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Here's How to Get Cinnamon and Chestnut Highlights on Dark Hair

Plus tips and tricks for maintaining these gorgeous fall hair colors
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Fall is all about getting cozy and warming things up, whether it's donning your favorite sweater, sipping a hot, spicy beverage or rocking fall makeup looks. It's also a great time to add some warmth to your hair, implementing some rich seasonal hues. If you're a brunette and feel like you don't have a lot of options, that's where cinnamon and chestnut come in. These are two fall hues that will give your dark hair lots of dimension and make for an exciting change from monochromatic brown or blonde balayage.

We chatted with Marco Pelusi, celebrity colorist/stylist and owner of Marco Pelusi Hair Studio in West Hollywood about how to achieve these warm, reddish highlights in dark hair and, better yet, how to keep them fresh and vibrant. Pelusi is an expert colorist and travels the world, teaching his methods to packed workshops. If you're thinking about adding some warm, reddish highlights into your dark locks, read ahead for Marco's best tips, tricks and a little inspo.

Image via Imaxtree

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Brown hair loves reddish highlights
According to Pelusi, reddish tones are easier to achieve in brunettes because dark hair will "pull red as it lifts," which will work to your advantage. You want to find the sweet spot in which your highlights don't come out "too red or too orange" and lightening your brown strands to a red or red/orange while it's in the foils is key. In fact, it's better for your hair and gives your colorist a better base to work with if the hair is not overbleached.

Image via Instagram @hairbybritny

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Yes, you are going to have to bleach it
If you have natural, dark hair or have previously colored it, your stylist is going to need to bleach it to achieve the cinnamon and chestnut hues. Tints and colors will not be visible unless the strands are pre-lightened. The good news is, because this look is not high-contrast, hair does not need to be over-bleached. To achieve this look, Pelusi recommends using a strong bleach and a low-level developer. He is adamant that it is "most important to maintain the quality and integrity of your hair when highlighting."

Image via Instagram @studiobhaircolourists

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Tone to get those lovely warm hues
Pelusi says it's best for the hair (and the color) to leave some red in the highlights before toning them. Cinnamon and chestnut hues are a mix of red, gold and brown, so if the bleached pieces already have red in them, Pelusi likes to use "warm, cinnamon brunette or soft, golden brunette" tones to achieve his client's ideal shade. Again, to protect the health and integrity of the hair, Pelusi prefers using demicolor (semi-permanent color with little to no ammonia). These types of dyes only deposit color and prevent further stripping of the hair that has already been bleached.

Image via Instagram @caitlintyczka

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Don't wash your freshly colored locks for 72 hours
We know it's hard, but the color payoff is so worth it. Red hues fade quickly, so resist the urge to shampoo for just three days — we know you can do it! Color-safe dry shampoo will be your best friend during this time.

Image via Instagram @dougoconnell13

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