"Toasted Coconut" Hair Is the New Way to Lighten Your Locks

A sweet new color awaits.

Woman with curly, toasted coconut-colored hair


Ever heard of the Sunday Scaries? If Sunday is the day we look at with trepidation toward a long, busy workweek, then the end of summer is its seasonal equivalent. With shorter days and the beginning of colder weather, it can be easy to feel bummed out, but just because the seasons must change doesn't mean we have to let go of all summery things. Highlighter will keep us glowing and highlighted hair will keep us looking sun-kissed, no matter the season. 

As for the latter, we just need to update our look to be seasonally appropriate. Instead of the bright, golden blonde balayage we see all over during summer, we think colder weather is the perfect opportunity to switch it up to something a little smokier. That's where Instagram's newest hair color trend comes in. The buzziest way to go blonde is by dyeing your hair a shade of "toasted coconut." Yes, that name makes us feel immediately hungry.

What exactly is toasted coconut, you ask? Professional hairstylist Laura Gibson categorizes it as a chocolate or dark chocolate brown melted into a light neutral or cool blonde tone. A darker root is essential and is actually a major selling point here, as the growing out process tends to be a breeze.

Meet the Expert

Laura Gibson is a master colorist at the Bomane Salon in Beverly Hills. She was recently named the Global Artistic Director for Rusk Haircare.

As for adding additional color, Gibson says it would depend on their natural color and existing color. "Some women may be currently blonde and only need the root shadow at the top. If your hair is dark all over then you will definitely need highlights or balayage throughout to achieve the coconut blonde shade," she says. Think of toasted coconut as a reverse ombre—it goes from dark to light.

Toasted Coconut

Choosing a Shade: Gibson says this color works on any skin tone because the underlying blonde can be neutral, cool, or warm.

Maintenance Level: This color is typically low maintenance unless you have naturally blonde hair, which means you'll need to darken the base color. Generally, go in for a highlight or balayage touch up every four to six months. If you're naturally blonde, head in more often for a root touchup.

Goes Great With: Because of its blended look and the ability to customize the shade, this color looks great on a variety of skin tones.

Similar Shades: Other popular fall hair colors include the seasonally appropriate "Autumn Leaves" trend.

Price: Balayage typically ranges from $200 and up, so expect to pay somewhere around there.

Ready to try out the "toasted coconut" look? Keep scrolling to see the hair color trend in action.

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Modern Ombré

Toasted Coconut Hair Ombre


As you can see, toasted coconut hair is different from the traditional balayage we're used to seeing, as the highlights don't undulate with the hair's deeper tones. Instead, the hair starts off dark, before slowly transitioning to a true blonde color at the ends. Essentially, it's a modern take on traditional ombré hair. 

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All About The Base

Toasted Coconut Hair Dark Base


People who already have brunette hair will find this color trend especially easy to pull off since the base color is already there. All it takes is progressive lightening on the ends. 

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Natural Progression

Toasted Coconut Hair Natural Progression


That also means it's a comparatively low-maintenance color. Since it's basically a more modern, updated take on ombré, the hair will grow out naturally without any harsh lines or color separation. Low-maintenance hair color for the win.

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Gradually Lightened Ends

Toasted Coconut Hair Lightened Ends


Gibson's rule of thumb when it comes to this hair color: the lighter you go, the more risk of damage. This gradual lightening, which looks almost icy at the ends, may require a stricter at-home haircare routine to keep hair shiny and healthy.

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Sandy Roots

Toasted Coconut Hair Sandy Roots


If you want to stay as blonde as possible, model your hair after this look by expert colorist Johnny Ramirez. It's overwhelmingly blonde, save for sandy-brown hair at the roots. 

To maintain the pretty milky coconut blonde shade, opt for an at-home hair gloss or make an appointment every eight weeks or so. Gibson recommends timing it between highlight appointments.

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Warm Coconut Curls

Jaz Sinclair toasted coconut

B Lacroix /Getty Images

It doesn't have to be cool-toned blonde, either. If you prefer warmer, more golden-blonde hues, copy this gorgeous look on actress Jaz Sinclair. It's a subtle take on the trend, with the toasted coconut ends providing dimension and warmth to her curls. Simply gorgeous.

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Style A Lob

Toasted coconut bob


Here's proof that toasted coconut color suits any length, even—no, especially—a sleek lob. 

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Extra Toasted Coconut

Toasted Coconut Hair Dramatic


How gorgeous is this color on Nikki Lee, the co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon? Her hair starts with a darker root before going lighter, which leads to a natural growing out process that won't lead to any harsh lines.

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Coconuts and Coffee

Toasted Coconut Hair Dark Roots


Here's another toasty hair color. This hue looks almost exactly the same as a coconut latte. Sure, we'll match our hair to our coffee.

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Perfectly Toasted

Toasted Coconut Hair Seamless Transition


Metaphorically speaking, this coconut looks like it was toasted to perfection. Amy from The Loft at 538 in Massachusetts not only managed to blend this toasty blonde to absolute perfection, but her other creations are spot on too.

