Hairstylists are calling 'caramelised hair' one of 2024's most universally wearable colour trends—here's the best inspiration

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Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on September 26, 2023 in Paris, France
(Image credit: Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

I'm calling it: cool-toned ash and silvery blondes have hardly fallen out of favour. Instead, caramelised hair and rich, warm blonde looks have seen a real uptick of late. As somebody who has stuck firmly to the brunette-to-auburn spectrum for over a decade, the slight irony of me writing this isn't lost on me, but it is my job to keep up with current hair trends (of which there have been many in 2023) from all colour palettes. 

“During the winter months, adding warmer tones to your blonde base can really lift your complexion and leave you with a glow,” says Harriet Muldoon, senior colourist at Larry King. “It can also give your blonde a chic, ‘expensive’ finish." And while it works really well on blonde hair, caramelised hair can be incorporated into brunette looks, too. "Adding caramel tones to balayage can also give you a rich glossy effect to your bleached ends," Harriet confirms. Here's what I think you need to know about caramelised hair for 2024.

What is caramelised hair? 

Take a look at Jennifer Lawrence’s current blonde look and you’ll see that it’s full of these caramel tones, which are blended to multidimensional perfection. "The caramelised hair trend is becoming a popular service in the salon,” says Christel Barron-Hough, founder and creative director of STIL London. “It is different to its sister, bronde balayage, as it’s brighter, softer, playful and full of creamy caramel blonde hues. This trend is not chunky in texture and tone; it’s the opposite.” 

Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on September 26, 2023 in Paris, France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who does caramelised hair suit? 

Your hairdresser will be able to tailor the caramelised hair look to you, but the good news is these tones are extremely adaptable. “The best starting point would be to assess hair texture and complexion to tailor-make the caramelised blonde hair look,” Christel explains. “For someone with a warmer complexion, you could work with tones such as rich caramel, vanilla hues mixed with burnt caramel to play on the warm palette. With a cooler complexion, a cool gold, milk white and brûlée caramel would be a great option to play on the neutral to warmer palette.

“This trend can suit all hair textures, but the colour products need to be chosen to work with natural porosity and moisture levels," she continues. "High-lift blondes are a great option here to create caramelised hues as a substitute for bleach.”

Caramelised hair inspiration

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The best products for caramelised hair

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.