"Burgundy" (auburn) Hair

Okay, I'm needing either some consolation or some hard truth here.  I finally got up the courage to dye my hair burgundy, and not only bought the proper herbs, but used them.

And I don't think I really thought through what to expect.  There's a girl in my church with purplish hair and it's lovely - she looks young and healthy in it (of course, she IS young and healthy - that probably helps).  Anyway, I think I thought I'd look like her.  I didn't consider that my little sister used to dye her hair about this color, and looked like death warmed over (she has sallow skin, is overweight and wears lots of black eye make-up).

Now, my husband likes the color - which makes me think that perhaps my shock is just shock (and maybe some baggage), and that it's not really that bad.  

But it looks clownish and un-natural to me, and I'm tempted to scrub my head with dish soap to make it fade as quickly as possible (it's a permanent dye - henna, but there's some ways to fade it).  

So tell me, do I mitigate the color as much as possible, dye it a bit darker (henna only goes darker, not lighter - so I could go dark brown), or live with it as is?

Pictures are in natural indirect light with no make up,so probably as close to "real" color as possible, I think.  I also washed and air-dried my hair, so this is about the texture it would have most of the time too.

What's your take on it? 

(p.s. these specs are chipped, so my next "style" project, after figuring out what to do with my hair, is to replace them.  So it's okay to discount that the specs and hair are different shades of "burgundy")

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    Amy, to me this looks more like auburn and not true burgundy.  I think of burgundy as more cool-toned and purplish. (For comparison, my burgundy hair is done with purple dye over my natural black.)  Anyway, I don't think this color is half bad, although it does look a little too orange to me.  But I'd wait a few days and see - I don't know about henna, but regular hair dye definitely mellows after a couple of washes.

    PS - Do you have any green tops (like emerald or kelly green)?  Try putting one on and seeing if you like the color better... redheads look amazing in green.

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Yes, henna too, changes (usually darkens and becomes less orange) after a couple of days.  And I can layer another application over it to make it less orange, but overall darker, too.  It's definitely oranger than I was hoping - but I realize that I think I also wanted it to look "natural", which burgundy will never be....

  • replied 5 years ago

    I agree with Diana, this color is not what I was expecting after reading the text and I'm not surprised that you were surprised.
    "Clownish" is a little harsh but if you wanted a cool shade like burgundy or purple this isn't it.
    It's not as bad as you seem to think and it goes with your complexion so you could just wait and see how you feel in a week or two? And Diana's advice about adjusting your clothing colors is excellent too.
    I know nothing about hair color so I don't know if going over it with blue would work. Could you consult a stylist?

  • Gennifyr replied 5 years ago

    I definitely wouldn't call this burgundy. It seems a much more natural colour than that. I think you look fine as is but makeup would certainly help to balance out the colour.

  • kkards replied 5 years ago

    my first thought was Claire Danes in her My So Called Life Days.....i think i'm going to be the outlier, but i like this, especially with your glasses.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I'd call it auburn, and I think it looks lovely on you, or will, once it adjusts itself. I would wash a few times and see what happens. It is a bit on the harsh side now but will likely fade a bit. 

    A friend of mine used to henna her hair and got just this kind of colour. She got a gazillion compliments on it. 

    I had red hair (dyed, obviously) for a while. I quite liked it, although it meant that different colours suited/ did not suit me. I wore a lot more chocolate brown, green, purple/ orchid, and I even wore some rust colours that ordinarily would be too warm for my cool complexion. 

    I wore a lot less black (just looked awful on me with red hair); grey. 

    Blues are always my constant but some of them didn't look quite as good on me, I thought. I also veered away from the cranberry reds and fuchsias or berries that I often favour. 

    Our eyes are a different colour so YMMV. 

  • Hil replied 5 years ago

    I really like this Ami! Leave it for a few days and see if it grows on you?

  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    I think if the orange mellows out it will look natural.  You have the right skin tone to go with auburn hair.

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    Amy, I wouldn't add more henna until you see what it does after at least a few days. It looks a little bright to me, just near the edge, by your face. The rest looks like a lovely, rich color and I think it looks good with your complexion and eyes. Not burgundy, but a fun change! I think it might actually be more flattering than burgundy would be on you.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I like it -- it's a nice shiny auburn that complements your brown eyes, especially in pic #2. I don't see sallow here --  your complexion looks a pretty pinkish-cream. (The henna color is fine with your specs too.)

    Haircuts and hair color changes are so hard though, so I know what you're feeling. (Bad unmanageable layers have figured prominently in my hair history.) Others will know how to "fix" or tweak the color if it makes you uncomfortable, but I just wanted to say it is not in any way clownish. And true burgundy would be "unnatural" too, right? As I said, I know how personal hair is and how it has the potential to make one sad. But to an outsider, it's a pretty change on you.