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Blended to Perfection

Toasted Coconut Hair Blended


Once your color is done, pair it with tousled waves for an ideal blend of tones—it's a winning combination.

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Toasted Coconut Mullet

Zendaya toasted coconut

Jason Merritt/TERM / Staff/Getty Images

Zendaya isn't one to shy away from hair trends—including combining two at the same time. The actress highlights her mullet cut with perfectly toasted coconut ends along the crown. If you love this look but want something less extreme, consider a shag haircut.

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Shiny and Light

Toasted Coconut Hair Shiny


Not all hair textures can handle being this light of a blonde shade, and it is possible to experience damage trying to achieve the shade. While this wonderfully toned style looks impeccably sunny, the lightened process can be seriously drying on strands, often requiring extra moisturizing products to restore shine and softness.

If you naturally have dark brown or black hair and have no pre-existing highlights, it may take more than one highlight appointment to achieve the coconut blonde shade. While we totally understand why it'll take longer, it's still important to point out as booking more than one appointment can end up being a higher total amount than originally anticipated.

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Curly Blonde Perfection

Toasted Coconut Hair Curly


If you can get past these amazing curls—which are beyond impeccable— you'll see a darker root at the top. As we mentioned before, this trend makes for a super simple growing out process because it purposely starts with a naturally dark base.

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Face Framing Highlights

Toasted Coconut Hair Face-Framing Highlights


When it comes to being a natural-looking blonde, make sure to deepen your roots at least once a month in order to maintain the depth and tone required for this look. While it's important to keep your roots dark with this style, feel free to still play around with face-framing highlights.

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Lived In Caramel

Toasted Coconut Hair Caramel


Shaylee Blatz from Nine Zero One Salon really let the warmer tones shine in this rendition of toasted coconut. The natural progression from darker brown into a more caramel/honey color uses the same technique we've seen before to create this lived-in shade.

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Icy Blonde

Toasted Coconut Hair Icy


This icy blonde hue takes a cooler approach to toasted coconut, though it still has the required depth throughout the top. If the hair is fragile, Gibson is quick to warn against highlighting and suggests taking time to treat and heal your hair before going for a lighter tone such as this. You can get there—just be patient.

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Warm Works, Too

Toasted Coconut Hair Warm


A lot of this trend focuses on a cooler, icy look and we love it, but don't discount a warmer tone. Toasted coconut incorporates all the shades between brown and blonde, so don't count them out.

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All Over Coconut

Soo Joo Park toasted coconut hair

Peter White / Getty Images

There are no rules saying you can only get toasted coconut highlights. Model Soo Joo Park totally rocks this all-over toasted coconut hue. In fact, even her eyebrows have the same cool blonde tone.

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Coconut Tips

Rihanna's toasted coconut tips

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Another fun version of this trend is to color just the tips, as spotted on Rihanna. The contrast between her dark hair and toasted coconut tips draws attention to her curls and gives her look an edge.

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Pale Blonde Lob

Toasted Coconut Hair Blonde Lob


Even shorter styles like this highlighted bright blonde on a subtle brown base still need attention and care after the dyeing process. Gibson is a big fan of the L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Line for highlighted hair, calling their shampoo ($36) and masque ($42) amazing.

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Chunky Coconut Highlights

Laverne Cox toasted coconut hair

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Chunky toasted coconut highlights provide just the right amount of contrast to give your curls and updos definition, as seen here on Laverne Cox. The warm coconut blonde compliments her skin tone perfectly. As a bonus, the darker root allows you to wait longer between touch-ups.

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Traditionally Toasted

Toasted Coconut Hair Traditional


This cooler blonde tends to resemble a traditional coconut blonde hue and no, we're not mad about it. In fact, it's basically perfect with a strong shadowed root and effortlessly light blonde waves.

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Beach-Ready Blonde

Toasted Coconut Hair Beach Blonde


So effortless and cool, both the dark and light colors melt together seamlessly, somehow ending in an amazing beachy blonde color. This style is truly a work of art.

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Face Framing Coconut Highlights

Ciara's toasted coconut hair color

Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

This toasted coconut hair color, as seen on Ciara, includes the faintest hints of caramel throughout and a swoon-worthy blend of warm blondes at the ends and framing her face. While touchups are recommended to maintain the toasted look, this lived-in color could easily grow out with little maintenance required.

  • What natural hair color does toasted coconut work best on?

    If your natural hair color is dark blonde, dirty blonde or light brown, then a toasted coconut color is an easier transition. For those that have dark hair, the ultra-blonde ends to achieve this look will require bleach, which could make ends dry and fragile. 

  • What is the best hairstyle to show off toasted coconut hair color?

    Beachy waves using salt spray or voluminous waves using a 1.5 inch curling iron are both great ways to show off the color palette of toasted coconut. You can also apply a shine-boosting serum and use a flat iron for straight and shiny hair that gives a more subtle nod to your hair color.

  • How is toasted coconut hair color different from bronde?

    Bronde hair creates a more uniform blend of brown and blonde, while toasted coconut hair is a gradient—going from dark at the roots to blond at the ends. 

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