The Copper Hair Trend Is Huge–Here’s How to Maintain It, According to Colorists

When I sniff out a sprinkling of a new hair trend, I am all over it, keenly looking to see if it’ll take off imminently. And that’s exactly what happened when I noticed more people dyeing their hair copper at the tail end of the A/W season. The trend was cemented with Kendall Jenner’s hair color switch last month and I think it is certified as one of the hottest hues of the year. But if you’re thinking of taking your hair copper, I have two words for you: color fade. This hue requires a lot of upkeep but in a different capacity than bleaching your hair blonde. For redheads, it’s all about topping up the vibrancy which will be naturally lost when washing, styling, and exposing it to the elements rather than diligently fending off warmth (as with blondes) as this is what makes copper hair look super vivacious.

“Copper is the perfect trend for spring and summer, as it has the warmth and shine of a red shade, but it is lighter and more delicate against the skin,” says Siobhan Haug, International Colour Director at Toni&Guy. “So, it makes it the ideal choice for this time of year when your makeup, clothes, and hair all want an injection of summer sunshine.” If you’re worried about whether copper will suit your skin tone, you’re in luck—there’s a copper intensity for everybody.

“The great thing about coppers is that you can add a little extra warmth or coolness to reflect every skin tone,” notes Siobhan. “There’s a whole spectrum to choose from, there isn’t only one shade of copper. Think copper brown, rustic copper, lighter auburn or peach.”

If you’re unsure about the vibrancy or hue you want to go for, make sure you book a consultation with your colorist as they’ll guide you not only on the maintenance level but also what will suit your skin and eye color uniquely. “Copper is suitable for all,” says Matthew Evans, freelance stylist at Blushes. “It helps to make eyes pop with pale skin tones and gives a warm glow to those with more olive tones to their skin. It’s the color that can really be as muted or as vibrant as you want it to be.”

Not quite ready to make a full switch? You can dip your toe into the trend too. “If you want to try the trend but aren’t totally sure you want it all over, try complementing shades of copper round the face, or a few highlights to add dimension and interest,” says Karen Perry, co-owner of Room 97 Creative. “And don’t worry if it starts to fade—it looks just as gorgeous when it’s a muted peach or paler rustic version.”

The punchier the hue, the more upkeep it’ll be at home so a color-protecting haul will be necessary. “Copper can lose up to 20% of the vibrancy in the first wash, so choose your products wisely,” warns Matthew. The first thing you need to do is switch your shampoo and conditioner for a duo that’s completely color-safe. I usually opt for ones that are created by color brands as tone maintenance is usually at the top of the list of properties. Along with this, Karen advises keeping a UV heat protectant on hand and a weekly hair mask too. The heat protectant will ensure your color doesn’t become dull due to sun exposure and excess heat styling while the hair mask will stop dryness from creeping in, which is especially important if you had to pre-lighten your hair to achieve your look.

This shampoo is free from sulphates to prevent over-drying and leaves hair feeling smooth and strong. It helps to prevent UV damage and the complex at the core of the formula binds to hard water minerals to help preserve hair color.

With a patented healthy hair molecule and cuticle sealing agent, this color care conditioner helps your hue last so much longer. 

Fortify the strength of your hair and the boldness of your color with the signature complex in this formula. It protects against oxidation, with honey-derived humectants to provide dye protection and edelweiss flower extract to stop dryness.

This iconic pre-treatment mask is a must-have if you’ve bleached your hair before dyeing it copper. Where bleach can disrupt the structure of hair, this builds the bonds back up to enhance strength.

No time for a deep conditioning session? This “water” works in just eight seconds and is great for finer hair types thanks to the lightweight lamellar technology.

Use this hair protector before heat styling or before you head out into the sun for UVA and UVB protection. It can also just be used for air-dry styling to enhance your natural texture. The formula is light so you don’t have to worry about it weighing your hair down.

I swear by Glaze glosses to maintain shiny color at home. Use a few times a month to refresh your shade and leave your hair with mirror-like shine.

This deep treatment mask nourishes and restores color-treated hair with camelina oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. It adds strength, moisture, and shine for vibrant, longer lasting color.

This rinse-out treatment strengthens and seals the surface of your hair with lactic acid to enhance shine and preserve color.

Color Wow’s Color Security Conditioner combats dryness, acts as a heat protectant, and detangles. It’s a silky formula with argan oil and hydrolyzed rice protein that increases hair strength and flexibility.

This offering from Alterna protects from UV damage, and environmental stressors, and minimizes color fade with ingredients like raspberry leaf oil, sunflower seed oil, and caviar extract.

With musk rose oil and goji berry extract, this mask promotes vibrant color and prevents oxidation and fading.

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This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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