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Does copper brown hair fade fast?

Copper brown hair is a beautiful warm brunette hair color with hints of red and gold shining through. It’s a popular shade for those looking to enhance their natural brunette tones or add some vibrancy to darker hair. However, some people find that copper brown hair tends to fade faster than other hair colors. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why copper brown hair fades, how long it lasts, and tips for keeping it looking fresh and shiny.

Why Does Copper Brown Hair Fade Quickly?

There are a few reasons why copper brown hair color tends to fade faster than other shades:

  • Warm undertones – Copper brown hair gets its signature warmth from red and gold undertones. These warmer pigments are often less stable and prone to fading faster than cooler ash brown hues.
  • Oxidation – Exposure to the sun, swimming, heat styling tools, and other environmental factors cause the cuticle layer of the hair to open up and allow the color pigments to fade at a faster rate.
  • Lack of artificial pigments – Natural or vegetable-based copper brown hair dyes contain less artificial pigments than permanent hair color. This often means the color washes out quicker.
  • Porosity – Hair that is damaged or overly porous absorbs the color differently and can cause it to fade faster than in healthy, less porous hair.

How Long Does Copper Brown Hair Last?

On average, copper brown hair color can last between 4-6 weeks with proper maintenance. Here are some general timelines:

Hair Type Duration
Permanent dyed hair 5-6 weeks
Semi-permanent dyed hair 4-5 weeks
Natural hair colored with vegetable dye 3-4 weeks

As you can see, permanent hair dye tends to have the longest staying power, while natural vegetable-based dyes fade the quickest. However, there are many factors that affect fading such as hair porosity, sun exposure, hair washing frequency, and lifestyle factors.

Tips to Make Copper Brown Hair Last Longer

If you love the warmth of copper brown hair, follow these simple tips to help extend the vibrancy:

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfate shampoos strip color faster. Opt for a gentle, sulfate-free formula.
  • Wash hair less frequently. Limit washing to 2-3 times per week to preserve hair color.
  • Rinse with cool water. Hot water opens the cuticle causing faster fading. Use lukewarm or cool water instead.
  • Use a color-protecting conditioner. Conditioners with UV filters and antioxidants help lock in hair color.
  • Limit heat styling. Allow hair to air dry when possible and minimize use of hot tools like blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons.
  • Protect hair from sun. Wear a hat outdoors and use sprays or creams with SPF to prevent fading from UV rays.
  • Get a gloss treatment. This seals the cuticle layer and deposits pigments to refresh faded color between salon visits.
  • Use a semi-permanent color boost. Depositing color masks and at-home glazes boost radiance between dye jobs.

Best Products for Copper Brown Hair

Using the right mix of haircare products can make a big difference in extending the life of copper brown hair. Here are some top-rated options:

Product Key Benefits
Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo Sulfate-free and gently cleanses to prolong color
Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray Lightweight formula helps prevent brassiness
Pureology Color Fanatic Multi-Tasking Hair Beautifier Heat protectant, detangler, and color maximizer
Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask in Copper Deposit pigments to refresh faded copper hair
Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray Anti-fade formula shields against UV rays

How to Touch Up Roots on Copper Brown Hair

As your copper brown hair begins to grow out, grey roots and regrowth can look especially obvious. Here are some tips for touching up roots at home:

  • Use the same shade of permanent dye that was initially used on your hair at the salon. This will help blend seamlessly.
  • Only apply color to the regrowth area and roots. Leaving dye on the lengths will create a splotchy effect.
  • Use a tinting brush or applicator bottle to precisely apply dye just to the roots.
  • Process for the full development time recommended on the box instructions.
  • Rinse thoroughly and use a sulfate-free shampoo to remove any residue after processing.
  • Schedule a full color refresh or gloss treatment at the salon every 6-8 weeks to maintain vibrancy.

Should You Go Darker for More Durability?

Some people find switching to a darker shade of brown allows the color to last longer before fading. Here is a look at the pros and cons:

Pros Cons
– Deeper brunette color resists fading – Loses the signature copper and red tones
– Roots are less obvious – Dark hair can look flat or muddy
– Greater color deposit on hair – More drastic change from current look
– Less maintenance between salon visits – Requires bleaching to go back lighter

Whether to go darker is a personal choice. Try a demi-permanent brown shade to test it out before committing to an all-over permanent color.

How to Transition from Copper Brown to Natural Hair

If you’re looking to transition your copper brown hair back to your natural shade, there are a few options:

  • Let it grow out. This is the most gradual approach. Just resist touching up roots as your natural color slowly blends in.
  • Color removal treatment. Products like Color Oops work to strip artificial dye from hair.
  • Bleach wash. Lightening with bleach helps lift and fade stubborn color. Best done professionally.
  • Cut hair short. The quickest way is to just cut off the dyed lengths allowing new growth to take over.

No matter which transition method you choose, use reparative treatments like Olaplex to help prevent and repair damage as you return to your natural hue.

Should You Go Back to Copper Brown Hair?

If you’ve moved on from copper brown hair, consider these factors if deciding whether to go back to it again:

  • Are you willing to keep up with the fade factor? Copper brown requires more maintenance.
  • Do you prefer warmer hair colors? The vibrant reddish tones may be what you miss.
  • Are you bored with your current hair color? Copper brown can freshen things up.
  • Do you have a special event coming up? It’s a great short-term color for occasions.

Going back to a familiar shade you know and love can be fun. Just be prepared that copper brown will require some extra TLC to keep it looking salon-fresh.


Copper brown hair is stunning but prone to faster fading than other brunette shades. With proper at-home care, salon gloss treatments, and touch-up root maintenance, you can extend the longevity of copper brown color. Alternatively, consider going darker or transitioning back to your natural hair hue for less upkeep. Whatever look you choose, embrace the beauty of your hair’s unique color and texture!