Fall hair color trends
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There’s something about fall that makes us want to dye our hair. Maybe even more so than spring, summer, or any other time of year. Sweater weather, a bazillion Pinterest-worthy outfits involving chic AF tights, coats, boots, etc. and the makeup moments… How could we not wax poetic about vampy, bitten lips and moody, smoked-out color palettes that go hand in hand with fall? It’s such a good season for winning at life, TBH. But back to hair.

When you want a highlight tuneup – or an all-over switcheroo – but can’t decide on what, sometimes it’s helpful to look at the color forecast. So here to predict what’s hot (hue wise), are a few of the most trusted colorists in the biz.

1. Rich Chocolate

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“When the fall season comes, people usually ask to go darker and/or warmer,” says Stephanie Brown, master hair colorist at IGK Salon Soho. “Darker brunettes tend to always want little-to-no highlights and just a rich, dark, chocolate brown, but really shiny and slightly warm.” Another plus with dark for fall? It’s very low maintenance. “All you really need is a gloss whenever you feel dull or ashy,” she adds.

2. Tweed

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Already rocking tweed and flannel for fall? Maybe your strands should follow suit, according to Rex Jimieson, color educator and colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “I’ve been seeing a shift with my balayage and highlight clients moving away from the dark root and highly-lifted ends,” he explains. “A contrast is still present with the tweed touch, but not as ‘overachiever’ as seen in recent seasons.” So what exactly do tweed locks entail? Bases are shifted lighter to complement light blond strands, or light strands are less dramatically lifted, to accommodate a brunette background. “We are painting balayage with foiling and single processing – even combining the techniques – to create a custom fabric of complementary colors,” adds Jimieson. “Think pinstripes or a tweed effect, as opposed to color-blocked.”

3. Icy Blonde

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Sally Hershberger Downtown celebrity colorist Lucille Javier works with some pretty major manes (Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Jenner), so she’s always ahead of the seasonal shift when it comes to haute hair. At the moment she’s loving the icy blonde look, however. “Blonde will always continue to win over the masses – no matter what season or country you live in – but icy blonde hair needs to be maintained,” she warns. Javier’s absolute musts for preserving an iced mane are: Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $28, Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Oil, $69, and Fanola No Yellow Shampoo, $12. Icy blonde hair can definitely become high-maintenance, but when taken care of properly, you reap the benefits of an instant glow. “And blonde hair flatters most skin tones if done correctly,” she adds.

4. Hoppy Hues

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October is basically an excuse to partake in Oktoberfest, imbibing brews when it’s cold out because, well, #fall. So if beer were a hair color trend, John Paul Mitchell Systems artistic director of color Colin Caruso would say it’s an ale shade. “When thinking about fall and cooler weather, we often turn to bolder and richer shades and the New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale and Honey Orange Tripel Ale inspired me because of their rich malty shades and hues. These colors evoke the feeling of fall, whether in a glass or out of a color tube.”

5. Ravishing Red

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Kitty Greller, colorist at Bumble and bumble Midtown, is feeling a ravishing red takeover this fall/winter. “As the weather gets cooler and tans fade, warmer tones are perfect for complementing paler skin tones,” she says. Not so sure you can pull rouge off? “Red can work on anyone, as long as it complements your skin’s specific undertones. Paler, more rosy-faced clients can help balance their skin tone with lighter, warmer reds, while darker olive tones should go for more muted or cooler reds.” As for maintenance, Greller doesn’t let her redheads leave her chair without a color-safe shampoo in hand, like Bumble and bumble. Color Minded Shampoo, $31 and Conditioner, $34. “Using Color Gloss in Universal Red, $34, at home is also great, if you can’t make it to the salon for a color refresh.”

