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What Is the Cowboy Copper Hair Trend? And 6 Styles to Try

This color is mega-trendy right now—here's how to know if it's for you.

When it comes to making big changes to your appearance, nothing is quite as irresistible as the prospect of dying your strands red—except maybe cutting bangs. It's bright, it's bold, and it'll probably leave you feeling like a whole new person. So the cowboy copper color trend perked our ears.

Cowboy copper is another installment of the slew of hair color trends that started on TikTok—shades like brownie batter brunette, cherry red, buttery blonde, and candlelight brown (if it doesn't have a catchy name, then it might as well not exist!). But despite being a product of social media, cowboy copper is surprisingly wearable. Read on to see what hair colorists have to say about the hue, as well as the different iterations of it and whether or not you can try it at home.

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What Is the Cowboy Copper Hair Trend, And Why Is It So Popular?

Shay Mitchell wears black cropped top and black leather blazer while looking down in sunglasses
Christian Vierig / Getty Images

Cowboy copper is one of the top-trending red hair colors of the year. According to Google Trends, it arrived on the scene in June of 2023—and has exploded in popularity ever since.

The color itself is unique. "Cowboy copper is a true orange copper, rich with enough red to create vibrancy, and added browns and golds to create the effect of a natural-looking color," says Bianca Hillier, hairstylist and colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon. "It's orange-dominant with some red to create brightness and depth." While it might sound out there, Hillier says it never looks fake.

This hair color trend gained popularity on the internet, but you can spot it on plenty of celebrities, too. Recently, everyone from Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner to Maude Apatow, Serena Williams, Shay Mitchell, and SZA debuted copper-toned locks. Rihanna has sported a similar tone at various times throughout her career.

Cowboy Copper vs. Auburn Hair: What's the Difference?

The biggest difference here is in tone. "Cowboy copper is more vibrant and has an orange-red undertone," says Sharon Dorram, celebrity colorist and owner of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger Salon. "Auburn hair has more of a blue-red undertone." Both colors have browns in the formula, which makes them look natural.

Do Cowboy Copper Highlights Work on Darker Hair?

Cowboy copper highlights are a popular addition to darker hair, especially as a face-framing money piece or with contrasting lowlights throughout the hair. It's difficult to get right, so you'll want to visit a colorist.

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What Are the Different Types of Cowboy Copper Hair?

This hair trend isn't one size fits all. Read on to learn the different copper hair formulas and which version of the copper cowboy hair trend might be best for your natural hair color, skin tone, and eye color.

1. Rust Highlights

Portrait of a woman outside with brown hair that has rust-colored highlights
Josef Mohyla / iStock

This look comes about by mixing different variations of copper to rust highlights and lowlights—and Dorram says the lowlights are just as important because they intensify the contrast.

"This color looks great on fair to peaches and cream skin and anyone with yellow-sallow undertones in their complexion," she says.

2. Bropper

Close-up of shiny straight long auburn hair

It's a mix of brunette, amber, and copper shades. "It works best for fair to medium complexions with no pink or red undertones," says Dorram.

3. Washed Copper

Portrait of a young smiling woman with auburn hair wearing a bright orange sweater
martin-dm / iStock

This color has a muted effect. "Washed copper hair color is less vivid and less intense," says Dorram. "It works very well on anyone with a light complexion and light blue, or green, or gray eyes."

4. Warm Sienna

Portrait of a young woman with auburn hair holding her hair at her neck
CoffeeAndMilk / iStock

Warm sienna skews light. "It's very close to cowboy copper, but the highlights are a lighter copper or blonde color, and they are distributed throughout the hair instead of just appearing in the front," says Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist at The Right Hairstyles.

5. Copper Ombré

Back portrait of redhead girl with beautiful long and wavy hair shaking her head
Martina Rigoli / iStock

A cooper ombre is when your color is deeper at the root and lighter at the ends. "The base can be a brunette or deep reddish copper," says Dorram. "The lighter pieces on the ends of the hair can be faded copper, like washed copper to strawberry blonde." She loves it on people with medium to dark complexions and dark eyes.

6. Cherry Copper

Laughing curly-haired young woman wearing black clothes against gray background
Husam Cakaloglu / iStock

This fruit-inspired tone is close to burgundy. "Think cherry cola!" says Abdullah.

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Can I Try This Hair Color At Home?

It depends! "As a hairstylist and colorist myself, I believe achieving the perfect look is often found in the salon chair and empowering people to maintain their color at home," says Hillier. "That being said, there are some amazing deposit-only color lines available that I trust and have used on my clients, including celebrities."

A favorite is from the Arctic Fox. "I would specifically recommend using the brand's Ginger Flare," she says. "This will not negatively alter your natural hair but will contribute to the colored molecules in the hair strands."

How Do I Know If I Can Pull it Off?

Portrait of a woman with copper cowboy auburn hair looking over her shoulder against a gray background
ultramarinfoto / iStock

It's always challenging to know how much you'll like a color before you pull the trigger. And while Hillier says cowboy copper can work on anyone, there are a few people it shines on.

"It compliments those with an olive skin tone really well because of the complimentary undertones of the skin and hair—they're opposite of the color wheel red-green, which means they help each color stand out," she says.

You'll also want to consider the maintenance process. "If you are falling behind on the upkeep and your hair is a natural brunette, then waiting longer than four to five weeks to maintain the new growth will definitely result in lighter and darker bands in the base," says Hillier. "Natural blondes need to keep in mind that when the hair is growing, you may often get the feeling that you're 'going bald,' as the blonde tends to feel a bit translucent next to the bright copper."


The cowboy copper hair color trend doesn't show any sign of slowing down—but deciding to switch up your strands is a totally personal decision. Talk to your stylist to see if there's a shade or technique that can make the color work for you. For more beauty advice, visit Best Life again soon.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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