Not going to lie, we always start feeling a little sad around the end of summer. The days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder. We’re preparing to switch our espadrilles out for motorcycle booties, our iced coffees for extra hot lattes, our sheer glossy lip tints for rich matte lipsticks. On the upside, this means we’re also due for one of our favorite fall traditions—a full-on hair makeover for the new season. But fall 2019’s most buzzed-about hair color was not exactly what we were expecting. For starters, it’s named after a fungus. That’s right, we’re talking about the mushroom hair color trend...and why, after our initial hesitation, we’re now fully on board.
We’re not alone. Salons across the country have noticed an uptick in requests for “mushroom hair,” and sites like Pinterest have reported increases in image searches for mushroom hair color. Now, mushrooms are delicious in everything from soup to pizza to popcorn, but they’re not particularly attractive specimens, right? Wrong! This trend takes its name from the varied, multi-tonal cool beige to brownish-gray mushroom caps found in the wild (or the grocery store). In hair color terms, that translates to an ashier, dare we say earthier variation on bronde. Like bronde hair color, mushroom is a not-quite-blonde, not-quite-brunette shade that’s multi-dimensional, so versatile, and universally flattering.
Admittedly, we’re no mycologists, but we looked into recreating the mushroom hair color trend at home and we’re happy to report that it’s very doable—with the right ingredient list. You’ll need: permanent hair color, a balayage highlighting kit to achieve that soft and subtle blend of tones, and a cool toning glaze for maintenance. Let’s dig in…
Step 1—Start with a light or medium ash brown base
If you’re looking for more of an icy beige, mushroom blonde hair color, we recommend choosing a cool light brown shade—like Umbria Light Brown 7.5NN—to apply to your roots and mid-lengths. If it’s a deeper, smokier mushroom brown you’re after, opt for a medium brunette hue like Siena Brown 6NAV. Regardless of which shade you choose, the majority of this look should be ash brown.
Step 2—Add cool dimension
Our Light Works® Balayage Highlighting Kit gives you the perfect amount of dimension for multi-tonal mushroom hair—soft, subtle lightness here and there. You’ll want to start applying the balayage lower on your strands than you think. We recommend beginning at your mid-lengths and continuing on down to your ends. Choose a cool-toned option—either Sorrento Cool Vanilla or Lazio Cool Toffee will look gorgeous against your ash brunette starter shade.
Step 3—Keep brassiness at bay
Mushrooms grow in the shade, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that every mushroom hair color variation is cool-toned. Whether your take on the trend is darker or lighter, you can use our Light Works Toning Glaze (included in your Light Works kit and sold separately for any upkeep) to help banish any brass from your mid-lengths and ends. The demi-permanent glaze reduces warm tones—and as an added bonus, takes highlighted strands from faded to fresh.
So there you have it, the coolest fall shade with a moniker that’s definitely growing on us. This trend is ripe for the picking...would you try it? We’d love to hear your take on mushroom hair color in the comments.