6. Autumn Harvest Hair

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Autumnal hair with cinnamon tones is the PSL of fall hair right now. “This look works for porcelain and softer, warm skin tones, although people with olive and cooler pink coloring in their skin shouldn’t wear these tones against it,” says master colorist and hairstylist Odete DaSilva, owner of Artistex Salon and Spa in Westport, CT. “Harvest hair would most likely enhance the pinkness in skin and clash with olive skin tones if worn as full color against skin.” If you just can’t handle the thought of a hair trend passing you by like this, DaSilva has a solution: If color is placed more away from face, as balayage or as dimensional pieces within the hair, any skin tone can pull this off. Not to mention, maintenance is relatively easy with this look. Balayage can be done two to three times a year, with regular glazes every six to eight weeks, to keep the cinnamon tones fresh, while dimensional chunky bold color needs six to eight weeks to refresh regrowth of highlight.

7. Coral Ombré 

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@kellyoxford truly captured my 90s teenage soul with this picture.✨

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‘Living Coral’ is the Pantone color of 2019, so it only makes sense that this in-demand shade makes its way to our heads. “Fall is all about coral ombré and lightened ends finished with a soft coral finish,” explains Matrix celebrity colorist George Papanikolas. “This is perfect for faded red-heads, or blondes who are open for a change, but this color can also work with on anyone from medium brown-to-lighter starting levels.”

As for who can’t really pull it off? Dark brunettes and anyone with black hair, as the color will need to be lifted to a much lighter color first. “On virgin hair, I like to use a high lift tint like Matrix SoColor Ultra Blonde, $12, first, which can lift the hair four or five levels without the need for bleach, then tone with Color Sync Watercolors in Coral Peach, $12. Using an acid-based shampoo, like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid Shampoo, $10, will lock in the color and preserve the delicate coral tones, as these can quickly fade with the wrong products,” he adds.

8. Caramel Balayage 

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Balayage has gone more subtle, softer and warmer for fall, according to Papanikolas, so to create this look you need to keep highlights strategic, framing the face and crown with a few extra at the ends. “You want to be sure that there is a lot of negative space left in the hair, so that the delicate highlights have dimension and contrast,” he says. “These tones work best on darker hair, but can suit lighter starting levels as long as you richen up the base color 1-2 shades to give enough contrast between the base color and highlights.”

9. Melted Roots

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Michael Canalé tends to the tresses of Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, Kate Hudson, Shakira, and Penelope Cruz and when asked about the “it” fall hair color trend, he says it’s all about the melted root. “This occurs when colorists deepen the base color, so it’s more of a solid, richer, sultry color with some subtle lighter ends. It can work on almost anyone if done correctly and for an edgier look, try it with bangs,” he suggests. As for the maintenance, Canalé’s #1 tip is wash less with good product. “My new take-home Signature Gloss in Sunkissed, $48, and Cool Blue, $48, are a quick three to five-minute application in the shower for a gloss and shine that has a UV sunblock protection and lasts up to 20 shampoos.”

10. Spiced Sangria

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Celeb colorist Guy Tang is loving rich pigmented colors for fall, especially this Spiced Sangria vibe, a deep crimson color. “This works best with both warm and fair complexions and to maintain the vibrancy of the red, I always recommend washing your hair less frequently and using a dry shampoo day-to-day to help absorb excess oils,” he explains. Try #mydentity MyDirtySide Guy Tang Dry Shampoo, $20. Tang swears that reducing frequent shampooing helps lock in and maintain color longevity, but when you do shampoo, always be sure to use one that is free of sulfates and parabens, which totally strip your hair.

11. Lavender-Licious

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“For babes who like something a little more soft and muted, I LOVE lavender,” says Tang. “It’s so delicate and feminine!” Another plus with pastel? These dreamy colors work well with all complexions and you can adjust how subtle – or saturated – you want them. Icy pink-purple, or perhaps more of grey-tinged lav? The choice is yours. Celebs, models, and it girls have jumped on the purple rain bandwagon as well, with Nicole Richie and Ariana Grande leading the pack. But as Tang is quick to point out, fading is a fact and it can happen fairly quickly with any soft pastel hue. “A perfect way to keep your locks on point is with our new #mydentity MyRefresh Color Depositing Conditioners, $22. A pigmented, depositing conditioner breathes life back into dull hair and comes in three signature shades: Rose Gold, Lavender Lust, and Silver Pearl.” Another bonus? It lasts up to 10 washes.

For more hair coloring tips, read this feature to find out all the hair coloring lingo.