The Zoe Report September 23, 2021

The Zoe Report


Caramel Ribbon Hair Is Autumn’s Most Playful (& Flattering) Color Trend


Out with the old, in with the new.

hether on your nails, in your closet, or on your head, rich browns and deep burgundy are practically synonymous with fall. This year, it seems like brunette in particular is leading the pack for the most popular hair color trends. “This fall, brunettes are finally having their moment,” says Jamila Powell, founder of Naturally Drenched and owner of Maggie Rose Salon. “After a summer where so many people were going lighter, now is the time to make the switch over to the dark side.”

Brown will also be the “perfect transition for fall because it’s a healthy change for anyone trying to connect faded hair from the summer sun,” says Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. It does, however, still require a bit of maintenance. “Your most important tool to maintain color will be color protecting shampoo and conditioner,” Schaudt continues. “Making sure that color is locked in and doesn’t go straight down your drain is key.” Luis Rodriguez, top artist for Clairol Professional, also encourages refreshing the hair color every three months to keep it vibrant.

With both cool and warm brown tones growing more popular, there are endless options to try the look for yourself. “Also trending is brown hair mixed with customized highlights like copper, gold, and honey tones to complement the brown base,” says Rodriguez.

Ready to go dark for fall? Ahead, discover seven of the top brunette hair color trends of the season — plus, the most essential products to keep your brown shade vibrant.

Mocha Melt

Seen recently on Khloe Kardashian, the mocha melt trend is perfect for brunettes who still crave a blend of blond tones. To achieve: ask your colorist for a full balayage. “This style should keep a rooted look while lightening the mid-ends,” says Schaudt. “This melt is lifted 2-3 levels lighter than the natural, so it’s not overly lightened and perfect for fall.” The expert recommends using a light weight oil like Trademark Beauty Jojoba Oil Daily Elixir on the ends to keep it looking effortlessly silky.

Caramel Ribbon Brunette

“Ashy blonde highlights had their moment, but we’re seeing a ton of warmer colors in the hair as we transition into fall,” Powell tells TZR. Caramel ribboned brunette — which features a richer, more golden highlight — is the perfect trend to give brown shades dimension and add warmth to the hair.

Golden Brunette

If you have darker colored hair, the most natural-looking upgrade would be a subtle warm lift, like the golden brunette trend. According to Hairstory hairstylist Jennifer Covington-Bowers, “Golden brown is ideal for those with lighter hair or those not ready to part with their highlights.” To maintain, the stylist recommends regular glossing appointments to protect the shine and richness of the color.

Butter Cup Brown

Schaudt suggests going the butter cup route if you have medium to long hair, or wavy and curly hair textures, since it involves less bleach and will keep your texture more intact. “Brunettes can feel stuck in their dark shades and don’t know how to change it up without becoming a blonde,” she says. “This [color] is minimal and natural, especially on virgin hair.” To recreate the look, ask your colorist for a deep warm shade and paint it on the mid to ends, focusing mostly on the pieces surrounding the face.

Cinnamon Brown

If you love deep red tones in brown hair, the cinnamon brown trend is for you. “It gives off the ultimate fall vibes and it’s a subtle way to give your hair a nice pop of color,” says Powell. To maintain, she recommends implementing a wash schedule (preferably a couple times a week with color-treated shampoo and conditioner) that will keep the hair soft and shiny and the color from fading.

Mushroom Brown

Unlike most brunette shades that have a warm base, the mushroom brown shade mixes highlights into a cool base color. The result: an ashy hue. To achieve, lift the hair past orange and use an ash-based toner to get that cool brown finish. And remember, brown hair tends to fade around the four week mark. To preserve the color, RUSK Artistic Director Laura Gibson recommends getting a gloss or touch up every six weeks.

Touch of Toffee

“This is a two dimensional color with lots of tiny woven highlights,” says Schaudt. “The deeper tone is a warm brunette, while the lighter highlights are closer to a medium toffee tone.” When you visit your salon of choice, ask your colorist for a tint and full highlights. Schaudt emphasizes asking for fine highlights to achieve this look, and staying clear of anything chunky for accuracy.