My first big dye job was after my first heartbreak. I was 17, an emotional wreck, and clearly not in the right frame of mind when I went to a local hairstylist to get the most frightful blonde highlights in history. There I was, heart still in shambles, looking like Christina Aguilera circa the 'Dirrty' era. And while the new hair color trends of 2020 probably aren't motivated by, say, a torrid high school romance, they are inspired by some of the most memorable eras to date.
And that explains why high-fashion hair is having its moment in real life. "Fashion colors are holding strong, but this time with a simple root to show off the fashion at the mid-lengths and ends," Nick Stenson, Matrix Artistic Director, tells TZR. "I created a look for Matrix Destination 2020’s opening show recently, and I decided to do a double process cool tone blonde and added some dimensional pastel tones in pinks, blues and lilac. It was high-fashion but still wearable."
But before you try a hair color plucked off the runway, there are questions to ask yourself: What are the undertones of your skin? Is it an appropriate season for your preferred hue (though those are rules often meant to be broken)? And lastly, is your hair strong enough to be processed?
And naturals know, the first thing to think about is the health of your curls. "I feel like sometimes a less-experienced stylist will look at someone with textured hair and think that they have to go extremely hard on it," Jaxcee, the color director at Hair Rules in New York City, notes. "It's actually the opposite case, because many people with curly hair have super coarse texture that sucks up the lightener and the color much quicker." So if you’re not careful and taking too much time to apply, according to Jaxcee, you can end up damaging the hair if you’re using a high volume lightener (like a 40) as opposed to starting with a 10 or a 20.
It's also just as important to take care of your hair at home after coloring to maintain length and health. "To keep my clients' hair at its best, I encourage them to use a product like Olaplex 3," Mahshid Beghaei, colorist at Mizu Louis Licari says. "It's important to use something that prevents breakage and hydrates from the inside out."
So if your hair is prepped and primed for some new, exciting color, check out the trends that will be taking over our feeds all year long.
2020 Hair Color Trend: Retro Reds
"There are so many different variations of red that we're seeing. Combining shades of strawberry blonde, coppery red, and deep auburn, you can form beautiful red tones with highlights to create dimension and contrast to the color making it bold and beautiful," Beghaei says. And the trendy look is reminiscent of a famous red head from decades ago. "People are going for that I Love Lucy kind of red," Jaxcee says. "It complements so many complexions. I have clients with deeper skin tones who ask for the color and it looks amazing."
2020 Hair Color Trend: Matte Blonde
We only really think of the term "matte" when talking about makeup and the occasional nail, right? But when it comes to hair color, matte blondes are the trend for the season. "While it’s bright and bold, the tone is a bit flat and neutral," Beghaei says. And Jaxcee agrees. "I’ve been seeing a lot of muted blondes. So super ashy, almost grey with a green tinge."
2020 Hair Color Trend: Spicy Hot Cocoa Brunette
"I’m seeing a lot of people get more interested in putting red tones in their brunette now," Jaxcee says. "For years, people wanted that deep, chocolate look. But now I’m seeing a lot of auburn brunettes, or spicy hot cocoa, as I call it. It looks richer, is much more vibrant and is an exciting twist on the traditional hot cocoa color we're used to seeing." Stenson is loving the clashing of tones. "Rich and luxurious forms of milk and dark chocolate will be one of the most asked for colors in the salon for sure," he says.
2020 Hair Color Trend: '90s Streaks
"I’m definitely seeing people really trying to push the limits with chunky highlights in one or two parts of the hair," Jaxcee says. "The rest of the hair is like a nice, bold rich monotone color, then there will be a section at the band with bright colors. It's like a modern riot girl look."
2020 Hair Color Trend: Girl-Next-Door Blonde
"That simple, beautiful, and classic golden blonde has made its way back!" Baghaei says. "The timeless look that seemed so away for awhile is back and better than ever."
2020 Hair Color Trend: Dusty Reds
And while red hair is known for its prismatic shine and luster, Stenson is anticipating a more rugged twist is to come. "Reds in 2020 will be more muted and dusty," he says.