What Happens if You Mix Red and Brown Hair Dye? What Color Does it Make?

personal and unique color

Has one of your friends recommended mixing red and brown hair dye to create a custom color?


If so, you should think twice. The color that you’ll get is most likely offered by the endless variety of brands on the market.

Want to know why?

  • Mixing red and brown hair dye creates a deep golden brown, which is easily identified with a number: 5.33.


 If you’ve tried this color from a few different brands and they just don’t work for you, then you can try to create a unique hue. 

But before you start mixing dyes, there are a few things you should know:

  • Choose permanent red and brown dyes.
  • Choose two dyes from the same brand.
  • Finally, carefully choose your shades of red and brown. We’ll discuss that next.


 Mixing red and brown dye creates a deep golden brown.  Why that’s the case has to do with color theory.

Brown comes from a mix of three colors: red, yellow, and blue. As you can see, brown hair already has some red in it. So when more red is added, the result is a more intense brown.


In the world of hair color, that color has a name: deep golden brown. It’s also identified by a permanent dye number: 5.33.

As we already said, if none of the commercial hair dyes suit you, you can try to create your own deep golden brown. If you’re thinking of doing just that, keep reading, because we’re going to discuss:

  • What shades of red and brown to choose
  • How to mix them correctly


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What Shades of Red and Brown to Choose

black and red

When mixing conventional colors of hair dye such as red or brown, it’s always better to opt for permanent dyes. Since these dyes contain ammonia and are mixed with developer, they last for four to six weeks.

And here’s another very important point. To create the perfect color, it’s best to use the same brand of hair dye for the two colors.

  • For example, if you choose a brown shade from Revlon, the red dye should also be from Revlon.
  • Or if you opt for a brown color from L’Oréal, the red should also be from L’Oréal.


 Each brand of hair dye uses different pigments to create a unique shade, so you should never mix two different brands. 


For example:

  • L’Oréal uses ash-based pigments, so it colors will always be slightly ashy.
  • Revlon, on the other hand, uses platinum-based pigments, so it’s shades are slightly platinum.

So, now you know to use permanent dye, and that both colors should be from the same brand.


The next step is to choose a color, because the right color is the key to getting the results you want. Therefore, it’s important to be precise. And to be as precise as possible, we’re going to use dye numbers.

To get the deep golden brown you’re looking for, choose a number 4 brown and a 6.66 red.


Simply no other shades will do. There are many different shades of red, from 3.6 to 9.6, for specific shades of red hair.

And you don’t want fire-engine red hair, right?


So, to mix red and brown, you have to choose a number 6.66 red.

Thankfully it’s a common color of permanent dye, and easy to find.

Once you have your two shades of dye, it’s time to start mixing.


How to Mix Brown and Red Hair Dye

Once you have all your items, it’s time to start mixing.

First of all, you should know that mixing these two colors will create a deep golden brown, identified by the number 5.33.

This number identifies what you’ll be creating by mixing the red and brown dyes.

Without further ado, the formula to mix the dyes is:




That equation might seem difficult, so let’s use the dye numbers you’re going to mix as an example.

Red 6.66 + Brown 4= 10.66 / 2= 5.33

And 5.33 is a deep golden brown. It’s that easy.


This formula works for any shade of permanent dye, and even more than two shades. Just make sure to divide by the number of different dyes you’re planning on using.

Let’s start mixing.


I always recommend mixing dyes in a plastic container, as it makes it much easier to mix and measure your ingredients.

  • First, put on your gloves.
  • Then pour half of the bottle of number 4 brown hair dye and half of the bottle of 6.66 red dye in the plastic container.
  • After that, add one of the bottles of developer included with the hair dye. Of course, if you use two whole bottles of hair dye, you should use both bottles of developer.
  • Then mix well until it has an even consistency.
  • Finally, start applying the dye and developer mix to your hair according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Once you wash and dry your hair, you'll see the deep golden brown you wanted, that no box dye could ever create.



Mixing hair dye can be very fun, but it's sometimes best to simply use the colors offered by mainstream hair color brands, as they offer a wide range of colors and can guarantee a good result.

If you want to create your own shade of brown by mixing red and brown, it's important to use color numbers to select the right colors.

And it’s just as important to use permanent dyes from the same brand.


You may also be interested in:

How to Mix Red and Blond Dye.

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