"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 August is its seasonal equivalent. It's the end of sun-drenched days and the beginning of colder fall weather. That, our friends, is why we refer to it as the August Awfuls. But just because the seasons are changing 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. 

As for the latter, we just need to update our look to be seasonally appropriate. Instead of the bright, golden blonde balayage we've been seeing all summer, we're thinking of switching it up to something a little smokier. That's where Instagram's newest hair color trend comes in. According to Allure, 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.

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.

Keep scrolling to see the hair color trend in action.

Toasted Coconut

Choosing a Shade: Gibson says this color is flattering 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 4-6 months. If you're naturally blonde, head in more often for a root touchup.

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.

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Modern Ombré

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

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

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

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

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 8 weeks or so. Gibson recommends timing it between highlight appointments.

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Warm and Golden

It doesn't have to be cool-toned blonde, either. If you prefer warmer, more golden-blonde hues, look to this example, also from Ramirez. It's a subtle take on the trend, with the lightest parts of the hair placed in front around the face. 

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Style A Lob

Proof that toasted coconut color suits any length, even—no, especially—a sleek lob. 

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Extra Toasted Coconut

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

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

Metaphorically speaking, this coconut looks like it was toasted to perfection. Amy from The Loft at 538 in MA 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

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

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Mermaid Hair Done Right

This toasted coconut hair inspiration comes from with Morgan Parks again. These mermaid tresses...We can't look away.

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Shiny and Light

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 your naturally dark brown/black 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

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

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

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

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

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, okay?

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Blending Together

Sometimes the best creations come from merging two favorites together. This perfectly blended brown to blonde style resembles the toasted coconut hair we've come to love.

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A Close Up

This closeup shot really shows how well the colors merge together, and it's so cool to see. We can thank Michelle Gonzalez from Mimi's Salon for perfectly illustrating why we love this trend so much.

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Pale 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'oreal Professionnel Absolut Repair Line for highlighted hair, calling their shampoo ($30), masque ($40), and blow-dry creme ($14) amazing.

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Coconut Colored Ends

Even though the darker base color dominates a majority of this look, that's not to say the lighter color doesn't make a lasting impact. In fact, the laid back 'do look's amazingly low-key and bright with additional face-framing highlights.

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Traditionally Toasted

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

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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Classic and Subtle

This one includes the faintest hints of caramel throughout and a swoon-worthy blend of warm blondes at the ends. While touchups are recommended to maintain the toasted look, this lived-in color could easily grow out to a fully brunette style.

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