News flash for anyone who thinks brown hair is boring: you’re about to be proven seriously wrong. Winter is coming, and with it, some of the richest, glossiest, most covetable brunette colours we’ve ever seen, from deep chocolates to golden caramels to decadent mahogany.
“I love chocolate-coloured hair hues for winter— they pair beautifully with winter-inspired make-up, like plum lips and smoky eyes, and provide a striking contrast to paler complexions,” says InStyle beauty director Hayley D’Onofrio. Whether you’re a natural brunette seeking to bring back the life to your locks, or you’re considering take the plunge from light to dark, this is everything you need to know.
1/ Choose the right shade for your skin tone
“Eye colour and skin tone are the best indicators of which brunette shade will best suit your look,” guides Goldwell education director, Rita Marcon. “For example, cool brown eyes paired with a pink-toned complexion are best suited to cool brunettes.” Keep cool tones close to the face to flatter and highlight your features. On the other side of the (brunette) spectrum, warm hues can also be used to add vitality and interest.
Try the new Goldwell Iconic Brunette Collection, six Topchic Elumenated Brunette shades that bring luminousity and intensity to your finished look. “The collection ensures that brown is no longer boring with new multi-dimensional brunette shades, via special Elumenated technology,” explains Marcon. “Ranging from deep cocoa to golden hues, they deliver permanent colour and up to 100 per cent reliable grey coverage.”
2/ What to ask your hairdresser
Can’t tell your chestnut from your chocolate? These are the shades to ask your hairdresser for this season. “Cool brunettes are trending strongly this winter,” says Marcon. “Slate, pewter and coffee tones are good descriptor words to describe these current trend shades.” If you’d like a warmer look, ask for soft hints of copper, gold and maple.
“Also trending is the celebration of warm and cool shades in one look, creating multi-dimensional colour,” she adds. “I recommend adding multi-dimensional tones to your brunette base, with a combination of highlights and lowlights. Sometimes the smallest and subtlest of changes can bring the greatest benefits.” The result? Completely personalised colour that gives life and lift to your look.
Make sure to take picture references to your hairdresser to ensure you’re on the same page – we love Goldwell’s four Iconic Brunette looks, which showcase the new cool, warm and natural brunette shades we crave.
3/ How to maintain your new hue
“At-home maintenance is so important, as you need to stock your cabinet with products specifically designed to cater to your new colour to prevent colour fade and damage,” says D’Onofrio. If you’ve had highlights put in, use a violet shampoo and conditioner (they’re not just for blondes!) to protect against colour fade, and make time for a weekly conditioning hair masque. Marcon recommends Goldwell Dualsenses Color 60 Second Treatment.
To maintain your new brunette’s luminous finish, spritz on a shine spray and exercise caution with your hot tools. “Always use the nozzle on your hair dryer to smooth and calm the hair shaft,” instructs Sfumato salon director, Wayne Chappell. “This creates the smooth and silky glide you seek.” Lowering the temperature will also reduce damage and premature colour fading.
4/ Style your new shade right
The ultimate way to fake volume in brunette hair? With colour. “Any highlights added to hair will bring extra volume,” explains Chappell. “Even a half-shade lighter will do it.” Sometimes called hair contouring, cleverly placed highlights and lowlights will add dimension to your hairstyle and accentuate your facial features – without the need to labour over your blow-dry with a barrel brush each morning.
Give your colour a helping hand with hard-working, body-boosting products. “Use volumising products on damp hair before blow-drying, which will provide a full finish from root to tip,” suggests D’Onofrio. Marcon recommends the Goldwell StyleSign Ultra Volume Body Pumper, designed to give fine hair twice as much body, and the Goldwell StyleSign Ultra Volume Soft Volumiser, a blow-dry spray with the long-lasting hold of a mousse.
One last tip? “Always keep a dry shampoo on hand,” says D’Onofrio. “Apply dry shampoo daily (even on freshly washed hair) to boost volume at the roots and give it a slightly fuller, piece-y texture at the ends.”