Cold brew hair: How to achieve autumn's mane trend

Cold brew
Everything you need to know about this season’s most talked about hair trend [Photo: Instagram]

We don’t know about you but it took months of iPhone mood boards and celebrity inspiration snaps before we finally jumped on the balayage bandwagon. So you can imagine our frustration when we learnt that there’s a whole new beauty phenomenon stealing the likes over on Instagram right now – cold brew hair.

Thought up by New York-based hair colourist Stephanie Brown, the Pinterest-worthy look is designed to mimic an ice cube-laden Starbucks number.

And what with summer drawing to a close, we could all do with one last hurrah before digging out our go-to coat.

What is cold brew hair?

In homage to every millennial’s guilty pleasure, the cold brew trend imitates a milky latte thanks to its rich brown hue with subtle highlights and lowlights tapered throughout.

But just as our coffee orders grow increasingly complex (“I’ll have a tall almond decaff flat white to go please”) – the hair trend is also likely to differ from person to person.

Summer hair by @stephaniebcolor 🌞#nofilter #coldbrewhair

A post shared by Brittany Leitner (@britariail) on May 24, 2018 at 7:21am PDT

While some may opt for warm mahogany-hued highlights others may wish for a richer chilli chocolate – the ultimate recipe for Insta-gold.

For those of you eager to trial the trend this autumn, we asked director of London-based Not Another Salon, Sophia Hilton, for the lowdown.

How can I achieve cold brew hair?

There’s nothing worse than having to smile through tears when the stylist unveils your new unforgiving look in the mirror. So, when asking for the cold brew trend, Hilton highly recommends taking in a picture whether it’s from Instagram or your favourite Pinterest board.

“The trouble with asking for something in words is that no one sees or describes colour the same, so this is where it all goes disastrously wrong,” Hilton told Yahoo Style UK. “Hairdressers used to hate pictures but in 2018 – they love them!”

When it comes to the nailing the cold brew hue, Hilton suggests going for coffee or caramel-inspired tones.

How long will cold brew colour last?

Returning to the hairdresser’s for regular touch-ups can be tough on our pockets so how long can we expect our colour to last?


A post shared by NYC HAIR STYLIST ✂️ (@hairby_kimberlyy) on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:38pm PDT

“Depth [how dark or light it is] tends not to change, but tone [what colour it is] does. Toners drop out quite quickly and so if you want to keep the colour exactly the same you will need to pop back to the salon for a toner,” Hilton explains. “When a client says to me, when will this start to fade? I reply: ‘straight away.’ The reality is that no hairdresser can really tell you how many washes because we don’t make the product – it’s not something we control. It’s a sad truth, but the truth non the less.”

How can I care for coloured hair at home?

Within a week of sitting in the hairdresser’s swizzle chair, our locks will begin to lose that inimitable salon smell and exactly how they achieved our well-complimented blow dry has long been forgotten. But how can we maintain the colour of cold brew hair at home?

In a surprising move, Hilton strongly recommends ditching your conditioner.

“At Not Another Salon, we sell 10% conditioner and 90% masks,” she explains. “If you can buy something that is more moisturising and will repair you hair quicker, I don’t know why you wouldn’t!”

Can I achieve cold brew hair from home?

For those who have a fear of sitting in the hairdresser’s hot seat, it may prove tempting to opt for a DIY kit. But Hilton strongly recommends seeking professional assistance when trialling the trend to avoid looking like “an experimental teen“.

“I’ve been teaching ombre and balayage to professionals and it takes about a year to perfect,” she told Yahoo Style UK. “The chance that someone without these hair skills would crack it in the first go is nonexistent and one hell of a risk.”

We don’t need telling twice. Any excuse for a well-deserved pamper at the salon, eh?

To book an appointment at Not Another Salon, head over to the website.

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