CANNELLA HAIR DESIGN – Chocolate Brown Is the Prettiest Hair-Color Trend for Fall, Somehow it’s already almost autumn, and it’s time to start your search for the best fall hair colors. Like the rest of the world, hair color is in a bit of a weird place this fall. Over the summer, bold shades of red and blonde exploded, but with another lockdown potentially in our future, low-maintenance shades are starting to take center stage again. However, low effort doesn’t mean boring, and for autumns hair colors, there’s a bit more happening than your typical sunny blondes and balayage brunettes. As the weather gets chillier, hair is about to get a lot warmer, and be prepared for red to be the shade of the season (we called it back in February). At-home experimentation is going strong, as are throwback trends like chunky highlights and e-girl stripes. And, of course, there’s the usual crop of drink-inspired shades to quench your thirst.
The Coolest Fall Hair Colors Trend
We asked top hairstylists for the coolest fall hair trends to try—covering the span of everything from pink and gray to stunning variations on blond, brunette, black, and red. We also threw in a few DIY options just in case (but be sure to read our guide on how to color your hair at home first). Read on for the best fall hair color ideas, and get ready to screenshot.
With the new autumn season comes new drink orders, footwear choices, makeup, and, of course, hair-color options. The color chameleons out there can relate: Fall would be way less fun without some fresh new hues to choose from. As we mourn the (naturally or not-so-naturally-acquired) strands we wore for the last few months, there’s nothing like a new slate of celebrity inspiration to get us excited for a new aesthetic.
Fall 2021 is different, of course — we’re still in the throes of a pandemic, which means being a little more decisive and strategic about what kind of dye job to get. Though most places are fully opened back up, plenty of people are still nervous to make too many trips to the salon. This season, the beauty world is all about hues that bring joy and are easy to maintain at home.
Rather than stick to your same ol’ hair color for another season, consider mixing it up with some of the ridiculously pretty fall hair colors we’ve seen popping up on celebs and models recently. Because when the air turns crisp, pumpkin spice lattes start littering your Instagram feed again, and you’ve pulled your trusty black leggings out of hibernation (just kidding, you’ve been wearing them for the past year and a half), you know it’s time to revive your hair shade. And now that we’re all not just surviving with our unfortunate quaren-cuts and dry, grown out roots, we’re thriving by experimenting with intricate, more complex hair color again. Because hey, it’s time for a new us.
If you’re thinking of switching up your hair color and want to know what’s trending, you came to the right place. See the shades top colorists are predicting to be all the rage this fall.
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Kate Reid, a Sydney, Australia-based colorist is loving this cool-toned chocolate shade for fall. “Ask your colorist for a cool chocolate reflect that won’t fade brassy,” she says. “This could be deeper on the new growth area and lighter though the mid-lengths and ends to create even more dimension.” The result is shiny and healthy-looking, something she says her clients look for.
El Segundo, California-based colorist Leianna Hillo sees clients wanting a brunette shade that isn’t too cool or too warm, just like Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s color. “Ask for a brunette base with undertones of mahogany and ash to find a balanced dark chocolate shade,” she says.
Blythe agrees. “With summer winding down, clients are looking to ditch their bleached-out ends and step into something a little more sultry for fall,” she says. “Chocolate brown is the perfect way to achieve this. Adding deep rich tones to your hair with lowlights or an all-over gloss can really bring back your hair’s shine and bounce.”
Those with fine hair like Emily Ratajkowski’s might notice how much thicker their strands look with this rich brunette hue. “Deep dark chocolate brown [hues] have the power to make your hair appear thicker, healthier, and shinier,” explains New York City- and Los Angeles-based hairstylist Brittany Gharring. She recommends keeping this color rich by using a blue shampoo.
“Much like how a purple shampoo works for blondes, the blue tones will eliminate and neutralize any brassiness, or dreaded green tinge if transitioning from a lighter shade,” Gharring says. We like John Frieda Blue Crush for Brunettes Blue Shampoo and Eva NYC Brass to Sass Brunette Shampoo.
If you want a more low-maintenance option for blonde hair, a shadow root is pretty much the answer. A more natural color at the roots, like Hailey Bieber’s darker brown hue, blends any regrowth into the overall dye job, which means fewer trips to your colorist.
“Everyone is asking for a shadow root,” says Rick Wellman, a colorist at The Salon Project in New York City. “This trend is created by feathering a slightly deeper tone at the root and a gradual lighter shade on the mid-shaft and ends. It can help make your blonde less high maintenance.”
