Every season comes with an itch to switch things up, and one of the first changes (albeit most dramatic) that comes to mind tends to be our hair color. With the warmer months comes the tendency to go for a lighter, brighter, sun-kissed hue. While fall and winter have us asking our stylists for richer, darker hues. Introducing: Cinnamon hair color. It's a warm, reddish-brown undertone that provides depth, dimension, and warmth to any style—and it looks great on everyone.
Meet the Expert
- Lindsey Barbuto is a colorist and owner of Perlei Salon in Wayne, New Jersey.
- Stephanie Brown is a hair colorist at IGK SoHo.
If you're thinking about making the switch over to cinnamon-colored hair, talk with your stylist about how to make the look work best for you. From balayage to highlights, there are a variety of different ways to incorporate cinnamon hair into your look.
Choosing a Shade: According to Linsey Barbuto, owner of Perlei Salon, cinnamon hair color works well with just about every skin tone. "If you have more of an olive complexion, go for a deeper and rich tone; fair skin should aim for a lighter, warmer [shade]."
Maintenance Level: "If you don’t like high-maintenance hair, cinnamon hair color is the right option for you," says Barbuto. "It literally requires the least amount of touchups." She recommends a typical four to six week touchup; however, if you have naturally light blonde hair, she suggests a glossing treatment between color to better maintain the cinnamon color.
Goes Great With: Pops of color like cobalt blue and green eye makeup, as well as colors within the same family like bronze, nude, and blush.
Similar Shades: Copper, pumpkin spice, and auburn
Price: For full color, prices can range anywhere from $60-200. Full highlights and balayage can range anywhere from $80-450.
Here, our 25 favorite ways to wear the cinnamon hair color trend.
Bright and Bouncy
Cinnamon hair looks beautiful up, down, braided, dreaded, curled, or straight—basically however you want to style it. We love how this airy blowout brings out the lighter highlights in this traditional cinnamon tone.
Maya Rudolph's blunt bob and over-directed side part shows off cinnamon color in one of its most classic forms: all-over color that pops extra bright wherever light strikes. And good news: According to Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK SoHo, you don't need to bleach dark hair to go cinnamon if you're using single-process color.
Natasha Lyonne fades her cinnamon shade from a rich root to fiery bright ends. If you have naturally dark hair, ask your stylist to paint cinnamon using a balayage technique (rather than foils) for softer, lower-maintenance growth.
Cinnamon is a dimensional color, which means different hues will pop based on your outfit and the light. Here, the orange undertones in Rihanna's face-framing highlights pop against her bright crop top. In other light (or in a different outfit), these pieces might appear more brown or red.
Blended and Blurred
Here, Solange Knowles shows us that it's possible to blend cinnamon into your natural hair color without a balayage technique. There are no lines from foil or being hand-painted, just beautiful blurred color.
Take your cinnamon hair up a notch with all-over copper color. It's more red than brown, but is simple to tone back into a more subtle cinnamon color with a gloss at the salon.
Red Velvet Ombré
Here, Zendaya shows us a modern way to ombré. The fade from root (which has the slightest red velvet undertone) to bright, cinnamon tip is so subtle that you almost think it's allover color.
Spicy Cinnamon Latte
This style reminds us of sweet cinnamon swirling around in rich coffee, with a touch of warm spice.
Sleek and Chic
If you've spent a lot of money to become a blonde, this is a great way to "try on" cinnamon hair as it incorporates plenty of dimension with blonde and brunette highlights and lowlights.
Va Va Vibrant
Amy Adams is an OG, always rocking her naturally vibrant cinnamon hue.
If you have naturally reddish-brown hair that you want to (healthily) tone to more of a cinnamon shade, try Overtone's Hair Coloring Conditioner in shade Red For Brown.
Just a Pinch
This tint of cinnamon may be subtle, but it's all Ava Duvernay needs to add warmth for variation on a go-to style.
Fair and Square
We love how Zoey Deutch's cinnamon bob brings out the pop of burgundy eyeshadow and rosy-tinted cheeks.
We've already called it, the high '60s ponytail is coming back for 2020. We love how Issa Rae's take on the look features warm cinnamon contrasted with cool blue eyeliner.
Spice Things Up
Even a natural brunette with the darkest of roots can spice things up with this shade.
Soft and Sophisticated
As a signature redhead, Debra Messing keeps her look soft and sophisticated in this deeply rich-colored cinnamon. As you go through each season, this is an easy color to tone more brown or more red depending on your mood and the look you're going for.
Cute and Coiled
The natural bends of Elaine Welteroth's natural curls show off cinnamon's multi-dimensionality—appearing brighter where the light hits with moody red shadows on the underside of each curl.
Just a Dash
If you don't want to fully pledge yourself to a whole new shade, try toning your lightened ends with a dash of cinnamon. Rose Leslie is living proof that it'll look as good on your hair as it tastes in your coffee.
Burnt Orange All Over
This shade and this outfit together? Does anyone else want to cozy up to some fall weather just looking at this ensemble? (After dying your hair, of course.)
Baby balayage adds some spice to your ends while preserving your roots for zero-commitment color.
Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice
Cinnamon tones in the hair are the perfect way to brighten up a darker 'do, adding a touch of sweetness to any look.
According to Brown, "Highlighting can actually help avoid the shade from looking too orange." We love orange tones in cinnamon hair, but they're more likely to go brassy than red tones. If minimal upkeep is your endgame, try leaning toward the redder end of the cinnamon spectrum.
After dying her hair to play the Scarlet Witch in the Marvel series, Elizabeth Olsen kept a beautifully rich cinnamon tint to her brunette strands. Her natural blonde is perfectly disguised, but it would be easy for her to add some face-framing highlights for the summer months (without compromising her perfected cinnamon hue).
Jessica Chastain is one of Hollywood's most famous redheads, often taking a nod from Old Hollywood when styling her warm, cinnamon hair.
The more texture in your hair, the more dimensional your cinnamon color will be. Keke Palmer's hair appears more red velvet when there's minimal light, but can completely transform in the sunlight.
To recreate this look, ask your stylist to hand-paint a deep cinnamon color, concentrating on sections that frame your face. Style straight to look redder up front, or add waves for more movement and dimension.
Is it easy for blonde hair to switch to cinnamon?
If you are looking to add cinnamon to a blonde base color, it may lean more on the peachy side. For a deeper, darker look, starting with a brunette base is your best bet.
How can you avoid cinnamon hair from turning to orange-y?
To avoid erring on the side of too orange, Brown says your colorist will need to use a neutral base color. She adds, "To keep the hair from getting too brassy, at-home glosses with a warm brunette would be great for at-home maintenance."