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This Is the Most Requested Hair Color for Fall

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Fall is fast approaching and we’re ready for a hair change. If you, like us, are debating between a few color options this season (amber brown or red, anyone?), we got the scoop from a celebrity hairstylist on the trend we’re going to see everywhere this fall: expensive everything.

Meet the Expert:

  • Sharon Dorram is a master colorist at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York.

21 Hair Colors to Rock This Fall—from “Expensive Blonde” to “Cinnamon Toast”


“Expensive brunette” made waves last fall as the shade of 2021. This time around, blondes are also joining in on the fun. “Expensive hair color is created by adding layers and layers of highlights, as opposed to big bold chunks or ombré,” explains Dorram. “The effect is understated and elegant. It can be a rich, lacquered single process color with delicate highlights to make your hair look as if the sun kissed it.”

Though the name makes it sound like you’ll be dropping some serious $$$ at the salon, it’s more about looking and feeling like a million bucks than spending that much. Whether you’re a brunette or blonde, the color offers dimension and shine using a blend of highlights and lowlights. “The highlights, particularly the ones that are framing and emphasizing the hairline, are a trademark of expensive hair color,” adds Dorram. 

Expensive Blonde

Shades like icy or platinum blonde are taking a back seat this season. The “expensive blonde” shade provides a warmer and glossier tone, so even if you miss a color appointment it won’t look too noticeable on your locks. 

It’s no wonder celebs like Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman and Chrishell Stause have been rocking more subtle golden locks as of late. “After summer, we need to tone down and deepen over-processed blonde hair,” Dorram told PureWow back in July. “Blondes deal with overexposure to the elements (sun, sea and wind) and over-shampooing, since people tend to be more active during the summer months.” 

Expensive Brunette

This shade was a big hit last year with celebs like Hailey Bieber, Jessica Alba and Billie Eilish returning to their natural roots for the season. As Dorram explains, “It’s an alluring color that immediately gives your hair luster and shine, which makes it look healthier. It’s also a great way to soften the look of darker tones, so the overall look isn’t too severe.”

Are there other "expensive" shades out there?

Yes, the “expensive” trend can be applied to all hair colors. The focus is on blending together highlights and lowlights, so you can have an expensive copper, expensive bronde (like J.Lo above) and expensive midnight. Dorram says it best: “Any color can become more expensive by adding subtle touches that give it gradation and add depth to the overall color.” 

How do I make my hair look more "expensive"?

While we love a good dye job at home, this is one look we recommend getting done by a professional. “Creating the look of ‘expensive’ hair color takes a lot of precision and time,” says Dorram. “It can be painstaking to fine-tune a hairline with babylights and it takes time to place lowlights that create the proper dimension to get a natural-looking result.” 

Whether you have blonde, brunette or copper hair, the expensive treatment is not one size fits all. It truly boils down to your hair type, length, natural color and skin tone. This can mean adding babylights for blonde locks and a deeper gloss treatment for brunettes. You want the results to flatter your mane and complexion.

How can you maintain expensive hair color at home?

Look for products that maintain moisture, boost shine and preserve your shade. Stick with a blue (for brunettes) or a purple (for blondes) shampoo weekly to keep your color vibrant and brass-free. At the same time, consider bi-weekly swapping out your go-to for a clarifying shampoo to reduce dullness to your strands. Plus, adding a hair mask once or twice a week will moisturize and protect your locks before your next touch-up. 

And speaking of touch-ups, Dorram recommends going in every six to eight weeks for a refresh. While the expensive treatment leaves room for your hair to grow out and still look natural, it’s important to boost shine and maintain depth after a month or so.

OK, ready to give your locks the expensive glow up?