I have pretty much the same problem. I find it very difficult to get a rich brown that doesn't have ugly orange tones.

What I compromise with is using a neutral brown (like light brown or dark brown - not ash) and mixing some golden blonde with some of the light brown and streaking that in. This is how I do it.

As the roots come in: I make one bottle plain light or dark brown (depends on how light or dark my hair is currently). Then I make one bottle mixing the light brown with medium golden blonde. Then I will alternate applying it to the roots - usually two "streaks" brown with one streak mixed. By streak I mean when you part your hair with a comb and apply the mixture to the roots.

The result is subtle warm highlights throughout. Someone who cut my hair thought it had been done professionally - she complimented the color job.

I use L'Oreal Preference. Henna doesn't cover my gray so I stick with the Pref.

HTH. Let us know
ETA: I just re-read your post and you want reddish auburn highlights, so this might work with an auburn bottle instead of the blonde. I look hideous with any red so I use the blonde. Good luck!!!
Originally Posted by curlypearl
Thanks for the tip. I may have to try this. It is very difficult to get the right chocolate brown that I want -- not brassy or burgundy! My medium brown was fading and was looking too yellow/ashy so I thought some auburn tones mixed with neutral brown could warm it up. So using your technique, I would mix 1 bottle neutral medium/dark brown, 1 bottle light brown + auburn? I am afraid that auburn may look brassy!
3a/b, fine texture, low porosity, normal elasticity, mod-CG 7/11/11

Poo: KC Come Clean, SM Moisture Retention
CO: CJ Curl Rehab, CJ Argan & Olive Oil, Renpure Argan Oil, YTCucumbers, Sevi Pumpkin
Style: AIF, HESMU, Biolage gelee, KCCC
LOOB for second day hair

Like BS/ACV rinses, limit protein/humectants.