When it comes to hair, we're often told to go lighter when the spring season rolls around and darker when the weather cools down. And while we love that seasonal shift, this year we're thinking of turning it on its head and going for something richer and warmer. After all, chestnut colors have taken over all of Pinterest and our favorite celebs. To learn about the varying shades of chestnut hair, we turned to two pros in the hair industry: Jonathan Colombini and Aura Friedman. See our favorite A-list sources of chestnut hair color inspiration ahead.
Chestnut Hair Color
Choosing a shade: According to Friedman, you can choose a shade of chestnut by using the same principles makeup artists apply. "Look at skin tone, eye color, and eyebrow color—the goal is to enhance your best features and neutralize skin that's red or pink." To decide between richer or darker chestnut, determine your level of desired contrast between your skin and hair color.
Maintenance level: Colombini notes that chestnut hair maintenance depends on your natural hair color. "If you’re a natural brunette, it'll be very low maintenance, but if you have gray hair, you may have a bit more regular maintenance, depending on the percentage of gray," he says. "If your natural hair color is much lighter than the hair color chosen, it'll be more high-maintenance."
Goes great with: A red lip complements brunette hair colors, as do warm bronze tones.
Similar shades: Brunette, warm brown, cool brown, caramel, honey.
Price: Full color can range from $75 to $200. Highlights range anywhere from $80 to $350.
Elizabeth Olsen's chestnut hair, which resembles a shiny chestnut waterfall, is a warm, multi-dimensional brunette. Colombini notes that the darker roots give it a more natural look, and that while the style is smooth and polished, it features a slight bend to showcase dimension. We approve.
Colombini recommends L'Oreal Paris's EverPure Deep Moisture Hair Sheet Mask ($5) for shine and lightweight smoothness.
We're heart-eyed for these big chestnut curls, which feature a cooler brunette base that graduate to lighter warmer tones on the ends. "There's beautiful natural texture here," Colombini says. "This look is best achieved without heat and without disturbing natural texture. Set it and forget it."
We'll never get sick of seeing Old Hollywood hair on the red carpet, but when it's paired with Jessica Alba's chestnut locks, we're even more inspired. "She has a cooler brunette base with honey tones from the mid-shafts to the ends," Colombini says. "The Old Hollywood look can be achieved with a marcel set and then brushing it out."
We love Lily Collins's red-tinged locks. If this look is your vibe, ask your colorist for a medium brown base with lighter copper ends. Throw on a floral silk head wrap, add a slight bend to strands mid-shaft, and you've got yourself a boho look.
Equal parts chestnut and auburn, this winning color combo has lots of dimension on the red-brown spectrum. Paired with sleek waves, this Zendaya-approved style is sure to turn heads.
Queen Bey always knows how to serve trendsetting hairstyles, and these chestnut strands rival any other spring hue. Conair's Infiniti Pro Texture Styling Hair Dryer ($34) is perfect for a style like this—it's made specifically for drying curly hair and maintaining the hair's natural curl pattern without the frizz.
Kate Beckinsale is our OG celeb hair inspiration. This dimensional chestnut hair color features a cool-toned chestnut hue with both cooler tones and warmer tones throughout for dimension, according to Colombini. We're digging the beachy wave and center part, too.
Take a page out of Olivia Culpo's book and go for this deep chestnut shade, which is sure to look stunning on similar olive skin tones. Here, she's sporting a cool dark brunette hue with a few warmer ends to break up the solid color. "A center-parted lob with a slight bend and a tuck behind the ears showcases a fresh face," Colombini notes.
Riri's voluminous waves perfectly complement these auburn highlights that add a multi-dimensional, playful element to her overall look.
Felicity Jones's hair is right on the edge of the chestnut spectrum, nearing a deep mahogany shade. This 'do leans towards being cool brunette with a touch of warmth and cooler copper tones added throughout for dimension. We love the addition of a bottleneck bang—très chic.
Can we petition Rachel McAdams to always keep her hair this vibrant mix of chestnut and auburn? Colombini describes it as a multi-dimensional warm copper brunette with an off-duty messy topknot. "The added silk ribbon headband gives a bit more formal look to the messy knot," he notes.
Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is another celeb who walks the fine line between auburn and chestnut with her red-brown locks. To achieve this hue, ask your colorist for a warmer chestnut base with warm copper highlights dispersed throughout. Pair with a bouffant for a mod '60s vibe.
Jada Pinkett Smith
We're getting cozy fall vibes with Jada Pinkett Smith's steaming chestnut locks. Paired with a jaw-length lob and light layers, the 'do screams fierce freshness. If your hair is lacking volume, use a texturizing product like Sun Bum's Dry Texture Spray ($15) for hold and breezy volume.
Not ready to go full-on chestnut? Make like Olivia Palermo, whose hair starts with a deep chocolate brown color and slowly transitions to chestnut at the ends. "This has a cool dark brunette base with caramel tips to break up the darkness, giving a softness to the skin tone," Colombini says. "The straight side part gives a very '90s feel."
Apparently, ombré chestnut hair is alive and well (and extremely stunning). Colombini describes this look as a "cool dark brunette base ombréd into golden honey highlights throughout the ends." Plus, the half-up half-down loose curls pay tribute to the Brigitte Bardot era, which we dig.
Ciara's espresso locks border black and are as sultry as they are rock and roll. To protect the color, Friedman recommends avoiding shampooing too often and keeping hair in tip-top shape with the KHairPep K18Peptide Masque—"it repairs, strengthens, and doesn't weigh down the hair," she says.
We get all the Pretty Woman feels with Julia Roberts's vivid red-brown hue. Colombini says to ask for a "warm brunette chestnut base mixed with lighter golden tones for dimension" if you're aiming for this look. Throw on a center part with loose, lived-in waves for an effortless, I-just-woke-up-like-this vibe.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas's honeyed chestnut locks are oozing with dimension. "Someone that has warmer olive skin tones can look great in both warm and cool hair color hues, and vice versa with cooler skin tones," Colombini says. "The key is to have dimension—that, and a multi-tonal hair color, is complementary to any skin tone."
Can't settle on just one hair color? Make like Serena Williams and incorporate two: chestnut at the roots that ombrés to an eye-catching auburn.
Chrissy Teigen dabbles with ever-so-perfect chestnut hair that incorporates chocolate, copper, and hues. A middle part and off-duty bends make this look both effortless and chic.