“Candlelit Brunette” Gives Your Hair A Built-In Glow

Warm undertones are having a moment.

"Candlelit brunette" gives your hair a built-in glow.

Ever notice the orange glow that reflects on your face and hair when you light a candle or sit by a crackling bonfire? That instantly recognizable red tint feels super cozy, especially in the fall. And with the right dye job, you can take it with you wherever you go.

“Candlelit brunette,” as it’s been aptly named, is the latest hyper-specific hair color trend taking off on TikTok, where it has over 10 million views. Dakota Johnson is a fan of the warm shade, and Hailey Bieber has been spotted with a version of it, too.

According to Olivia Casanova, a colorist at IGK Salon in New York City, candlelit brunette can be described as a warm brown with subtle, face-framing highlights. The auburn hue and perfectly placed strands of red and orange-tinted color bring to mind glowing candles, fall evenings, and comfy nights indoors.

“It’s an extremely versatile color, and it works for the majority of skin tones and hair textures,” Casanova tells Bustle. “It’s a great shade for fall as it has warm undertones, which are definitely having a moment right now.”

Here’s everything you need to know about candlelit brunette, including how to ask for it at the salon.

What Is Candlelit Brunette, Anyway?

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As Casanova says, candlelit brunette is an extra rich, warm brunette, which means it has luxe shades of mahogany, auburn, and gold, as opposed to cooler tones like ash, mushroom, or bronde. The vibe is less sunny California and more rich and toasted, with lots of shiny dimension.

The real scene-stealer is the glowy, face-framing highlights that make it look like you’re lit up during golden hour or facing a candle. This look is achieved with pops of auburn, copper, and even ginger to mimic a fiery reflection.

If you already have brunette hair, this trend will be an easy way to play up your natural color without a ton of maintenance, Casanova says. It’s also a good one to try if you’re looking for a warmer hue for the cooler months ahead.

How To Get This Color At The Salon

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Describing a hair color is always tough, so here’s what to say once you plop down in the salon chair: “Ask your colorist for subtle highlights that frame the face, with golden undertones that are flattering to your natural skin undertones,” Casanova says.

Of course, it won’t hurt to show off your Dakota Johnson-packed Pinterest board or a few pics from Hailey Bieber’s IG. According to Casanova, bringing in photos of what you don’t want can be helpful, too. That way your colorist can fully understand what you’re looking for.

How To Keep It Looking Fire

One of the best things about this hair color is that most of the pop comes from the highlights. The glowing bits around your face do all the heavy lifting, so it’ll look like you had a complete transformation — even though all you did was add a few well-placed streaks.

According to Casanova, the look is easy to maintain because of the placement and level of lightness, and it also tends to grow out well. To keep up the glow, she recommends touching up the highlights every three or so months and popping in for a quick gloss refresh in between.


Olivia Casanova, colorist at IGK Salon in New York City