In the last few years, red has become the hair color to try. Whether it’s a fiery red or a soft copper, the shade has boomed in popularity, and it looks like yet another red hair color is poised for a moment in the sun. Meet black cherry. Experts predicted it was going to be a big hit this year (and spoiler alert: they were spot on), but what exactly is the black cherry hair color? We tapped a panel of stylists to explain the trendy hue and how we can be rocking it all 2023 long.
Black Cherry Hair Is Trending. Here's How to Get the Look
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What Is the Black Cherry Hair Color?
When you order your favorite glass of red wine, you’ll notice the vibrant color straight away, and this hair color is similar to that. “Black cherry hair can best be described as a black (or a very dark brown) base paired with warm undertones of red, magenta or violet,” explains Carollo. This specific shade often differs depending on your natural hair color. Think: The lighter your hair, the more vibrant the color is going to be.
Why Is It So Popular?
“It was once popular in the late ‘90s/early 2000s, but today, we are seeing the color make a comeback as some iconic celebrities are sporting the look,” says Carollo. “This trend is a continuation (or modification) of the red trend we saw take over last year. Now, we’re seeing a lot of people adding reds and striking warmth to brunettes and blondes, so it was only natural to do the same with dark brown and black hair, too.”
Can All Hair Types Try This Color?
While everyone can try out black cherry hair, it’s easier to achieve the look if you have darker hair. However, if you do happen to be a blonde gal, Carollo has a few things to keep in mind: “Before jumping on this trend, it’s important to note that the primary tone is black and that dark hair colors do not remove easily. So, if you are considering black cherry hair, make sure you are certain this is the direction you want to go in as you will most likely will have to stick to this color for quite a bit.”
How Can You Achieve the Black Cherry Hair Color?
Carollo suggests consulting with a hair colorist before making the plunge. An expert will be able to help you find the perfect black cherry shade to work with your undertones, skin tone and personal style. He adds, “There is no rule book, instructions or guide to creating a color like this. Your colorist will work with you to mix together the right colors to achieve the look. They may even recommend a variation of the trend such as a softer, more brunette cherry cola tone.”
If you have dark hair, starting the color at the root and working it through the rest of your strands can enhance your natural hue. This is a great low-maintenance look because once it starts to fade out, it won’t look too noticeable to the naked eye. Basically, you’ll be able to grow out your roots in an effortless way (while maintaining depth and dimension) without needing to do multiple touch-ups.
Fernandez explains that any type of hair dye can achieve this color. She notes, “The amount of vibrancy and color longevity you desire will determine what kind of color your colorist will use. Also, remember that the shade will not come out as [vibrantly if you don’t have virgin hair]. But if your hair is already darker than a chocolate brunette, I would suggest highlights to achieve the black cherry color.”
If you have blonde hair, know that the process will take more time, as you’ll be required to go to a darker shade first. “Since blonde hair has almost zero melanin, especially if highlighted, it will saturate more of the color and often look very inky,” Carollo notes. “Blondes will first need to be filled with the missing red and orange tones that dark hair naturally has. This will then give blonde hair a shiny, more natural look.” As a result, attempting the black cherry color will require more maintenance and regular touch-ups (every four to six weeks) to maintain the look if you start with a lighter base.
Can I Achieve This Color at Home?
While our experts prefer that you see a professional, there are temporary options to try at home. If you’re not sure you want to make the full commitment, consider a hair gloss or a semi-permanent hair dye to get the job done. To get you started, we recommend Overtone, Manic Panic and L’Oreal.
Once you secure the dye, Dorram suggests doing a swatch test first before coating your hair in the new color. “You’ll want to take strips of your hair underneath the back of your head and test a few different levels of black cherry color to determine which works best. I always suggest starting with semi-permanent color as it can be changed,” she notes.
How Should You Care for the Black Cherry Hair Color?
Once you’re sporting your new color, haircare is super important. The experts we spoke to suggest a color-safe shampoo and conditioner (like Christophe Robin, K18 and Virtue) to prevent color from fading, nourish your strands and cleanse the scalp. At the same time, limit the number of times you shampoo your hair to once or twice a week to avoid stripping your natural oils and the hair color overall. Plus, adding a hair mask bi-weekly helps add moisture, softness and shine to your locks.
One More Thing
If you’re game to get on the black cherry train, be prepared for the commitment, time and money required to maintain it. On average, this color can range from $150 to $200 depending on your natural base and what style you’re looking for (i.e., full color, highlights, etc) and where you go. And as mentioned, touch-ups and a good haircare routine are a must to keep your deep purple-red hue vibrant. But if you’re not ready to sit in the salon chair (or attempt to dye your hair at home), it’s always fun to try a wig and play around with color before fully committing.
So, ready to dive into the coolest color of the year?