Can We Stop Naming Hair Color Trends After Beverages?
Matcha, kombucha, cold brew, rosé — I will fully defend my millennial obsession with beverages, whether that's some fancy caffeinated drink or a $16 vodka soda. I own not one but two French presses, myself. However, as much as I love my generation's obsession with beverages, I refuse to support is our preoccupation with naming hair colors after beverages.
In October 2017, "cream soda" a dimensional blonde shade, was named one of the hottest hair colors of fall. In September 2018, just a few short weeks ago "mauve champagne" — a blonde hue with subtle purple highlights — was introduced as the edgy blonde hair color perfect for anyone who doesn't want to let go of their past pastel life. And yes, pumpkin spice latte hair, an auburn shade that looks strikingly similar to the contents of your Starbucks cup, is actually a thing. There's also root beer hair, and the happy hour-themed mulled wine hair.
It's getting a bit ridiculous.
Why, all of a sudden, are hair color trends mimicking the aisle on the far end of the grocery store? Sure, these beverage-inspired names lend themselves well to an Instagram hashtag and caption, but what happened to just bringing a pic into the salon paired with some key descriptors, I don't know, "light blonde?"
If beverage hair colors are your vibe, don't let me get you down. Apparently, hair professionals don't mind them as annoying as I do, much to my dismay. According to L’Oréal Paris Celebrity Hair Expert Jonathan Colombini, he says they're actually pretty helpful when communicating with clients during salon appointments.
"It helps identify a specific color without looking at an image," Colombini says. "The more general with a description, the better. We all know what color a root beer is, opposed to if I were to say dark brunette at a level 5 with red undertones. Some might struggle with those specifics."
OK, fine. I guess I get it. To Colombini's point, I definitely do not know what "a level 5" means, and I'm very familiar with what colors make up a root beer float. Plus if you coin your work with a buzzy name, it sticks. Marketing 101?
Then again, waltzing into a salon and asking for cold brew can create some confusion, too. Sharon Dorram, a Master Colorist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon, agrees that they help conjure up an image, but not every stylist even knows what "mulled wine" hair is.
"They are actually not so helpful because one can have many interpretations on a theme name," she says. "When a client comes in describing a color, I always ask for a visual so I know we are on the same page. There are many varieties of a pumpkin spice latte!"
And though I'm not a fan of beverage-inspired hair colors, that doesn't mean you won't see me with cream soda hair come November — I just refuse to utter the name. Then again, I will still be searching the hashtag. After all, a picture is worth a thousand beverage-related words.