After a year of limited salon access, we don’t blame you if you’re in the mood for a hair color refresh. The latest it-color to try? Smoky brunette hair.
Following the larger trend of subtle changes that feel brand-new (like vacation glow hair and reverse balayage), smoky brunette hair is a twist on classic brown that feels totally cool and fresh. It’s similar to “bronde”—somewhere between blonde and brown—but while bronde shades are typically more golden, smoky brunette hair is all about the ash.
“I love this shade because it maintains the health of your hair but provides the edgy change people are asking for,” says Karissa Schaudt, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “This is an ashy two-dimensional color that best pairs with textured hair.”
Schaudt says the first step is discussing the amount of highlights you’re interested in with your colorist. “Then pick a neutral-ash tone between the foils,” she says. “This will create the depth and contrast, and keep it from fading warm.” Although it’s the most low-maintenance on natural brunettes, Schaudt says blondes can get in on the trend too.
“Blondes have less pigment in their hair strands, so adding the depth and maintaining the ashy tone is very doable,” she says. “You can customize this look by chatting with your colorist to see how much blonde you’d like leave out.” Sorry, redheads, you’re best left sitting this one out, since it can be tricky to get your hair cool-toned enough for the look (don’t fret though because red is having a huge moment).
No matter what your natural color is, Schaudt says to make sure to use proper products to maintain the ashy tones. She says to use color-safe shampoos to keep the dark sections from fading, and blue-toned shampoos to stop your highlights from getting brassy. Shop some of our favorites (including a few Glamour Beauty Award winners), below.
Bella Cacciatore is the beauty associate at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @bellacacciatore_.