Just when I was starting to think I could live happily as a blonde for the rest of my life, Allure has introduced yet another brunette hair trend that has me itching to go darker. In fact, this time around, they've even got me itching to go more red: The chili chocolate hair color trend is about to be the most popular shade of fall and winter 2018, and now that I've seen it, I'm ready to spice up my life (and my hair color.)
While the colder months traditionally signal a move toward darker shades of hair, in 2018 they serve as just another opportunity to get creative. The warm tones of autumn — orange pumpkins, reddish leaves, brown hot chocolates — work particularly well with brunette hair, so it's no surprise that these flattering fall shades have begun to be utilized in the world of hair color. Keep in mind, I'm not suggesting you go vibrant pumpkin-spice orange like Nicki Minaj, but instead, that you consider a much more wearable shade: chili chocolate.
According to Allure, hairstylist and balayage specialist Amanda Leaman, of Joi Salon in Boston, Massachusetts, has coined the term "chili chocolate hair" to describe the warm auburn tones spicing up basic brunette strands this season:
The key to nailing this shade is asking for super natural touches of red and auburn — you're not trying to go full-on redhead, although I'm sure you'd rock it if you did. Leaman told Allure that as brunette hair naturally lightens in the sun, it tends to have red-tinged highlights, so this shade plays on that idea and really enhances those warm moments. A technique like balayage is ideal for getting this shade, since it blends colors in a way that allows them to melt together for a seamless, natural look.
I asked my super-talented colorist, Michelle Gonzalez of Mimi's Salon in Belmar, New Jersey, why she thought this color was becoming so popular, and she said it had a lot to do with how perfect the tones are for fall and winter, as well as how suitable a shade like this can be for anyone in the process of experimenting on their hair color journey.
"This color is perfect for brunettes that want something more subtle, or if they're on their way to going blonde and are stuck in the 'red zone,'" says Gonzalez. Unfamiliar with the dreaded "red zone?" During the bleaching process from dark to light, sometimes hair will pull red or orange instead of blonde right away, so a dye job like this can really help mask and tone that unflattering, just-bleached look. Plus, it will enhance the shade you've already got, as Gonzalez notes that "the beautiful auburn tones warm up anyone's face."
Seriously, if this chili chocolate hair color was somehow offered as an actual chocolate bar flavor, I would probably buy and eat them by the dozen. This shade just looks so rich and delicious:
Even if your natural brunette base isn't a pure chocolate brown, you can still add auburn-toned highlights to your slightly darker locks for a striking, warm chili chocolate effect:
I'm not currently dark enough to rock this shade, but pretty much everyone else in my family is, so catch me pressuring them all to try out a chili chocolate shade as soon as possible. Brunette friends and family members of mine, I apologize in advance for the nagging, but also, you're going to look fabulous, so actually, you're welcome.