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If you're coveting the perfect brunette hair colour, you'll love these 6 brown trends

From smoky shades to deep chocolate hues and golden caramel tones, they're just some of hair colours that make it hard to beat brown. It’s also the reason our media moodboards are loaded with the latest brown hair trends, from bronze balayage, to bronde babylights, copper gloss glazes and more.

Maybe you’re a true brunette looking to restore your natural vibrancy, or perhaps you want to tiptoe away from that mousy, ashy or even ebony ‘do and step into brown hair territory. Then of course, there’s those looking to cover their greys, which according to leading colourist Josh Wood is the biggest driver for colouring brown hair.

“For people who go grey but want to stay brunette, it's often about holding onto their identity,” Josh explains. “And brunettes that go lighter will still perceive themselves as having brown hair. It’s to do with hair colour as a cultural backdrop,” says Josh. “It's almost tribal with different colours identifying certain things to people.”

Ready to dip into the world of cocoa colour? Read on for Josh's pro colouring tips, brown hair inspiration, trends and rules for working with this popular hair colour.


Brown isn’t one colour

“Anyone with natural brunette hair, even the darkest brown will always have highs and lows within it,” Josh Wood explains. It's this that you need to consider when colouring brown hair, especially when it comes to covering greys. “Although you want to cover greys 100%, you don’t want to go too dense with your colour and eradicate those highs and lows.” That’s why Josh developed his Permanent Colour Kits combined with the Shade Shot, to work with hair’s natural tonal differences, not just paint over them. If you don't have greys to cover, a semi permanent can offer the chance to play with your colour at home, adding warm rich or cool tones as preferred. “When you get a really successful brunette, it’s about the colour not looking solid, but having a beautiful array of multi dimensional tones” Josh explains. 

 

Dark transformations

“As a general rule, you shouldn’t try to colour hair more than two shades beyond your natural colour,” Says Josh, but some rules are made to be broken. “Of course you can do it,” says Josh. “You can go Kill Bill Uma Thurman, bleach blonde to black. And it can suit you, it’s just not easy to do that at home” he warns.

"Colouring your hair is like painting a wall” says Josh, “and some hair already has an undercoat which will effect your colour outcome,” Josh explains. “If you have very pale hair, but try to go dark, it would turn out dull.” That’s where the expert eye can help. “You’d have to have some level of warmth back into your hair. For instance, putting a chestnut brown in.” Josh explains. And it’s not a one-dye-and-you’re-done process either. “Again, it’s like painting a wall,” says Josh. If you have a white wall and paint it brown, you’ve got to do it five times to get the intensity that you’re looking for, otherwise the colour will turn out streaky, patchy and dirty-looking.” 


Which shade will suit me?

It’s the age-old question - do warm or cool tones suit you? “It’s pretty straight forward really, and people are much more aware than they really know,” Josh tells us. “It’s whether you’d wear a fuschia lipstick [with cool blue-red undertones] or a coral lipstick [with warm yellow undertones], or think about the colours you tend to wear. Do you prefer cool blue hues or love a sunny yellow or warm tomato red shade. There’s a natural knowing,” he explains.  

Not sure on your skin tone? An easy way to tell if you are warm, cool or neutral  is to take a look at your veins, Jason Hogan, colourist at Josh Wood Colour explains. “If your veins are green, then you have a warm skin tone; if they appear blue or purple, you have a cool skin tone." If you cannot tell the difference, it is very likely that you are neutral and sit between cool and warm so can enjoy the best of both worlds. 
So how does that help us choose a shade you may ask?  It's a question of contrast or complement, says Josh. "To really flatter your skin tone and eye colour, it's best to complement your skin tone with a corresponding hair colour." That means, warm skin tones should opt for warm brown shades such as chestnut, caramel tones, and copper. Whereas cooler skintones will be complemented by the smokey, ashy and chocolate shades of brown.

Want more inspiration as to which brown is best for you? Scroll down for our gallery of the six on-trend brown hair shades were turning to this season, as showcased on members of our Josh Wood Colour community. Screenshot buttons at the ready.

 

1. Dark chocolate

The deepest of the brown hair shades, dark chocolate is the rich, decadent, almost black side of brunette. It's best served with a side of Smoky Brunette Gloss, to counteract any reddish tones that might threaten to warm your cool-toned, chocolate 'do. Simply work the gloss into wet or damp hair, and let the semi-permanent, high-shine treatment work its magic.

 

2. Caramel lights

Bringing the balayage trend into the brunette category, caramel lights add a touch of warmth through the lengths and ends of brunette styles. To keep the sunkissed shade at its best, try adding a touch of Champagne Blonde Gloss. Why 'blonde' you ask? Because our glosses should always be matched to your lightest strand of hair.

 

 

3. Smoky ash

When done right, cool and ashy tones woven through brown create the softest, smokiest, most covetable brunette shade. to keep the emphasis on cool, our Icy Blonde Gloss is designed to neutralise any brassy yellow tones, while adding a glassy shine, to put smoky shades in their best light.

 

4. Copper glaze

Warmth with a splash of rouge. Giving your brown a copper glaze is the simplest way to blur the line between brunette and redhead. It's great for those with previously lifted sections as, the lighter the base, the more vibrant result you'll get. Want to work the look on a darker backdrop? Then our Chestnut Brunette Gloss is for you. Or, for something more playful, give Cherry a try.

 

5. Sunkissed Bronde

Verging on blonde, but not quite - sunkissed bronde is the brunette's version of apres-summer, holiday hair. It's the sort that sits beside bronzed skin and flushed cheeks, to compliment the warm, golden undertones of the bronde look. Worried about those lighter strands turning ashy? Our Champagne Blonde Gloss will keep things golden, and replenish any lost moisture, too.

6. Rose and berry brunette

Adding a brunette boost to the rose gold trend, our Rose and Berry glosses add a semi-permanent pop of colour. Wondering which of the covetable shades to choose? Here are some examples of the warmer Rose Brunette, and cooler-toned Berry Brunette glosses at work (take note of the megawatt shine they charge hair with as well).

Rose Brunette:

Berry Brunette:

 

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