They say blondes have more fun, but there’s just *something* about being brunette. It’s warm, glamorous, and a bit mysterious, so it makes perfect sense as to why it’s the shade so many people consistently turn to for the winter months. However, with the recent surge of newly brunette celebrities (the New York Times has dubbed it the “brunette boom”), there’s reason to believe that the dark hair trend is having a particularly significant moment that’s set to last throughout 2022. “Brunette is a great base color option because it’s so flexible,” Shvonne Perkins, Lead Educator at Madison Reed, tells TZR. “If you choose to go brunette, you can easily play with different tones until you find the right one.”
You’ve likely noticed the slew of celebrities who have recently joined the dark side. Most recently, Karlie Kloss revealed her brunette transformation on Instagram “after a decade of being blonde.” Fellow model Gigi Hadid also went brunette for the new Moschino campaign, which featured a conical half-up top knot and larger-than-life volume. It may very well be a wig (or at least a partial wig), but there’s no denying that Hadid looks incredible as a brunette.
Billie Eilish (whose hair color journey has been a rollercoaster ride) went a deep brown shade in December 2021, shortly before her appearance on Saturday Night Live. Hailey Bieber, who typically opts for a sun-kissed dirty blonde, debuted a slightly darker shade just in time for the holiday season.
It’s not exactly difficult to see why brunette hair is such a draw. “Luminous, rich brunette color will always be in fashion – no matter what,” Perkins says. “It is a classic.” During the winter, in particular, dark hair fits the cozy mood of the season — plus, it gives salon-goers a welcome break from regular touch-ups. “It’s a low-maintenance color option that looks beautiful, even as it fades over time,” Perkins adds.
If you’re planning on transitioning from blonde to brunette this season, Perkins recommends approaching it in phases. “A good rule of thumb is to go darker two shades at a time,” she says. “Going slow and building upon the color will make your color look more vibrant.”
For the most natural look, Perkins continues, the mid-lengths and ends should be slightly lighter than your roots. “To accomplish this, apply color first to your roots and pull it through the mid-lengths and ends halfway through the processing time to avoid an overly dark or inky look,” she says. Additionally, Perkins recommends going for gold brunette tones rather than ash tones, as these will “appear healthier and more reflective.”
The upkeep for brunette hair is far from burdensome, but there are a few key things to remember. After every other shampoo, Perkins recommends applying the Madison Reed Color Therapy Mask (in place of conditioner) to tone and refresh your color while boosting hydration.
When it comes to color touch-ups, Perkins suggests using permanent color strategically. “During the maintenance phase following your transformation, do not make the mistake of using permanent color and applying it from the roots to the ends every time you color,” she warns. “Instead, touch up the new growth only with permanent color and then just use Color Reviving Gloss in Miele or Espresso (depending on your brunette tone) for the mid-lengths and ends to keep it looking dimensional and expensive.”
And with that, you’re on your way to being one of many new inductees to the dark side.
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