The Hottest Summer Hair Color Trends (+ How To Slow Fading)



In a post-Covid (remaining optimistic) hair color world, anything goes. Want to completely bleach your locks, but didn’t know when you could handle touchups again? Not a problem now. Love a high-maintenance pastel moment, but too scared to attempt it at home? Get yourself to a salon for this pro-level painting technique – they’re open and ready to slay your strands.

When it comes to the hair color trends taking over summer 2021, megawatt golds and buttery blondes are omnipresent, as are redheads and babes rocking “Money Piece” face-framers… Our new favorite.

We asked the experts to spill their favorite hues right now, plus how to protect them from harsh summer elements like sun, surf, and that color killer, chlorine. Check out their top picks below.

Leveled-Up Gold

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“My favorite color trend for summer is brightened-up gold tones,” says Bumble and bumble. colorist Dana Yurick. “The sun already brightens your hair in the summer, so you might as well embrace it! Take Addison Rae’s new blonde hair – it has a sunny sparkle to it, but there’s always an option to tone the blonde richer for the fall.”

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As for how to protect that summertime fine golden blonde, Yurick recommends Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo, $31, and Conditioner, $34, plus Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer, $28, for detangling and defrizzing in humid heats.

Competing Tones

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“This is a fun way to try something new in a subtle way,” suggests colorist and Mydentity brand founder, Guy Tang. “Pick any two opposite color tones at the same level, then blend into each other from root to ends. This look is best for neutral skin tones who can pull off cool and warm tone colors.”

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For prolonging styles, Tang recommends MyQuickBlow Protecting Quick Dry Spray, $28, during the summer to speed up blow-dry time, and MyDefender Heat Protecting Spray, $20, before using a heat tool. Then he finishes with MyPower Firm Hairspray, $21, for an all-day hold.

Money Piece Framing

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According to Matrix Brand Ambassador Cynthia Lumzy, ‘money Pieces’ are super hot right now, which is a technique used to highlight the face. “It can be extended from the root for a lived-in look, jammed packed full of bold colors, or just a couple of shades lighter than your natural color,” she explains.

Another reason to try it? It looks great on all hair types. To maintain money pieces you’ll need touchups every 4-6 weeks, but in the meantime use a color-safe shampoo and conditioner to keep your locks poppin’. Try Total Results Unbreak My Blonde, $21, (for blondes) and Total Results Keep Me Vivid, $17-25, (for fashion colors).

Ravishing Reds & Coppers

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From Ciara and SZA to Gigi Hadid and Doja Cat, everyone’s seeing red this summer when it comes to color switch-ups. “There are so many gorgeous shades to choose from, fiery hot to soft copper,” says celebrity colorist Jason Backe.

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Not sure which end of the red spectrum is for you? Backe’s rule of thumb: If you’re used to a lighter brown or blonde look, peach/light copper shades are an easy adjustment. If you have darker brown hair, a deeper ruby tone can effortlessly change your look.

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“When going red, only wash hair with cool/cold water as opposed to warm/hot so the color doesn’t fade quickly,” he adds. And avoid chlorine as this is redhead suicide. Naturally, Brite Hair Color Made From Plants, $10, in Fire, Copper Rose, Auburn, or Strawberry Blonde will help keep reds robust.

Iced Espresso

“This brunette color appears more vibrant when a little darker – especially with a summer tan,” says Rex Jimieson, Chicago-based colorist at Maxine Salon.

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“This is great for medium-to-dark natural hair because it’s a single process color, around a level 3 or 4 ash or cool tone. While this color may appear black in photos, in real life you will lose the under glow if you choose level 1 or an actual black dye.” To keep your coffee-coated locks glossy like Dua Lipa’s, try dpHUE Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment in Dark Brown, $35.

Power Pastels

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For colorist and R+Co Collective Member Richy Kandasamy, he’s excited to see more creative pastel tones coming back. “Think soft coral, blush pink, and pastel blue, along with smokey grey and rosewood pinks,” he claims. We’re also loving this pastel lavender on Meg Thee Stallion.

“All of this will happen very frequently, as toning needs to be done very often, but your best at-home prescription would be: R+Co BLEU Primary Color Shampoo, $59, and Conditioner, $59, two times a week, followed by the Primary Color Masque, $70, once a week.”

Melted Pecan

Tired of ombré and sombré? Channel Hailey Bieber’s melted pecan mane. “It’s tastefully natural, with minimal highlights, creating a perfect summer glow,” boasts Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “This is ideal for the low-maintenance client with straight to wavy hair.

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Ask your colorist for a two-dimensional color and keep the base color close to your natural shade, while adding the baby-lites through the hairline and mids through ends.” Regular spritzes of Rene Furterer Okara Brightening Spray, $32, disperse natural Mica glitter and vitamins to enhance highlights for a sun-kissed effect.

Buttery Blonde

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“People coming out of Covid want something new and different, so they’re going lighter with their hair,” explains Amanda George, celebrity colorist and owner of Roil Salon in Beverly Hills.

“Just look at Billie Eilish who is known for her crazy colors and chose a bleach blonde for summer.”

To keep your blonde in check, George suggests stocking up on L’Huile de Leonor Greyl Pre-Shampoo Oil Treatment, $59, for dry hair protection from the sun and water.

For more trends, check out the hot girl summer trends we’ll be wearing all season.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.