Heritage brunette is fast becoming one of autumn's biggest hair trends—here's the best inspo

Think supercharged gloss and warmth

Woman wearing a pink tweed skirt suit, wearing her heritage brunette hair in a ponytail
(Image credit: Getty Images/Valentina Frugiuele / Contributor)

From pumpkin spice to vanilla glaze, autumn’s trending hair colours are as sumptuous as they sound. But in my opinion there is one that reigns supreme thanks to its ultra-glossy and expensive-looking finish—heritage brunette. Understated and undeniably polished, this classic brown colour might not be as daring as some of the season’s bolder hair trends (take cowgirl copper for instance) but its timeless appeal is certainly alluring. 

Ahead, we asked Michael Shaun Corby, Living Proof Hair Expert, to give us the full lowdown on this beautiful autumn shade and why it seems to be everywhere this season. (Plus, all of the inspiration you could possibly want.)

What is heritage brunette hair?

Michael describes heritage brunette as a “chocolatey OG brunette” shade that will stand the test of time. Our muses for this trend? Kate Middleton and Victoria Beckam in her classic Posh Spice era. “Whether you opt for a richer chestnut or a deeper espresso shade, it’s the warmth that takes precedence over cooler, flatter tones,” Michael explains. “Think Selena Gomez, Nicola Peltz and even Emily Ratajkowski when she dropped the red.”

How is heritage brunette achieved?

Forget what you think you know about colouring your hair brown. Michael wants us all to know that “bespoke colour is not just for blondes”. In fact, to achieve heritage brunette, it’s all about the finer details.

“We’ve moved away from flat, global colour to freer hand work that favours dimension,” explains Michael. “Those that prefer more warmth, dial up the micro-fine pieces to two or three shades lighter around the face and through the mid-lengths. Deeper shades can dust a couple of pieces through the sides and ends.” 

Finally, a gloss treatment is the key to heritage brunette’s expensive-looking finish. “A good gloss treatment will maintain the shine and provide a depth of colour that lasts,” says Michael. 

How to maintain the colour at home?

“Invest in a bond builder to maintain vibrancy and choose a wash regime that keeps your colour in mind and prevents fading,” advises Michael. “If you can, try to skip a wash day by swapping in a dry shampoo."

Heritage brunette hair inspiration

Mica Ricketts

Mica Ricketts is a freelance beauty editor and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29 and Who What Wear UK, and also works with beauty brands on content messaging and marketing copy. She was previously Who What Wear UK's beauty editor. As someone that has tried basically every acne product on the market, she has a particular passion for debunking skincare myths and finding products that work. Plus, with two small children at home she is all about time-saving beauty routines that boost glow and disguise dark circles.