These are the biggest hair colour trends taking over in 2021.
It's been harder to keep on top of hair colour trends since we've been locked out of our fave salons. Although the uptake in DIY dye has seen things get very experimental indeed.
Ahead of our return to normal(ish), top hair colourists are predicting the shades that will be BIG. There's two main categories that they're seeing emerge.
The first, is crazy colour. Think: rogue blonde, rebel streaks and short-term dips into temporary colour.
The second is teensy hair glow-ups, such as cleverly updated highlighting techniques. I.e: minimal, low-maintenance and beautiful.
Either way, we’re ready to feel shiny and liberated as we roll into a new season of possibilities.
We asked the experts to give us the inside scoop on which shades are hotting up and which are cooling down. But, before we get cracking, it goes without saying that every option should be tailored specifically to you.
“Colour should always be completely personalised based on skin tone and hair texture,” explains top hair stylist and UK Editorial Ambassador for L’Oreal Professionnel, Adam Reed.
And, it should match your personality, too, irrespective of trends. So make sure you really maximise your consultation time with your colourist to get the most beautiful, bespoke colour experience.
What's in: Honey blonde
What's out: Immaculate blonde
Dirty blonde has become our spirit animal hair during a year where we've all gone feral, but we're actually really enjoying it. "There seems to be a desire for slightly more natural blondes at the moment," explains expert hair colourist, Josh Wood.
"For instance a blended blonde with highs and lows, or maybe a slightly darker root. I think there is something about not having a clean blonde that looks a bit more younger and a bit more natural," he says.
Bottle blondes who have been battling regrowth may be on the look-out for something with less upkeep which explains why we've seen honey blondes and undone blondes trend.
Bleach London’s creative director, Alex Brownsell seconds this – “strawberry blonde and golden honey tones will be popular,” she says. As will butter blonde.
“It’s very easy to maintain at home because bleached hair naturally has yellow undertones, so this look will soften into a honey effect,” adds Alex.
Elsewhere, seventies golden blonde will be big, to complement the return of heavy seventies fringes and loose bohemian texture, reckons Bryony Cairns, colourist at Larry King.
For more dimension, Bryony recommends opting for “lots of fine babylights throughout the whole hair to give the illusion of an all-over HD colour.”
What's in: Biscuit brunettes
What's out: Warm brunette
"Luxe biscuit bases are in," says Adam. "Think beautiful, soft biscuit and caramel tones," he says. It's a spin on the bronde trend we've been seeing, but with more of an emphasis on cooler tones.
“Brunettes often suffer from too much warmth running through their hair,” explains Bryony. “Adding slices of cooler tones mutes the warmth without taking away the depth of the colour, and this helps to even out the tone,” she explains.
Adam Reed London’s ‘Cool Down’ colour menu is specifically geared toward dialling up or down your colour, and neutralising brassiness (which is on the up since we’ve been spacing out salon appointments). “You can still maintain the richness of brunette but with a cooler base,” he says. “Have a conversation with your colourist who will be able to advise the best palette to suit you.”
What's in: Copper
What's out: Burgundy
Sales of red hair colour were off the charts during 2020 as Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Kylie Jenner and even Ricky Martin gave the shade a spin. But heading into spring and summer, copper is tipped to take the top spot.
"The burgundy red tone was big for 2020, but now it’s a softer more grown out copper tones that feel grungy and cool or can be switched up to look glossy and expensive depending on how you are styling, explains Aaron Carlo, lead stylist at TRESemmé. "This will of course spill over to blondes too, we can expect to see warmer strawberry blonde tones that are super soft with almost a retro colour vibe to them," Aaron adds."So gorgeous!"
What's in: Multi-colour and gradients
What's out: Single shades
"People are now looking for more creative colour designs than ever before," says Julia, stylist at Blue Tit Topshop. "Three years ago people wanted a scalp bleach and pink all over, now it’s creative sectioning, multicolour and gradients," she says. We've seen techniques such as rebel streaks, rogue blonde, root clash and undercover colour all take off.
Undercover colour or peekaboo hair colour “is a deeper panel through the back of the hair,” explains Adam. Imagine a half head of colour where the bottom layers are washed with a contrasting colour. Hidden under the top layer of hair, they peek through as you move.
“We’ve seen it with vivids but this is more about adding depth and density through the back section which offers a richer, deeper result.
It doesn’t have to be a stark contrast either which makes it super wearable, you can go as vibrant and or as subtle as you want.”
As for the root clash, "think of this as a reverse dip-dye, with the colour starting at the roots and fading out into the mid lengths or contrasting with your grown out colour like Billie Eilish’s green and black hair," says Alex.
"If you need to touch up your roots, this is a really fun way to experiment with colour without committing to an all-over tone. I love a bold colour fading into blonde like Bleach London's Tangerine Dream and Aubergine Dream, or if you want to try Billie’s colour, Slime Light is perfect."
What's in: Money-piece highlights
“Many clients are referencing the nineties, from the chunky caramel highlights that Jennifer Aniston has, to the shaggy champagne blonde haircut for Meg Ryan,” explains Josh. But one nineties trend that’s set to go stratospheric is money-piece hair.
Millennials may not yet have heard of it, but the nineties colour technique favoured by Geri Halliwell circa peak Spice Girls, is back – only toned down to make it more subtle. In fact, Queen Bey is partially responsible for its triumphant return after rocking it on her Instagram.
“This is all about lighting up the front section of hair and then toning it so there is a lovely blend,” explains Adam. While the more drastic rogue blonde remains a huge trend, "softer money-piece highlights framing the face is an easy way to get the brightness around your face while keeping it a bit more low maintenance,” explains Bryony.
Crucially, it’s versatile. “What is lovely, is you can use any tone such as a bold rock n roll modern colour, through to something only slightly lighter than what you would normally have, still creating that chunky piece through the front,” says Adam. And it’s democratic, too. “Its malleable to all colours,” confirms Bryony, from red heads having strawberry blonde to brunettes having golden sun kissed tones.”
What's in: Ombre and balayage
Alongside bold new choices, beautiful minimal maintenance will never go out of fashion. "In 2021 the balayage trend will stay with us, with its ability to offer low maintenance colour and subtle regrowth," confirms Josh.
"Balayaged lowlights and highlights are more forgiving as they don't create a clean cut line," explains celeb colourist, Nicola Clarke who counts Kate Moss, Dua Lipa and Charlize Theron as clients.
As well as speckling highlights throughout the lengths of our hair, ombre will be making a return says Bryony. The technique
sees hair graduate from dark at the roots to light at the ends. "It's a really low maintenance colour that's great for brunettes who don’t want to commit to sitting in the salon chair every 8 weeks keeping up the blonde," she says, since your roots fade into the rest of your hair, so regrowth won't be a problem.
"It’s adaptable with colours too as you can mix it up using direct dyes like pink and corals to get flashes of colour for a few days at a time," says Bryony.
"Toners and semi-permanent colours in peaches, pinks, mints and blues just seem to be growing," agrees Nicola, "and the products on the market, especially for home use are getting much better," she says.
Therefore you can create a hybrid system of in-salon colour, adapted yourself at home if you feel like it.
This article originally appeared on Glamour UK | Author: Elle Turner