25 Fall Hair Color Trends You’re Going to Be Seeing Everywhere
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New season, new 'do! These are the subtle and statement-making hair color trends you won't be able to stop staring at this fall—and will totally want to try yourself.
Is it just us, or is everyone itching for a bit of a change right now? Hair has always been a go-to for women looking to make a bold new statement, but according to celebrity stylists and colorists, this fall seems to be the time that people are ready to just Go. For. It. Whether you’re looking for blonde hair color ideas, the best shade of brown or red for your skin tone, or something full-on fierce, this list of the best fall hair colors is the perfect dose of inspiration.
“I see color coming back in a significant way this fall,” says Erica Conan, Director of Education at ColorProof Color Care Authority. “Trends are evolving in a way that will still allow for longer grow-out time, but I think everyone is looking for something new—something that makes them feel fabulous. Hair color is not going to just be about maintaining your look this fall but giving yourself a reset and boost of self-confidence through a fresh, new hair color. It will be a way of empowerment for us in a way it hasn’t been before.”
But even if you want the tiniest of updates, like whisper-thin highlights or a shiny brightening gloss, you’ll still need a solid repertoire of the best shampoos for color-treated hair, root touch-up kits, and hair masks. After all, you don’t just want to avoid a hair color mistake—you want your hair to look truly gorgeous all season long.
How we chose the top fall hair color trends
We asked the most sought-after pro stylists, of course! To save you time and energy, these celebrity hairstylists shared their thoughts on trend forecasts and coloring techniques, like chunky highlights and peek-a-boo bright colors, that will reign supreme this fall. But that’s not all: We also dug through thousands of photos—from the runways to the red carpet to celebrity street styles—to come up with this list of our 25 favorite hair colors for the upcoming season. We even suggested some products that will help you achieve these looks easily and affordably. (You’re welcome!) Once you’re up to speed, take a look at the hottest fall nail colors for more of the season’s biggest trends.
“This fall, we are expecting to see softer coppers as a major hair trend,” says Jamie Wiley, Global Artistic Director at Pureology. “Unlike the standard red and yellow undertones we typically see in copper hair, this season will focus on blue undertones to give a look that’s cooler in tone.” Cool tones typically provide a stronger contrast between skin tone and hair, so if your hair is brown and your skin is light, you can pull off this new fall hair color brilliantly.
Get the look: Clairol Nice’n Easy in Copper Blonde
“For bright, summer blondes, we expect a transition to a golden honey color for a glowy look, perfect for the fall,” says Wiley. Toning down a vibrant summer blonde for a rich honey for fall is a classic choice, and even better, it’s a tiny swap, so come May, you can go straight back.
We will be seeing this deep, coffee-inspired color for brunettes, predicts Wiley. And this rich hue isn’t just gorgeous—it’s also incredibly versatile. “This color is flattering for both warm or cool brunettes,” he explains, “and will add dimension, movement, and depth for the fall vibes that we all love.” Finding the right fall hair color, by the way, can make you look younger.
Get the look: Schwarzkopf Simply Color in Intense Espresso
The more cautious among us are still prioritizing the pandemic grow-out over a sweeping color change. “We are seeing that most people are still embracing the lived-in ‘grow out’ look and style, and this fall will be no different,” says Wiley. “We expect to see more natural roots, which will elongate the time in between salon visits, as this allows for less maintenance.” For brunettes and blondes who want to keep their natural roots looking fresh and still fun, they can opt for a colorless gloss for mirror-like shine.
Get the look: Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss in Crystal Quartz
Wiley expects summer blondes to move toward warmer hues, which she calls “a perfect transition” for fall weather. Conan, on the other hand, thinks the classic “go darker for fall” will be less dramatic but still have lots of dimension to “refresh and reboot your color without taking you away from your signature shade.”
