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A woman with cool-tone brown hair next to Redken Shades EQ Gloss

How To Achieve Red Carpet-Worthy Brunette Hair, According To A Pro

Our expert breaks down how to achieve and maintain celebrity-inspired cool tone brown hair. Read on for everything you need to know.

We’re only five months into 2021, but we can already say that it’s been one of the best years for hair color trends. After a year of salon closures and DIY hue changes (some that we’d prefer to keep hidden away), we’re eager to try all of the trends the year throws at us. 

While we’ve seen a ton of blonde and red hair inspiration, we’re officially ready to give brunettes the spotlight. And when it comes to finding the hottest hair trends, we always look to celebrities first. 

Wondering what brunette hair trends celebs are rocking this year? We tapped Cassondra Kaeding, Redken artist and celebrity colorist, who shares the brunette trends she’s been seeing in the world of celebrity color. Hint: cool-tone brown hair is huge in 2021. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know, including how to achieve the red carpet brunette shade for yourself. 

A woman with cool-tone brown hair the new celeb inspired trend

What shades of brown hair are currently trending?

We’re used to seeing celebs sporting warm-toned brunette shades, like chocolate and chestnut, but Kaeding says 2021 is all about cool-tone brown hair. While there are so many cool-toned shades to choose from, there are two that Kaeding says are the most sought-after. 

Brunette Icy-Lights

According to Kaeding, more and more celebs are moving away from blonde hair in favor of low-maintenance brunette shades. She says, however, that brunette doesn’t need to be boring and one dimensional. 

“With my Icy-Lights technique, I use the Redken Color Gel Lacquers to cover grays and achieve subtle dimension with a modern, cool-tone finish.”

Frosted Face-Frame

Yes, these are the frosted highlights you remember from the ‘90s, but with a modern twist. While the OG frosted highlights were chunky, Kaeding paints thin face-framing highlights that contrast a cool-toned brunette base. 

“The face frame is highly requested from my younger celeb clients,” Kaeding says. “To achieve this look, I use Redken Flash Lift Bonder Inside to lighten the hairline, and the Shades EQ Ash Brown shades to create an ultra cool, brunette tone throughout the rest of the hair for a high-contrast look.”

Side by side picture of a woman going from blonde to cool-tone brown hair the new celeb inspired trend

Who does cool-tone brown hair work best for? 

Cool-tone brown hair is ashy and neutral (which, of course, makes it best for women with cool or neutral skin tones). However, that doesn’t mean those with tan or dark skin tones can’t slay one of these shades. 

“A good colorist will know how to customize your cool-tone to make it work for you… that might look like adding a little more or less warmth to complement your specific features,” Kaeding explains. 

How do you maintain cool-tone brown hair?

When it comes to maintenance, cool-toned shades are a little trickier to maintain—which is why we recommend seeing your colorist every four to six weeks for a touch-up. 

“As a [cool-toned] brunette myself, I know that we are obsessed with being cool… The moment my clients start seeing any red undertone pop through, they are immediately back in my chair for a Redken Shades EQ Gloss,” Kaeding says. 

Redken Shades EQ are unlike your typical hair gloss. These demi-permanent, ammonia-free formulas can tone, add shine, and condition your hair in just 20 minutes. Your colorist can whip up a customized Shades EQ formula at the salon to keep your cool-toned brunette hue in tip-top shape. 

Your maintenance routine doesn’t end once you leave the salon. You’ll also need to fill your at-home hair care routine with color-protecting products. 

“I am obsessed with the Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate range for my clients,” Kaeding says. “Not only is it extremely conditioning and will protect your color from fading, but it’ll also make the hair smoother and shinier, with less breakage and less visible split ends.”

The range consists of a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner, all made with citric acid and a concentrated bonding complex to reinforce weakened strands and build your hair’s strength and resiliency. 

Kaeding also suggests that brunettes should also have a dry shampoo in their routine. 

“Dry shampoo is a brunette’s best friend, and Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo is incredible for bringing day three or four hair back to life. Extending your blowout will keep your color looking cool and fresh for longer.”

With Kaeding’s expert tips and color recommendations, you can try an on-trend, cool-toned brunette shade for yourself. 

Interested in trying a new hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.

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