Brown hair is just that, right? Brown hair. Well, we're here to tell you that couldn't be further from the truth. There are plenty of ways to go brunette, even if you're already blessed with brown hair. Now, it's not just about going light, medium, or dark; there's a host of different and exciting brown-hued colors that we guarantee will suit everyone.
From Lily Aldridge's gentle sun-kissed tresses to Jennifer Lopez's classic bronde, we spoke to Katie Denn, senior colorist at Daniel Hershson's Harvey Nichols salon, about which colors are most requested and how to achieve the looks. Plus, Denn even let us in on a little secret for those of you who might have experienced a color disaster.
Forget subtlety—this new take on balayage is all about working chunky pieces of blonde through the mid-lengths. "Not a lot of people can carry this off," Denn says. "It's the balayage technique, but this will suit darker skin tones. Also, it will work best particularly if you've got dark hair, as it's great to break up the color."
Think brunettes can't do that beachy sun-kissed look? Think again. "Lily's Alridge's hair color is very subtle," Denn notes. "It's made to look like it’s got definition. It's all about taking the hair one or two shades lighter at the bottom—so you can barely tell she's even had any color in her hair. While you're using the balayage technique, this is different as it's more sun-kissed."
"If you've got naturally brown hair, a subtle gloss will enhance your color and add shine," Denn advises. "If you've got a dark base already, you might just want to put on a warm mahogany gloss to make it look more red. It's semipermanent, so if you hate it, you don't have to wait long before it fades."
Okay, so bronde isn't new, but it isn't going anywhere either. "With this color, it's all about using your natural hair shade, so you're just enhancing it," Denn notes. "That's what's so good about it, as you don't need to get your roots done. This would definitely suit more of a warmer skin tone, but it does suit everyone, as you can do warmer tones for people with ashier skin, and cooler tones for people with warm skin."
"Alexa's look is an all-over color with baby lights, and an ash tone all over," Denn says. "So if you're already a natural brunette, you will want to ask for baby lights to be added into it. These will give it texture and change the tone of it. It's particularly good for fine hair."
"To achieve this look, you'd want an all-over dark color and add a gloss, as that's what makes this brown hair look so good. If I had a blonde client who wanted this look, I’d do it gradually, as it's too hard to go back once you've changed—you've got to grow out all the color," says Denn.
Want to warm that bronde up a notch? Try bronde 2.0, it hints at blonde with the blink and you miss them golden lights that add an almost metallic shimmer to the hair. "This will suit blondes as, if you wanted to go this light brown when you've got dark hair, you'd have to go blonde first, which isn't great for hair quality," Denn tells us. "However, if you do find that your hairdresser has taken your color too dark, put some Head & Shoulders on it and leave it in. I find even just sleeping in conditioner can do the job too, or Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer."
Prefer a lighter look? Behold, your ultimate guide to blonde hair.