Much like the rose gold hue that we've been coveting for years, chocolate mauve lends an opalescent pastel color that elevates your natural hue—sans the use of bleach. And while the new color has yet to take off in the way that its predecessor did when Kylie Jenner debuted her look on Instagram in 2018, it was dubbed the new otherworldly shade for hair color experimentalists to try.
A bit of background: In December 2017, PopSugar (by way of Reddit) ID'd New York-based creative color specialist Hannah Edelman as the mastermind behind this growing trend. They note that her work is actually the result of experimentation and an expert eye, melting warm Pravana Vivids brown hues with iridescent pink tones to create a natural balayage effect.
From there, the trend gained traction, and there was an explosion of beautiful chocolate mauve shades in all these mesmerizing variations. The look is subtle, but deceptively so; it actually requires five different tints and is crafted from greens, reds, yellows, and oranges, if you can believe it.
"It's a way to have a color in your hair that is still not too vibrant or too bold for everyday life," Cherin Choi at Nova Arts Salon says, "It fades quickly and is low commitment for someone wanting to try something new and different without feeling super uncomfortable with it being vibrant."
Adding a subtle mauve tone gives hair a slight dimension to it without looking like all one color, salon owner Jessica Scott says. Though this depends on what technique a stylist uses.
This overall color scheme is perfect for people who want creative color but might have work environments or other constraints preventing them from making any significant changes to their hair. It gives what's normally a flatter look a little more intrigue, forcing people to look a second or maybe even third time to get the full effect. No matter what, it's guaranteed to keep eyes on you.
Edelman advises either seeking out a stylist with experience in pastels or creative color or asking for a full head of balayage with a mauve toner or color melt. And as with any pastel color, these pink hues will fade very quickly—keep them around for as long as possible with a solid color-saving shampoo like Davines Minu Shampoo ($29).
Ready to get inspired? Ahead, see 19 chocolate mauve hair color ideas that prove the versatility of the subtly vibrant hue.
Chocolate Mauve Hair Fast Facts
Choosing a Shade: Everyone has different undertones. Choi recommends asking for a consultation before going in for a transformation like this.
Maintenance Level: In spite of all the work behind the scenes, this look is significantly more low-maintenance for brunettes who'd like to avoid hours upon hours of foil and bleach. Go in for a touch-up or glaze every 6 to 8 weeks.
Price: Depends on the salon but full highlights generally start at around $150.
The Perfect Curls
Here's the picture that started it all. Rose gold turns into an ultra-pretty mauve when applied to darker hair, and voilà! These shiny curls are so great.
Shaggy and Pink
Another creation by Edelman, this shaggy lob is streaked with pink in the most subtle fashion.
A Vibrant Rosy Brunette
While this look hangs its hat on the vibrant pink color and it looks fantastic, you don't have to jump into a trend head-first. Before you go all out, try adding a few mauve highlights. The best part: You can always add more color.
This look here, which only incorporates a few small highlights, is the best way to start out to avoid any big hair change regrets (not saying that'll happen to you, but if you have any hesitancy, it's best to be cautious).
A Bit More Mauve
It could be a case of expert blending, but we spy a super pretty mauve tone to this brunette 'do. It's super subtle but probably becomes totally noticeable in the sun—talk about a game-changer. Who knew a rosy tint could add so much fun to your standard look?
This is another chocolate mauve look that hits every sweet spot: a choppy lob (have you noticed they're aplenty in this roundup?), perfectly blended pink champagne highlights, and a natural brunette base rounding it out.
A Pretty Purple Tint
When going chocolate mauve, make the grow-out process easy by keeping the base natural. "I recommend keeping your natural color with this color; it is high maintenance to keep up the tone and it will be easier to adjust if it is done with your natural hair color at the roots," Choi says.
Go in for regular toning appointments to maintain the pretty mauve color. Though, root touch-ups? Not even kind of necessary. Just refresh the end colors in the salon.
For a low-maintenance rooted look, try amethyst ends. They're a great way to incorporate a fun change-up without going all the way. Plus, it blends in nicely for natural-looking color.
A cute pup and amazing chocolate mauve ombré waves? Sign us up. This color is oh so pretty. Plus, give this look extra dimension by concentrating darker colors towards the ends. This creates a subtle reverse ombré effect that really works.
Long, Shiny Waves
These professional waves are ultra-glamorous and look even better with interwoven pink strands. Notice it's not exactly a highlight, but hints of brighter color. This keeps things understated enough for work, but imagine the color in the sun? Gorgeous.
Avoid using cheap products from the grocery store, unless you trust the ingredients, as some are diluted with wax and bad oils. Also, avoid sulfates and always read the ingredient in the back. FYI: Sodium laureth sulfate is actually a stripping agent and can wreak havoc on your fresh color.
That dark base, the hints of raspberry... this shiny lob is a dream look we're pinning ASAP. We can even see a temporary tint working here if you don't want to commit to a permanent color change.
This all-over mauve creation is utterly delectable. FYI: to keep hair this shiny, look into a hair gloss or everyday hair oil—just make sure it doesn't weigh hair down.
This look is a little more strawberry ombré than mauve, but no worries—it still looks completely amazing against the shining brunette base.
Shiny Mauve Curls
Ask for a consultation before going in for a transformation like this to discuss what you're looking for. While this stunning color is bound to look great on any natural brunette, make sure to ask about texture too, as your stylist should always consider hair type.
This leans a bit on the lighter, more chestnut side of things, but it looks so good. That slight lilac tinge is incredible.
A deeper wine hue shows up nicely on darker shades of brown and auburn hair. We love how the purply-mauve tones add dimension to the base shade here.
We love how softly the pink and purple tones melt together, for a lower-maintenance look that looks amazing even as it fades.
Mauve Money Piece
Face-framing mauve balayage is a statement look that gives a spotlight effect around the face. From fine babylights to chunkier pieces of color, you can customize how much mauve you'd like to incorporate.
What is chocolate mauve hair?
Chocolate mauve hair is a blend of rich brown tones and iridescent pinks and purples. It's a rich, dimensional shade and a great way for brunettes to add interest without going lighter by way of bleach and foils.
Is chocolate mauve hair hard to maintain?
While the mauve tones in chocolate mauve hair can fade relatively quickly, it's a pretty low-maintenance look because it tends to look great even as it fades. You can always use a semi-permanent product like Overtone at home to boost pink and purple tones and extend the life of your chocolate mauve color.
Chocolate mauve seems to offer a hint of dynamic rosy color that's subtle but still so cool. It's trending for a reason, and while blended caramel highlights and chai-mocha inspired colors will always hold a place in our hearts, it's also evident that this chocolate-raspberry tinted look is just as worthy.