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TikTok Loves This Cherry Cola Hair Trend — Celeb Stylists Reveal Why You’ll Want to Try It

Spoiler alert: It can make you look and feel younger

From gingerbread girl makeup and honey lips to latte makeup, there’s no shortage of yummy-sounding TikTok beauty trends. And while many of them don’t appeal to us in the more mature crowd, there is one new one making waves (168.1 million views!) for its ability to make you look years younger: cherry cola hair! Celebrity hairstylists reveal how it can work for you.

What exactly is cherry cola hair?

Cherry cola drink on wooden board
bhofack2/Getty

Cherry cola hair is a hue that has a dark brown base with red, burgundy and sometimes violet undertones (known as “black cherry cola”). It gets its name because, you guessed it, it’s the color of Coca-Cola Cherry.

“It’s reminiscent of the ’90s when so many celebs and singers donned the color. A lot of things on social media are appealing to ’90s nostalgia, which is what has likely rekindled the trend,” says Chaz Dean, celebrity stylist who has worked with Julianna Margulies and Alyssa Milano. 

One YouTuber even declares 2023 the “year of cherry cola hair.” 

How does cherry cola hair flatter women over 40?

While it may be inspired by something sugary sweet that fizzles, celebrity stylists say that on mature women especially, the hair color sizzles. Here’s how:

1. It adds warmth and dimension to dull hair

It has a remarkable ability to reflect light, making hair look shiny and healthy rather than dull, explains celebrity hairstylist David Lopez, who has worked with Ashley Graham and Chrissy Teigen.  It can also help keep hair shinier and healthier because it doesn’t involve “lifting” the hair using bleach, which can be drying.  Plus Lopez adds, “It’s also a bold choice without being too ‘loud’ like a bright red, which makes it easier to wear and provides comfort and confidence that ultimately leads to feeling more youthful, and is also a great choice for covering grays!”

Related: Dull Hair Over 50? Not Anymore! These Easy Tips Add Shine, Strength and Bounce

2. It complements all skin tones

The reddish-brown hues of this color can enhance various skin tones, bringing a more youthful appearance to the skin and overall look.

  1. On cool and fair skin tones: It creates a dramatic contrast that “accentuates the complexion’s natural porcelain-like quality,” explains Lopez. 
  2. On medium and olive skin tones: The hue can “add warmth and depth, adding more of a glow to the complexion.”
  3. On darker skin tones: The shade adds a “subtle yet stunning, high-impact contrast, enhancing the skin’s tone without overpowering,” he says. 

If you’re unsure what to ask your stylist for, Dean suggests a cooler color if you have yellow undertones to your skin, and if you’re someone with pinker undertones, opt for more of a warmer reddish brown. (Click through to learn more about your skin’s undertones).

3. It emphasizes your best facial features

“The dimensional quality and light reflection of cherry cola hair can help soften the appearance of some facial features that pop up as we age,” says Lopez. It provides a dramatic and distinctive contrast for many facial features. For example, it’ll bring out your eyes if they’re lighter colored. Dean says that blue and green eyes especially really pop next to the varying shades of the darker-haired hue. 

4. It can make you *feel* younger

Also great? While cherry cola hair can make you look more youthful by covering grays, bringing out your eyes and making hair look shinier and healthier, it can make you feel younger too. “A more intense hair color often leads to more fun hairstyles, cuts and even wardrobe; all things women over 40 tend to stop doing because they think it’s not age-appropriate,” says Dean. 

What is the maintenance like for cherry cola hair?

Anything in the red hair color family fades the fastest because its color molecules are smaller than the rest. So experts say you want to use a color maintenance shampoo and conditioner. “These hair care products have formulas specifically created to help preserve and maintain the color vibrancy. I especially love the Kenra Platinum Color Charge Shampoo (Buy from Ulta, $20.99) and Conditioner (Buy from Ulta, $20.99), which help maintain the vibrancy and longevity of your hair color for up to 50 shampoos. It also has fade-fighting technology that locks color pigments inside the hair’s cuticle,” says Lopez. 

Dean says avoiding super hot water when you wash your hair can also be helpful in preserving the color. If you heat style, you’ll also want to use a heat protectant, as heat is one of the leading causes of hair color fading. “I always have the Kenra Platinum Color Charge Spray Serum (Buy from Ulta, $23.99). It’s a holy grail product, and the formulation is one of a kind,” Lopez adds. 

