Despite being known as the “most wonderful time of the year,” the winter months can also be incredibly dreary. It gets dark while you’re still on the clock, and on top of that, sometimes you go days without seeing the sun. Getting through the season can feel like an uphill battle, but luckily, there are a few steps you can take to stay chipper. One idea: Switch up your hair color. From visually pleasing blue to “bronde,” the winter 2021 hair color trends are, in a word, exciting.
It turns out, some of celebrity colorist Bianca Hillier’s favorite color trends for this season are a direct reflection of what was displayed on the S/S ‘21 runways, including browns with warmer tones. “Lots of chocolate and earth-like skin tones similar to how Nensi Dojaka uses sheer clothing as an overtone on top of the skin tone,” she tells TZR. “Nobody is scared of warmth this year!” Adding to the warmer tones trend, Hillier is projecting a large uptick in suede-like brunettes and golden glossy blondes. “Gold tones reflect more light and feel more hydrated, healthy, and shiny.”
As for Christin Brown, a celebrity colorist based in Los Angeles, some of her clients want to go lighter for the holidays, while others want to deepen and enrich the hair. “Whether it's making the hair more golden for the glitz and glam of the new year or doing something completely different, the winter commands that level of newness that we all want to carry into the next year,” she tells TZR. “As a hair colorist, it's absolutely a time where I feel the most introspective and creative.”
And unsurprisingly, there are plenty of funky hues for those who love a nontraditional vibe. For instance, Hillier is predicting more of the color-popping trends like the red and brown seen on Jesse Jo Stark, rather than just all-over color. “Something that can be hidden [within] a look is a little more conservative but when you’re ready to party and free the hair you can see the fun side popping through,” she adds of this kind of peekaboo color.
Make this upcoming season anything but drab by changing up your hair. Below, find eight colors experts predict will take off for winter 2021.
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Rich Girl Red
One of the top colors colorist Guy Tang is seeing for winter 2021 is rich girl red. Why? Well, he thinks people are gravitating towards the bold hue because it’s easy to transition from summer into fall, and it complements popular winter fashion colors (like black or dark purple) quite well. The hue just screams luxe in an otherwise blah season.
Pro Tip: Keep your color fresh all winter long by using Mydentity’s MyConfidant shampoo and conditioner color securing system. “It has a specially formulated pH to clean hair while also minimizing color washout — so your color will stay fresh and vibrant all season long.”
Candle-lit blonde is a favorite of Suite Caroline Salon’s colorist Karly Cerrone. “This trend's golden and subtly bright pieces fall perfectly around the face and emphasize those bright moments that glow a little extra when a candle is burning in front of you,” she tells TZR. “People want to feel sexy, and what’s sexier than [a] ‘by the fire’ hair color?”
According to Brown, silver hair is trendy all year round. “I've been encouraging a lot of my clients who started to transition to silver during the pandemic on how to do so with style and grace,” she says. “The winter is definitely the silver season and a perfect time to embrace the tonality.”
Brown says the benefit of this color is that it will grow out of the head the way it's supposed to and look super natural. “No upkeep with color, just having a really great hair care regimen can work wonders,” the colorist adds. Toning products will be your best friend to banish any yellow or brassy shades.
“Some things to consider would involve choosing the right products for your naturally silver hair as it needs maximum moisture,” Brown notes. “Make sure there's an adequate amount of hydration in your conditioners and stylers.” Her favorite combination: The Olaplex No.8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask and No. 6 Bond Smoother. “That duo can speak to silver hair like you wouldn't believe, and a lot of my naturally silver clients express how much it's changed their relationship with their hair.”
“Clients have been so bored staring at themselves from a home office … everyone is willing to play,” Hillier explains. “Bright fantasy colors are still a thing, but keep in mind if you’re trying to play around, you must keep it within the color scheme you are [currently] wearing.” Meaning, if you already have a bright color, it’ll be tricky to dye it another hue on the color spectrum in one sitting.
For instance, the expert says green hair shades can’t change to reds but they can change to yellow or blues. “Purples can change to pinks or blues but not orange or yellow — this is just the way the science works.” If you did want to change colors that are on opposite ends of the spectrum, you’ll have to first bleach it and lift all the color away — which, you probably already know isn’t normally doable in just one salon session or even a few weeks.
Still, whether you’ve already experimented with a bold color or are brand new to rainbow-hued hair, there’s no denying that looking in the mirror is about to get a whole lot more fun this winter.
“There are so many times brunettes sit down in my chair and want to change their color but don’t necessarily want blonde highlights or to actually be lighter at all,” Cerrone explains. “Lately when this is the case, I've been painting ‘Cinnamon Brunette,’ [which is] the perfect alternative trending tone.”
In fact, the colorist says this rich hue emulates the burning embers of a fire with subtle hints of red through the otherwise chocolate locks. “Brunettes looking to spice things up this winter should definitely choose this color which brings a warmth to the skin tone and a glimmer to the eyes — adding a contrasting pop for blue and green eyes and an extra boost of gold to our brown-eyed beauties.”
“The bronde colors that you can create in the winter are literally made for cooler months for a multitude of reasons,” Brown explains. “Tonalities like beige blondes, neutral light browns, and brondes have a way of looking cooler in the winter — not to mention [it goes] with a lot of awesome clothing options.” The benefit here: During the grow-out period, it’ll still keep the color looking fresh and not brassy because of the neutral tones, according to the colorist.
Ice Ice Baby
Brown thinks platinum is ideal for winter because of the coolness that the season brings. “The overall tonality of this season is cool-toned and calls for a glam vibe,” she tells TZR. Plus, she says the good thing about opting for this hue during the winter is that it gives you the perfect palette to decide if this is a color that you’d want to sport year-round, or just as a beautiful statement moment. Less sun exposure also means less fading or potential to turn brassy. Just remember — this is a high-maintenance hair color and requires lots of platinum products to keep it healthy and perfectly icy.