While I'm all about trying out wild hair colors, I admit that sometimes, certain fantasy shades are just a bit too bold for me. The only way I can imagine sporting them myself is when the blend is juuust right — I'm terrified of bleaching my roots for no real reason, so all of my colorful hair adventures need to work with my brunette base, not against it. That said, these photos of chocolate lilac hair are the inspo I never knew I needed. Bye bye, rose gold strands, peace out, icy blue trend! There's a new fun hue in town, and I just can't get enough.
What exactly is this new must-have hair color, you ask? While 15-year-old me once performed a very messy dip dye process that left my head half-brunette, half-purple, chocolate lilac hair is a much more beautiful and well-blended approach. Think about your traditional ombre or balayaged look, but instead of blonde tips, the purple of your choosing coats your strands, be it a pinky lilac or mauve, a cool-toned lavender, or even a slightly deeper plum. Depending on the depth of your natural brunette base, you'll either be going for a dark chocolate look or a milk chocolate vibe, and either sounds gorgeous (and delicious!) to me.
Here's some dreamy chocolate lavender hair in action, courtesy of haircolor god Guy Tang:
Stylist Hai Tran has also given the trend a go on a number of clients. Here's a dark chocolate take:
And here's a milky chocolate, almost-pink lilac I can't get enough of:
If you're into this look and you've got a brown base, you're in luck, because according to Michelle Gonzalez, a hairstylist at Mimi's Salon in Belmar, New Jersey, it's one of the easier color trends to tackle for dark hair. "Chocolate lilac hair is super trendy right now for girls with brunette hair that want to do something fun in one session," Gonzalez shares. "It's a good color for girls with dark hair because you don't need to lift the hair past a level seven (which still has orange and red undertones), because these purple tones are super muted, so they don't need to be deposited onto super light hair." If you aren't familiar with the world of hair bleaching, black hair is considered level one, a super white blonde would be a level 10, and brown hair can range between levels two and five. If you were trying to take on a more pastel hair color trend, like the icy blue recently rocked by Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, and others, you'd have to lift your hair all the way to a 10, which Gonzalez notes is "much harder to do in one session on darker hair," and could leave you seeing unfortunate damage from too much bleaching.
That just makes my decision to go for chocolate lavender hair instead of icy blue a million times easier. This stunning dye job by Instagram's @samihairmagic helps, too:
As does this beautiful blend by stylist Geraldo Caton:
As with all bold color choices, you could try this look at home, but it might be best left to a professional, especially if you're starting with a dark chocolate base and need to lift your ends to a level seven. Once you've got the look you like, be sure to take care of it by using color-safe products during your wash cycle. Products that won't strip hair of color, like the OGX Fade-Defying Orchid Oil Shampoo ($6, target.com), are a great option, but if you see your purple look fading fast, you can also opt for color-depositing products, which include a little dye in their formulas to revive your color while you wash. The BRITE Make Me Pastel Purple Conditioner ($16, target.com) is a perfect option for a more lavender look, while the Punky Colour 3-in-1 Color Depositing Shampoo + Conditioner in Purpledacious ($15, ulta.com) is ideal for someone wanting a deeper, more vibrant purple hue.
I really feel like the takeoff of this trend is finally my chance to redeem myself after that purple dip dye fiasco in my youth. Don't be surprised if you see me (and pretty much everyone else on Instagram) rocking chocolate lilac strands very, very soon.