At the salon, be sure to specifically ask for shadow roots or show your stylist these photos. “Do not ask for the old-school ombré or you may just end up looking like you need your roots done,” adds Wellman.
Shadow roots can be done on almost any hair color, including this bronde shade on Jourdan Dunn. “A shadowed root will look beautiful on everyone, on every skin tone, and extends your pricey salon visit from six weeks to six months,” says Gharring.
Ask your stylist to apply a root smudge a half-shade darker than your natural color for the most laid-back result. “This is applied at the bowl after they have washed out your highlights,” says Gharring.
Margot Robbie’s shadow root looks a lot like her natural dark blonde hair color — and it very well could be. “Those with little to no gray can create this [particular] look using their natural roots, or with a color close to it if they like lower-maintenance colors,” explains Hillo. “As your roots grow in, they will blend into your previous shadow root seamlessly. This gives more flexibility if you can’t get to the salon as often as you would like.”
Though, she warns, if you want to cover gray, you’ll need to hit the salon for a root touch-up much more often, about every four to six weeks depending on your hair growth.
If you’d prefer a less rooty version of the trend, a multi-dimensional blonde can be just as low-maintenance for the same reasons. Colorist Chad Kenyon of Ramirez | Tran Salon in Los Angeles calls this look “Cinnamon Roll Frosting Blonde.”
“I created it because so many of my clients wanted to go super-blonde post [quarantine],” he explains. “I think it’s something similar to the red lip trend during World War II when everyone wanted a quick pick-me-up visually.” The deep dimension lends itself to a “great grow-out,” he adds.
Salt and Pepper
Are you over having to get your roots done every month? Colorists are seeing more people embrace their gray hair — enough to call it a trend. Let Jodie Foster and her wife Alexandra Hedison show you one way it’s done.
“Once a color everyone desperately tried to avoid, salt-and-pepper hair is now one of the biggest color trends of 2021,” says Los Angeles-based color specialist Genevieve Barnoski. “Salt and pepper looks beautiful on both younger and more mature clients.” Unfortunately, nailing the trend isn’t as easy as just letting your gray hair grow in. We wish!
“Achieving these tones is a bit of an extensive process, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals and get your hair colored in a salon,” she explains. “Ask your stylist for silver and white highlights, while either maintaining a darker base or adding in darker brown lowlights for a dimensional look.”
Colorist Kim Le of Butterfly Studio Salon in New York City agrees that to start your salt-and-pepper journey, you’ll be sitting in the salon chair for more than a few hours. But if the results look anything like Andie MacDowell’s hair, it’ll be worth the effort.
“While it is optimal to allow your hair to grow over time and slowly cut away the previously colored sections, this doesn’t always look the best in the one- to two-year process,” Le explains. “In order to remove previously colored hair and match your natural color pattern, the client must have at least two inches of regrowth.”
This allows the colorist to see where your “darker and lighter strands are placed and match the pattern,” adds Le. It’s an expensive and lengthy process — but it means never having to color your hair again.
Jane Fonda’s salt-and-pepper hair looks incredible. Those looking for an even fresher moment should ask for “more salt than pepper,” says Wellman. “This highlight-and-lowlight combo allows for customizing and detailing the amount of dark and gray,” he explains.
“Pandemic pink” just got an upgrade. Just ask Lizzo — it’s all about rose-colored hair now. Rose is a darker pink, halfway between red and magenta. It goes especially well with fall’s richer tones.
“For all my bored blondes who are looking for a change without straying too far from their golden locks, rose is the way to go,” says Nina Blythe, a stylist at Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles. “Ask your stylist for a rose-gold gloss or a demi-permanent rose-toned fashion color.” Unfortunately, to get your hair this pink, your color needs to be pretty blonde to start — or you can try a killer wig as Lizzo did.
Ava Phillippe’s rosy dye job plays beautifully with her darker roots. What’s great about this look is that you can see the dimension clearly — no one-note color here. “You’re able to play with this shade and make it as subtle or vibrant as you want,” says Barnoski. “If your hair is on the darker side, you’ll want to ask your stylist for highlights and then a rose toner to allow the shade to really pop.”
Of course, you can go toward the lighter, rose-gold side, too. “This look is striking on fair skin but fully customizable for any skin tone,” says Gharring. “Be sure to have your stylist recommend a take-home protein treatment to calm your freshly-bleached strands, along with the proper hot tools to keep your hair healthy and free from color-stripping heat damage.” Try the Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment if you’re looking to do some repair at home.
