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As the temperature rises and the days get longer, it’s time to revamp our looks and embrace the hottest hair color trends of the summer. Whether you’re after a subtle change or a bold transformation, this season is all about making a splash with your look. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not dive into the ocean of pastel hues? From dreamy lavender to cotton candy pink, these soft and whimsical shades are having a major moment. They’re perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to your summer look and making heads turn wherever you go.
But if you’re more into earthy vibes, embrace the power of warm, sun-drenched hues. Think honey blondes, caramel browns, and fiery copper reds. These shades not only complement the golden glow of the season but also add a touch of natural radiance to your overall aesthetic. And let’s not forget about the timeless classics. From platinum blondes to rich chocolate browns, these evergreen colors are always in style. Plus, they’re versatile enough to suit any skin tone and effortlessly take you from beach days to rooftop soirées.
Below, our favorite looks from the top colorists. You’re going to want to bookmark this.
Almost every colorist we spoke to cited bright blonde as a color trend for summer. Though blonde is nothing new, the lack of a shadow root is a far cry from blonde trends in the past. “My traditional ‘shadow rooted’ blondes are asking for my signature sun drenched blonde, but ‘all the way to the root,’ which is more subtle with less dimension,” says Olaplex ambassador Chad Kenyon. He notes this is a lot more work to upkeep but “it’s so popular that they all are not concerned about the upkeep.”
Chase Kusero, colorist and co-founder of IGK Hair Care, agrees. “A hair color trend we’re seeing for summer includes a popular style known as ‘Barbie Blonde,’ which features a light blonde shade with a subtle, softened root color,” he says.
It looks black but it’s not exactly black. This hair color trend “involves a deep brown shade that appears almost black, with no discernible red undertones,” Kusero says. Take inspo from Megan Fox and her deep brown hair with neutral undertones.
“It’s perfect for brunettes looking to go lighter in the summer but want that cool monochrome look,” says Tylor Johnson, colorist and founder of Nous Haircare. “It is mixing in their natural brunette color with the iciest tone of blonde to resemble that of a mushroom.” Michelle Hong, colorist and founder/ creative director of NYC The Team, agrees. “Mushroom browns are very in,” she says. “Color ranges from warm goldenness to ashy bronde shades given the hair lightness and enhancement but not looking flat.”
Richy Kandasamy, colorist and R+Co Collective member, calls the tone of this shade “Brown Bunny,” explaining: “It’s not black or dark brown or even light brown. It’s right in the middle – a medium, neutral brown. If you have a fairer or a cool olive complexion and deep eyes, this color is for you.”
There’s another blonde hue trending and this one is a bit warmer. Alex Brownsell, co-founder and creative director at Bleach London, explains. “This blonde is super popular as it complements every skin tone and allows you to make a subtle and natural change,” she says. “This color is a more accessible shade of blonde as it is not over-lifted too pale as you want to keep some of the natural warmth in your hair.” The warmth of the color makes it universally flattering on all skin tones and you’re less likely to damage your hair trying to achieve a platinum shade.
“The bright honey blonde is one of my favorite summer hair color trends because it always reminds me of all kids running down the beach with the natural panels of lightness from the sun,” adds Johnson.
You can also go even darker and more natural-looking with your blonde. “We have seen many blondes becoming more beige, with many people opting to keep their blonde but tone it down to something that could pass as natural,” Brownsell says.
Colorist and co-founder of #mydentity, Guy Tang, is loving brunette hair that has a violet tone to it. It’s a unique way to update your basic brunette hue without making too major of a commitment. “Violet gives such cool iridescent tonality to brown hair and is perfect for face framing and hair contouring which we’ll be seeing a lot of this summer,” he says.
The copper hair trend isn’t going anywhere. Colorists are seeing all shades of rose, from deep-dark tones to pastel hues. “Rose gold is gorgeous for adding some peachy dimension to curly or wavy hair this summer,” Tang says. “Warm colors of soft golden blondes and coppers create reflections of highs/lows of the hair with super baby balayage,” Hong adds.
If you already have pretty blonde hair, you can even go for more of a strawberry hue. “Golden strawberry blonde is so pretty for summer because it’s a fun, light mix between red and blonde,” says Jenna Perry, colorist and Living Proof ambassador.
You’ve heard of money piece highlights, when the front of your hair is brighter than the rest. But what if you flipped that? “With its thick, bold placement, the reverse money piece features the darker part of the hair framing the face for a pop of color that is low maintenance and regrowth friendly,” says Shvonne Perkins, Master Colorist at Madison Reed. It’s not that hard to achieve, either. “Your hair is likely going to get lighter on the mid-lengths and ends due to sun, pool, and saltwater exposure,” she says. “That makes lightness on the ends easy with no fussing around with touch-ups during the summer when you’d rather be out having fun.”
This is similar to the color blocking trend, Perkins says. “We are still feeling the ’90s and early 2000s styles and this bold color placement is a call out to that,” she adds.
Have some gray poking through, even on dark hair? Let them live this summer. “Women are feeling like the gray hair taboo is behind them and are choosing to highlight around their gray, instead of totally covering it up,” Perkins says.