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Calling All Brunette Babes! The Top 12 Mocha Hair Color Trends

Jackie Summers

March 12, 2017
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Listen up, brownie troops! Never in the history of hair color has there been a better time to be a brunette. Because thanks to sophisticated new brunette hair color shades, and madly talented color artists who take those shades to imaginative new heights, brown hair color is badass. Brown is bombshell. Brown is beautiful. We asked Matrix artists from coast to coast to report in on the trending brunette shades in their areas, share tips on how to talk to your stylist so you get exactly the shade you have in mind and give you the straight up on what it will take to care for your shade.

We asked Matrix artists from coast to coast to report in on the trending brunette shades in their areas, share tips on how to talk to your stylist so you get exactly the shade you have in mind and give you the straight up on what it will take to care for your shade.  

First, here are a few top brunette trends to be aware of no matter where you live:

  • Loads and loads of dimension.

    Brown hair color is no longer a default. It’s crafted, creative and vibrant thanks to artistic placement of a variety of tones which give it movement, vibrancy and dimension
  • The versatility of mocha

    You’re certainly familiar with the concept of mocha from your morning Starbucks run, but did you know that in hair color, mocha is totally a thing? Originally it was a cool-to-neutral shade that began popping up as creamy beige highlights in brown and blonde hair colors. Now there are mocha spinoffs—red mocha, warm mocha, violet mocha—all of which offer balanced combinations of warm and cool reflects in a dominant base tone. Mocha hair colors are subtle and sophisticated shades which are turning ordinary brunettes into truly special shades.
  • Dark roots

    Blonde celebrities like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus have been proudly sporting dark roots for some time. and now trendy brunettes like Beyoncé and Gigi Hadid are getting into the act. Doing the dark root thing makes every shade of brown look really organic and lived-in.
  • Unexpected accents

    At first glance, it’s brown hair. But upon closer inspection…is that a pop of berry? Or a streak of peach? Or a subtle, rosy cast? Today’s brunettes aren’t staying within the confines of chocolate and coffee—they’re boldly going where no brown hair color has gone before!

Here are 12 of-the-moment brunette hair color shades in each of the country’s top areas.  

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Mocha Milk Ombré Hair Color

Trending in:

The Bay Area

Having the talk:

Ask your stylist to hand-paint thick, silvery mocha highlights on the center and ends of your hair. The highlights will vary in location—with some starting higher up than others. The lightest and heaviest portions should be on the ends—mimicking hair’s natural flow from dark to light.

Maintenance tips:

Making the ends so much lighter than your natural base color will require a substantial amount of hair lightener, so talk to your stylist about including a reparative bond builder in your formula to prevent breakage. Bond building systems come with a conditioner to use at home—apply yours as often as needed (you can’t use too much) to maintain strong strands.
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Trending in: Dallas

Having the talk:

Loads of warm, golden highlights make this brunette hair color look naturally beachy. Your stylist will place finely-woven highlights to reduce the amount of contrast in your hair while maintaining enough dimension to prevent a flat, one-color effect.

Maintenance tips:

Shine is everything when it comes to brunette hair color—without it your locks will look lackluster. Keep hair polished to perfection with frequent hair mask treatments at home and during salon visits.
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Khaki and Peach Color Melt

Trending in:

The Southwest

Having the talk:

How cool is it to recreate the subtle tones of the Southwestern desert with these peach and cool khaki accents? Your stylist can apply any combination of shades with a color melt technique, which allows each color to gradually blend into the next.

Maintenance tips:

If you opt for sheer, watercolor shades like this, be prepared for fairly regular upkeep appointments to refresh the color. Prevent premature fading with non-sulfate shampoos that treat color with TLC.

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Caramel Balayage Hair Color Highlights

Trending in:

Miami

Having the talk:

The rich character of brunette color hair is subtly enhanced with fine, hand-painted caramel highlights. Placement is critical—your stylist will concentrate on the areas where the sun would lighten your hair if you spent three months on your favorite beach—without the sand or salt!

