“Illuminated Brunette” Is The Dreamiest Hair Color Trend Sweeping Brazil

Trying to imagine new ways to revamp your dark hair can get tricky when you don’t want to go blonde or aren’t really into bright color transformations. That’s why we recently expanded our search for beautiful hair trends all over the world — and found a look in Brazil that brunettes will absolutely love.

Down in the land of Gisele waves, Brazilian women are asking for “illuminated brunette,” or as they call it in Portuguese: ” morenas iluminadas.” The color technique is all the rave in São Paulo, where local hairstylist João Bosco ‘s Salon 1838 is located. He says almost half of his clients are now asking for the color — which is quickly becoming his most-requested style after blonde. And it’s not just at his salon: On Instagram, the hashtag #MorenasIluminadas has more than 192k posts.

Bosco achieves the look by hand-painting one-inch strands all over the head just three shades lighter than the client’s natural color. He sweeps the color from the ends up, teasing the hair around the midlengths so there is no line of demarcation. He then smudges the roots with a toner that matches the client’s base so it all blends together into dreamy perfection.

The best part? It’s super low maintenance and the grow-out is seamless (since you’re painting on top of your natural base color). Bosco tells us the color typically lasts six months. “I’ve even had clients who come just once a year,” he says.

If you’re looking for a way to change up your dark hair before 2019, we’ve rounded up all the inspiration you need, ahead. Take them to your stylist, or just book a flight to Brazil in time for New Year’s.

Bosco says more and more of his clients are chopping their long hair to their shoulders, and this color is perfect for brightening up those face-framing layers. As your hair grows out, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with color appointments.


Morenas iluminadas is especially great for those with curls. The technique will bring extra atenção (attention) to your gorgeous natural definition, with less damage than all-over bleach.


Although you won’t have to visit the salon as often for a touchup, aftercare is important to keep the color looking bright and healthy for as long as possible. Bosco suggests doing an in-salon moisturizing treatment every 20 days and, at home, using the Pantene Intense Rescue Shots, a Brazil drugstore favorite that will finally be available in the U.S. starting next month. (Bosco is a spokesperson for the brand.)


Bosco says the brighter color can range from golden to copper, depending on the client. Ask your stylist for a shade that will best complement your natural hair color, like these beautiful toffee highlights.


This side-by-side photo perfectly depicts the dramatic difference the color technique can make. It’s like a sun-kissed Rio glow, but for your hair.


Goodbye dull hair, hello radiant Instagram-worthy strands. How dreamy is this?

Travel and accommodations were provided by Pantene for the purpose of writing this story.


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