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Mushroom Brown Hair: What It Is and How To Get the Look

Discover whether this fungi-inspired hue is right for you.
  • Lyz Mancini
May 08, 2024

When it comes to trendy brunette hair colors, you may immediately think of rich, warm-toned shades like toasted pecan, amber, or golden chestnut brown. However, there’s one brown hair color that’s been stealing the spotlight as of late. Meet mushroom brown hair, the earthy, ash brown shade we can’t get enough of. This natural-looking hue features subtle dimension with gray or beige undertones, is super wearable, and can add some serious shine to your strands.

If you’re thinking about switching up your dirty blonde or brunette look, keep scrolling. We’re giving you the lowdown on the mushroom brown hair trend—including what it is, who should try it, and how you can get mushroom brown hair at home. We’ll also share some tips, color inspiration, and product recommendations to help you care for and maintain vibrant, healthy-looking mushroom brown hair.

What Is Mushroom Brown Hair?

Mushroom brown hair is inspired by the natural, earthy tones of mushrooms, like portobello, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms. It’s generally considered to be a neutral brown hair color that features undertones of light gray, silver, or beige. While mushroom brown may look like a standard brunette shade at first glance, a closer look will reveal subtle dimension peeking through the ash brown base.

This hair color is usually created by applying highlights (and/or lowlights) on top of ash brown hair to create a natural-looking, multi-dimensional hue. It’s similar in tone to mushroom blonde hair, another popular hair trend that combines ashy undertones with blonde and brown ribbons.

When mushroom hair first emerged as a hair color trend, it tended to be very cool-toned, with smokey gray or silver undertones. However, as the popular hue has evolved, it’s become even more versatile and wearable. There are softer neutral beige, taupe, and even gold variants of mushroom brown hair.

Who Does Mushroom Brown Hair Look Good On?

If you’re a fan of natural-looking brunette shades, you’re probably going to love mushroom brown. This neutral hue falls somewhere between warm and cool, which means it can flatter a wide range of skin tones and undertones. Pretty much anyone can pull off a mushroom brown hair color—it all comes down to finding the right shade to complement your look. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of mushroom brown shades to choose from. You can choose from light mushroom brown and dark mushroom brown hair colors in tones ranging from ultra-cool, grayish brown to earthy, neutral brown.

The original mushroom brown hair color, which was inspired by the famous portobello mushroom, is ashy and cool-toned with hints of gray or silver. This moody brunette hue has more of a matte finish than other mushroom browns and may flatter those who have cooler undertones in their skin. It’s a great option if you prefer a softer, more subtle hair color, or if you’re looking for an easy way to conceal gray hair.

Meanwhile, those with warmer undertones in their skin may want to opt for a neutral-toned version of this hair color, like a taupe hue with gold or beige highlights (similar to the natural tones of a porcini mushroom).

How To Get Mushroom Brown Hair At Home

As with all highlighting techniques, it’s best to consult a colorist before trying out a new mushroom brown hair color. Your colorist can answer any questions you may have and help you achieve the perfect mushroom brown shade to flatter your features. If you prefer a lighter hue, ask your stylist for a light brown base with plenty of highlights. Or, if dark mushroom brown is more your vibe, your stylist can try blending rich, chocolate brown lowlights into an ash brown base.

For those looking to achieve a mushroom brown hair color at home, there are a few excellent options to consider. Two of our favorites are the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Triple Protection Hair Color in Light Ash Brown and Mocha Ash Brown. The L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Hair Color in Cool Light Ash Brown is another cool-toned shade that will give you the ultimate mushroom brown look.

When applying your color at home, make sure to follow all of the instructions included in your coloring kit. You can also check out this tutorial for an easy step-by-step breakdown: How To Color Your Hair At Home Featuring Excellence Creme. The L’Oréal Paris Hair Color Virtual Try-On Tool is also a helpful way to see how each of these mushroom brown hues will look before you take the plunge.

What’s the Best Way To Style Mushroom Brown Hair?

After you’ve dyed your strands, you’ll likely want to show off your gorgeous new mushroom brown look. The dimension of this hair color really shines when paired with longer hairstyles, but mushroom brown hair can look great with any hairstyle or length. With that said, it’s important to choose the right styling products and techniques to help protect your tresses. Try embracing your natural texture with heat-free, protective hairstyles like braids, loose updos, or heatless curls.

A volumizing mousse, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse, is a great way to add long-lasting volume and lightweight texture to any style. After applying mousse, lock in your style with a few spritzes of the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Weather Control Hairspray. This high-performance hairspray features a lightweight mist that locks out humidity while taming unruly flyaways and frizz. If you decide to style your mushroom brown hair with hot tools, remember to apply a heat protectant first, like the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray.

