‘This Summer, Reds Have More Fun!’ How To Make The Copper Hair Trend Work For You

by Freya Drohan

Hair today, gone tomorrow? Well, not so fast. The copper trend seems to show no sign of abating. But we’re intrigued! Beyond Zendaya, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Phoebe Dynevor, can this trend work across the board? We called up industry favorite, Joel Mowen, to get the lowdown. As a colorist at The Marie Robinson Salon, he’s been noticing the hue in Hollywood and beyond for a hot minute—and even helped actress Rose Leslie perfect her flaming red shade for her new on-screen role. We sat in his chair to learn more about summer upkeep, the new era at the salon, and more.

How on board are you with the copper trend? Were Gigi and Kendall actually onto something?
The copper trend is fun and it’s so refreshing to not take color so seriously, especially with everything that is going on. I like inspiring colors, so I am definitely on board! Speaking of red, I did Rose Leslie for her show on HBO Max, The Time Traveler’s Wife. We used my favorite tool in our toolbox: a shine-enhancing gloss with one layer that is more opaque to add depth and another layer that’s sheer like watercolor to create radiant tones that reflect more light. This lets us reapply more often without damage and keep the red vibrant and rich.

What are the pros of going for a copper look? Does this look suit everyone, or should people proceed with caution?
If you’re willing to commit to the high maintenance it takes for the upkeep, I think a huge pro of going copper or red is that you will stand out and shine. There are a lot of different flavors of red. From copper to fire red and soft golden strawberry red; there’s a shade of red for everyone. It is really important to work with your colorist to find the tone that works best with your skin. For example, I recommend clients that have red or pink undertones in their skin to go with a more balanced copper gold hue vs. vibrant red. This summer, the truth finally comes out: reds have more fun!

Joel Mowen (Courtesy)

What else do we need to consider before making the plunge?
It is extremely important to consult with your colorist to find the right shade that works best for your skin tone and amount of maintenance you can commit to. It’s also important to know your hair and what previous color processes you have done as this impacts the ability to hold color, especially since red has the tendency to fade and lose its rich color faster than other colors. We have been seeing the red hair color trend since the start of Fall 2021 when clients who weren’t in the office were more willing to take a bolder approach on hair color. We all needed that brighter feel!

We’re kind of lazy. Does it require a lot of upkeep/maintenance?
As mentioned previously, red is one of the colors that requires the most upkeep. Keeping the color vibrant will typically require regular touch-ups and glosses. There are great products like the Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask in Chic Copper, which can be used weekly, and the Davines Alchemic Red Mask. The pink color of this mask helps to keep cool hues alive and prevent browning out.

What are some tips for maintaining salon color in the summer months?
Sun and water will make color fade, of course. The more you avoid both of these, the longer your color will last. Since we all want to enjoy the summer weather, it’s also important to use a good shampoo, conditioner, and mask. Two of my favorite products are the Davines Minu range and Color Shield Mask from Christophe Robin. I also think a classic staple is Phytoplage Protective Sun Veil and it should be in everyone’s beach bag this summer!

What other colors are you predicting to be reigning in popularity this summer, fall, and beyond?
I love the idea of trends, but I like to see them come naturally, not so forced as we see in fashion. Hair color reflects one’s personal style, and, I believe, this expression is more important than being labeled trendy. When it comes to color, I take a very individualized approach and help navigate the trends that come and go. But what I do know is here to stay is balayage and soft, natural hair with pops of golden ribbons of light. Just as a classic 2.55 Chanel bag is always in style season after season, so is the natural, beautiful, chic color essential to your everyday look.

What do you think will go away?
On upcoming trends, I think we are starting to see things change and move away from the overly bleached heavy ombre ends with the strong ribbon face frame. Less severe and more balanced dimensions that require lower maintenance are on the rise. Colors that are close to one’s natural color such as golden lights in brunettes to creamy touches on blondes are becoming more popular. We take cues for hair trends from changes in makeup trends. Just as you wouldn’t use a foundation three shades lighter anymore, but would try to match it close to your skin tone to achieve that dewy look, we’ll do the same with hair color to enhance one’s look. The goal is a natural look without harsh regrowth. Just like red lipstick and smokey eye can make makeup pop, highlights give hair the glow and dimension that everyone craves.

