Brunette is the hair colour of 2022 - this is how to achieve your perfect shade

·5-min read

When it comes to hair colour, more and more of you are embracing the dark side. We’re seeing everything from the Tiktok famous ‘expensive brunette’ - aka rich, chocolate all over colour - to frosted brunette - think Hailey Bieber and Camila Cabello - take over our IG feeds, and with Lily James being the most recent A-lister to embrace a darker do’, we thought it was time to break down this trend and dive into whether it’s worth the transition.

If there’s one salon in London that knows how to do hair colour, it’s the Josh Wood Atelier, founded by stylist to the stars, Josh Wood. Oh, and if you need any more convincing of his celeb-trusted status, while sitting in the chair, a certain 90’s supermodel - cough, ‘The Body’, cough - strolled in for a chop and a chit chat.

As a natural brunette, I wanted to find out if there was a way to elevate my dark-toned tresses, so I spoke to Principle Hair Colourist and Josh Wood colour ambassador (avid This Morning viewers may recognise) Issie Churcher who gave me some tips on the best way to find a brunette shade that suits you while she worked her magic on my hair.

So if you’re thinking of making the switch to brunette, read on for some things you may want to consider before doing so:

1. There’s more to think about than just following a trend

Unless you’re debating a just-gone-through-a-breakup drastic hair change, it’s unlikely you’ll be making the decision to go ten shades darker on a whim, and Issie advises to think carefully about what you want to achieve with your colour, before just following in the steps of your favourite celebrity.

2. Consider middle ground

One way to transition to dark is to play around with middle tones, suggests Issie, by experimenting with ‘bronde’, a combo of brunette and blonde: ‘The bronde region can be more playful if you’re going darker for the first time, and you can dial how much lightness and darkness you want throughout, whereas it’s less common to change from light to dark drastically in the first go’

Of course, if it’s the drastic change you’re after, we fully support it - you only live once right? However, Issie advises having a good colourist on speed dial throughout the process to keep the colour bold throughout: ‘Unless you have a colourist on hand, the in-between stage can be difficult, so this is something to take into consideration’.




3. Work with your skin tone

When it came to my hair, it was looking a little worse for wear. Traces of my former, grown-out balayage from 9 months ago had become lighter with the sun, resulting in an uneven colour that was too warm for my skin tone.

So after a consultation with Issie to find out exactly what I wanted to achieve, we agreed on keeping my brunette shade, but adding in some lighter, ashier pieces to frame my face and lighten the top layers, which would compliment my skin tone more, something issie says is key:

‘Change the tone of brunette to work with your skin tone and features, one shade doesn’t suit all, so it’s important to speak to your colourist and decide if an all-over colour, or piecey highlights will work for you.’

And don’t forget to work with the seasons! If you want a colour that’s going to make your skin tone pop all year-round, consider switching up the focus throughout the year:

‘If you’re adding tones to your brunette hair, counteracting with cool tones in summer and then embracing warmer tones in winter will elevate the skin tone and give you a glow all year around’

4. Hair quality is key

As anyone who attempted, and failed, to give themselves an at-home colour job during lockdown will know, if the quality of your hair isn’t good, it’s hard to make your colour work.

The same goes for going brunette, Issie explained that in order to achieve the glossy, rich tones we see on our favourite celebs, it’s important to maintain healthy, strong hair all year.

‘It doesn’t matter what colour you want to go, if the hair condition isn’t there it’s not going to look as nice’.

Issie advises a weekly treatment for thick hair, leaving it on for as long as possible, as well as choosing good-quality products or a gloss treatment that will refresh colour after a few washes. Oh, and don’t forget your heat protectant before styling, and UV protectors if you’re heading abroad this summer, as chlorine and the increased sunshine are known for wreaking havoc on freshly-coloured hair.

The results?

When I tell you, I've never left a salon quite as happy as I did leaving Josh Wood, it’s not an exaggeration. Issie truly understood what I wanted to achieve while also advising on the best colour for my skin tone. I love being brunette, and when I get my hair done, I want to embrace my natural colour while adding dimension and keeping it fresh, which is exactly what was achieved. The ash-toned light pieces throughout really helped to frame my face and make the layers in my hair come to life.

If you have a similar natural skin tone to me, and are looking to spruce up your brunette, or transition fully to this colour, then i couldn’t recommend Issie, and the Josh Wood team enough.

Team brunette forever.

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