Instagram: @ckaedingcolor | @kiyahwright1
There’s something about the shifting of the seasons, the changing of the leaves, and switching of the Starbucks drink menu that makes me want to completely overhaul my life each fall. But since I’m not quite spontaneous enough to make any major changes (translation: I’m boring and fine with that), I’ll settle for some nice, trendy fall hair colors to make me feel like a whole new person instead. And for me, it doesnt have to be anything wild (reminder: Im boring). Trust me, even just a few highlights or a gloss can give you a whole new vibe, so if you, too, feel like your life needs something new and exciting, try swapping your beachy summer hair for a cozier fall shade. With help from Stephanie Brown, master colorist at IGK Salon, we give you 23 classic fall colors plus trendy hair shades for 2021 to choose from below.
1 Sandy Golden Blonde for Fall
Two things that can be described as not too warm and not too cool: the fall season, and this sandy golden blonde. Its a beautiful neutral gold that Brown says works on most skin tones. It looks natural, its low maintenance, and it only has to be touched up a few times a year. Whats not to love?
2 Caramel Fall Highlights
Caramel and toffee are two words youll be hearing a lot this fall, and not just because of all the delicious fall foods. Think of highlights in these warm, luscious tones as Thanksgiving for your hair.
3 Cinnamon Red for Fall
This warm-brown cinnamon shade at the root fades into a strawberry blonde at the very end for a cool, lived-in look thats perfect for transitioning into fall. Yup, Zoey Deutch is fall hair color embodied.
4 Chunky Money Piece for Fall
TikTok has all the best makeup hacks, and as it turns out, it has all the best hair color inspo, too. One fall hair color trend Brown keeps seeing (because its cute, fun, and grows out well) is a chunky money piece around the face, whether done in a subtle shade or a bold color.
5 Dimensional Blonde for Fall
Balance out bright summer highlights with some dark blonde lowlights to create the perfect fall hair color dimension. Its also an easy look for anyone who wants a natural, blended blonde color.
6 Toffee-Chocolate Brunette
To give brunette hair some soft dimension this fall, Brown suggests subtle toffee-colored chunks of balayage throughout the hair. And to keep toffee from quickly turning brassy, stick with only sulfate-free shampoos.
7 Auburn Fall Hair Color
Wanna try something a little warmer in contrast with the cooling temps? Ask your colorist for red tones blended throughout your hair to warm up your usual brown hair color for an auburn hair look like this.
8 Bold But Natural Hair Colors
For your fall hair color, play around with bold color placement but in natural tones. Heres what Brown means: Choose chunkier highlights, but in colors close to your natural color so they grow out easily. People want to get the best color but not a lot of maintenance, Brown says. Think low maintenance, high impact.
9 Shadow-Root Highlights
For a fall hair color change thats noticeable but also looks natural, go with shadow roots, which gives your hair a grown-out look—intentionally. This technique creates nice contrast for a look Brown calls bold but also subtle, and is also super low-maintenance.
10 Honey-Blonde Hair for Fall
11 Rooty Blonde Hair
If you love the way your blonde hair looks at the end of summer when your ends are bleached but your roots have grown out, keep it goin for fall. Ask your stylist for dimension throughout the ends to make the color softer and less harsh.
12 Blue-Black Hair for Fall
The subtlest of subtle gray-blue tones in this blue-black hair trend will make your hair look shiny, soft, and ~quietly~ unique. To maintain all that shiny goodness at home, keep up with regular hair glosses.
13 Hidden Color for Fall
If youre on the hunt for vivid, fun, fall hair colors, heres Browns advice for how to wear bold shades this fall: Try it in sections. Random colorful chunks, large colorful sections underneath the hair (like the sprig of purple hair shown here), or color on one side of the head is a fun surprise without a ton of maintenance.
14 Rich Chocolate Brown Hair
If youre a natural brunette and want to boost your color without changing it, ask your stylist for a gloss in a chocolate-brown shade for a subtle switch thats also packed with a whole lotta shine.
15 Blonde Balayage for Fall
What better way to bring out your curls and show off your curl pattern than with a little blonde balayage that looks as good growing out as it did on day one? Definitely screenshot this look for your stylist.
16 Chunky Balayage for Fall
If you havent noticed, the general hair color theme for 2021 is chunky. While 2020 hair color gave us platinum blonde chunks around the face, Brown says this fall, well be seeing thick highlights all over, but in more natural, easy-to-wear shades.
17 Sunny Highlights for Fall
So what if the days are shorter in the fall?! What if summer is technically over?! What if Im not willing to move on?! Welp, you can still have a touch of bronzed, summery highlights this fall by asking your stylist for a partial balayage with a few bright, face-framing pieces.
19 Dark-Brown Balayage for Fall
For a lighter, richer look that requires minimal upkeep, try adding warmth to your hair with a dark-brown balayage that cascades into bronze only a few shades lighter.
20 Gray Fall Hair Colors
Brown says ultimate gray (aka one of the Pantone colors of 2021) has been making its way into clients hair this year, and what better time to try it than late fall/early winter? Gray money pieces, grown-in natural gray, gray ombré—Brown says any way you think to wear gray hair will be popular this season.
21 Ash Blonde Hair for Fall
22 Sandy Bronde Fall Hair Colors
Carry a little of that sand from your beach vacay into fall with a beige-toned sandy shade like this. Brown says to be sure to bring a photo of what you want so your stylist can choose the right amount of warmth or ash coloring.
23 Rich, Warm Red for Fall
Half-brunette, half-redhead—this deep, rich-red look has a lot of brown undertones, and the combination of both makes it feel both bold and low-key. Tip: Stock up on shampoo for color-treated hair to keep the color locked in as long as possible.
Brooke Shunatona Brooke Shunatona is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com.
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