  • kellygirl replied 5 years ago

    Not burgundy but I like it. I agree that if the orange mellows, it will be perfect for you!

  • Meredith replied 5 years ago

    Oh hugs, it's frustrating when these things don't turn out like we plan. I think it is flattering, though. Maybe look at some pale skinned beauties like Emma Stone and Christina Hendricks for some encouragement (find some versions with subdued lips).

  • MsMaven replied 5 years ago

    I think your hair looks great! Not what I expected either. Do you normally wear eyebrow color? I think with some makeup--lipstick and brow color--you will look good.

    I used henna on my hair my freshman year of college, but just a subtle to make it a bit more reddish. I don't remember why I did it or how long the henna lasted.

    I agree with Meredith--try looking at some photos and maybe get some ideas on how to "wear" this color. I also agree you should wait a few days before doing anything else with it.

  • E replied 5 years ago

    Oh I love it! It's a beautiful auburn shade, and I think it looks good on you. Like everyone else, I suggest giving it a few days before making any adjustments, and trying some eyebrow colour perhaps (the Sonia Kashuk eyebrow cream at Target has a great reddish brown shade). And like Suz, I dyed my hair a similar red colour for a time and found myself wearing slightly different colours, so play around in your closet a bit and see what happens. :)

    It's definitely not burgundy, but it is a very natural looking red!

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    I like it! It's rather Samsa. You do have that one little piece at the front that's a hard orange - if that could be toned down, I think it would polish things off.

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Yeah - that really bright spot is my grey hair :)  I think it'll tone down.  It's a bright cherry pink-ish red in real life.

  • LAR101 replied 5 years ago

    the harsh truth?? :)
    I LOVE it! I LOVE it!! OK, I loved the little picture, but when I got to see more in the big picture, I agree it seems a little harsh but it might only be that bright spot in front. I think you have the skin tone and eye color to carry this off and auburn is wonderful on you.
    I hope you experiment to see if you can get color 'right' because I think this is a wonderful look for you.

  • Olivegreen replied 5 years ago

    Love it. Perfect with your eyes.

  • gradfashionista replied 5 years ago

    Oooh, not what was I was expecting with burgundy, which tends to be more purple. This is like a light copper or auburn and suits you well! If you don't like the colour, though, you could use anti--dandruff shampoo for a bit, until the colour fades to something more to your liking. 

  • old chic replied 5 years ago

    It really suits you, I think. When I looked at the picture, my first thought was, "That must be a 'before," because that's natural hair color." Except for that little orange streak, it appears to be the color you were born with. And a soft, warm lipstick and blush could help play up the natural redhead hiding inside.

  • texstyle replied 5 years ago

    I think giving it a little time will allow you to see what it's really going to look like. I don't think I'd try to go for a darker shade unless it looks a lot different IRL than in these pics. And then you could always try a small amount of additional henna dye on some less noticeable strands just to see what happens instead of doing your whole head.

  • Astrid replied 5 years ago

    I'm not in love with the color on you tbh, but I think you can wear it. It's much nicer than I thought reading your post. I think just a tad more toned down and it could be great.

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Amy, I think it's really quite nice.  Give it a few days.  I wouldn't mind seeing it a slightly deeper tone but this works nicely and I think it flatters our skin tone.

  • replied 5 years ago

    It looks great! I henna my hair, and the white hairs start out that colour orange but the henna takes a few days to fully oxidize, so that bright orange will tone down. I think it looks lovely and will look natural once you are used to it and it has a chance to settle.

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Kate!  I miss you!  Thanks for chiming in :) :)  I had forgotten that you henna your hair, and I've always loved the color of it.

    I make myself laugh because I know the henna oxidizes and it all turns out fine, but still freak out those first couple of days.  This time the gray ended up so very very bright (and the rest of it pretty bright too), that I forgot about giving it time to let the color settle.  I'll plan to take more pictures of it in a week and see how it's changed.

  • abc replied 5 years ago

    Sounds like you made the right decision.  Let us know how it looks in a few days or a week.  Good luck!

  • trekkiegirl replied 5 years ago

    Gotta say I think it looks great. Maybe teensy bit orange, but I love all shades of red and this one is really nice!

  • Niki Lea replied 5 years ago

    I actually like this colour on you! What might help is a little pencil or shadow on your brows - or even a shape/tint at a salon. My brows are lighter than my natural (and dyed) hair colour, so I get them tinted and I find that makes a very big difference.

