There are plenty of ways to add a playful hint of red to your color. But move over, blondes, because strawberry brunettes are stealing the spotlight. You can save those coppers and auburns for the crisp, cool fall and winter months and make some room to welcome in this trending berry blend before summer is in full swing. We tapped the experts to get the full scoop on this color trend.
Meet the Expert
- Cherin Choi is an L.A.-based expert colorist.
- Gina Rivera is a celebrity hair artist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites.
- Lauren Paglionico is a master colorist and founder of Lrn Beauty.
Below are 25 shades of strawberry brunette inspo to show to your colorist, plus tips on maintaining your color.
Strawberry Brunette Hair Color
Choosing a Shade: This look will add a lot of warmth, says Choi: "I recommend trying it if you like warmer tones and are not super red in your skin undertone."
Maintenance Level: High. Red can be tricky to get out of the hair, according to Choi.
Goes Great With: Beach waves and natural curls
Similar Shades: Strawberry blonde, red and blonde highlights, red highlights
Price: Creative color jobs can start at $300 and up, but Choi notes it all depends on if you have preexisting highlights, etc.
This rose-tinted balayage makes for the most effortless strawberry brunette. If you're worried that strawberry isn't going to blend together well against your naturally dark base color, consider requesting a highlighting method like balayage, which will leave your hair with a seamless kiss of brightness and require less maintenance.
This candy-coated strawberry brunette is practically giving us a sweet tooth. Without going full-on with a cotton candy pink all over, this strawberry tone gets evenly blended into the client's natural brunette coloring for seamless definition.
Here, we see a gradient strawberry brunette with a richer strawberry tint near those natural brunette roots, fading into something brighter as it melts down to the ends. As with any good highlight, keeping the ends and face-framing pieces brighter will always emulate a natural feel.
"It is important to use color-safe shampoo and conditioner when coloring your hair as this will help it to stay vibrant and not fade," says Paglionico, who recommends any product from the Japanese brand Milbon. "All of their shampoos and conditioners are lightweight, color-safe, and paraben-free."
"What makes the red pigment is the smallest, tiniest molecule," Choi says, "and it slips in and out of the hair easily, but it also gets trapped and can seem like it’s there for a long time." Keeping your roots their natural tone and your strawberry hues on the ends could lower your maintenance level, leaving room for versatility and another color change sooner rather than later.
Just a Pinch
Before you head too deep into those brighter strawberry hues, try adding in just a pinch of those reddish-pink tints into your next round of lightening. Choi reminds us all, "You can always change hair color! That’s the beauty of it. It’s more fun to see and adjust than to wonder and never try. It could end up being the color."
If you're looking for something a little warmer to pair with your coloring, this peachy strawberry blend will pass with flying colors. It still gleams some of those highlighted yellows but has just enough strawberry in there to make your mouth water.
Skunk Meets Strawberry
Skunk hair is the latest color trend on the rise thanks to celebs like Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, and we're loving this strawberry brunette iteration.
Strawberry brunette doesn't have to have a major pop of contrast. If you have a lot of natural red tones in your hair already, glazing over slightly lighter ends with a subtle strawberry tint is going to be just enough of a pleasant surprise, showing itself pridefully in every new light. "Davines, MrSmith, and OverTone all make great color conditioners for at-home maintenance," Choi mentions.
Wearing braids is one of our favorite ways to weave in a new color without doing any serious damage to the hair. This method will keep the bleach at bay and give your strands a break from heat styling. All in all, this style is a good-looking win.
"Beach waves are always fun and easy, but braiding or twisting is another great way to style and give this hair hue some pop," says Rivera.
We're not trying to switch up our fruit on you, but seriously, this deeper color pairing screams chocolate raspberry to us, and we're not mad about it. For rich, flavorful dimension, this may just be the perfect strawberry brunette inspo image to show to your colorist. "While the color stays in the hair longer, the richness can fade faster," says Choi, who recommends getting a good conditioning treatment to uphold your color between visits.