How To Care For and Maintain Mushroom Brown Hair

Color-treated hair requires plenty of special care to look and feel its best. Read on for some tips and product recommendations to help you maintain your mushroom brown hue.

Use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner

Every good haircare routine for color-treated hair begins with a color-safe shampoo and conditioner. For mushroom brown hair, we recommend trying the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. This system penetrates inside the hair cortex to help rebuild weak hair bonds. It’s ideal for bleached or color-treated hair with split ends or breakage.

Combat brassy, dull color with a purple shampoo

At-home toning products, like purple shampoos, are a great way to help banish brassiness and maintain that cool, ashy mushroom brown look. We love alternating our go-to shampoo with a color-safe purple shampoo, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Purple Shampoo. Use this toning formula once a week for visibly brighter color and moisturized strands after just one wash.

Turn down the water temperature

When washing your hair, it may be a good idea to use lukewarm water. Taking long showers with piping hot water can strip moisture from your strands, potentially leading to weak, dry hair. You can also try rinsing with cool water to help seal the hair cuticles after washing.

Try a shine-boosting hair gloss

Enhance and prolong the vibrancy of your mushroom brown hair color with the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Smoky Bronde. This at-home treatment works to help brighten and tone your hair color while deeply conditioning your strands. It’s formulated with a coconut oil-infused, deep-conditioning base and makes an excellent option for all hair types and textures.

While hair gloss is typically thought of as an in-salon treatment, this product can be used at home, with results in as little as 15 minutes. There’s no mixing involved—just add it to your shower routine for revived color and shine.

Enhance moisture with a leave-in conditioner

Leave-in conditioners and hair oils can help nourish your mushroom brown hair and support softer, healthier-looking strands. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Moisture 21-in-1 Leave-In Conditioner for Dry Hair, which nourishes and protects color-treated tresses with 21 hair-boosting benefits.

Add a weekly hair mask to your routine

Apply a hair mask once a week to help nourish and deeply condition your color-treated mane. We love the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dreams Lengths Savior Fiber Mask, which instantly wraps around damaged sections of your hair to protect each strand. If extra-long hair is your goal, this mask is a must-have.

Apply a heat protectant before using hot tools

As mentioned above, a heat protectant is essential if hot tools are part of your styling routine. When you expose color-treated hair to heat without protection, it can dry out your strands and cause split ends and breakage. Fortunately, a heat protectant—like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In—can help protect your strands. It’s specially formulated to work with hot tools to protect against heat up to 450 degrees.

6 Mushroom Brown Hair Color Ideas To Try

There are so many varieties of mushrooms to be inspired by, but these flattering mushroom brown shades are a great place to start.

Portobello Mushroom

The portobello mushroom is one of the most famous (and delicious) edible fungi out there. They also provide the perfect inspiration for an eye-catching mushroom brown hair color. To get the look, ask your colorist for a cool, light ash brown base with subtle gray undertones.

Smokey Mushroom Ombré

Take portobello mushroom brown and add a bit of smokiness, and you get a muted ash brown ombré. This color is especially flattering on those with cool-toned, fair skin, but can be customized to suit any skin tone or undertone. To try this shade, ask your stylist to create a seamless transition from a deeper, ash brown base to a lighter, cooler tone on your mid-lengths and ends.

Frosted Mushroom

This shade is perfect for anyone looking to update their mushroom brown hair color with a fresh, trendy twist. The frosted mushroom takes a mushroom brown base color and adds bright, cool blonde highlights using a balayage technique. This look is great for adding a bit of vibrancy to your hair, making it one of our favorite mushroom brown hues for summer.

Shiitake Mushroom Brown

This soft, understated mushroom brown is inspired by the natural brown tones of shiitake mushrooms. It blends a cool, ashy brunette base with light brown babylights. The dimensional shade looks more like a natural brunette, but with a whisper of coolness. It's perfect for those who want a subtle change that complements a variety of skin tones.

Porcini Mushroom Brown

Porcini mushroom brown embraces the rich, earthy color palette of this fungi. Unlike its cooler counterparts, porcini mushroom brown is achieved by adding slightly warmer brown or copper highlights on an ash brown base. This brunette shade flatters those with neutral or warm undertones and adds a touch of brightness to your complexion.

Mushroom Bronde

Mushroom bronde is ideal for dark blondes who want to add depth and richness to their hair color. It’s also a great pick for brunettes seeking a touch of brightness without going full-on blonde. This trending hair color blends the cool, ashy tones of mushroom brown with natural-looking blonde highlights to create a blended, dimensional look.

Next Up: 6 Ways To Sport a Delicious Milk Tea Hair Color

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