Maintenance tips:

Lightly-scattered highlights like this that mimic the sun’s work will only need to be touched up two or three times a year. In between, your stylist will apply a demi-permanent gloss to keep your color on point and your hair shiny.

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Sun-Tipped Ombré Hair Color

Trending in:

The Northwest U.S.

Having the talk:

Ends tipped to a lovely golden brown warm up brown hair color in a subtle, sophisticated way. Your stylist will apply warm highlights by hand, gradually lightening the color along each strand.

Maintenance tips:

 The ends of hair tend to be the driest sections. Since this color is all about the ends, be sure to apply a deeply hydrating conditioner each time you shampoo, concentrating on the lightened end sections.

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Mocha Beige Highlights

Trending in:

The Southeast U.S.

Having the talk:

Southeastern brunettes are playing it cool with lots of cool mocha highlights with violet undertones. Highlights should start an inch or two from the scalp, and gradually progress from narrow to heavier on the ends for the most natural-looking result.

Maintenance tips:

This color must keep its cool. To avoid unwanted yellow tones, use a purple shampoo once a week or so.

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Warm Bronde Hair Color

Trending in:

The Midwest U.S.

Having the talk:

Everyone was buzzing about bronde hair color (brown + blonde) last summer and this version trends a bit darker and a bit richer. Your stylist will carefully melt medium brown highlights into dark golden brown highlights for this blended hair color that’s as innocent as a child’s.

Maintenance tips:

This should fade naturally so upkeep will be minimal. Your job? Keep your hair strong and shiny with shampoos and conditioners designed for color-treated hair.

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Espresso with Mocha Raspberry Balayage Highlights

Trending in:

Minneapolis

Having the talk:

Everything’s coming up roses this season—including brunette haircolor. If you already have highlights, your stylist can create this head-turning hue with a wash of sheer, rosy pink gloss.

Maintenance tips:

The more you shampoo, the faster your color will fade. Try alternating your regular shampoo with a Cleansing Conditioner that will refresh and gently cleanse your hair without disturbing your color.

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Mocha Violet Ombré Hair Color

Trending in:

New York

Having the talk:

Dark strands morph into a delicate ombré in tones of violet and violet-tinged mocha. The contrast is dramatically sophisticated.

Maintenance tips:

Lightening dark hair in order to deposit cool tones can lead to unwanted brassiness. Beat brass with regular use of a shampoo designed to neutralize yucky orange tones

Mocha and Berry Ombré.jpg

Mocha and Berry Ombré Hair Color

Trending in:

Chicago

Having the talk:

Sassy berry strands play among warm mocha ombré highlights within—yes you’re seeing it right—a moss brown/green base. This is a highly artistic color design so don’t try this at home. Make sure your colorist is highly skilled and in possession of a sophisticated eye!

Maintenance tips:

No time to shampoo? Believe it or not, skipping a few shampoos will actually help your color last longer. Plus, if you hit your roots with a refreshing dry shampoo, no one will ever notice you’re on third-day hair!

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Mocha Swirl Hair Highlights

Trending in:

Southern California

Having the talk:

So Cal girls always lean to the blonde side, and these cool biscuit highlights provide the perfect brown/blonde hair color blend. They’re placed all over the head in a variety of sizes-thick and thin, including heavier highlights to frame the face.

Maintenance tips:

Curling irons are your style’s best friend—but they’re definitely no friend of your color. Extreme heat puts color fading on fast forward, so be sure to use a heat protectant spray  each and every time you wave!

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Cinnamon Highlights

Trending in:

The Northeast U.S.

Having the talk:

Here’s brunette with an auburn glow. To achieve this trendy red/brown hue, your stylist will combine a variety of copper, gold and red shades for natural dimension.

Maintenance tips:

What’s better than a deep hair conditioning mask? A hair mask that’s formulated specifically for color-treated hair! Add one to your regular hair care regimen to maintain your color’s depth, tone and shine.

Looking for a new salon for your mocha or brunette hair color transformation? We can help! Use the Matrix salon locator tool: www.matrix.com/salonfinder


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