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Auburn (color)

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Auburn (color)

About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet #A52A2A
sRGBB  (rgb) (147, 39, 36)
CMYKH   (c, m, y, k) (35, 87, 77, 67)
HSV       (h, s, v) (2°, 76%, 58%)
Source [Unsourced]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

Auburn is a variety of red hair hair, most commonly described as reddish-brown in color. Auburn hair ranges in shades from medium to dark. Like brown hair, it is common with a wide array of skin-tones and eye-colors, but as is the case with most red-hair, it is commonly associated with light features. The chemical pigments that cause the coloration of auburn hair are frequently pheomelanin with high levels of eumelanin.


Auburn is commonly misused synonymously for other hair colors with similar definitions or hues of color.

Auburn hair is mistaken for Titian hair frequently. While Titian hair is a brownish shade of red hair, auburn hair is specifically a variety of red hair, such as strawberry-blond, encompassing the actual color red. Most definitions of Titian hair describe it as a brownish-orange color,[1][2] but some describe it as being reddish.[3] This is in reference to red hair itself, not the color red.

Auburn encompasses the color maroon, but so too do chestnut and burgundy. In contrast with the two, auburn is more red in color, while chestnut is more brown, and burgundy is more purple; chestnut hair is also often referred to as "chestnut-brown".


The word "auburn" comes from the Old French word alborne, which meant blond, coming from Latin word alburnus ("off-white"). The first recorded use of auburn in English was in 1430.[4][5] The word was sometimes corrupted into abram, for example in early (pre-1685) folios of Coriolanus, Thomas Kyd's Soliman and Perseda (1588) and Thomas Middleton's Blurt, Master Constable (1601).[6]

Geographic distribution

Auburn hair is reasonably common among people of Indo-Aryan descent and also northern and western European descent, but it is rare elsewhere. Auburn hair occurs most frequently in the phenotypes originating in Northern Europe for example, Scandinavia, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, the Benelux countries, France, Poland, and Russia. This hair color is less common farther south and southeast, but can occur somewhat regularly in Southern Europe (more so in Spain, Portugal and Italy) - it can also be found in other parts of the world such as North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Siberia, etc.

Auburn hair is also found in smaller numbers in Latin America, especially southern Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. In Argentina and Uruguay, today, auburn hair is quite common but it was very rare at the time of Independence from Spain. Auburn hair in Latin America is common among descendants of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and Northern European (German, Scandinavian, British, Polish, and Russian) immigrants. This color is sometimes seen among the indigenous people of Formosa, but not the later Han Chinese immigrants.

See also

Color portal


External links

  • Online Etymology Dictionary

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