Illustrated by Liz Riccardi


The Cool Girl’s Guide To Fall Hair

We turned to the experts to find out the real cut and color trends this season

If you’ve checked out our recent hair makeover story, you already know that when it comes to fall, ‘tis the season for a new ‘do.

While our staffers made their personal #HairGoals dreams come true, what’s a dream for them may not be the dream for you. With that being said, what are the hottest hair color and cut trends of the season?

While we tend to look to the runways for different styles to play around with, we can only turn to those behind the scenes to find out what’s actually sticking IRL for folks who aren’t sashaying down a catwalk. We chatted with experts in the field to get to the bottom of it: David Adams and Taylor Lambert of FOURTEENJAY, Roxie Darling and Wes Sharpton of Hairstory Studio, and Danny Moon, founder of Major Moonshine. They gave us the lowdown on what’s big this season for hair color, cut, and care.

Click through the gallery below to find out.

Purples of All Shades

If you thought purple was on its way out, think again. “Purple Haze is what’s running through everyone’s veins these days,” says Moon. From deep purple to the lightest of lavenders, those who dare to rock fantasy colors are still asking for different shades of purple the most.

The rest agree: While Adams says he’s seen plenty of “sultry violets and rich lavenders,” Roxie Darling’s customers are more partial to muted lilacs.

Vibrant Reds

While purples and violets were ultimately the reigning choices for today’s hair color daredevils, Adams says that deep, vibrant reds, in his opinion, are still the “star of the show.” Scarlet and crimson hair colors will always be gorgeous and warm shades to try out during the chillier months.

Tangerine, Please!

For those looking for something playful, Adams suggests trying shades of tangerine and Tuscan gold sun to add light and warmth to your autumn look.

You can opt for a louder look by going all tangerine, or add hints of muted oranges for a more toned-down (but updated) style.

Elevated Earth Tones

Okay, we get it. Not all of us want to (or have jobs that will allow us to) go all the way with fantasy rainbow-colored locks. So, if we’re going to keep things pretty normal, how can we step it up? Adams says it’s all about earth tones, elevated:

Brown is making a comeback, but think rich mocha and walnut colors with accents of caramel and toffee, or dark chocolates paired with burgundy, scarlet, and dusty cedar, or diffused with plum and copper. Warmer tones—like cognac and copper—are also making an appearance, while butterscotch, mustard, and rust add a spicy flair. However, rust moves away from orange, becoming a red-cast color.

Roxie Darling adds that those who aren’t going for the previous fantasy colors are embracing autumn, opting for warm, auburn tones over vibrant scarlets and fantasy reds.

Mullets, Shags, and Fringes

In terms of cuts, all things choppy and textured are major this season. Referencing Los Angeles-based hairstylist Sal Salcedo and model Hanne Gaby’s chop in Alexander Wang’s latest #WangSquad campaign video, Moon says, “Mullets, shags, and short bangs are standing strong in today’s hair world.” 

Not ready to make the chop? No worries. While Lambert also agrees she’s been seeing a return of shorter cuts, she mentions that bangs are also making quite the comeback. “Longer styles are being complemented with short zigzag fringes and bi-level fringes, which are short bangs with longer veils,” she says. “Short fringe on particularly long hair is becoming a way for our guests to have some edge while still maintaining their length.”

The Strong Bob

If choppy texture isn’t for you, fear not. Strong, solid-shaped cuts are also on the rise, according to Sharpton. “I think more and more women are trying to move away from epic styling and are looking to their hairdressers to cultivate a look that’s unique to them,” he says. “I think as we start to move toward awareness of gender fluidity, I think the juxtaposition of a strong, masculine shape on a more feminine or unusual face will become more popular.”

An example? “I loved the [recent] Prada show’s really strong bobs by hairstylist Guido,” he says. “I think they’re a great example of a strong haircut that you can depend on to do the work for you.”

How to Keep Your Color and Cut Healthy and Vibrant

So now that you have some ideas in your mind, whether you’re going to go for a new cut or color, you should have an aftercare plan implemented. Depending on what you’re going for, you may end up causing a bit of damage—especially if your new ‘do entails bleach.

At Fourteenjay, they recommend using one of three (or a combo of all!) of Aveda’s specific lines for color-treated hair. Color Conserve, Dry Remedy (which is moisture-based), and Damage Remedy (which is protein based) are all here to help keep your freshly colored locks vibrant, healthy, and moisturized.

At Hairstory, Roxie Darling recommends their own New Wash, which uses essential oils rather than detergents to clean the hair, thus protecting it from further damage.

Moon swears by Neutrogena’s Deep Recovery Hair Mask. “It will save your hair like Kevin Costner did to Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard.” Okay, we're convinced.