‘Fondant Brunette’ Is The It-Girl Hair Colour Du Jour, According To This Award-Winning Hairstylist

‘Fondant Brunette’ Is The It-Girl Hair Colour Du Jour, According To This Award-Winning Hairstylist

A new season shouldn’t be our sole influence for a colour switch up, but there’s something so refreshing about swapping out your hair hue when the forecast changes. And thanks to Claudia Cataldo, the winner of L’Oréal’s Colour Trophy 2022, there’s a new style of tresses that’s about to be everywhere—Fondant Brunette.

Forget ‘expensive brunette’ or ‘biscuit brunette’, take a look at recent street style snaps or take a scroll through Instagram and you’ll find a bevy of It-girls making the transition from blonde (or medium hues) to the chocolate-inspired shade.For example, Nicola Peltz transformed her mane from her signature sun-kissed blonde to an almost-black shade. And on that hair-inspired note, Hailey Bieber has even opted to go darker, swapping out her light locks for a deep chestnut.

But when it came to this warm and decadent colour trend, Fondant Brunette was born from the brain of Cataldo, who won this year’s L’Oréal’s Colour Trophy award with the look.

The longest-running hairdressing competition, Cataldo will now go on to represent Australia in the hope of being crowned the Global Champion. With 17 years of industry experience, she took out the competition for the rich, brown hue which she describes as a “I woke up like this” style, with the embodiment of a “Parisian It-girl”.

Claudia Cataldo

L’Oréal Colour Trophy

So what is Fondant Brunette exactly? Well, it’s a new style of balayage colouring that dark locks are sure to love.

“The inspiration comes from the theme ‘French Edito’,” Cataldo tells marie claire Australia, referring to the competition’s theme. “In the salon, hair cuts are more layered and therefore balayage colouring has a layered effect. I love hair that has dimension and contrast, as it accentuates texture free flowing. It screams sophistication when hair has rich tones.”

But what is the difference between the Fondant Brunette and any regular deep hue? Well, Cataldo says that it’s all down to her use of a French balayage and the magic touch of an industry professional.

“French balayage is a specialised technique which can only be achieved by a hair professional,” she explains. “We as professionals can tailormake the tones and placements to enhance each individual personal look and feel.”

As for the colour itself, Cataldo’s creation features a chocolate hued base with a warmer, lighter French balayage pouring out from the layers à la a self-saucing chocolate fondant. And if you’re looking to try the hair colour yourself, Cataldo recommends asking your stylist to guide you.

“You would ask your hairdresser to guide you as to what tones best suit you,” she says. “With my style I would recommend that the client ask for a rich mocha base with French balayage and French gloss to add tone and variation of colour opt for tones that are golden, mahogany coppery hues.”

Fondant Brunette


Of course, one half of the battle is getting the correct colour to begin with but your next conundrum is how to maintain it—especially when you don’t have a hairstylist at your disposal. 

“Book in for a glossing service every five weeks to top up the stunning hue,” Cataldo recommends. “Always use home hair care that is prescribed to you by your hairdresser.”

“Try L’oreal’s Metal Detox range, it is an in salon treatment service which is used when colouring to ensure longevity of the colour and condition and the metal detox take home will top up the treatment.” She also recommends you to “always use a heat protectant, as it will maintain the quality of the hair and reduce colour fade”.


Metal Detox Shampoo by L’Oreal Professionnel, $49.50 at Adore Beauty.


10 in 1 Perfecting Multipurpose Spray by L’Oreal Professionnel, $19.95 at Oz Hair & Beauty.

Naturally, changing the colour of hair does a number on the health and hydration levels of our tresses. So, to combat the destruction of your strands, Cataldo recommends using L’Oreal’s 10 in 1 Perfecting Multipurpose Spray to keep your ‘do happy.

“Not only does it protect your hair from heat, but it’s a great detangler, adding shine and hydration. It is anti-frizz and anti split ends. Use salon quality prescribed shampoo and conditioner and use a masque once a week.”

While Fondant Brunette is sure to be the next hair colour du jour, it’s worth applauding exactly how she came up with the hue when applying for L’Oréal’s Colour Trophy awards.

“I came up with the inspiration from Parisian street style, how they style their hair and how they put together outfits and makeup,” she shares. “Everything looks so natural and effortless, not over done.”

This year’s theme was ‘French Edito’ which prompted colourists to find new and creative ways to reimagine French-inspired hair trends and techniques. And after winning the competition, which she previously entered five times, taking our the title felt more meaningful than she could have imagined.

“It’s career highlight of mine, this has been a dream come true. I love hairdressing and I particularly love hair colouring, hair colouring is what transforms the whole look,” she shares.

“You can emphasise a cut with how the colour draws your eyes to the features in the face you want to highlight, just like makeup. In trusting in my ability I know I can do anything I set my mind too, watch this space.”

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