Chocolate Cherry Takes Brunette and Red to the Next Level

Written by Emilie Branch

Chocolate cherry hair color is at the center of the brunette-red hair Venn diagram—the rich overlap is the best of both worlds, adds depth, and will elevate your hair look especially as the weather gets colder. This glossy, stained color penetrates locks and actually lasts a good three months, thanks to a slower oxidization process. We love a low-maintenance look, especially if it means fewer salon visits in frigid weather (though you can also DIY). Think of the universally flattering shade of red as a dark cherry coke or a flavor in a box of chocolate. The color looks delicious in all light, but the burgundy really pops in the sun, creating a glistening dramatic surprise.

Below, we spoke with celebrity colorist and Wella Professionals Brand Ambassador Dereq Clark about the hair color trend, including how to get it. Scroll below for all the deets!

About the Expert

With 20 years of experience under his belt, celebrity colorist and Wella Professionals Brand Ambassador Dereq Clark has provided education and training to stylists across the U.S., including being a special guest educator during the Tippi Shorter Textpert Summit and teaching high impactful dimensional blond technique for Relevant 2020, along with providing one-on-one mentoring for other stylists across the country.

Decoding the Chocolate Cherry Hair Color Trend

According to Clark, the chocolate cherry hair color trend “is a natural looking brunette with a hint of red violet hues throughout the hair.” The key is playing up the red, as this is what “adds dimension in the hair,” he continues. For reference, “it looks like a brunette color with a subtle reddish hue throughout the hair. It’s not a vibrant hair color but more of a whisper in the hair,” Clark explains.

How to Get Chocolate Cherry Hair

Whichever route you take, consider this your cheatsheet for chocolate cherry.

In the Salon

“Your stylist could opt for permanent color like Koleston Perfect by Wella Professionals to add the reddish hue, or choose a glaze like Shinefinity by Wella Professionals to create the chocolate cherry color,” says Clark, depending on the level of color and saturation you’re going for.

If we’re getting technical, Clark recommends the following formula: “Koleston Perfect 55/65 & 44/65 would be great for the chocolate cherry look,” he says.

At Home

There is a range of chocolate cherry dyes to choose from—we like Good Dye Young All In This Together in Burgundy and LeaLuo Galaxy Paint in Mars Red, if you are more of an “easy does it” type and already have dark strands.

To keep your look fresh, Clark recommends “Wella Professionals INVIGO Brilliance Color Protection Shampoo and INVIGO Vibrant Color Conditioner as a great at-home care kit to maintain the color.”

Things to Consider Before Getting the Color

Before taking the chocolate cherry plunge, you should determine if the color is really right for you. “I would consider the time of the year, skin complexion, personal style, and overall hair health,” notes Clark. So, which hair types and skin colors is the hue best for? Clark explains, “because the chocolate cherry is on the cooler side, people with olive skin tones and of course, healthy hair, would be best suited for achieving a custom color like this.”

Once you’ve committed to the chocolate cherry hair color, go easy on wash day. “I would try to not shampoo too often because red tends to fade the fastest. I also would use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner,” adds Clark. Looking this expensive isn’t cheap if you plan on heading to a pro. “Cost will vary per stylist and per salon, but I would probably expect to budget about $150 to $300,” he says.

Chocolate Cherry Hair Color Inspiration

Need a visual? These distinct shades are occupying full real estate on our mood board.

Even Ombré

All-over shine with slightly lighter ends adds even more depth to the shade.

Dip Dye

Exaggerate cherry by heightening the color at the tips.

Streak City

Thick streaks are the technique of the moment and coupled with this striking on-trend color, you can’t go wrong.

Mid-Length Layers

Play with variations of the color by concentrating the red at different lengths. This look particularly flatters those with medium or shorter layers.

Subtle Shade

Chocolate cherry is just as striking when it’s subtle, so show this photo if you’re looking for hints of crimson and blended dark brunette tones.

Glossy Posse

Hair that shines and reflects the light looks healthy and levels up your hair game. No matter your skin tone, you can rock the chocolate cherry trend by layering the hue as a gloss.

Cheat Sheet

Copy this formula for Hollywood starlet coco crimson hair and add subtle waves to really seal the deal.

Brunette Barbie

Rich autumn hair has never had a more on-point reference photo. This timeless shade of chocolate cherry is winter meets iconic.

Painted Color

This version of chocolate cherry is blended so perfectly that it looks almost painted on.

Bold Bob

A dramatic color adds depth and makes a bob even bolder.

Want something a little deeper? Chestnut brunette is calling your name—learn all about the shade HERE!