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How to do the hottest hair colour trend: Copper


TextAlex Peters

From the Queen’s Gambit to Gigi and Lizzo, everyone is trying this new firey trend. Bleach’s Alex Brownsell guides us through

At the beginning of lockdown, when everyone was throwing caution to the wind and using their hair as both a canvas for creative expression and proof that they still had some control over something, bright orange was one of the first big colour trends to emerge. Kristen Stewart was an early adopter, debuting an almost neon pumpkin orange shade, while Dua Lipa opted for a bright peach. 

Now that lockdown restrictions are easing and we are slowly returning to normal, bright orange has turned into a still fun but much more natural looking copper. Anya Taylor‑Joy made everyone envious with her fiery bob in the Queen’s Gambit, while Rosalía, Isamaya Ffrench, Gigi Hadid, and Lizzo have all recently shown off similar shades. 

“At the start of the year we had a lot of customers trying bold fiery shades like Tangerine Dream,” says Bleach London co-founder and creative director Alex Brownsell who was also responsible for Ffrench’s look. “Now we’re heading into spring and summer – and out of lockdown – we’re creating a lot of ginger and copper tones in Bleach salons that are a little softer and golden.” 

A versatile shade, Brownsell says warm tones are universally flattering and there is something to suit any look and complexion. “Gingers and red suits everyone but you can tailor our colours by mixing them to brighten or soften, or change the undertone. If you prefer a pink base, you can try adding a dollop of The Big Pink to Tangerine Dream to create a coral.” She personally recommends starting off subtle and building your way up. “You can create a strawberry blonde by mixing Burnt Peach with our golden colour Just Like Honey or for a soft orange, dilute Tangerine Dream with some conditioner. The softer the colour, the quicker it will fade so you can try something bolder next time!”

The great thing about coppers and reds is that they are less demanding on your hair than pastel colours or cooler tones which require hair to be bleached to bright blonde or have all the warmth toned out. While you do need to start with a bleached base for copper, you can still get a very bold colour from a medium, warm blonde base, Brownsell says. Warm tones are also much lower maintenance since you don’t need to tone out all the brassiness that naturally comes through when you bleach the hair. “They work with the warmth so they need less upkeep between dyes.” 

Once you have your colour, keep it vivid by washing your hair less frequently and using lukewarm water when you do. “You can even skip the shampoo if you don’t have much product buildup, just rinse with water and use conditioner,” says Brownsell. She also recommends topping up the colour by mixing some of the dye with a hair mask, for example the brand’s Reincarnation Mask, every couple of weeks. “The more dry and porous your hair is, the harder it is to retain colour. Keeping your hair hydrated and healthy by using the mask will help prolong the colour too.”

Check out the gallery above for some hair inspo to take to the salon.

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