Hate to break it to you, but winter is right around the corner. And although the season generally calls for chunky knits, beanies, gloves, and more cold-weather gear it’s also a great excuse to refresh your hair color — bringing joy to even the coldest, darkest winter days. Plus, underneath 15 layers of clothing, it’s often the only thing visible — so it might as well look great, right? Dereq Clark, Wella Professionals North American Ambassador, is seeing bold, dark hair colors trending this winter. “People tend to darken their hair when the winter season rolls around because they want less maintenance around the holidays,” Clark shares.
And this winter, there is no shortage of options for those who want to go bold or prefer more subtle dark hues. Contrary to the traditional darker hair colors (browns and blacks) that come with winter, Brian J. O’Connor, co-founder and chief innovation officer of hair brand, Good Dye Young, has been seeing a lot of dark orange and pink. “I'm seeing a trend in copper and cinnamon, red velvet, and magenta hair,” O’Connor shares. For a twist on traditional dark brunette, mocha cream and deep espresso are two standout shades that the fashion set can’t wait to try for winter.
So if you’re looking to start experimenting with your natural hair color or enjoy a more drastic hair change with the coming season, allow these eight dark hair color trends to serve as inspiration for your next appointment. And who knows — it could even catapult you towards a whole new beauty look for the new year.
Why not match your hair color with the cold-weather drink of the season: pumpkin spice. Even Blake Lively is a fan. According to O’Connor, the most important thing you can do with this hair color is use shampoo and conditioner free of sulfates and parabens — ingredients known to strip color out of the hair. Red tones tend to fade the fastest, so be sure to stock your shower with color-safe products before your appointment.
With warm brown as the base and lighter (but not too blonde) highlights swirled into the hair, this season, crème brûlée is not only a popular dessert but a growing hair color trend. Oliver Adams, Wella Colorcharm Top Artist suggests ColorMotion+ shampoo and conditioner to improve the hair’s shine and to protect those lighter pieces from turning brassy.
This winter, take a page out of Megan Fox’s book, and go jet black. Not only is it dramatic and eye-catching, it also does wonders for creating a shiny and healthy look. Slight warning though: Once you go black, it can be hard to lift the color if you want to lighten it in the future.
“If you are going darker from blonde, know that you will need to first have your hair filled,” says Matthew Collins, Dyson global styling ambassador. “Meaning, place a warm tone over the blonde so that once the dark is placed on top, it will last.”
“People are gravitating towards cinnamon copper this winter because it gives depth, dimension, and richness back to their hair,” says RUSK Hair’s Global Creative Director, Matt Swinney. “This color tends to help the hair reflect more light, creating more shine and health as the dry winter approaches.”
If you already experimented with red hair in the summer or fall, Hairstory colorist Cyd Charisse recommends going a shade or two darker with semi-permanent color if you plan to go lighter in the spring. This will allow hair to gradually wash out over six to eight weeks.
“Copper makes anyone with light eyes really pop, and the color translates well to warmer months,” says RUSK Hair global artistic director Laura Gibson. Even though going dark is popular this winter, the cold and dry climate doesn’t make for the easiest hair environment. To combat the lack of moisture and overall vibrancy of a dark winter hair color, the expert recommends a pre-color moisturizing treatment.
To keep mocha cream (warm brown tones with subtle golden highlights) healthy-looking and fresh, Clark recommends Chocolate Touch Color Fresh Mask to add shine and improve smoothness. Another pro-tip: Make sure to have a high-quality nourishing hair oil in your beauty cabinet to encourage shine and protect from environmental pollution, a common culprit of color fade.
According to Collins, deep espresso with underlying warm tones is making a big comeback. “This color could go even darker to look almost black in some light, without compromising the warm reflection it brings.” And because extreme heat or daily use of hot tools can be the fastest way to strip out color, Collins recommends investing in a good heat protectant spray to avoid damage, if you plan to add heat to this trend.
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