Influencer Carmen Grace Hamilton has that cool-girl factor you can't quite nail down to one element. Between her incredible blog, Chronicles of Her, a penchant for predicting trends, and an effortless sense of style, everything she does serves up major inspiration. Perhaps topping her wardrobe though, is her amazing hair. Her formerly blonde balayage strands were constantly being regrammed—fashion and beauty types alike were obsessed. Her shoulder grazing blonde had just a hint of deep root shadowing, and was teamed with French-girl bangs. In short, it was seriously good hair.
But as they say, change is as good as a holiday (and we can't all be in Europe right now), so Hamilton made the impulse decision (after some serious Insta-scrolling for ideas) to dye her coveted blonde locks a rich shade of chocolate-y brunette. Of course, we had to know why she made the change, so quizzed the style icon on where she got her inspo, and how she felt post dramatic hair-makeover.
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As a style influencer with a knack for predicting the next big thing, we had to ask what was behind Hamilton's decision. "Dark brown is my natural shade, but I had been lightening it progressively for about five years. I felt like it was time for a change, and I realized all of the girls I'm style-crushing on right now are brunette—so it was a no-brainer to return to the dark side." Naturally, we had to know if she was worried it would be a disaster, but the influencer trusted her well-honed instincts (and her hairstylist). "I'm really impulsive. Once I have an idea, there's no turning back. I was a little bit nervous, but when you know you're in good hands, you know they can make anything work."
A new hue doesn't generally come about without hours of research done beforehand, but we were surprised to hear Hamilton reveal how she files her hair inspo. "I was looking at girls like @taylorlashae, @ilisteele and @maria_bernad. I'd saved heaps of references by collecting images in my 'saved' tab on Instagram, so I went through those with my colorist first. We were quite particular about the elements we did and didn't like about each. It's easy to look at an image and say you 'like' it, but when you take the outfit away and really focus on every aspect of the cut and color, you begin to realize it might not suit you like it suits the girl in the picture. I eventually figured out what I wanted to do, and my colorist (Siobhan at Salon X in Sydney) got to work." This seems like a far more elevated idea than the standard screenshot lurking in the camera roll system we've become accustomed to.
What about the process? "We had to dye it copper first, and that was scary, but it turned out the exact chocolate color I'd been hoping for first go. It was then on to the cut. I went a lot shorter than I've ever been (they clipped pieces on the back of my neck!) and got a full fringe. I'll be completely honest—it was a lot of change to get used to all at once, but I'm an all or nothing kind of gal so I don't regret it."
Inspired to partake in a major hair change ourselves, we asked if much of Hamilton's beauty routine has changed now that she’s gone brunette. It turns out a few makeup tweaks were in order to fit the new shade. "I feel a lot more intense with my dark hair—like I'm channeling Mia Wallace at times. I find I'm wearing more makeup than I did when I was blonde. I feel like my eyes need more definition, so I'm wearing a brown eyeliner crayon as well as mascara. I've also been attempting to master a subtle cat-eye. I feel like it really works with this hair cut." And what about her styling choices? "At first I was trying to wear lighter colors because black made me feel too severe, but I'm slowly getting used to it. I love that I can get away with wearing more feminine things without feeling too girly."