Get the look: Schwarzkopf Simply Color in Almond Brown
“I see blondes moving away from the silvery, white tones we’ve seen the past few years to more buttery tones,” says Conan of the transition from cool to warm shades. “Embrace the change, find a stylist you trust to get you there, and then use the right products to protect your new look.” If you’ve been rocking an icy-cool Daenerys Targaryen hairstyle, go a little more natural with a warm blonde hue. Make sure your makeup goes with your new fall hair color by choosing the best foundation for your skin tone.
Get the look: SoftSheen-Carson Fade Resist in Light Golden Blonde
“For those looking to stay on the cooler side, we will see wheat blonde trending, which is a beautiful option,” says Wiley. Pro tip: Cool hair tones look best on cool skin tones. Not sure if your skin tone is cool? A good rule of thumb is if your skin burns easily, you’re probably a cool tone. If you go with this shade, Wiley suggests integrating a high-shine toning gloss, like Pureology’s Color Fanatic Top Coat + Tone for light to dark blonde, in your hair care routine to maintain the color and neutralize warm tones.
Get the look: Wella Color Charm in Medium Ash Blonde
When you can’t choose just one shade, go for the seamless blend. “One of my favorite combinations for brunettes in the fall is starting with deep mocha at the base and blending out to chestnut,” shares Wiley. You can get this look at home by keeping the dye on your roots for a few minutes longer than the rest of your hair, carefully rinsing out the color starting from the midshaft to the ends first.
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Brown
Fire engine red
For the boldest fall hair color of all, try this look-at-me red. Wiley is expecting to see more va-va-voom in reds than ever before. “It’s a pop of color, which I am ready for!” he says. “Redheads will be setting the fall hair game on fire.”
Subtle changes can have just as big of an impact as a hair color makeover, especially when you add in lowlights. What are lowlights, exactly? They’re basically the opposite of highlights. A color deeper than your base is woven throughout the hair “for a spark of depth to your natural or current color,” explains Wiley. “This will give hair a fresh fall look without going too far.”
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Cool Brown
Chunky natural highlights
“I’m seeing a lot of bold colors and highlight placements, but in more natural tones,” says Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK Salon in Soho. “Think chunkier highlights but with shades that are closer to your natural hair color so that it grows out well. Low-maintenance hair but with a high impact.” Mastering chunky highlights at home is way easier than it may seem. Simply take about an inch of hair and coat the entire section, root to end, in your desired shade.
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Brass-Free Medium Brown
Brown’s clients are jumping to celebrate Pantone’s 2021 color of the year—Ultimate Gray—by letting their grays grow in and getting rid of color altogether, à la Helen Mirren and supermodel Maye Musk. And the younger crowd is asking for a gray ombré, which essentially looks like a rainbow of gray hues melting into one another, to make a striking statement.
Get the look: L’Oréal Paris Feria in Smokey Silver
Sandy golden blonde
“[This] beautiful neutral gold works on most skin tones,” explains Brown of the color’s natural vibe. She adds that because it is universally flattering and grows out nicely, it “only has to be touched up a few times a year,” making it low-maintenance.
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Golden Blonde
A shadow root is also called a “root smudge,” and it’s when a darker shade at the root seamlessly melts into a lighter shade at the midshaft. Brown describes shadow highlights as bold yet subtle, as “the highlights themselves are thick and chunky, but the color is natural.” This can be a great look for both brunettes and blondes looking for a little extra depth.
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Blonde
“Fall is a brunette’s time to shine,” says Wiley. “This is the perfect season to start to add dimension and depth to hair and try different tones that complement and enhance skin tone.” Brown adds that “toffee-colored chunks of balayage throughout the hair” is the perfect level of dimension, as “it’s soft with a lot of impact.” Of course, the best fall hair colors and products will only get you so far—don’t believe these hair myths that could ruin your hair.
Get the look: Schwarzkopf Simply Color in Medium Brown
Every stylist we spoke to said that red is a whole mood this fall, but if you don’t to go too bold, try this shade. “Cinnamon red is a subtle, more grounded red that’s very soft and pretty,” says Brown.
