purple.
- Part your hair into the sections in which you intend on dyeing it. I usually recommend splitting it into four sections by parting from the center of the forehead and again from ear to ear and the crown.
- Clip up each section with its own separate hair clip.
Step 2: Apply the Burgundy Hair Dye
- Start off by dyeing the front sections of your hair, in order to give them a bit more processing time.
- Unclip one of the front sections of your hair, and separate out a small section of hair near the front that is about 2.5 cm in thickness.
- Starting at the root of the section, begin applying the burgundy hair dye. With your applicator brush or with your gloved finger pull the hair dye down from the roots towards the end of the hair. If necessary, apply more dye in order to cover the full length of the hair.
- Massage that section of hair with your fingers in order to really work the burgundy hair dye into the hair, and to fully cover each strand of hair.
- Separate out the next 2.5-cm hair section, and repeat the dyeing process. Keep doing this until that whole section of hair is covered in dye, and then clip it back up.
- Take down from the clip the next front section of hair, and repeat the whole burgundy hair dyeing process again. Once that section is done and clipped up, go on to unclipping the next section, and then the next.
- Hang on to what’s left of your burgundy hair dye – you might need it again after your shower for corrections.
Step 3: Hair Dye Processing Time
- Once your whole head is covered in burgundy hair dye, it is time to let the dye process. This usually takes between 25-45 minutes, so read the packaging of your hair dye to figure out how much time you need.
- To trap it in heat and prevent making a mess while your hair is processing, cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic bag for the duration of the processing time.
- Once the processing time has elapsed, hop in the shower to rinse out the dye. This is the moment when you’ll be happy you chose a button-up shirt, since it’ll be easy to remove without disturbing the hair.
- Turn on the tap to a lukewarm temperature, as hot water can damage your freshly dyed hair.
- With nothing but the lukewarm water, rinse out as much of the burgundy hair dye as you can.
- Once the water is mostly running clear, apply hair conditioner to your hair and leave it in for 3-4 minutes and then rinse. The hair conditioner will soften and fortify your hair, and will also help to remove a bit of that excess burgundy hair dye without actually stripping the color from your hair.
- Once you’re done, get out of the shower. Use an old cotton T-shirt or a soft towel to gently blot the excess moisture from your hair, but without rubbing it. Avoiding blow-drying your hair, as it is very sensitive immediately after the dyeing process.
- Once your hair has mostly air-dried, examine it in the mirror. If you see any missing areas, you can go in with the burgundy hair dye you’ve kept, and make some corrections. If you’re happy, then enjoy your new burgundy hair look!
How to Maintain Your Burgundy Hair Color?
The various shades of red hair, including burgundy and maroon, seem to fade out much more quickly than other hair colors. That is why good maintenance is so important, both for keeping your burgundy hair color looking fresh and for keeping your hair in a healthy condition overall.
- The less you shampoo your hair, the healthier it will be. This is doubly true if you’ve dyed your hair into a quick-fading shade like burgundy hair dye. If you can get away with only washing once or twice a week that would be ideal, but definitely do not wash your hair more than every other day!
- When you do shampoo your hair, make sure to make the switch to a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are the harsh cleansing agents that you will find in most shampoos, and they can seriously dry out the hair and speed up the fading of color, so avoid them as much as you can.
- If your scalp is not on the oily side, you can even give up on shampoo altogether and try co-washing – a technique that relies on your hair conditioner to do all the cleaning, and that tends to be the gentlest option for dyed or damaged hair.
- Regularly treat your burgundy hair with a color-depositing conditioner like the Aveda Madder Root Conditioner, which is available at Nordstrom. The conditioner will keep your burgundy hair color vivid and intense while also keeping the hair soft and nourished.
- Hot water can open the cuticle of the hair more than cold water, and in that process, it can remove hair dye. Because of this, only wash your hair in lukewarm water, and avoid high temperatures. As an added bonus, your skin will also thank you!
- The hair loses both proteins and moisture once it’s been dyed, which makes it weak and brittle. Regularly masking maroon hair with deep nourishing treatments is key to increasing its strength. The best choice is protein treatments, especially if they also contain some coconut oil for hair.
