With everyone’s favorite season right around the corner, it’s only natural to scroll through the latest hair color trends to see which ones will best fit your summer fantasy self. Will it be a toasty brunette? A rose petal pink? Or a mushroom brown? (The last one looks way better than it sounds, I promise.)
Summer is, after all, a time when it feels extra exciting to be spontaneous with your hair color. For inspo on summer 2023’s hottest hair color trends, look no further than celebs like Hailey Bieber. “When she debuted her short, darker color bob, it got a ton of buzz all over social media,” says Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Cody Renegar. Also expected to be big? Variations on red (of course), warm browns, and multidimensional balayage.
According to Tiffanie Richards, a colorist and blonde expert at Louise O’Conner Salon in New York, the summer season offers an added perk to those who like to switch up their hair color on the reg. “Hair colors tend to fade out more quickly due to the sun or water, allowing you to switch it up more frequently,” she tells Bustle.
If you’re looking for some ideas, keep scrolling for the summer hair color trends you’re about to see everywhere, according to the pros.
Expect to see a lot of toasted brunette tones, too. “This is a mix of warm coppers and a medium roast coffee,” Richards tells Bustle. “It can be achieved by blending the two colors for a single process or doing the blending with highlights.”
Once these two colors mix together, it creates a warm brown. “This is going to give your skin the healthiest glow and most likely make your eyes pop,” she says. “It looks amazing on just about any skin tone.”
Cherry coke hair is having a moment, and that’ll continue into summer. Similar to a cherry cola, this hue is a dark brown with just a hint of burgundy red, says Linda Vaqari, a master stylist with G2O Spa + Salon in Boston. “When you go to the salon, ask for dimensional color or full highlights with gloss,” she says. “The gloss will add more depth and shine.”
Soft Petal Pink
Lorena M. Valdes, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, says soft pink has been extremely popular among people looking for a big change — or just a temporary one with semi-permanent or spray-on hues. As long as you have some blonde in your hair, you can easily add a pinky, peachy tint that’ll serve chic mermaid vibes at the beach.
For something that pops even more than pink, consider going for all-over red. “The summer trend is bright red with no dimension,” Valdes says, noting this means no highlights or lowlights — just a solid, fiery crimson.
A lived-in, grown-out blonde always feels right for summer. To get it, ask for a base break or a quick lift, says Richards. This hair trick is a nice way to give dyed strands a break, she explains, and it also gives you more wiggle room between salon visits, which is ideal if you plan to travel.
“This is a color that's applied to just the new growth and it will bump your natural color up just a shade or two while leaving all previous highlights/color the way it is,” she says. “It takes away the natural ash of your color and gives it a little summery punch.”
Copper hair comes in multiple shades of red, from deep auburn to bright copper, Valdes says. Whichever variation you go with, it’s meant to be shiny — and will look so good in vacation pics.
If you’re a blonde, try going for a strawberry blonde glaze, says Sean Godard, a pro team member at Ulta Beauty. If you have a darker base and no previous hair color, you can get a coppery tone with permanent hair color. “Coppers work on a variety of skin tones,” he tells Bustle. “Ask your stylist to place swatches by your face to help determine the tone that is best for you.”
Godard is also seeing blondes ditching purple shampoo and embracing natural golden-toned beach blondes. “This is usually the most flattering blonde on a lot of people,” he says.
If you currently have ashy blond hair, ask your stylist for a gloss service. “They can add the missing warmth back in,” he explains. “If you are getting a highlighting service, your stylist can use a clear gloss to keep the color at its natural lift and still adding shine and condition to the hair.”
Warm Chocolate Brunette
When in doubt, remember that warmth is back, Godard says. To add warmth to dark brunette hair, he recommends getting a gloss or a few golden or red highlights to bring in some dimension. It’ll shine through all your poolside hangs.
An easy update for brunettes is the “brown roux” hair color trend, aka a soft brown balayage. “It’s more natural for brunettes who want dimension without going too light,” Valdes says. “It also allows for lower maintenance.
At the salon, ask for balayage and a gloss. “If you’re toning down old blonde highlights, then you can put a toner on the ends to get a warm brown on the ends [at home],” she says. “But if your hair is all-over color, then I would go into a salon.”
Reverse Money Piece
While blonde face-framing money piece highlights are always a go, right now it’s all about adding color. Think lime green or sunset red. Shvonne Perkins, a master colorist at Madison Reed, predicts the reverse money piece will also be a big hit as the weather gets warm. “With its thick, bold placement, the reverse money piece features the darker part of the hair framing the face for a pop of color,” she tells Bustle. The look is low-maintenance and grow-in friendly — two perks that are ideal for summer.
Another big trend for summer? “Embracing grays,” Perkins says. “Women are feeling like the gray hair taboo is behind them and are choosing to highlight around their gray, instead of totally covering it up.”
The idea is to let your natural grays pop through your base color. The silver strands can look like baby highlights, says Perkins, that you didn’t have to pay for. Letting go of your strict coloring routine will also be a relief.
You can also warm up your brunette with hair by way of mahogany, a hue that features hints of red for dimension, says Perkins. “Using a gloss or toner is a great way to try this shade on without fully committing to a permanent color,” she tells Bustle. The shiny reflection will look so pretty in the sun.
Warning: Color blocking is not for the faint of heart. This trend is all about accentuating your cut by placing small blocks of color on your current shade so that there’s a stark contrast, Perkins explains. “You can think of it like a highlight or lowlight but the placement is bold and strategic.”
You can go with a half-blonde, half-brunette bang or a swatch of dyed hair behind your ear. Either way, the look fits right in with the ’90s and early 2000s aesthetic that’s still making the rounds. As Perskins says, “It’s a great trend to grab on to.”
Cody Renegar, celebrity hairstylist
Shvonne Perkins, master colorist at Madison Reed
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