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Autumn might not officially begin until September 23, but I am of the firm belief that fall beauty trends like copper hair spiritually start now.
It is, after all, pumpkin spice latte season, which is a controversial take in itself, I know. But if Starbucks unveils fall beverages in August, shouldn’t the hair colors they inspire make their own debut? Exactly. Thus, without further adieu, meet fall’s biggest red hair color trend: not pumpkin spice red, but apple cider copper—which is also known as trending shade cowboy copper.
Consider the shade to be the next iteration of last year’s copper craze, now leaning more into golden auburn territory than its highly pigmented predecessors. “This hair color shifts the bold copper shade we’ve been seeing everywhere to a more muted copper. Think apple cider,” says Shvonne Perkins, master colorist and lead educator at Madison Reed who coined the shade’s name. “It’s a mix of a warm, light auburn hue with subtle hints of gold and copper.”
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Timeless auburn hair icons Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts are known for sporting the shade, while celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Megan Thee Stallion, Camila Morrone, and Riley Keough have rocked the look more recently. But you can expect to see more, and soon: Cowboy copper’s warm and cozy vibes make it the perfect pigment for fall.
“Cowboy copper is a lit-from-within ambered liquid spice,” Mauricio Bermudez, senior colorist at New York City’s Suite Caroline Salon, tells Glamour. “As fall approaches, cozy and candlelit hair color draws us in and feeds the soul.”
As for why Bermudez thinks red is having such a moment? Well, he doesn’t—because it’s not fleeting; red is here to stay. “Red has been fully embraced as a standard color rather than trending color,” Bermudez explains. “As many have gone from ‘girl next door’ to ‘hear me roar’ in the last year, others have looked on and now understand that the shade is attainable. It’s not intimidating, and it’s not only for a certain client.”
Red is also a healthy color direction, Bermudez points out. “Clients aren’t temporarily enjoying these spicy shades. Rather, clients of all styles are basking in the warmth for long periods of time, making it a mainstay color all around us and not a blip on the radar or rare sight. Red is the platinum [blonde] for those with darker hair: While platinum is a process to lift from dark strands, copper is a power pop that makes a statement while nourishing the hair.”
Are you feeling influenced? Because same. For your own take on cowboy copper hair, you’ll want to request a warm auburn hue with hints of gold and copper at the salon and bring plenty of photo examples as well. Just keep in mind that no two shades are ever alike, as they’re almost always customized for each individual client.
“There’s a version of copper red for everyone, and to find customized shades for my client, I actually refer to eye color rather than skin tone,” says Bermudez, noting that he often pairs green and hazel eyes with warm golden tones and bright blue eyes with cooler tones.
Once you’ve gotten your unique shade down, plan to maintain the look with monthly salon visits. “If you can budget for a refresh appointment every four weeks, that will keep your hair maximized in color consistency and vibrance,” Bermudez says. “Come back for a glaze after the first month, and then after the second month you should return for a glaze and a root touch-up.”
You can also preserve the longevity of the hue by showering with cool or warm water, since hot water causes hair color to fade faster. (I know; it’s devastating.) Otherwise, you’ll want to switch to color care shampoo and conditioner and consistently use heat protectant and hair masks for overall hair health and upkeep.
Bermudez says he “adores the Shade Variation Mask by Christophe Robin for juicy color support between appointments,” while Perkins suggests Madison Reed’s Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella and Color Therapy Mask in Zucca. “They’re both excellent for at-home upkeep of this tone,” she says.
Last, be prepared for your hair to fade after a few washes—it’s all a part of the process (no pun intended). “Red is an evolutionary color, so it’s most vibrant when you start and it fades as you wash,” Bermudez says. “Having an expert colorist is of utmost importance with red to have the shade fade gracefully and not brown out.”
Shop everything you need for cowboy copper below. Yeehaw!
R+Co Primary Color Shampoo + Conditioner Set
Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask: Chic Copper
Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss
Bumble and Bumble Bb. Heat Shield Thermal Protection Mist
Danielle Sinay is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @daniellesinay.