Among the most popular trending hair colors, copper hair color is certainly having a moment. It seems like the fiery shade is everywhere these days, with celebs like Sydney Sweeney, Chrissy Teigen, Zendaya, and Emily Ratajkowski signing off on copper hair.
Our copper obsession shows no sign of stopping. According to Shvonne Perkins, master colorist at Madison Reed, the shade is beloved for its versatility. “Copper can be worked into a variety of makeup schemes and skin tones,” Perkins tells Glamour. “It’s really about what it’s mixed with.”
Another selling point? Copper hair is easy to try out with low commitment. If you’re starting from a blonde shade, a gloss is your best bet. “I like glosses for everyone, but mostly for people who don’t want to, or aren’t quite ready to, fully commit,” says Jenna Perry, celebrity colorist and owner of New York’s Jenna Perry Hair Studio. “Glosses are not permanent, there is no damage to the hair, and they add shine and depth. It’s also good for in-between coloring and for refreshes—it stretches the longevity.” A mix of brown and red glosses would be the way to go if it’s copper hair you’re after.
What is copper hair?
There are a few characteristics that set apart copper hair from your regular dye job. It turns out the shade name is pretty literal. “Copper hair is a shade of reddish-brown that resembles the color of a copper penny,” says Abby Haliti, founder of Abby Haliti Color Studio. “It has warm orange undertones and is often described as a vivid, vibrant shade of red.”
Perkins says the shade can also be much more subtle—less the animated version of the Little Mermaid and more Halle Bailey’s copper live-action color. “Less emphasis for reds on true fire-engine red and more of a copper, tangerine, gold overlay,” she says, “Think of what natural redheads look like in the sun, much less reddish and much more copper penny.”
What skin tones suit copper hair?
Copper hair is quite versatile, but it all depends on your undertones. How to choose a shade of copper can seem difficult, so Perkins recommends establishing a few baseline shades to build off. “If you have fair skin, freckles, or peach complexion, you want the copper to have some light brown and gold mixed in, almost in the strawberry blonde to apricot category,” she says. “That softness in hue plays well with the lighter tone of the skin and the pink to peach complexion. Matera Marigold and Ravello Blonde are great examples of this shade. Think Shiv Roy.”
Medium and deep skin tones look especially striking when paired with copper hair color. But again, this depends on a few factors. “Deeper skin tones tend to look really radiant when copper is mixed with a true red or an even mahogany violet hues (Sardinia Red),” she says. “In this shade, the copper really brings the red and neutral to life and the balance of cool and warm looks great on deeper skin tones without appearing too orange.”
How quickly does copper hair fade?
There are a few factors at play. “Copper hair color can fade relatively quickly,” says Haliti, “depending on a number of factors, such as the condition of your hair, how often you wash it, and how much time you spend in the sun or swimming. Generally, copper hair color will start to fade after two to four weeks and may require touch-ups every four to six weeks to maintain its vibrancy.”