Just From the Salon Blonde
The opposite of the shadow root is this just-from-the-salon blonde. The highlights are very fine, and the overall look is less multi-dimensional. There are no chunky lowlights here. New York City-based colorist Jenna Perry gave Jennifer Lawrence this glistening blonde hue that looks like it goes all the way down to the root.
“Wheat-toned blondes are diffused with a person’s natural color, rather than contrasting against it,” she explains. “It gives off that ‘I just left the salon’ look while looking effortless.”
Reid agrees that many folks are requesting ultra-fresh blonde right now. Of course, any hair color can be achieved with the right amount of time and money, but it’s much less upkeep on natural blondes. Some also love this look for the way it gives their thin hair some much-needed volume.
“I love this type of shade for medium to fine texture as it also helps to create thickness in the hair,” says Reid. “With people being more focused on enhancing texture, this is why it’s now pulling this trend through all seasons.” She recommends asking your colorist for a warm pale overall base color with almost-white highlights.
Blythe calls this trending baby blonde color “sparkle lights” because it gives your hair that added pop and shimmer, while not straying too far from your natural color if you’re already a blonde. “You can achieve this by asking your stylist for superfine, teased highlights throughout your hair,” she says. “This gives you the boost you need without all of the maintenance — because let’s be real, with all of the unpredictability of this past year, nobody wants high maintenance.”
Though, of course, freshly done blonde highlights are only low-maintenance on natural blondes. Those of us with darker hair might just want to reach for a great wig.
Call it the Queen’s Gambit effect. Everyone wants copper hair for fall. Actor Phoebe Dynevor recently traded in her blonde Bridgerton hue for this sultry shade.
“With all of the bold and bright color trends happening, there’s still room for a single-toned rich, fall-inspired color,” says New York City-based colorist Gregory Patterson. He loves this color because it’s actually pretty easy to do at home without seriously destroying your hair. “It’s a single application and easy to refresh,” he says. Just stick to a hue two to three shades off from your natural color. Any darker or lighter, and you might want to head to the salon.
Try Wella Color Charm Hair Color in Red or Light Copper. For a less permanent look, there’s Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color in Cajun Spice.
Perry says this copper hue she did on actor Maude Apatow is “popular amongst people who want a bold change — it’s equal parts sexy and playful.” Wellman also recommends sticking with shades of copper or gold. “Avoid blue, purple, or cherry undertone reds to keep it modern,” he says. Plus, what could be more fall than a hair color that resembles pumpkin spice?
Bleach London cofounder and creative director Alex Brownswell has also been seeing a rise in popularity for the hue. This year, she’s cooked up two colors in the family, Curious Orange and Proper Copper, the latter of which she says she’s already tested out on FKA Twigs. “The next generation are embracing fire in their blonde,” she says.
In June, Gigi Hadid surprised everyone with this fiery copper shade. If you’re looking to go as bold and bright as the model, here’s what you need to ask for. “Naturally warm tones don’t need any help complementing each other, but it goes without saying that the more gold is in your formula, the brighter your color will be,” explains Hillo.
Kenyon loves spicy copper tones that are rich and warm with loads of dimension. He created this color for “those wanting to be a special tone of redhead.”
And it’s a color that will work for a lot of different people. “It’s becoming for all hair types and almost all skin tones,” he adds. Keep the color fresh with a pigment-depositing conditioner such as Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo and EVO Fabuloso Intensifying Conditioner in Copper.
In her latest campaign with Nike, Megan Thee Stallion wore a neon color-blocked wig that’s inspiring fall’s hair-color trends. “Colorful, bold, and strategically-placed strands of color is a fun way to bring some brightness into the fall season,” says Patterson. “I like this technique because it not only is easier to retouch but can also hide some ‘learning spots’ or mistakes if there happen to be any.”
“Rainbow colors are making a comeback,” says Perry. “There’s a big ’90s influence in the air, and I think people really want to express themselves in a carefree way.”
Halsey is always switching up their hair, which is just one of the ways the new parent expresses themself. These rainbow bangs are definitely a favorite.
Cardi B must have got the color-block trend memo when she went for a lavender style in her latest Reebok campaign. Her look is as easy as getting a great wig installed — dyeing the wig contrasting shades is the difficult part.
“Color-blocking is the method of adding bold sections of color, such as one portion of your fringe area or pops of color behind your ear or even half of your head,” explains Le. “This trend is edgy and fresh and can be either high or low-maintenance depending on the method of application.”
You can take the desired section of hair, lighten it to platinum, then add whichever shade you chose. “Or you can use color hair extensions to mimic the same look with no commitment or damage to your hair,” she adds.