Copper red hair is the next big beauty trend, and major celebrities are here to prove it: Kendall Jenner debuted a fresh copper locks at Paris Fashion Week, while Euphoria stars Sydney Sweeney and Barbie Ferreira have both recently been spotted sporting similarly crimson shades. (Zendaya had already set the stage with her iconic red hair at the Euphoria premiere.) The hue was well on its way to hairstyle stardom before any red carpet (or catwalk) appearance however, having already gone viral on beauty-trendsetting platform TikTok: At the time of writing, #copperhair has 88.6 million views on the app, while #copperhaircolor and #copperhairstyle have 3 and 4 million, respectively. Considering this, and the countless it-girls now dyeing their hair the color, it’s clear that copper is having a major moment — which, according to experts, isn’t at all surprising. “After the last few years we’ve had, people are interested in something different and bold,” Jenna Perry, the celebrity hair colorist behind Jenner’s new hue and founder of Jenna Perry Hair Studio, tells Bustle.
Alex Brownsell, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder and creative director of Bleach London, concurs, adding that copper tones have been a top request at her salon for the past few months. “Warm, coppery tones are popular because they’re universally flattering, and the wide range of copper shades to explore means there’s something for everyone,” she says, while Michael Van Clarke, owner of Michael Van Clarke Salon, and founder of 3’’’More Inches Haircare, notes that copper is essentially the best of both worlds: It both satisfies the vibrant, attention-grabbing element of more “unrealistic” pastel shades, while still falling within the “natural” color palette.
Feeling inspired? Read on for expert tips on how to try the copper hair trend for yourself.
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What To Know Before Going Copper
Copper may be universally flattering, but that doesn’t mean anyone and everyone should dye their hair the color this minute. Instead, Rachel Bodt, celebrity colorist and Matrix brand ambassador (who’s also responsible for Ferreira’s radiantly red mane), suggests going slowly, adjusting your tint over time. “Changing shades can be jarring and shocking,” Bodt tells Bustle. “Dark red is made for a specific person. If you haven’t had it, you need to wear and feel it out.” Her pro tip? Try a copper wig to see what you like. Similarly, Brownsell recommends experimenting with semi-permanent color, such as Super Cool Colour’s Proper Copper. “Since it eventually washes out, you can have lots of fun customizing and experimenting,” she says.
Bodt also reiterates the importance of seeing a professional when undergoing a drastic color transformation, especially when it comes to finding your exact shade. “Everyone is different, and colorists need to match the right tone with the client’s skin undertone and eye color in order to not wash out the entire look,” she says, and Clarke concurs. “Skin tone and eye color will affect [the final color], but it [also] depends whether you’re looking for ‘natural’ or ‘believable,’ or a more extreme statement,” he says, noting that both look great — and generally require a professional’s expertise. That said, Perry points out that in terms of experimentation, copper is generally a safer choice than most. “If you’re looking to add some more richness and depth to your color, copper is good option,” she tells Bustle. “It’s a mild process typically — you can achieve it by just using a gloss or a single process — so it’s not as damaging to the hair as lightening would be.”
While the color may be easy to accomplish, maintenance is a little more complicated. “Red tint fades more quickly than other colors, so protective products are essential to stop the color from being washed down the sink too quickly,” Clarke concludes. This means you’ll likely need to stock up on a whole new slew of color protecting products should you make the copper commitment.
Finally, Perry suggests finding photos of coppers you like, and sharing them with your colorist before your appointment. “Reference photos are always great when searching for the perfect shade of copper,” she says. “When looking, try to find someone who has a similar skin tone and eye color as you.”
How To Maintain The Shade
As noted above, copper hair requires its fair share of upkeep, though it’s not necessarily exclusive to variations on the color red. All warm colors tend to fade quicker than cooler ones but according to Brownsell, the benefit of warmer hues’ is that they do so in a much softer way. “You can let your hair fade back to a golden blonde when you’re ready to try something new,” she says.
Another one of Bodt’s expert maintenance tips? Take colder showers. “Hot showers with steam cause the color to fade faster,” she tells Bustle. What’s more, she explains, is that at-home hair care after coloring is critical to how long color lasts, as well as your hair’s overall health — which does, in fact, impact how well dye holds up. “The condition of the hair is the most important factor,” Clarke adds. “Keeping the hair shaft strong and complete will stop the color from leeching out.” For that reason, experts strongly encourage the consistent use of color-protecting shampoo, conditioner, styling, and deep-conditioning products to extend the life of your color between salon visits, and Perry specifically suggests Davines’ Alchemic copper red hair care line.
While it may be a bit high maintenance, Browsell still encourages everyone to try going copper — at least once. “The movement is fun, bright, and going strong — everyone should join in!”