Beautiful, subtle tones of purple mixed in with bright, shimmering shades of brown: that’s chocolate mauve. Already seen on the heads of stars like Selena Gomez, this hair color is a great choice for brunettes who want a style that’s a little more magical. To find out more about the techniques behind this subtle but unique color, FAB met up with Jenny Pelter, colorist and technical director of the artistic team at the Westrow salon in Leeds, England.
FAB: Chocolate mauve is such a unique color! Is it suitable for all hair types and all complexions?
Jenny Pelter: Chocolate mauve is a great color for any skin tone because you can easily adjust the intensity of both the mauve and chocolate shades in order to complement the client’s face. You can achieve either darker or lighter browns, and mauve colors that go from a vibrant lavender to a delicate, almost rose gold.
FAB: How do you go about creating a striking chocolate mauve color?
J.P.: First, you pre-highlight the hair, either entirely or using balayage techniques. You’re looking for a light base, either blonde or pale yellow. In my opinion, if the client has a natural rich brown shade, I would advise against highlighting the entire head. Be patient and keep an eye on the process as everybody’s hair will react differently to the highlighting products. The paler the base, the more vibrant the mauve will be. Then we use a chocolate and a purple toner, I personally use the ColorfulHair range from L’Oréal, such as the ‘Electric Violet’ or ‘Hypnotic Magenta’ shades.
FAB: As a colorist, what would you say are the technical challenges of the chocolate mauve color?
J.P.: I think the most difficult part is achieving a natural yet vibrant result. I would always recommend a pre-consultation with the client to be clear about the final color they’re looking for.
FAB: Is this color easy to maintain between salon visits?
J.P.: Although roots will start to show as your hair grows, it’s actually quite easy to deal with that because the balayage techniques help prevent too striking a contrast. Just like any highlighted and toned hair however, chocolate mauve does require some special commitment, for example you have to use sulfate-free products. If you plan on going to the beach this summer, look for an anti-UV screen too. If a touch-up is needed, you can book a visit to your salon between two appointments to have toners applied.
Natural, vibrant, unique – chocolate mauve is sure to be a big hit for brunettes all summer long!