- Heat will always damage your hair, but this is doubly true if your hair has been dyed, in which case the heat can also speed up burgundy hair color fading. Try to avoid heat styling your hair altogether, but if you must then make sure to use some sort of heat protecting spray or oil beforehand.
- In order to help you go longer in between hair washes, use a dry shampoo that will absorb oils from your scalp and keep your hair looking clean for longer without stripping its color. Our favorite dry shampoo is made by Bumble and Bumble, and is available at Sephora.
- You should also protect your burgundy hair color from the harmful UV sun rays and chlorinated water by wearing a hat while out and about, and a swim cap while in the pool.
How to Remove Burgundy Hair Dye?
Maroon and burgundy hair color shades can be difficult to remove, but if you want to change your hair color, it is unfortunately impossible to simply dye over them. You need to strip the hair of the burgundy or wine hair color in order to dye it a new color.
If it’s not a case of wanting a change but a case of regret – once you saw what the burgundy hair looked like on you, you realized it didn’t suit you or that you weren’t into it – then you need to act fact. The sooner you go through with these steps, the more thoroughly the burgundy hair dye will be removed.
- Start off by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo. This is basically the only time I’ll ever recommend using a product that contains sulfates. Other color-fading options for hair washing that may work are dandruff shampoo or dishwashing soap.
- Next, you want to do a color removing treatment. There are two directions you can go in for this. The first is to use a store-bought color remover that contains a bit of bleach, like the L’Oreal Colorist Secrets Haircolor Remover from Amazon or Ulta Beauty. Don’t expect the color remover to bring you back to your original color – it will simply remove as much burgundy pigment as possible, in order to prepare your hair for the next dyeing session. While the color remover works well, it doesn’t smell very good, and it does significantly dry out the hair.
- The second option is nearly as effective as using a color remover, but it is much gentler on the hair and it doesn’t involve any bleach. The added bonus is that it’s a fun DIY recipe! All it’ll require is your clarifying shampoo of choice and some vitamin C powder. You can either buy vitamin C powder as is, or buy vitamin C pills that can be crushed into a powder.
- In a bowl, mix together a spoonful of vitamin C powder with an equal amount of clarifying shampoo – you want to make enough so that you can cover all of your hair, so make more if your hair is long.
- Apply this mixture to your hair while it is damp, making sure to thoroughly cover every strand. Once your whole head is covered, put on a shower cap, and let it sit on your head for an hour. Once the time elapses, rinse it out in the shower. A lot of the burgundy hair dye will be removed, and your hair will not get too damaged.
- Once you’ve stripped as much of the color out as possible, give your hair some TLC! All of these products are quite harsh, and they will dry out your hair. Use a deep conditioning mask that is rich in hydrators, emollients, and proteins to restore shine, moisture, and protein in your hair.
- Once the burgundy hair color has faded as much as possible, and your hair has had a few days to relax, you can now redye your hair whatever new color your heart desires.
Makeup Tips for Wine Red/ Maroon/ Burgundy Hair
Whether you go for a dramatic burgundy hair color or embrace a toned-down wine hair look, you want to adjust your makeup accordingly to create harmonious looks.
Complexion Makeup for Burgundy Hair
Burgundy, maroon, and wine hair color types can often bring out some less-flattering colors out of the skin. If your skin has even a hint of redness, acne, or sensitivity, the switch to burgundy hair color might prompt you to up your foundation game a touch.
If you were using a tinted moisturizer, you might want to switch to a medium-coverage foundation, while if you were using a medium-coverage foundation you might want to move up to full coverage. Unfortunately, maroon hair requires that the rest of your look be a bit more extreme.
Additionally, you run the risk of maroon hair making your complexion seem a little pale or flat, especially if you are on the lighter side of the foundation spectrum. If that’s the case, consider upping your bronzer or contour game to give your face a bit more color and dimension.
When it comes to blush colors, you actually have a lot of options. Since your hair is now in the red family, but is either neutral or cool, neutral blush shades like raspberry as well as pink and violet-leaning cool tones will look awesome.
Plums are a great choice, if your skin is a little darker. You can also still use peaches and coral-colored blushes, particularly if your skin has a warm undertone, since the subtle contrast with the neutral or cool hair can actually be quite lovely.