Both stylists recommend a root touch-up and refresh of your base color every six weeks. 

Want to try the trend? Watch these videos for inspiration

1. Cherry cola hair cut and color at the salon

In this video from @styledbycase, you can see one woman’s dramatic transformation from a head full of frizzy, dull-looking, dirty blonde strands to a shiny, healthy cherry cola hue:

2. Cherry cola hair at home

TikToker @lilmonster_1 used a box dye to achieve the shiny shade and was thrilled with the results:

3. Cherry cola hair on just the ends

Afraid to go all in on the trend? Follow the lead of TikTok’s @GoodDyeYoung and just color the tips. It lasts 3-6 washes:

@gooddyeyoung

hopping on this cherry cola trend but with hair… 🍒 get one I’M BORED for FREE when u spend $50 or more on gdy.com + 15% off! #cherrycola #cherrycolahair #cherrycolalips #dyehappy

♬ original sound – xxtristanxo

4. Cherry cola hair as highlights

You can also try it as highlights as opposed to allover color (they’re less damaging than blonde ones) as hairstylist Mirella Manelli shows on YouTube: 

What about cherry cola makeup?

In true trending style, the color is not just touted as a one-shade-fits-all for hair. “These deep reds and browns are flattering to many women due to the varying tones. They are deep enough to give a good color boost without being harsh against the skin or making it look aged, and they work with many different skin types,” says pro makeup artist Genn Shaughnessy, who has worked with Carrie Underwood and Judy Greer. 

Shaughnessy says the best way to wear cherry cola makeup is to pick one spot on the face, either the eyes or the lips — but not both at once, as that can be overwhelming. 

For cherry cola eyes

Shaughnessy recommends a lighter-colored lid with a dramatic crease. “This look can be a natural fade into a basic, slightly darker crease, or it can be dramatic with a dark, bright crease, or somewhere in between,” she explains. Her favorite color combos are creamy light pink lids with burgundy and brown creases and brown liner, light pink eyelids with cherry creases, and dark brown lids with a burgundy violet crease. You can find all the necessary colors in a “cherry cola palette” by Revolution Beauty (Buy from Revolution Beauty, $9).

Shaughnessy explains step-by-step how to achieve cherry cola eyes: 

  1. Start with a shadow primer on your eyelid and thin it out on your brow bone. Make sure the layer is thin enough to act as a magnet for your shadows.
  2. Use a fluffy blending brush to apply a brow highlight color swept on the brow bone, slightly lighter than your natural skin color. 
  3. Next, use a tapered blending brush that fits into the crease above your eyelid to apply your crease color; blend it back and forth like a windshield wiper so it fits around your eyelid and ends at the outer corner of your eyes.
  4. Tap your eyelid color onto the lid up to the crease using a flat eyeshadow brush. 
  5. Use a small shadow or pencil brush to apply a light sparkly color in the tear duct and use the same brush to smudge your eyeliner. 
  6. Finish with two coats of a volume-building mascara like L’Oreal Voluminous carbon black (Buy from Amazon, $8.23).

Here’s a tutorial on cherry cola makeup by @chloemorello on Instagram:

For a cherry cola lip 

cherry cola lips
Getty Images

For the perfect cherry cola pout, Shaughnessy says that lips can be matte, glossy or glittery. “The more matte finish, the longer it will last, so if you’re looking for longevity, I highly recommend a matte or long-lasting liquid lip,” she says. 

To achieve the cherry cola lip:

  1. Choose a lip liner in a brown darker than your lip color (relative to your skin color), and line lips. 
  2. Apply a lip color like “Shout Loud” by NYX (Buy from NYX, $8.50) or Revlon Suede Ink (Buy from Ulta, $12.39) in a light sweep.
  3. Blot lips and apply a lighter lip gloss like Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (Buy from Ulta, $21) in the middle of the pout, then blot again. 

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For more hairs color trends that make you look younger, click through these stories:

Celebrity Colorists: The Best Hair Color for Tan Skin — And How To Get It At Home

Celebrity Colorists: These 10 At-Home Hair Colors Make Your Hair Look Thicker Instantly

Color Contouring Your Hair Can Take Years Off Your Appearance

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