Unless you prefer a once-a-year haircut without a single trend touching your natural color, this year has undoubtedly altered your hair — even if the fundamentals behind the best black hair color ideas have stayed the same. "2020 has definitely changed the landscape of hair aesthetics, but the thing that has remained consistent is the look of healthy hair," Stevie English, Colour Creative Director at the haircare brand evo, tells The Zoe Report over email. "Healthy, shiny, and silky hair is timeless. Let’s face it, the ‘natural’ trifecta is absolutely jaw-dropping!"
Nevertheless, the recent wave of quarantine hair experimentation might have you looking at your hair color in a new light. (Or, rather, have you craving something new for your hair.) "Trends are often situation-based," English continues. "As a result of quarantine projects, we’re seeing an influx of clients asking for fringes and bangs. We’re also seeing people embrace their natural hair color for the first time in years! You could say we’re seeing a transition from preceding color into softer styles."
Don't forget: "Black hair doesn't mean it's one solid color," says MATRIX celebrity colorist George Papanikolas. "It should have soft nuances which give it a glossy shine, movement and dimension." Whether those nuances are actually soft — or super bold — are up to you. Ahead, six black hair color ideas to try out next.
Building a balayage on top of black hair automatically looks great, since the naturally dark hair adds contrast to whichever secondary shade you choose. Papanikolas recommends soft golden brown accents for a natural look. "A few strategically placed chunky highlights on black hair can give it lots of pop, contrast, and dimension without losing the overall black foundation," says the colorist. "Too delicate of highlights can get lost in the hair and can result in an overall brassy effect."
Like English said, the "natural trifecta" — healthy, shiny, and silky — is always in style, particularly when it comes to ultra-dark hair. But keep in mind that professional black dyes are made to last if you're naturally blonde, redheaded, or a lighter brunette and thinking about the shade. "Sometimes clients confuse black with a dark brown, and they may not be prepared for the intensity of black hair. Especially if they are transitioning from a lighter tone," says Kayah Pouncie, colorist at Maggie Rose Salon. "Once you go to a very dark shade of black, it is hard to reverse the color as black is an extremely hard color to lift."
Black & Blonde
There's no way of knowing just how many fans were inspired to take the chunky highlights plunge after seeing Blackpink's Jennie in the How You Like That promo photos, but it's a safe bet to say there were a few. (The Korean popstar does have 31 million followers on Instagram alone.) She isn't the only one embracing the TikTok-famous trend, either — dubbed "E-girl hair" or two-tone hair, depending on who you ask. "They take me back to when we all had Nokias and learned to touch type on MSN Messenger," says English.
Or, if you aren't into a highlight-heavy moment, opt for a rooted blonde — either with your natural color peeking through, or blended throughout. Ciara's long, beachy locks are a notable example, but Zoë Kravitz's platinum pixie cut, ever-so-slightly grown out to reveal her roots, is a firm part of our collective consciousness.
English notes that those with black hair can experience "their hair going red over a period of time." Embrace it with a sartorial edge by copying Issa Rae's signature auburn hair; the star has played with rich reds and ginger-brunette shades alike. Want to keep your hair looking natural, even with the newfound splash of color? "As a rule of thumb, the darker the base the more red undertones will be apparent in the hair," English adds.
Let's face it: If you have black hair, any color from the rainbow that you streak into is going to look cool. "The eye gravitates towards contrasting colors, so the higher the contrast, the more we can illicit shock value," says English. "This also heightens how creative juxtaposing colors look — think Billie Eilish, but with dark blues or purples to create a fun color that still maintains cohesion and flow."
Or, skip the colors and try what Pouncie calls "metallic black," which adds metallic highlights to a black base color. "Metallic black gives you the ultimate glam appeal, with hints of silver or gray shining through," explains the colorist.