Eyebrow Makeup for Burgundy Hair
When it comes to eyebrows, you have a few different directions you can go in. In general, it is best to switch over to a slightly cooler eyebrow shade, since burgundy hair is on the cool side of red.
One option that tends to fit everyone across the board is using a shade that leans towards auburn (i.e. a brown with a lot of red undertones) that is just a shade or two lighter than your hair color, although if your skin is on the darker side you might want an auburn that matches your hair or is maybe even a touch darker.
There is some flexibility here, since wine hair color isn’t exactly natural, so no matter what color you end up using you’re not going to fool anyone. If that’s your attitude and you don’t think your eyebrows have to match your hair, you can simply use a neutral chocolate brown or cool taupe brow product.
That being said, avoid overly warm or yellow-based brown and taupe eyebrow fillers, as they’ll directly clash against your hair.
Eye Makeup for Burgundy Hair
Now we get to the fun part! Treat your new burgundy or maroon hair color as a chance to play around with a totally new color palette for your eye makeup, and try and have fun thinking about how different color combinations will look with your hair color. Remember that in addition to working with your hair, you should also be working with your outfit when choosing eye makeup colors.
I think monochromatic plum, mauve, and wine looks are particularly beautiful when paired with wine or burgundy hair color, especially if the lips are kept understated. Bronzes, rose golds, and coppers can also work nicely, especially if the hair is dyed a warmer maroon tone.
Neutrals and earth tones in matte, metallic, and shimmery finishes are also good choices, and they tend to go well with any hair color or outfit. On the lighter side of shades, for highlighting and applying to the lid, you can try beige, cream or champagne, while taupe, light brown, and chocolate can all work for the crease. A typical charcoal or black smoky eye is never a bad idea, either.
If you’re feeling daring, however, then you can certainly play around with color! If you want to wear brighter colors, it’s best to avoid burgundy’s complementary shade, which is a mix of yellow and green, and instead opt for colors that are a few steps away from it on the color wheel, like teal or yellow.
For blends of color, sunset eyes tend to be particularly fetching against burgundy hair. If you’re looking at more muted colors (jewel tones in particular), then you have a lot of freedom to combine different shades.
Lip Makeup for Burgundy Hair
Since your hair is now a shade of red, matching lips can be the toughest, since chances are we’re talking about colors that are in the same color family.
If you like monochromatic drama, you can opt for a dark lipstick shade that is a burgundy or maroon similar to your hair matched with burgundy nails. The effect can look very striking and glamorous. Otherwise, if you want to play it safe, stick to neutral lipstick shades, including nudes, roses, and raspberries.
Very warm shades like brick or orange can have a unique and bright contrast against your hair, much like a coral blush would, while magentas and violets will play nicely with the cool tones of your burgundy hair.
It’s with a red lip when things can get a little difficult. It is easier to match a sultry red lip to a neutral maroon or wine hair shade, but with burgundy hair it might require trying a few different shades of red. General rule of thumb is to stick to matching undertones, so a cool blue-red lipstick will work better than a true red against cool-toned burgundy hair.
If you are a true makeup lover, then actually forget about all of these suggestions. Some of the hottest makeup looks right now are all about extreme lip colors: matte lavenders, blues, blacks, and even greens. Wear whatever lippie makes you happy.
Fashion Tips for Burgundy Hair
- Remember that your burgundy hair is now part of your look, so when you put colors together for an outfit remember that burgundy will always be part of your color scheme.
- If you’d rather play it safe and not have to think about color theory, stick to neutrals. Black is always classy, but you can also wear white, beige, cream, khaki, and brown (though not all together).
- Monochromatic looks worn with burgundy or maroon hair can have a very romantic effect. One combination that springs to mind is pairing a dusty rose blouse with mauve denim pants. Your burgundy hair will finish off the look.
- Colors that look good on their own when combined with maroon or burgundy hair include yellow, orange, teal, forest green, and blue. Purple can look great with burgundy, while red is better to save for maroon or wine hair.
- Be careful with olives and yellow greens. They are complementary shades to your hair, which means they can look awesome with it or they can seriously clash against it, so be mindful.
Photos via @hollyhairslayer, Instagram