Style + Beauty

How to rock burgundy, this season's hottest hair color

English entertainer Cheryl Cole has often been photographed with burgundy hair, the new It-shade to try this season.

English entertainer Cheryl Cole has often been photographed with burgundy hair, the new It-shade to try this season.  (X17online.com)

Beauty trends, like fashion trends, cycle in and out of popularity. But for this season, burgundy hair is having a moment.

Not quite red, and not quite brown, the feminine shade is vibrant enough to make an impression, but subtle enough to suit the 9-5 crowd. Flattering on all skin tones and infinitely versatile, a burgundy 'do is perfect for those who want to experiment with their hair with a completely unexpected, yet beautifully photographed hue.

Ahead, learn how to find the hue that’s right for you, plus tips and tricks for rocking your new, colorful ‘do — all season long:

Find your most flattering shade.

Hairstylists often recommend choosing a hair color with undertones that contrast, rather than match, your skin. Warmer hair colors brighten cool complexions; while cooler-toned hair balances warmer skin tones (learn how to determine your skin tone here).

Because burgundy — a cross between red, brown, and purple — is at once cool and warm, it suits every complexion beautifully. If you have olive, golden, or dark skin, you’ll stun in a cooler shade, such as plum or magenta. If you’re fair or ashy, a burgundy with red or gold undertones, such as mahogany, will warm your complexion. And if you have neutral skin, well, you’ll look good in just about any color (lucky you!)

Be bold. Be balsy. Be brave.

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Protect from sun damage and fading. 

Hair color fades: There’s no way around it. And red shades, according to hair color company Matrix, are the quickest to fade. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure you get the most mileage out of your color. The best way to slow fading is to shampoo less frequently, as even the gentlest shampoos gradually strip color from the hair. However, in real life, this isn’t always practical.

If you must shampoo daily, look for a color-safe shampoo and conditioner and avoid sulfates, which strip away moisture. Minimize your exposure to excessive heat, and, whenever possible, protect your hair from the sun with products that block harmful UV rays (such as Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, $28).

Experiment with new makeup.

When you change your hair color, you’ll often find you need to tweak your makeup routine as well. Burgundy hair, while versatile, is no exception. You may find, for instance, that your go-to eyeshadow or lipstick shade clashes with your new hair color. The best thing to do? Experiment. Subtle reddish brown hair colors look fantastic with earthy shades, such as bronze and olive green; while brighter reds and purples can handle bolder, more colorful makeup. What looks best, however, largely depends on personal preference, so try out new colors and have fun with the process. As the saying goes: New ‘do, new you.

Change up your wardrobe. 

As with makeup, experiment with new colors, shapes, or even styles of clothing to complement your new hairstyle — you’ll often find that you’re able to wear styles you hadn’t been able to before, as one Refinery29 writer reported. Burgundy is super flexible, and depending on the exact shade, can read earthy, feminine, or even grungy — so explore some new looks and see what suits you best.

Look to social media for inspiration.

The most important thing to know when changing your hair color is to do what feels right for you. Right now, burgundy hair is everywhere — there are more than 61,000 hits for the shade on Instagram alone — so there are endless resources to look to for inspiration. A good rule of thumb is to find someone with features, such as eye and skin color, similar to your own: If they look good, chances are, you will, too. Experiment, have fun, and try not to take it too seriously: At the end of the day, it’s just hair.