Forget blonde balayage, chocolate hair is the trend to know for autumn—here's the best inspiration

It's time to embrace warm, autumnal hair colours

A woman with chocolate hair wearing sunglasses and a striped shirt
(Image credit: Getty Images/NurPhoto / Contributor)

Autumn is officially here, and chocolate hair is already proving big news. According to Pinterest, search around chocolate hair is on the up, and #chocolatehair is already at over 30 million views on TikTok. Whether you have an undone bob, a lob hairstyle or even like to sport mermaid waves, trust us when we say chocolate hair tones might be for you.

While blonde balayage has been the go-to hair colour of choice for what feels like forever, it seems as though it's time to finally embrace warm, chocolate brunette tones for autumn 2023. But that's not to say you have to give up the low-maintenance colour technique entirely. "The key to chocolate hair is keeping it warm and introducing several different tones. We love a balayage for this as you can create a dimensional range of highlights that look like melted chocolate," says expert hair stylist for Live True London, Tyler Moore.

So, if you're in the mood for a colour switch-up, here's all the chocolate hair inspiration you could need...

Deep chocolate brown hair

When we hear of warm, chocolate hair tones this is exactly what we are thinking of. Glossy, hydrated and super silky, this deep chocolate look has a gloss that makes it rich and ideal for the colder months.

Milky chocolate hair

The perfect chocolate hair colour, earning it the title of milk chocolate hair (in my opinion, the best kind of chocolate bar). Even if you're naturally brunette, you might benefit from a gloss treatment to get this sweet hue. 

Hazelnut chocolate hair

See the slightly lighter chocolate-y tones? Delightful.

Caramel chocolate hair

Not to be confused with caramel hair colour which is much lighter, caramel chocolate goes slightly lighter for those who prefer a touch of blonde. 

Balayage chocolate hair colour

This is a perfect example of how balayage of lighter tones can frame the face for the ultimate chocolate hair look.

Cherry chocolate hair color

Take cherry red hair and mix in some warmer chocolate tones for the perfect transitional hair colour. 

How to style and maintain chocolate brown hair

"Chocolate hair can be styled in many different ways, but we love to show off a glossy balayage with some glamorous waves," says Moore. When it comes to maintenance they "always recommend coming back in to salon for a toner every 6-8 weeks to keep your colour fresh and your hair looking glossy," explains Moore. 

Dionne Brighton

Dionne Brighton is a writer at Marie Claire UK, specialising in all things shopping, beauty and fashion. Born and raised in North London, she studied Literature at the University of East Anglia before taking the leap into journalism. These days, you can find her testing out the latest TikTok beauty trends or finding out what the next full Moon means.