15 Hair Color Trends That Are About To Be All Over Your Instagram Feed

Including pastel balayage.

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The 15 hair color trends you're about to see everywhere this year, from baby pink to rouge red.
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In 2020, people turned to low-maintenance hair colors and cuts during the quarantine. Now that the new year is here, there are plenty of opportunities for switching up your 'do. For some inspiration, Bustle spoke with top experts to learn about the top 2021 hair color trends worth considering for your next dye job.

Celebrity hairstylists like Clariss Rubenstein, Matrix artistic director Nick Stenson, Maxine Salon colorist Karissa Schaudt, and Nine Zero One stylist Katie Cartwright revealed 15 different (gorgeous) shades that will be trending all year-round, and there's no shortage of options. Whether you're looking for an update to your natural color or are ready to test out a rainbow hue, 2021 has plenty of shades worth taking to your next salon appointment.

Don't expect the low-maintenance trend to end, either: Stylists predict a number of lived-in hair colors will be popular this year. Of course, if you're down with the upkeep and hours in a salon chair, there are some more daring trends — like pastel balayage — to choose from as well.

Ready to start adding some gorgeous dye inspo to your Pinterest board? Here are the 15 super-chic hair color trends of 2021, as revealed by the pros.


Glossy Black

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According to Rubenstein, a deep, glossy black will be in this year. "It feels healthy, sultry, and rich," she tells Bustle, adding that it's a color that doesn't need a ton of maintenance. Matrix celebrity colorist George Papanikolas echoes this, though notes that the shade looks best on natural brunettes. "The universal rule is to stay within four shades of your natural color," he says. "Going any darker than that can look harsh and inky."

Rubenstein's tip? Use a toner every so often, and incorporate nourishing hair products to help the color last and stay shiny.


Brown Highlights

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As far as highlights go, Rubenstein says that brown tones will be in for 2021. "Warm, rich tones [that are] just a bit lighter than a natural brown base is such a beautiful and healthier way to lighten up your look," she tells Bustle. She says it works on brunettes of all shades, as there are "so many beautiful shades of brown and dark blonde hair that create dimension."


Baby Pink

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Many celebs rocked pink hair in 2020, including Kaia Gerber, Julianne Hough, even Ricky Martin. And, according to Maria Elizabeth, founder of Salon deZEN, the shade is here to stay.

"Baby pink is a huge trend right now," she tells Bustle, pointing to Dua Lipa and Taylor Swift as further evidence. Pro tip: "Wash your hair less to avoid color fade," she suggests.



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Elizabeth also notes that silver-gray will be big this year. "Ironically, gray hair can make you look younger and fresher," she tells Bustle — though recommends consulting your colorist to make sure you go with a shade that doesn't wash your skin out.

It'll also be on trend to rock your natural grays, says Stenson. "Many women have found that their natural hair is beautiful all on its own," he tells Bustle. "Instead of a trip to the salon every few weeks for color retouches, they can just reach for a violet shampoo, like MATRIX Total Results So Silver, to control the tone."



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For a lower-maintenance highlight, Elizabeth sees the balayage returning this year. It requires less upkeep than traditional highlights, she says of the "artful color application technique." Specifically, she cites copper, caramel, cinnamon spice, chocolate brown, golden blonde, pearl blonde, and honey blonde as on-trend shades.



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While more natural forms of balayage are trending, Elizabeth also sees platinum gray iterations as a must-try shade this year. "This icy platinum look has been worn on celebs like Lady Gaga and [it] is turning heads," she tells Bustle. If you're not ready to go platinum, she suggests opting for a silver lilac, which softens the shade "but still gives the icy chic look of this trend," says Elizabeth.


Copper Ginger

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So many stars went red in 2020, and the hair color is continuing through 2021, according to Papanikolas. His take? This year is all about a coppery-ginger hue, which he says is perfect on fair and golden skin tones. "If you naturally have freckles, then this coloring is especially flattering," he explains. For upkeep, he recommends using an acid-based shampoo to help preserve the "delicate" copper molecules.


Bronde Foliage

Both Papanikolas and Schaudt see bronde foliage as a big 2021 color trend, which is a middle-of-the-road blend of blonde and brunette hues. And, according to Papanikolas, it's easy to maintain and works on a multitude of natural hair colors.

"Mixing highlights and mid-lights creates this multi-dimensional shade of warm sandy and cool beige tones that are perfect for someone who wants to keep a beach vibe year-round," says Schaudt, who adds that it grows out "seamlessly." In other words: You can space out your salon appointments.



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Reds are definitely one of the biggest color trends of 2021, and there are plenty of variations to pick from. One that'll be popular this year? According to Schaudt, a rouge hue is an it-color that's become popular after actor Anya Taylor Joy rocked it in Netflix's The Queen's Gambit.

"It’s a true red, meaning it’s deeper than a copper red, but lighter than auburn," she tells Bustle, though notes it's particularly good on people with fair skin tones.


Pastel Balayage

If you're looking for something fun and and edgy in 2021, Papanikolas says to bring on the pastels with balayage. Lighter shades like baby pinks and blues are a "great way to play with fashion colors without having to do a full bleach on your hair," he tells Bustle. The best part of the trend? Fading isn't a bad thing, as it means you don't have to worry about a long-term commitment, he says.


Honey Blonde

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Another on-trend blonde shade worth trying? According to Cartwright, look to honey blonde. "This is an easier color to maintain as warm tones tend to fade less compared to cooler and icy blondes," she tells Bustle. The warmth in the shade reflects light, which she says will make hair appear shinier and healthier. She notes the color is particularly flattering on those with yellow, golden, or dark skin tones.


Deep Red

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Another take on red that's slated to be popular this year: deep red, according to Stenson, who says the shade is highly customizable. This is a darker, bolder option than the coppery ginger and rouge tones. His take? Wearing curls with your deep red strands is "an exciting statement look."



Schaudt explains that solid-lites — aka the chunky, boldly-colored highlights that were big in the '90s — are staying in place this year. It's up to you how thick and light your dyed pieces are, she notes, so you can choose to be more subtle or daring. "It's really easy to maintain and is the most requested [look] in salons right now," she tells Bustle.


Money Piece

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While the solid-lite trend focuses on chunky and bold pieces that frame the face, Rex Jimieson, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, sees the "money piece" look as a more subtle version worth trying. The highlights are more natural and less chunky, and blend with the rest of your highlighted or balyaged hair for just a pop of brightness.

"You can get this look with balayage or weaved foil highlights for a more sophisticated and timeless version of color-blocked highlights that will grow out and last longer," he tells Bustle. "This softens and keeps it bright around the face."


Lived-In Blonde

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Cartwright predicts that more lived-in blondes will be trending this year. "A lot of clients are asking for a more low-maintenance blonde," she tells Bustle. "This look will stay popular because it allows blondes to go longer in between appointments." It's an ideal pick if you prefer more natural looks and don't mind your roots showing at the top.

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