French-girl hair is legendary for a reason — the capitol of France isn't just the fashion capitol of the world, but it is renowned for women with effortlessly chic tresses. As 2020's intermittent salon closures and haphazard reopenings gave way to a brand new year, we are more than ready to update our locks with the top hair color trends in Paris. Parisian hairstyles adapted to the times by requiring less maintenance than our typical trims, and we are seeing a similar laid-back appeal in the color selections and combinations topping our favorite Parisian fashionistas.
"When it comes to color trends in Paris right now, there is a varying spectrum of [shades but] they all lean heavily towards [either] a warm or cold tone," says Paris-based celebrity hair stylist Jillian Halouska. "The main thread among them all is the nuanced tones and an overall balanced look."
Just as there are fashionistas making bold statements with their hair color changes, Parisians will always have a penchant for honoring natural beauty, as well. "I would say that 2021 will be the year of hot color trends, but of course, [also] the year of the natural," says Paris-based celebrity hair stylist Laurie Zanoletti. "It [always] feels good to come back to the basics for Frenchies."
2020's salon closures and reopenings were a continual reminder that upkeep for high maintenance looks might not be possible in 2021. But if there is one culture that is equipped to thrive in laid-back, lived-in hair, it would definitely be the French — the reigning champions of messy-pretty, laissez-faire locks.
Accordingly, we're seeing grown-in roots and "natural" ombrés as summer's sun-lightened strands and highlights are topped by darker growth. Lower-maintenance dye-jobs — like contouring highlights to add dimension to the front, but don't change the overall color of your hair — are also experiencing a resurgence.
Although Paris is referred to as the city of light, Parisian winters are chilly and sun-less, which could be why shades of red are booming in popularity. From fiery reds and coppers, to chestnut browns, even sunburnt strands from summer have been permitted to linger a little longer, all in the interest of warmer hues and added dimension.
See below for all the top hair color trends in Paris right now, according to celebrity hair stylists.
Paris Color Trend: Grown-Out Roots
Roots are growing out, and parisiennes are making it work for them — particularly when paired with a bold brow. We attribute this in part to the '90s trends, like the grunge revival, for setting the stage in fashion and beauty. But practically speaking, the lingering effects of a year of on-and-off salon lockdowns also means that pristine colors requiring constant maintenance are getting laid-back makeovers with lived-in appeal.
Paris Color Trend: Le Roux AKA Red
Zanoletti points out that "le roux," or red, is a top color trend. From natural reds and hints of copper, to full-on, vibrant Renaissance-inspired reds, Parisians are leaning towards shades of red highlights to keep their locks warm in hue. "Reds and coppers are getting a lot of play, with hyperpigmented subtleties, a rose tint, or what we like to call roux vénetien — reminiscent of all those renaissance paintings we've been comparing ourselves to during lockdown," Halouska says. "Even blondes are having a strawberry moment."
Paris Color Trend: Burgundy
The redhead trend plays out beautifully on naturally darker hair colors, too. Case-in-point? The hints of burgundy above. "Burgundy hair is back and I love this '90s trend," celebrity hair stylist Jessica Elbaum tells TZR. "It works best on already darker hair types."
We saw Kylie Jenner rocking Merlot-inspired extensions this summer, and ever since we've kept our eyes peeled for hints of deeper reds that glow in the light. If you're worried about committing to the burgundy color, Elbaum advises that it fades in about a month, so you won't be stuck with it if you're not a fan.
Paris Color Trend: Châtain Blond
Overgrown roots and balayages on dirty blondes creates a neutral, beige-on-beige effect that Paris-based celebrity hair stylist Ciara Constenoble has grown to love. "This châtain blond is everywhere right now as darker roots are growing in," says Constenoble. "This less [intensive] color is so natural. Most have a hint of leftover balayage from summer, and it is becoming my new favorite blond."
Paris Color Trend: Ombré Naturelle Retour Des Vacances
Zanoletti points to this natural ombré-inspired look that gives off the impression you've just gotten back from a sun-filled vacation. Whereas a balayage gives the effect of a blended, sun-kissed highlight, it grows out with ombré-like, dramatic contrast. This naturally occurring effect is created from the lighter, summery-hued strands growing out against the deeper color of hair that is untouched by sun or color.
"To me, this looks so effortlessly chic," says Elbaum. "When highlights are just a few shades above the natural color tone, it grows out beautifully — [even after] a few months." She adds that natural brunettes can score this grow-out-friendly style by requesting highlights that are honey or light chocolate.
Paris Color Trend: Warm Brown
"Light brown tones are getting a smooth, auburn tint, a cocoa hue, or an all over ash," Halouska notes of upgrades to sun-softened browns. This includes chestnut accents as well as golden tones that come out in the sun. If you favored a chocolate brown in the past, hints of gold or auburn will warm up the look like cinnamon in your coffee.
Paris Color Trend: Contoured Brown
"2021 is surprising regarding hair color — even I surprised myself by changing my color with a style I would never have tried before," says Zanoletti. "The last week of 2020, I succumbed to a honey blonde contouring — just like Bella Hadid did." To add some dimension to raven-hued manes, ask for face-framing highlights that brighten up the front with some honey-inspired tones, but leaves the back of your 'do untouched. The overall color remains the same, but from the front, the entire look is different.
Paris Color Trend: Contoured Blond
Zanoletti tells TZR that the contoured blonde effect is also favored by lighter-haired ladies hoping to enliven up their complexions and to bring vitality to their locks. Face-framing pieces in buttery blonde can help to transform a natural blond 'do. "We are also seeing a subtle mix of blonde and pastel white, and a gorgeous glossy beige," Halouska adds.
"Contoured blond looks best on a naturally light brown or blonde client," Elbaum explains. "This color technique is [used] to create natural depth and dimension in blonde hair." She notes that it looks best worn with "woke up like this" waves and natural texture.
Paris Color Trend: Chocolate Brown
We think of chocolate brown as dark but with hints of warmth. "I have been chatting a lot about hair color with my clients and on shoots lately: Chocolate brown is such a hot color," Constenoble tells TZR. "Everyone is sporting these warm, dark, glossy tresses right now and I think it brightens up these darker months."
Elbaum, who notes that it looks perfect with a robin blue dress or sweater, says, "This color is a dream — even more so if you're born with it. Whenever I see a client with this hair color naturally, I tell them not to color it!"
Paris Color Trend: Rich Brown To Jet Black
There is a certain shade of ultra-dark brown that can look either brown or black, depending on the light. "There will be a return of the dark brown-to-jet-black hair," Halouska says. "Profoundly deep and rich, whether matte or glossy, it's everywhere."
Elbaum adds, "If your eyes are light, dark hair can really make them pop even more, and looks shiny, elegant, and expensive on many different skin tones."
Paris Color Trend: Letting Greys Show
"For the past two years, I have noticed an influx of French women embracing their grey and white hair. [They have been] rocking stylish cuts with their newly bright-colored tresses, paired with a bold lip," Constenoble says. "COVID has released another wave of these chic Madames who are embracing the color silver."
Damien Boissinot, Creative Hairstylist at Réné Furterer, adds, "I think it's the best time to show your gray hair if you feel ready for it. You can always go back to the hair color you had if you don't like it."