There’s definitely never a
bad time to switch up your hair color M.O. In fact, we highly support zhuzh-ing things up (either subtly or not so subtly) any day of the year regardless of the incoming season or the virality of certain trends. But if we had to choose our favorite time of year to experiment with something new in the hair color department, it would definitely be fall. After all, the temperatures change, our wardrobes change, and this year, specifically, our environments may change as we continue the transition to a relative degree of “normalcy.”
Just as we may switch up
our nail game or makeup aesthetic in celebration of a new season, opting for a fresh new hair color for fall can be an invigorating way to trigger a newfound sense of self-confidence, to enhance a cozy wardrobe, or to simply nix an intense bout of post-summer beauty boredom. Following trends can sometimes feel a little passé in the beauty world, but we’ll always be interested in the looks reaching peak popularity. Whether you’re looking for just a little bit of something or you’re craving a full-on transformation, we asked some of the best hairstylists and colorists in the business to share the top ten trends we can expect to rule the hair color scene this fall. Keep scrolling for all of the inspiration.
“The summer season tends to fade blonde tones, so they start to fall a little flat,” explains Ashley Ruiz, a stylist at Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood. “We begin to see warmer, rich colors as we transition to fall, so honey and beige tones of blonde—rather than ashier shades—are perfect for enhancing and adding a bit more life back into your hair color. Plus, warmer hues like honey tend to reflect more light and really shine.”
“Rich brunettes thrive in the fall,” shares Ruiz. “If you’re looking to go darker, I think It’s the best time to have a warmer, deep brunette tone like luxurious shades of chocolate and chestnut. You can go for all-over color or add in lowlights for extra dimension, just make sure the end result has a reflective finish. Warmer hues tend to have less fading, so it’s a great option if you’re looking for something more low-maintenance.”
“Not all brunettes want to commit to a deep, solid tone, so a thin ‘pop piece’ in the hairline and few highlights through the crown and sides of the face can go a long way in the dimension department,” notes Ruiz. “The end result will compliment your eyes and enhance your facial features by brightening things up a bit. For fall, I love a lush shade of brunette with caramel or honey-toned light pieces a few shades lighter than the base.”
“I love the idea of enhancing your natural hair color this fall with sprinkles aka babylights,” adds Ruiz. “During, and even after, quarantine, a lot of people opted for lower maintenance hair colors, but are now starting to getting bored. Adding baby sprinkles throughout the hair is an effortless way to enhance your natural shade. Think of the naturally lightened highlights you might have had as a child or after spending time out in the sun as inspiration. This fall trend gives the hair dimension and movement, and golden or beige tones, especially, almost add a degree of sparkle.
“Fall is a great time to go darker for blondes who want to add some depth and more dimension to their hair,” says celebrity colorist and Redken Brand Ambassador, Matt Rez. “With enough lowlights, this hair color would be considered ‘Bronde’—the perfect marriage of the lightest brunette and dark blonde in one glance. It’s a great option for this time of year because you’re not committed to going dark all over, and your lowlights will gradually fade by the time spring comes around if you’re wanting to go lighter. Bronde can either be cool or warm-toned—whatever complements your skin undertones! “I recommend achieving a Bronde color in the salon, as the process involves foil placement and needs a professional’s expertise and eye. Ask your colorist for lowlights done with exclusively acidic based color, such as Redken Shades EQ Gloss ($13)! This will prevent your natural or base color from going red and will add tons of shine. Typically, I recommend a neutral/neutral-cool tone when selecting a lowlight color when you’re going darker. The level of lowlight should either match your base color or go just one level deeper so that the final results look natural! This will guarantee a nicer fade over time.”
“Mushroom brown is going strong into fall,” Rez tells me. “Being a cool-toned color, cooler fall weather can be inspiring for brunettes that want to go lighter without reading any type of blonde. This color has a grey, brown background, with a blue-green reflect. Those looking to achieve a mushroom brown color should visit the salon as lifting the hair to the right level requires an experienced pro who can keep the integrity of your hair. It’s essential that highlights for this shade be lifted past the orange stage.”
“As the leaves turn warmer and we embrace Autumn’s earthy shades, auburn can be the perfect hair inspiration,” Rez notes. Having a brown background and an orange-gold reflect, it’s a great option for those who have always wanted to try a red tone but want to avoid anything too intense. For fall, auburn red shades should be void of purple and blue tones. In certain lights, it will read more on the brunette side, and in other lights will bring out the copper vibes. “Any red color should be done in the salon as ‘hot roots’ can be an issue when doing red at home. ‘Hot roots’ occur when the root area of the color is lighter and/or more vibrant than the rest of the hair. Going auburn red from a brunette requires the lifting of the current color, whether it be virgin or colored previously. Transitions from blonde to auburn red require filling the hair properly and adding layers of color to create depth. These techniques need a trained professional. If done incorrectly, damage and color-correcting can be a nightmare, so please don’t attempt this at home!”
“In general, lighter tones are really popular right now and I think the trend will continue well into fall,” predicts Redken x Mizani Brand Ambassador, Leysa Carrillo. “To keep things fresh, have had fun changing up your look with bright, peekaboo custom temporary tones. These hair colors are accessories on their own! My favorite look is bright blonde roots and copper or red ends that blend into the midshaft of the hair.”
“Bold colors like platinum blonde are also back in vogue,” adds celebrity hairstylist Ben Talbott. “Billie Eilish has undergone a platinum transformation, and it’s a great option if you’re craving a major change this fall. It’s time to bring out your inner playful self and stop worrying about what people think.”
Speaking of bold hair colors for fall, Talbott also makes a nod to pink as a resurging color trend that will soon be taking over this season. “Georgia May Jagger had a pink moment and Florence Pugh and Cardi B have embraced their own daring styles,” Talbott notes. “If you don’t want to commit to permanent color, try working with wigs or temporary formulas that wash out over time—it’s a quick, fun, and easy way to switch up your color or style without the commitment.”
Next: This Controversial Hair Trend Is Back—Here Are Our Recs for Getting the Look