Having preexisting highlights is a great start if you're interested in a semi-permanent strawberry brunette. Asking your stylist to use a toner or gloss to mute out those beachy blonde streaks will give you something sweeter with a shorter lifespan. After a few rounds of washing, that berry punch will dilute itself away and leave you with those highlights you had before.
"If your color has faded but you are not ready for your next touch-up, book a gloss with your colorist to freshen it up," says Paglionico.
We love to see the strawberry brunettes in all different styles and textures. This color plus these perfectly tousled waves has us gushing and ready for summer.
As if a full head of curls wasn't marvelous enough on its own, this berry-infused color has us swooning.
According to Paglionico, if you have natural, virgin hair, meaning it's never been colored, you may be able to achieve strawberry brown with a single process. "Do not attempt this color on your own—always see a licensed cosmetologist and always use color-safe, paraben-free, and sulfate-free products," she says.
Blonde highlights aren't the only way to go when it comes to adding some warmth to your natural brown base. Swap out those golden streaks for a surprising strawberry hue without compromising your desired brightness. "Strawberry brunette hair can add a lot of warmth to the skin," says Choi. "It’s a fun one to try for any natural hair color."
Nothing says super sleek like a shiny bob, and we're in love with this copper-berried brunette shade. Paglionico cautions that any color that has a red tone will come with higher maintenance. "When coloring your hair strawberry brown you may need to make frequent trips to the salon for touch-ups (usually six to eight weeks). To keep the color fresh, shampoo less often and use styling hair products with UV protection for when you are in the sun," she says.
Rivera echoes Paglionico and says it's important to use a good wet line that has the proper ingredients to preserve your hair color and generate a healthy scalp.
"I recommend Pure BioGen Complex ($37) because it’s packed with B vitamins, biotin, and collagen. It’s also great on any hair type," she says. "And don't forget a hat to maintain color when you're outside!"
Balayage with Bangs
We're not sure if it's the shag cut, the perfectly laid bangs, or the splashes of strawberry balayage, but this look has us yearning for a night out on the town.
Be mindful of the kind of red tone you're after. "To achieve a normal strawberry red tone, you will pre-lighten the hair to get the hair to the appropriate shade, whether it’s with high lift color or using bleach," says Rivera. "Auburn tends to be a bit lighter and warmer tone than the norm so this process is different."
Dark roots create the perfect canvas for hair blending, especially when brunette turns to berry with rose-colored tips. Chocolate-covered strawberries, anyone?
Sweet and Subtle
This tousled lob is mainly brunette, but strawberry highlights peek through and add dimension to an already lived-in look.
Strawberry brunettes look beautiful in many variations. To find the best shade for you, look to your skin tone. If you are fair, try a strawberry brown. If you have olive or brown skin, you'll look beautiful with a deeper, ginger version like Janet Jackson in the 90s during her Velvet Rope era.
Just because you're a brunette doesn't mean you have to take a warm approach with your coloring. This take on a more toned-down version of strawberry brunette keeps things cool.
Multi-colored Berry Hues
Cherry, raspberry, and strawberry highlights illuminate a dark brunette base for a color combo that works year-round.
This bright red hue is giving us sweet strawberry jam vibes.
Strawberry brunettes look beautiful in many variations, like this reddish-brown that complements almost any skin tone. To find the best shade for you, look to your skin tone.
"If you are fair, a strawberry brown like Kendall Jenner's will suit you well. If you have olive or brown skin, you'll look beautiful with a deeper, ginger version like Zendaya," says Paglionico.
Sweet Money Piece
A little strawberry money piece to frame the face? Yes, please.
Strawberries and Cream
If you have light brown hair, consider a creamy, almost peachy strawberry gloss to bring out the warmth and lightness in your locks.
We're loving the waterfall vibes that these red microbraids are giving off.