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You’ve heard about charcoal as an ingredient in skin care products—but did you know that charcoal’s grayish-black hue has actually inspired a new hair color trend? Yep, it’s true! The latest and greatest hair color trend on the beauty scene is basically the opposite of all the rainbow hair hues that have been so popular lately. Charcoal hair looks equal parts silver and black, with just a touch of blue thrown into the mix. If that sounds like breath of fresh air to you, keep reading to learn how to get the look—and find tips for taking care of your charcoal-colored mane.
Since charcoal hair is all about achieving the perfect balance of silver, black, and blue to create a smoldering look, it’s a good idea to leave this hair color trend to a professional, as it can be difficult to achieve that mix of colors on your own. Your colorist will likely use a balayage technique to hand paint tones onto your strands.
The thing is, it’s important to manage your expectations when going in for a charcoal hair color at the salon. In order to get a charcoal-inspired hair color, you’ll need to bleach your hair first—otherwise the silver and blue tones won’t show up on your strands. The darker the base color you’re starting with, the longer it may take to reach your desired charcoal hair color. (Follow our guide to bleaching your hair at home.)
Once you’ve dyed your mane a charcoal-inspired shade, it’s time to make a few changes to your hair care routine, as color-treated hair requires special care. Not sure where to start? Commit these four tips for caring for charcoal hair to memory.
1. Use a system of products that are formulated for color-treated hair. Toss your regular shampoo and conditioner aside in favor of a system of products that are formulated for color-treated hair. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Ultra Recovery Mask.
2. Spritz on a heat protectant before styling. Charcoal hair + smooth, sleek strands = one of the most stunning looks you can imagine. That being said, before picking up a heat tool, you should take a few seconds to spray on a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Blow Out HeatSpray before blow-drying or the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray before flat ironing. (Learn more about using a heat protectant before styling.)
3. Show off your natural texture. Of course, charcoal hair is actually pretty versatile when it comes to styling. Sure, it looks great when it’s smoothed into a blow-out, but it also looks just as pretty when paired with your natural waves or curls. So, take a break from the heat tools from time to time and air dry your strands instead. In a rush to make it out the door on time in the morning? There’s nothing easier than letting your hair air dry! After towel-drying your hair, apply the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Wave Swept Spray, L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Ruffled Body Mousse, or L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle AIR DRY IT Undone Style Cream, then let your hair air dry—that’s it!
4. Schedule regular touch-ups. Charcoal hair looks gorgeous, but it’s not exactly the lowest maintenance hair color trend. You’re likely going to need regular touch-ups to help maintain your color. It’s a good idea to schedule these as necessary to help keep your charcoal hair color looking as fresh as possible.
Charcoal hair isn’t the only hair color trend of the moment. For multi-toned inspiration, read our how-tos on mermaid hair and unicorn hair for a look that’s sure to turn heads.