30 Hair Colors for Fall That Will Brighten Your Look *and* Your Day
If there's anything we've learned in the last year, it's that things are in constant flux. In a span of a few short months, we went from strict lockdowns to slow re-openings, and though we can't predict what the fall will look like, we can tell you this: The hair color will be fun and low-maintenance.
“Because times are so uncertain, the longevity of color is key right now,” says Nikki Lee, a celebrity hair colorist and co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles. “Since cool tones are hard to upkeep, we’re going to see a lot of people embracing warmer tones and their natural roots."
We’re also going to see a continued surge in bright colors like pink or red, and, according to Lee, more of those “dramatic money piece highlights in the front” that were all the rage in the 90s and 2000s. (Think: Ginger Spice during the height of Spice Girls fame.)
Ready to book your appointment? We pulled some inspiration images for you ahead.
1. Grown-in roots
After a year of staying at home, we have become more accustomed to grown-in roots. "Instead of hiding your roots, let's continue to embrace them. Having a darker root and lighter ends adds dimension,” says Brian O’Connor, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Good Dye Young.
2. Punches of color
“We’ll also see takes on Billie Eilish’s colorful roots, which is a fun way to experiment with color,” adds O’Connor.
3. Red Velvet
“Kim Kardashian’s radiant red is the perfect warm and toasty shade for the fall. This particular shade of red would be best suited for olive and darker skin tones,” advises O’Connor.
4. Fire Engine Red
Red hair is clearly having a major moment this year, and there are no limits to how bold you can go. Exhibit A: This fluorescent take on Margaret Zhang.
5. Classic Brown
On the other end of the spectrum, some people are returning to their childhood roots and going for more au naturel locks, like this clean brunette color seen on Daisy Edgar Jones.
Bronde, that is, a blend of brown and blonde colors, is still going strong. The low-maintenance hue is a go-to for celebs like Jessica Alba because it’s endlessly flattering and easy to grow out.
7. Multi-Colored Strands
Tie-dye is everywhere this year and we were elated to see Lena Waithe take the colorful trend to new heights with this rainbow buzzcut.
8. Strawberry Blonde
Consider this a soft auburn hue an ideal transition shade to wear from the end of summer into the early months of fall.
Not quite jet black, this raven color has subtle, almost imperceptible hints of dark brown blended in to give the shade dimension and fullness.
10. Glossy Black
For some, heavily highlighted colors are being replaced by classic, single-tone shades like black and brown. Darker hues tend to reflect light better as is, but you can bump up the glossiness with a shine serum or spray.
11. Silvery Purple
Sick of covering your grays? Consider a color outside of your comfort zone (like a soft lilac, which is subtly brightening on all skin tones).
12. Creamy Blonde
For low-maintenance color that still has plenty of dimension, try an all-over blonde with ashy roots. The soft shadowing at the base is especially flattering against fair skin.
13. Copper Brown
For brunettes, try adding warm copper tones to your chocolate base to brighten things up a notch.
When Hilary Duff made a splash with her bright blue and green locks, we were immediately convinced that boring color is so yesterday.
15. Faded Turquoise
Another reason to try teal? It fades into this dreamy sea foam shade as it washes out.
16. Soft Pink
Aka the trendiest color of quarantine among many celebs. Case in point: Here is Buffy slaying the rosy tint.
17. Bold Pink
And here is Jennifer Love Hewitt, another 90s icon, rocking a brighter shade of pink (which will show up better on brunette strands).
18. Chunky Highlights
“As far as big trends go this fall, the dramatic money piece highlight in the front (as seen on Kylie Jenner here) is a solid choice for those who are looking to add a little fun in their lives,” says Lee.
19. Rich Brunette
Lee is also predicting a rise in “rich brunette shades with a flicker of light,” as seen on Mandy Moore here (who is a client). “A great way to keep these colors looking fresh between salon visits, which might be far and few between this fall, is to use a color reviving mask once a week.”
20. Honey Blonde
Brighten up your sunny shade with some honey tones blended throughout. Again, embrace those natural roots and keep the overall color from turning brassy by swapping in a purple shampoo every few washes.
21. Honey Brunette
A honey brown hue is especially flattering against olive and darker skin tones. Plus, it’s the type of color that will last months without upkeep.
22. Mulled Wine
We said it once and we’ll say it again: Red hair is hot this year. This rich garnet hue is the ideal fall shade. Just make sure to keep your color bright with a sulfate-free shampoo, as the only downside to this fiery hue is that it tends to fade easily.
23. Chocolate Brownie
Rich and decadent, a chocolate brown color is best served with a heavy dose of shine. We recommend an at-home gloss for the job.
There’s a reason why soccer champ Megan Rapinoe continues to dye her hair lavender: The pretty purple is fun and fresh and surprisingly flattering. (Tip: Ask your stylist to create a tinted conditioning treatment to refresh your color between visits.)
25. Copper Highlights
Fact: Copper-toned highlights blend seamlessly with darker hair.
26. 90s Highlights
Remember what we said earlier about chunky highlights making their return? Before you scoff at the idea, consider that Queen Bey has already given the throwback ‘do her stamp of approval.
27. Orange Highlights
If you're looking to make an even bigger statement, take a cue from Bella Hadid, who recently debuted bright orange highlights.
28. Wheat Blonde
A slightly toned-down shade of wheat blonde is a great way to keep your summer color going strong into the fall (while covertly camouflaging sun-damaged strands). Add a mineral-removing treatment to your routine to remove any color-dulling buildup.
As seen on everyone from Kate Middy to Zendaya here, auburn is a richer and more natural-looking take on the reds above.