As hair salons continue to make a triumphant return, we’re officially ready to ditch our quarantine roots and messy buns in exchange for beach waves and trendy hair color. And much to our delight, celebrities and influencers have been serving up tons of inspo as they jump on the fresh hair for summer bandwagon.
One trend, in particular, that’s been all over our feeds? Copper-colored hair. Just one TikTok video from model Molly McCarther racked up almost a million views on the platform. Clearly, fiery transformations are on the brain as people look to refresh their color as pandemic restrictions lift across the country.
Stars like Phoebe Dynevor, Ciara, and Gigi Hadid have also dyed their hair a sunny auburn shade, which comes as no surprise to celebrity colorist Jeremy Tardo. "Auburn hair is huge right now," he says. "I think everyone is searching for a perfect ‘coming out [of the pandemic]’ hairstyle, and summer is a great time to play with the warmth and brightness of your hair."
With so many celebrities paving the way for the coppery trend, we asked Tardo and celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein to share their tips and tricks for achieving the coveted color. Keep reading for our favorite takes on the look and their expert input.
Meet the Expert
Back in March, Gigi Hadid debuted a bold new hair color—achieved by hairstylist Panos Papandrianos—at Milan Fashion Week. On Instagram, Hadid credited Beth Harmon, the fiery redhead played by Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit, with inspiring her new look.
"She is dedicated to everyone responsible for The Queen's Gambit," she wrote.
In May, Justine Skye jumped on the trend with a stunning, subtle version of the auburn shade.
Get the Look
According to hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein, we can thank the decades past for first popularizing the hair shade. "Adding an auburn tint to your hair was a big thing in the ’90s, and it’s coming back around,” she says. Below, Rubenstein and Tardo share their best tips for achieving copper hair safely at home.
As a first step, Tardo suggests finding the color that best suits your skin tone. “If your features are lighter, opt for a more strawberry or copper take on this trend,” he says. “If you have darker features, try a warm terra cotta or rich sienna hue." He likes the Clairol Natural Instincts 6R Spiced Tea Light Auburn ($14) “because it’s gentle and hydrating with no ammonia."
Tardo recommends stocking up on two boxes of color, just to be safe. He also suggests doing an allergy test by dabbing a bit of product on the inside of your elbow to make sure you don’t have a reaction to the mix.
Avoid washing your hair immediately before applying dye at home. The natural oils on your scalp actually serve as a protective barrier to guard against irritation from the chemicals in the hair dye.
To prevent any staining on your skin, Tardo says to apply a bit of Vaseline or conditioner on the skin around your hairline before applying the color. And, of course, he recommends thoroughly reading through the directions listed on the box. "Always follow the proper timing instructions suggested by the manufacturer,” he says.
When it’s time to apply the dye, Tardo says to make sure you saturate your hair thoroughly with the color to ensure full color. Once you’re happy with the shade, he suggests using color-protecting shampoo like Davines Nou Nou ($29). “This will help to preserve the life of your auburn tresses,” he says.
Rubenstein recommends visiting a professional for the best possible results for those who have hesitations about coloring their hair at home. "It can be damaging and expensive to reverse the effects of lightening your hair at home," she cautions.
If you decide on a DIY option, she suggests trying a demi-permanent color that’s only a shade or two darker than your own. “It’s the absolute best way to do it at home,” she says. For those looking for a temporary (and risk-free) approach to the trend, we suggest the versatility of a wig like this ‘YoYo’ Wig ($97) from INH Hair.