Charcoal Hair Color: What It Is And How To Wear It

Charcoal Hair Color: The Chic Way To Go Darker For Summer

24 April 2019
two women with charcoal hair color

Emily Arata

Senior Editor

24 April 2019

You may have noticed that cutesy hair color names rule the internet. From cherry chocolate hair to toasted white chocolate mocha, stylists name their color after desserts in an (often effective) attempt to make us beauty lovers hungry and—by extension—certain to remember the color. But not every single hair color is created the same!

In stark contrast to bombshell blonde, there’s one trending color to catch our attention lately: charcoal hair color. Like the smoky gray briquettes you might know from summer barbecues, charcoal is all about a matte gray base. With the help of a professional stylist, it can lean ashy and even seamlessly transition into secondary shades. If you have naturally dark brown hair, you’d better tune in—this hair look was basically invented for you.

Intrigued by the prospect of charcoal hair turning you into a smokin’ hot babe? Keep reading.



What is charcoal hair color?

Every single celeb-beloved color of the last five years—the really good ones—have seemed to be ash-based hair colors, so it makes sense that charcoal hair color fits exactly that description. Unlike the reflective espressos and chocolatey brunettes we saw on social media all winter, charcoal’s chalky undertones reflect back gray. Instead of buttery warmth, this shade’s all about chilly coolness (a vibe we can get behind) that’s babealicious in any season.

For summer, we’re seeing Insta-fluencers wear charcoal in blunt bobs and lobs, combining the modern sharp edges of a snazzy razor cut with the on-trend color for maximum impact. It looks particularly good on girls with fair and medium skin tones—an unexpected pick when everyone else goes summery blonde. Pair charcoal hair with a black bikini sometime in July and watch the jaws drop as you walk by!



How do you care for charcoal hair color?

When it comes to ashy hair colors, the number one concern is always going to be brass (also known as those unwanted warm tones that pop up). To keep orange notes at arm’s length, stock your shower with a blue-pigmented shampoo like Matrix’s Total Results Brass Off. Besides having a sassy name, Brass Off is specifically tailored to brunettes with lightened hair. Nothing’s better than a formula that just fits your needs perfectly!

It isn’t just hair products that can make all the difference in the longevity of your charcoal hair color, either. Keep those ashy vibes alive by seeing your stylist regularly for touchups. If your charcoal look involves a silver ombre, you’ll need to invest time in keeping it fresh!


Who should try charcoal hair color?

Ashy hair colors lean cool by nature, which is why they’re so popular for cool-toned skin. If icy shades have looked good on you in the past, charcoal is a smart bet.

If you’re scheduling a consultation with a stylist, be realistic about your hair goals. While charcoal hair is still pretty dark, your pro will need to pre-lighten your hair if it’s darker than your dream shade.

Interested in trying charcoal hair for yourself? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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