How did you come to work at the salon? And what’s your favorite thing about working there?
I came to work at Marie Robinson Salon through an Instagram contact, actually. Her dear friend and master interior designer James Huniford followed me and told me he loved my work on the platform. He reached out to me and wanted me to meet Marie and she took me on as a colorist. She took me under her wing, teaching me her ways and helping to fine-tune my skills. She’s absolutely the best mentor and boss and is the reason the team is so incredibly strong. A fun fact is that I’ve followed Marie’s journey since graduating from beauty school and had always wanted to work for her!


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A post shared by MARIE ROBINSON (@marierobinsonsalon)

We know you have an impressive clientele! What do you think they love about the Marie Robinson experience?
I love working at Marie Robinson because we are truly a team that is not hierarchical, like in many of New York City’s salons. We all have trained with Marie and, as all her clients know, she is the most grounded person. She treats every client the same- whether they are prepping to grace the red carpet or touching up before an IRL business meeting. Clients love the beautiful ambiance created by the salon with its natural light, and artistic touches. Inspired by the classic industrial loft spaces we love in New York, the studio has a timeless look. What truly gives the salon its soul is the energy and warmth that the team brings.

Can you share some celebrity names with us?
Take a peek next time and you might see Anne Hathaway, Keri Russel, Andrew Garfield, Rose Leslie, Diana Krall, Sienna Miller, or Rachel Dratch in my chair (just to name a few)! Similar to Marie, I take pride in providing the exact same level of service to all my clients. I had a few funny moments where I’ve had multiple clients at the same time and all of a sudden they realize who they’re sitting next to.

Plus! Get to know Tommy Buckett, lead stylist at The Marie Robinson Salon

Tommy Buckett (courtesy)

Tell us about the salon’s beginnings, and how you came to work with the brand.
I met Marie 20 years ago when we worked together at Sally Hershberger in the Meatpacking District. We have been coworkers and friends ever since. I came back as a partner in November ’21 to inspire and give new energy and management to the current studio.

Did you always know you wanted to get into this line of work?
After so many years of being behind the chair, I wanted to see inside the business and learn how to run a salon; from a creative aspect to managing the numbers and building a team that can be the go-to New York salon. Seeing a whole new side of the business was an alluring challenge to me, and my main goal was to show something new to my clients through a curated point of view. Through my experience at the salon as well as working on editorial and celebrity projects, I am able to bring a new perspective to the salon.

The salon was founded on the desire for a salon experience not found anywhere else. What makes Marie Robinson Salon stand apart from the rest?
I think what makes The Marie Robinson Salon stand out from the rest is how consistent the salon is. Each visit guarantees being taken care of by some of the most talented artists in the industry. While the salon caters to the “who’s who” of New York, at Marie Robinson, we pride ourselves on making every client feel special from check-in to check-out. I also feel our team is fully equipped with the talent and experience to fulfill any client’s request—from color and cut to makeup and brows.


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A post shared by MARIE ROBINSON (@marierobinsonsalon)

What would you say some standout trends of the year have been so far?
I have seen the classic up-do returning recently, and with good reason. I have found an up-do has the power to transform a look, accentuating each individual style through different textures.

Beyond the A listers, what hair trends are you predicting to make a splash this summer?
Honey red hair color is a major trend right now, whether on the red carpet or in the streets of Soho.

And what hair trends/ideas will we start to see the back of in this post-pandemic world?
After two years of struggling to color and cut at home, I think more people are feeling the need to make a change—and going to the hair studio is the answer. Whether they are searching for a fun new cut, or a color refresh they are finding themselves longing to be in the hands of professionals.


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A post shared by MARIE ROBINSON (@marierobinsonsalon)

The stylists at Marie Robinson are favored by celebrities near and far. What’s the mentoring process for new stylists like?
We have always prioritized educating our stylists and assistants. All stylists are continuously working to improve their skills and craft. We take the time to mentor and develop every stylist so they are prepared for anything—from chic one-length haircuts to upswept styles for the red carpet.

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