Get the look: Clairol Natural Instincts in Medium Reddish Brown
“I think a big trend happening right now is just overall blonde hair care maintenance—keeping your blonde hair really bright and toning it correctly when needed,” says celebrity stylist Justin Anderson, the founder of dpHUE and the visionary behind Jennifer Aniston’s impossibly perfect blonde hair. “I always recommend a good purple shampoo to help tone unwanted brassiness for blondes, and I stand by our dpHUE Cool Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner to get the job done.”
Black has shed its undeserved goth reputation, and it’s back, baby! “This season, we are going to see inky black with a shiny, warm glaze,” says colorist and R+Co Collective member Richy Kandasamy. He adds that we should also expect a splash of “warm, red-infused undertones” within jet-black locks for “a multi-tonal look and added dimension to black hair color.” Pro tip: When you’re coloring your hair, it’s extra important to keep hair hydrated with the best conditioners.
If you think candy-colored hair is over, think again. Kandasamy predicts that we’ll be seeing delicate, warm rose tones, especially for those with blonde or platinum hair as a base, that “will light up everyone’s faces during fall.”
Get the look: L’Oréal Paris Feria in Smokey Pink
“This is all about the technique and placement of subtle golden hues around the face,” explains Kandasamy. “For those embracing natural regrowth, this can add a seamless, sun-kissed contour placement.” For a super subtle contrast or to take the look for a test drive, try applying a semi-permanent gloss at home. That way, if you don’t totally love it, it will wash out faster than a true dye, and you won’t have wasted money at a salon.
Get the look: Bumble and Bumble Color Gloss in Warm Blonde
“I always tell my clients that red hair is a personality,” says Felicia Dosso, a colorist at New York City’s Nunzio Saviano Salon. “It’s intended for someone who is bold and different, maybe even a little quirky.” Conan adds that “we will see all shades red for this fall,” adding that this hue, in particular, is “an easy transition” for blondes. “Finding the right red for your skin tone can completely illuminate your complexion and give you an insane boost of self-confidence.” If you’re tempted try this fall hair color trend for its name alone, you’ll definitely want to check out these hilarious fall memes. ‘Tis the season!
Get the look: Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss in Copper Penny
Warm caramel gloss
“Most blondes who ask for lowlights or to go darker wind up hating it because they love being as bright as possible,” warns Dosso. “If you’re unsure of whether or not you want to make a seasonal change, do the process slowly. Maybe do a slightly warmer gloss first—ease yourself into the change.” This warm caramel color in gloss form can do just that.
Get the look: dpHUE Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment
“Brunettes are going to have a moment this fall! There is an emphasis on chocolate and mocha tones that give a deep and rich vitality to hair,” says Conan. “Brunette shades are going to look luxurious and velvety, taking us into the holiday season.”
“Burgundy and sangria-inspired shades are an easy refresh for brunettes,” explains Conan, as deeper reds are nearly universally flattering on darker hair, making it a safe option. “If you have ever toyed with the thought of going red, find a stylist you trust and talk with them on finding the right tone and placement for you. This is the year to do it!”
Get the look: dpHue Gloss+ in Auburn
Hidden or full-blast bright pops of color
To get a little wild this fall but still have an understated vibe, Brown suggests a “random bleached-out or colorful large chunk, underneath or on one side of the head.” She adds that “it’s a fun, bold surprise with not a crazy amount of maintenance because it’s hidden underneath your part.” Next, check out the best frizzy hair products that will keep your new ‘do looking perfect.
Get the look: Keracolor Color + Clenditioner
- Erica Conan, Director of Education at ColorProof Color Care Authority
- Jamie Wiley, Global Artistic Director at Pureology
- Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK Salon in Soho
- Justin Anderson, celebrity stylist and the founder of dpHUE
- Richy Kandasamy, colorist and R+Co Collective member
- Felicia Dosso, colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City