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Brunette Hair: Hot Chocolate Brunett Is Trending for Winter

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As blondes embrace golden honey tones for winter, brunette enthusiasts are doing the opposite, opting for deeper, darker, and even more vivid shades of dark brown for the New Year.

More specifically, beauty experts predict a major uptick in a color they’ve coined “hot chocolate brunette,” a dark brown shade characterized by warm undertones. (It’s not like you drink hot chocolate iced.) “Hot chocolate brunette is a dark, rich brunette with warm tones and dimension,” says Nikki Lee, co-owner and stylist at West Hollywood’s celebrity beauty hub Nine Zero One Salon. 

If you’re more of a visual learner, Lee points to her client Sarah Hyland’s hair as an archetypal take on the shade. Beauty icons Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski, Laura Harrier, Anne Hathaway, and Camila Cabello are also known for sporting the signature dark brown color (though yes, we did just technically lose Hadid to the blonde side).

Lee isn’t the only beauty expert predicting a rise in hot chocolate brunette in 2023. According to Nick Stenson, artistic director at Matrix, rich shades of brunette, like those of the hot chocolate variety, will be some of most sought-after color stories this winter. “This brunette hair will have healthy shine, and lean toward the warm side without being brassy,” he says.

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The secret to hot chocolate brunette, versus more mousy and/or ashy shades of brown, lies in its dynamic undertones. “Hot chocolate brunette is a warm brown with a chestnut, or slightly red, undertone,” Lorena M. Valdes, a hair colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, tells Glamour. So don’t saunter into the salon and request any old dark brown; be sure to ask for a rich dark brown with subtle dimension and warm tones, says Lee. It’s also strongly advised to bring in photo examples—so yes, go ahead and screenshot this story.


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