After so many prominent, longtime blondes (Sasha Luss, Aline Weber) decided to go brunette for Fashion Month, we really shouldn't have been surprised when Suki Waterhouse debuted a new chestnut look over the weekend. And yet we were! Pleasantly. The model posted a photo of her transformation on Instagram on Sunday, and we have to say: Solid choice.
We got in touch with Waterhouse's colorist, Jack Howard at Neville Salon in London, to get the lowdown on the look he created with stylist Stephen Low. (As it turns out, it's for an upcoming film role.)
To give Waterhouse a "soft, natural" appearance, Howard used balayage, a freehand coloring technique that originated in France and that gives hair an easy, sunkissed look. And it's particularly good for brunettes: Instead of looking uniformly one shade, brown hair gets extra dimension and texture with balayage. Howard's pro tips for going brunette? Keep the orange and red tones out of brown shades unless you're going copper, and make sure to pre-color before arriving at the desired hue.
"When going from blonde to brunette, you need to pre-color before picking the right tone," Howard says. "When I balayage I like to do brown-on-brown, or what I call a 'French Brown,' with no more than three levels of lightness. If you don't pre-color, the shade can go muddy or green, and it’s also essential for getting an even finish. Then you rinse out the pre-color, dry fully and apply the final chosen shade."
After dyeing, make sure to load up on repair products to keep your hair strong. Howard is into Shu Uemura's Silk Bloom products and Kerastase's Ciment Thermique blow dry lotion. On the shampoo front, opt for color safe versions like Kerastase's Chroma Riche or Full Shimmer from Shu Uemura.
And if you're wondering where one might glean inspiration for a dye job of this make, please refer to Howard's Instagram. The day before Waterhouse posted about her new look, he added a shot of an actual chestnut with the caption: "Love all the rich tones colours in a conker #brunettes #haircolour lets go brown." Right on.
Homepage photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images