With the autumn leaves changing and revealing gorgeous shades of orange and red, it should come as no surprise that copper hues are having a major moment this season.
Though the trend actually emerged earlier this year, it’s taking flight for fall as warmer tones continue to be in high demand. “Warmer tones bring so much more life to the hair,” says Jeremy Santos, a Toronto-based hairstylist and elite color professional for Moroccanoil. “I feel like they’re a lot more achievable and they last a lot longer, so they’re more wearable.”
Factoring in the growing demand for warmer tones since the start of the pandemic, Santos says he believes they could be here to stay for a while. “I think in today’s climate with people’s financial situations, warmer tones just make a lot more sense,” he says. “They don’t have to be in the salon every three to six weeks like they would with an ash colour, so it’s often a more affordable option.”
Though clients may be ready and willing to embrace the trend, it’s important to find a tone that’s best suited for them. “You’ll want to look at their skin and eye colour,” says Santos. “If someone has a lot of redness in their skin, we’re going to try to calm it down and not go completely copper, but we might do a really nice chocolate copper or something with more gold in it to complement the skin tone. If they have a really cool skin tone, we can definitely go more intense with it because it’s going to bring out their features a little bit more.”
“I like to say that opposites attract,” says Mathieu Bergeron, owner of HBMB Coiffure et Esthétique in La Baie, Que., and a member of the Joico colour team. “Warm colours like copper are especially great for those with blue and green eyes.”
While a client’s features can help guide you in the right tonal direction, it’s important to not be afraid of getting creative and creating a customized look that combines various shades. “There are so many types of copper and tones that you can use,” says Santos. “With hair colour, it’s great that we can play with peoples’ features and help make what they want to stand out more, and hide other things they might not want to see. Hair colour makes such an impact.”
PRO TIP: WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT SHADES OF COPPER—FROM PASTEL TO FIERY TONES—ASK CLIENTS FOR A PHOTO OF WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR, AND ZOOM INTO THAT PHOTO TO FIGURE OUT EXACTLY WHAT TONES THEY’RE INTERESTED IN.
Whether your client is looking for an all-over application or a more subtle look, copper can be incorporated into a wide range of colour services, including balayage and colour-blocking. “Personally, I love doing a great lightening service all over, and creating a nice bright copper,” says Santos. “We’ve been doing more natural, rooted looks for a long time, so it’s really nice to see brightness all over, and to do a more impactful look with a level seven copper, for example, which just looks so beautiful and rich, especially for fall and winter.” For clients who may opt for a less dramatic option, Santos says it’s about getting creative with colour placement. “Everybody loves a great ombre or balayage look because it’s wearable and not so high-maintenance,” he says. “For today’s trends, we’re doing a money piece that’s heavier on the outside, but we’re also doing more underneath— with a darker colour on the outside and lighter on the inside to brighten up the face. It creates a really nice lightness around the face and highlights it beautifully.”
“To create a more multidimensional result, you can do some highlights or face-framing placements before using your colour,” adds Bergeron. “There are so many possibilities to create new looks. Sometimes, I like to mix warmer shades to create a new colour. For example, if I mix a gold and a red to create a new shade of copper, rather than choose an existing one.”
With these tones, it’s important to make sure clients are ready to start seeing warmth in their hair, especially if they’ve shied away from it in the past. “If the client is not used to seeing warmth in their hair, I would just do it very subtly; add in a few lowlights and transition them into a bit more copper,” says Santos. “It could just be adding some slices into the hair, or weaving in a few pieces and then incorporating in a veil [by creating a lighter colour on the top layer of the hair, with a see-through effect so the darker shade underneath peeks through]. It’s very light and impactful for someone who may not
Don’t forget to recommend copper tones to your curly-haired clientele! While you may naturally opt for a brunette or blonde shade, coppers can be a great way to blend in any warm tones that are already existing in the hair. “There are so many different shades of copper tones, so it’s definitely inclusive for everyone,” says Santos. “We can customize it for anybody and it’s really nice because it will show you more of the curl, depending on the lightness or darkness of the copper. If you’re doing a lighter copper, you’re going to see more of the curl and it’s going to look healthier and shinier because you have a lot more pigment in there. For people who have a lot of density and curl, you’re going to see a lot more movement in the hair.”
TEXT: VERONICA BOODHAN,PHOTOS: HAIR: ELISE ANTOINE, EA HAIR ARTIST, FRANCE, MAKEUP: KATARZYNA WRONA, WARDROBE STYLING: PATRYK GAJEWSKI, PHOTO: WERONIKA KOSINSKA, GETTYSTOCK
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