Perhaps you tried a pink hairdo this spring, or maybe you went with some baby bangs in the fall. But now, the colder weather is settling in, which calls for another occasion for change. To help inspire your next transformation, there are
10 winter 2021 hair color trends you can consider for your cold-weather mane — and they're all so good.
As you navigate the wide world of beauty questions — like
should I go platinum or fire engine red — Bustle spoke with top hair experts to help pin down your look. Dove celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend, celebrity (aka Beyonce's) hairstylist and brand owner Kim Kimble, stylists Clint Torres and Emily Cable from Nine Zero One salon, Olaplex ambassador and celebrity hairstylist Bianca Hillier, and Nina Rubel, master colorist and senior educator at Rob Peetoom Salon Williamsburg all revealed their takes on the must-try winter hair color trends.
summer 2020 hair color that's making a comeback to a 90's-style resurgence and this winter's take on fall's popular strawberry blonde hue (hint: It's gone full-on red), this season's hottest color trends are worth talking to your stylist about. Whichever route you decide to go, the good news is that they are all relatively low-maintenance.
If you need a little Pinterest board inspo to show your stylist, here are 10 winter 2021 hair color trends to mull over.
Mark Townsend (who's responsible for iconic looks like Dakota Johnson's bangs and the Olsen twins' waves) sees bronde continuing its popularity into winter. The style was dubbed a trend over the summer, and it never really went away.
Townsend tells Bustle that the color's popularity is likely due to its lower maintenance. "You don’t need to get it touched up at the salon too often," he explains. "And if you are maintaining color from home, bronde won’t require you to give yourself highlights, which can always be risky."
As for getting the look, he says it's important to be specific and speak with your stylist about the tones and placement you'd like (just as you would with any color). Townsend also adds that at-home care is vital. "Once you have the color, it’s absolutely crucial to maintain it with products that will prolong its vibrancy," he tells Bustle. "I recommend Dove Color Protect Shampoo and Conditioner. They are sulfate-free so they won’t strip away the color, and are gentle enough for everyday use."
2 Single Shades
Kim Kimble predicts that ombre and balayage, two summer and fall color faves, won't continue into winter. Instead, she believes that single colors will be dominant — and it's for the same reason Townsend predicts bronde will be a trend: It's low-maintenance.
"As we are coming off the pandemic and some salons are beginning to open, people are looking to make their hair look as healthy as possible after having to maintain their hair care themselves," she tells Bustle. "The single color is also easier to maintain in case you do have to take your hair care back into your own hands."
As for color recommendations, Kimble says it's all about your undertone , and recommends that those with warmer undertones stick to warm hair colors and those with cool undertones stick to cools. Your stylist can assist you in picking the right color, and to get the look, Kimble says, "Tell your stylist you want healthy, shiny hair with temporary or semi-permanent hair color. These are very easy maintenance and only need to be touched up every six to eight weeks."
3 Dark Roots Dua Lipa's dark roots are a 2020 hair color trend.
Another trend Townsend sees coming is a dark root, just like you've seen on Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish. The stylist considers the look as a form of color blocking, where much of the root is dark and the rest of the hair is a cooler toned blonde.
"It’s a purposeful dark root, where the goal is that striking contrast," says Townsend. "At the beginning of the year, pre-pandemic, that cool, icy platinum blonde was trending. Well, those pre-pandemic roots are all grown out now, and we have this really cool, high-contrast trend." Time to embrace it.
Nine Zero One hairstylist
Clint Torres encourages people to go copper this winter, noting that these tones a trending option in the red category. The copper hue is one that he particularly likes for those with paler skin.
"Most fair-skinned girls are light-haired and more blonde, so coloring them coppery red is easier to lift once the season is over," Torres tells Bustle, comparing it to a dark red tone that deeply penetrates the cortex of the hair shaft. His tip? Work with your colorist to get the exact shade and tone for your skin. If you have darker hair, he suggests trying darker red tones instead of coppers.
5 Auburn Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Red has been a definite 2020 hair trend, and Townsend sees auburn strands as the it-shade for winter. "I haven’t heard the word auburn in years, because 10 years ago, no one wanted red in their dark hair, it just wasn’t hot at the time," Townsend tells Bustle. "Now, people are embracing more reddish tones." He specifically recommends the auburn trend for brunettes who can add the shade via highlights. The auburn color is something Townsend sees as indicative of a larger move towards warmer tones this winter.
6 Chocolate Brown
Stylist at Nine Zero One Salon
Emily Cable agrees that red tones are in, but she also believes that pops of chocolate brown on darker brunettes is another key winter 2021 hair color to try.
"These colors look best on everyone," Cable tells Bustle. "They will make your eyes pop and bring out the warmth in people's skin, even making their cheeks look rosier." Plus, she adds that maintenance is easy, which is good news for the busy holiday season when salon visits are tough to fit in.
7 Creamy Highlights Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Bianca Hillier says creamy toned highlights on darker bases will be big as we close out the year. Though she admits that she's not always a fan of going darker for winter, Hillier says that this trend is low maintenance — which seems to be a common theme for all winter 2021 hair color trends (which is great news).
Dimensional, creamy colored highlights add dimension and depth while still maintaining some lighter hues. Hillier says that the style will look good on everyone. The important thing to note is that, since the color is long-lasting, those who choose the style should be sure to care for it between sessions. She recommends the
Olaplex No. 0 Intensive Bond Building Hair Treatment combined with the Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector. 8 Face-Framing Highlights Bella Hadid (and most of TikTok) have already been ushering in a '90s-era chunky face-framing highlight with a bold front-facing color, and it's a trend Townsend sees getting even more popular. He tells Bustle, "There are a lot of different color stories happening with hair right now, but I think the biggest trend is actually where the color is – around the face. We’re seeing face-framing highlights, which are bold chunky highlights from years ago, [and] color-blocked roots."
According to the hairstylist, the trend is a result of Zoom meetings and being on camera so frequently in 2020. "The front of our head is what’s visible on camera," says Townsend. "So it makes sense that we color and style our hair accordingly, really focusing on the face-framing sections of hair."
When getting the look, he says to tell your colorist to add the boldest shade just around your face and keep the rest of the color subtle.
9 Warm Blondes
Torres also predicts a tend of warmer blondes taking a subtle shift to a darker color. He tells Bustle, "Color on blondes can be tricky. Blondes hate veering too far away from the blonde that they have worked so hard in getting." Instead of darkening the entirety of the hair, Torres recommends adding a few lowlights to give the illusion of a darker shade, and that simply toning the hair can give it more vibrancy. "Another easy trick for blondes is to simply tone their hair warm and neutral instead of icy," he says. "This will make a big effect but can be easily reversed once we hit spring."
10 Scarlet Nina Rubel, master colorist and senior educator at Rob Peetoom Salon Williamsburg, agrees with Torres that coppers are having a moment this winter, but that you can take the red trend a step further by adding scarlet and crimson hues. Rubel says, "We see a direct inspiration from fashion to hair color, these color palettes also tend to have an uplifting effect which I feel is what a lot of people are wanting right now." She adds that while some are looking for those low maintenance styles, others, "have more freedom and are wanting to take this time to express themselves and try something daring that they have been putting off or haven't had the chance to do previously."
When it comes to getting the right color, Rubel says that working one-on-one with your colorist to get the best shade is the way to go. But she does caution against going for the shade just because it's trendy. "We can take inspiration from these trends, but it's important to make them your own with your own tweaks and twists. Be yourself, do what makes you feel good, and don't be afraid to start your own trend."
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