If you’ve spent your time since finishing the new season of Selling Sunset obsessing over Chrishell Stause’s hair and wondering if you should take the blonde plunge yourself, you might be surprised to learn that Gen Z has determined that by doing so, you’ll be considered uncool, or “cheugy”.
If you’re like me and have no idea what cheugy even means, the Urban Dictionary definition is “A catch all word to describe anything that is basic, uncool or untrendy. According to The New York Times, ‘cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) can be used, broadly, to describe someone who is out of date or trying too hard.'” It’s usually used to describe the out of date millennial aesthetic, think over filtered photos, the Kardashians, and Live Laugh Love.
Its origins began with TikTok users noting that trendy Gen Z celebrities, including Gigi Hadid and Hailey Bieber, swapped their trademark blonde hair for a cleaner, more natural darker hue, which they call “expensive brunette”.
Many women jumped on the brunette train, citing reasons including healthier hair, less maintenance and saving money. ID also spoke to Michael Nolte, creative Director of Beautystreams, a global beauty industry reference, who noted that “Thanks to the growing representation of diversity in the media, embracing natural hair colour and texture has become a way to affirm one’s personal background and culture”.
@thedigifairy Stitch with @i-D magazine #expensivebrunette#mushroombrownhair #christiangirlautumn#cheugy#bronde #skyferreira#2010s#wolfcut #beabadoobee#skunkhair ♬ 505 – Arctic Monkeys
It’s been noted by Gen Z TikTok that it’s primarily cool light blonde tones that are no longer in fashion, with “bronde” (a darker blonde which could be classed as a light brunette) and caramel highlights are still popular. Hmmm, do you think that could include Chrishell’s tone? I wouldn’t want Gen Z TikTok laughing at me as I leave the salon!
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Image credit: Vogue