The 9 Biggest Hair Color Trends You’ll See All 2021
From a “Queen’s Gambit” rogue to pastel balayage.
It's finally time to bid farewell to 2020. Thankfully, this terrible year is almost behind you, and with the start of something new comes the chance to embrace a whole new look, particularly when it comes to hair coloring. As always, deciding on a new look is no easy task, but the experts are here to help, offering their predictions for the hair colors you'll see everywhere in winter 2021.
This year has contained a few peeks at what's next in hair color, but as the experts told NYLON, 2021 will be a season for creative, fantasy coloring, and traditional hues. From a shade of red inspired by the year's buzziest Netflix drama to a color already spotted on the strands of Megan Thee Stallion, find out which hair colors are taking over in 2021.
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: ROGUE
The beauty love affair with The Queen's Gambit is expected to continue in 2021. According to Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon, the Netflix series has resulted in an increased interest in red hair. "This sleek and sophisticated color will transform old outdated shades. It’s a true red, meaning it’s deeper than a copper red, but lighter than auburn. In most cases you’ll achieve this color in one appointment, but you’ll need to keep up on the maintenance with touch ups every four to six weeks to avoid fading," she said.
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: POPS OF GOLD
In lieu of going completely platinum, celebrity hairstylist and OLAPLEX ambassador, Bianca Hillier, suggested adding brighter golden pops of color. "Soft golden pops are great for almost any skin tone," she said. "Having the contrast of the brown base next to the blonde gives for a more daring look."
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: BLOCK HAIR
Hairstylist Michelle Cleveland pointed to a winter filled with experiments in color, suggesting that block coloring would be trending. "While most of us will spend the long, cold winter months inside with just our friends and immediate family, it's the perfect time to try something new and fun with our hair," she said. "Block hair coloring is just that: blocks of different colors strategically placed to create a fun or face framing look."
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: FANTASY BLUE
Hillier predicted that blue dye would replace the always popular pink. However, she noted that achieving this particular hue can take some work. "Any shade of blue is hard to accomplish if the hair isn’t previously lightened enough. When the hair is a bit too yellow it will create a greener shade and a bad coloring fade. Ask your Colorist to fill the hair for an underlying pigment," she noted.
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: ALPINE ICE
Embrace the winter weather with this snowy take on platinum blonde. "This icy shade is achieved by using foilayage or balayage," Schaudt said. "It keeps minimal dimension at the base with full saturation of blonde through the ends. A toner can help achieve this ash blonde, along with frequent use of blue shampoo at home."
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: GLOSSY BLACK
Traditional hair colors will also have their moment in 2021, George Papanikolas, celebrity colorist and MATRIX brand ambassador predicted. "Most people think of glossy black as one color, there are actually multiple tones involved to get the right shine and movement without looking inky and solid," he noted.
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: PASTEL BALAYAGE
Creative coloring doesn't always require a complete and total makeover. For those looking to make a fun, subtle change, Papanikolas suggested this trending color option. "Pastel balayage is the perfect look for those who want something fun and playful, but don’t want to commit to a full head of bleach," he said. "In order to get the perfect pastel, start with a foundation of beautiful blonde balayage and make sure the ends are light enough to accept the pastel tones. If your highlights are more caramel toned, then I would suggest opting for more of a vivid hue to make it more noticeable.”
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: FLAT MATTE BROWN
For those not quite ready to go fully blonde, Hillier foreshadowed a season filled with matte brown hair. "Make sure your colorist over lifts to avoid any unwanted brassy tones and over tone to get a dense lasting light brown," she noted.
WINTER 2021 HAIR COLOR TRENDS: BUTTER CREAM BLONDE
Unlike icy platinum blonde, this shade is a softer, creamier take on the color. "This is a great look for only those who have a natural blonde base," Hillier said. "This grows out nice and easily without much maintenance. You can get away with highlights once or twice a year."