  • merwoman replied 5 years ago

    Hugs to you Amy! I can tell by your expression that you are not loving the new colour - but I think it's quite beautiful. It's a little jarring (to you) because it's such a change.  My first thought was how it showcases your gorgeous brown eyes - and that you need to darken  and shape your eye brows a wee bit to further accentuate. Your hair is so silky and what a great cut!

  • replied 5 years ago

    I quite like it , and MsMaven's suggestions or questions regarding eyebrows and lip colour are mine too.  

  • jackiec replied 5 years ago

    Ooh, I'm quite surprised! I do like it. I agree that it will look better a bit toned down. It's the front bit that's reading a bit orange, but the back looks very rich. I think it brings out the brown of your eyes :)

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Not bad at all and bound to tone down a bit in a few days. Red hair suits you.

  • Jules replied 5 years ago

    I think it looks really good! I used to do henna a lot, a loonggg time ago - this is about what I would expect from regular straight-up orange henna on your hair. IIRC, I used to try the other henna "colours" as well - but the results were always pretty much the same, the rest was marketing. 
    Again, if I am remembering right, henna does not fade as quickly as commercial red dye, which does fade pretty quickly. It's really a whole different animal so research accordingly if you want to fade it a bit or try it again. The upside is that it leaves your hair in much nicer condition. And I do really like this although I understand the initial shock :)

  • Gigi replied 5 years ago

    I think that this looks good on you! I would definitely stick with it and see how it looks after a few days. Also, this will give your own eyes time to adjust so that you will be able to see what your true opinion is once the shock wears off. I think that if your hubby likes it, that is a good sign. :)

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    I like it a lot Amy. Of course it is a shock to drastically change a hair color and to get not exactly what you expected but I think the color suits you. 
    Give it some time, it may grow on you (like my shocking dark hair did a couple of years ago) - especially if DH like it. 

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the therapy friends!  You are really great.

    I think that I would have been just as shocked if it would have turned out just like the bag pictured, to be honest (pic below from the amazon listing).

    Anyway, I'm letting it grow on me - I got compliments on it galore tonight, and one friend noted that it brings out the pink in my skin, which I think I like.  I'm going to start trying color pairings and see what I think!  Expect some "what about this color?" type posts on the forum :)

  • AM replied 5 years ago

    I'm not surprised you got compliments galore. I think you wear this color well. And ditto with MsMaven and lisap on having some fun with make-up.

  • Rubygirl replied 5 years ago

    It is more auburn to me than a burgundy colour. I think once it settles in or once the orange colour hue tames itself down, this colour works well with your palette. :)
    My natural hair colour is auburn. I find it hard here in Ontario to keep up with the dying of the hair using auburn. I find it fades far too quickly. I do know I need to change my current colour of brown also.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

     It's quite nice, Amy. A little warm - and more auburn than burgundy - but I'm sure the colour will settle. It sounds like you are used to it already. GREAT. 

    I echo the suggestion of brows and lips. That will go a long way to softening the  colour against your complexion - and make a more cohesive statement. 

  • Nebraskim replied 5 years ago

    Late to the party here, but I agree, not burgundy but I love the auburn here. I also quite like that it's not subtle. There are folks who want their hair color to look "real and natural" and others, like me, who dig the "not to be seen in nature" colors like burgundy, eggplant or blue. I love that you're willing to be adventurous and a little edgy. Life is too short to have boring hair. I know sometimes job or other obligations require a more subdued look. But if you have the chance to be out there, go for it. Also, sometimes the shock of the new, and in this instance, unexpected, can bring on first impressions of "OMG I Hate this" that mellow as you get used to the new look. I think you look adorable and it enhances your eye color.

  • replied 5 years ago

    You know, it's a great colour Amy. I actually felt like you when I had really vivid lowlights put in about 3 months ago (faded and grown out a bit now). As soon as I added more lippy and bro definition I actually looked so much more lively with my bright hair (It just took me a while to get used to it) and had several compliments as well. Persevere with it. We like it and you will too:)

  • EmilyC15 replied 5 years ago

    Agreeing with everyone else: this color is beautiful on you, and if you give your brows a boost, it will give your whole look unity. I've been using henna for  20 years and I found that, when I got older/started to have some grays, my brows lightened enough that I needed to start doing them with some pencil/powder. It makes all the difference.

    I especially like this color with your beautiful eyes, by the way - auburn hair and brown eyes makes me think of carnelian gemstones and the magic fox-women of Japanese folklore.

  • replied 5 years ago

    Ooh yes, very kitsune!

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    Hang in there, Ami!  I think this will end up closer to your ideal than you think right now -- you can always deepen it later, and play with the color for fun in the meantime.  I'm just amazed you didn't get paint in your hair!

  • amiable replied 5 years ago

    Oh, I did BethAnn!  And I'm thankful it washed out :)

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