"Illuminated Brunette" Is the Most Popular Hair Color in Brazil—Here's Why

Updated 11/26/18

Just like how Korean girls are known for their "glass skin" and French girls are known for their chic makeup style, Brazilian girls are known for their long, shiny, and sun-kissed hair. For proof, just think of the multitude of hair salons that offer Brazilian blowouts or Brazilian keratin treatments. Both are meant to make lackluster hair look bouncy and healthy à la Brazilian supermodels Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrosio.

While proper haircare and styling methods are key to achieving long and luscious Brazilian-inspired hair, there's a new color trend hailing from the South American country that might help. According to Refinery29, it's called "illuminated brunette," and it's a tropical take on traditional brunette hair. In fact, it mimics the natural highlights that might result from a sunny São Paulo beach vacation. Keep scrolling to see Brazil's buzziest hair color trend.

In Portuguese, this hair color is called "morenas iluminadas." It involves painting subtle, golden highlights on a naturally dark base in order to achieve a subtle and sun-kissed color transition. João Bosco, a Brazilian hairstylist, revealed in a conversation with Refinery29 that he only goes up to three shades lighter than the client's natural hair color (that's it!) so as to create the smoothest and most blended result possible.

Apparently, it's now officially one of Brazil's most popular hair colors. Bosco said that it's the most highly requested hair color at his São Paulo salon, after traditional blonde. And if Instagram is any indication (which it almost always is), the same holds true for other salons.

To us, it seems as if another name for this color could simply be "brunette balayage" since it involves highlighting the hair with hand-painted strokes of color that rise from the ends up through the mid-lengths of the hair. Even though balayage is most commonly associated with blonde hair transformations, this trend is proof that it suits brunettes just as well.

This hair color trend incorporates a wide range of brunette shades. Whether you have naturally bright chestnut hair or rich espresso-colored locks, it can be customized to suit your exact shade of brunette. Just ask your colorist to highlight your hair with a color that's no more than three shades lighter than the one you're starting with. It's actually quite simple.

The best part about it is that it's probably one of the most—if not the most—low-maintenance hair colors you could possibly spring for. Since the highlights are being painted on your natural base color, your hair will grow out into subtle ombré perfection. Take it from Bosco, who told Refinery29 that the color typically lasts upward of six months without any salon upkeep appointments necessary. "I've even had clients who come just once a year," he said.

For more illuminated brunette hair inspiration, check out #morenailuminada on Instagram, which has over 100,000 posts. Just be warned: It might result in a spontaneous salon appointment. After all, who doesn't want their hair to look like they just returned from a sun-filled vacation to São Paulo? That's entirely possible with the "morena iluminada."

Next, check out the buzzy color Kylie Jenner just dyed her hair. Hint: It's Pinterest's favorite hair color of the moment. 

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