Rose Blonde? Lime Glow? Here are 24 Spring Hair Colors to Usher In the New Season
We don’t know about y’all, but we are counting down the days until spring. To help brighten up these last few weeks of winter, we’ve rounded up some color inspiration. From subtle highlights to bright grays and dayglo green, here are 24 ways to switch up your do in 2021.
1. Rose Blonde
“A rosy blonde is one of my favorite ways to go lighter for spring, because the effect is soft and delicate,” says Guy Tang, a celebrity hair colorist and founder of #mydentity. “If you’re already blonde, I recommend toning your hair first to create an even canvas. Then, you can create your own custom blend of pink by diluting the shade you apply at the roots and sheering out the color gradually as you get closer to the ends.”
2. Golden Caramel
“I love this almost pastel shade of caramel that Tiffany Haddish wore at the Golden Globes,” says Nicole Tabloff, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “This color is perfectly suited for someone with a naturally darker base who wants to get a lighter, more sun-kissed effect.”
3. Cotton Candy Blue
“Hilary Duff is no stranger to fun hair color,” says her longtime stylist, Nikki Lee, who is also the co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon and In Common Beauty. “This blend of blues just hits different on her though! In order to get her hair this vibrant shade, I had to first pre-lighten her hair and do a quick pre-tone to cancel out any unwanted yellow tones. This is an important step because blue mixed with yellow could come out green,” warns Lee.
4. Root Melt
“This look erases the line of demarcation at your roots, so the results are softer and the grow out is less obvious than when you have traditional highlights,” says Karissa Schaudt, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “It’s a great option for someone who is looking for dimension with minimal maintenance. Depending on how much contrast you want between your roots and ends, the maintenance will be more minimal.”
5. Silver Vixen
2020 was the year that many women decided to let their grays shine through—and we love it. If you’re at an in-between stage of growth, you can ask your colorist to add brighter highlights or darker lowlights to blend your incoming grays in with the rest of your hair. (Tip: Use a purple toned shampoo once a week to minimize any yellowing.)
6. Vibrant Red
Take a cue from Sarah Hyland and try a full-bodied red with multiple shades to it for added dimension. “This color works on short and long hair and fair or dark skin tones,” says Schaudt. “Make sure you show your colorist an inspiration picture of what you want. There are so many different shades of red, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page.”
7. Mahogany Brown
For a much subtler take, you can always go with a warm mahogany brown like our girl, Zendaya. These soft reddish-brown tones reflect light well on darker hair colors.
8. Smokey Brunette
Another option for any brunettes out there: an ashy brown. Schaudt recommends going with a neutral ash tone to create depth and contrast and keep it from picking up warm tones as the color fades. (Tip: This two-dimensional shade pairs especially well with textured hair.)
9. Soft Peach
Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Peach is the rare color that works on many different skin tones. Tip: Try it with darker roots, which adds dimension at the base of your head, and grounds the pastel shade, so it looks—dare we say it—natural.
10. Strawberry Dreamsicle
“Strawberry red is great for spring because it’s the perfect transition from the darker coppers we tend to see in the cooler months, and the light ribbons of copper, gold and pink are so flattering,” says Nicole Tabloff, a colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. Just make sure to protect your color from fading too quickly by using a sulfate free shampoo like Kérastase Reflection Shampoo.
11. Monochrome Shine
It’s time to bring out the shine in dark chocolate and jet-black strands. “Ask your colorist for a demi permanent hair color and refresh it every six to eight weeks to keep it vibrant,” says Tabloff.
12. Post-Vacay Highlights
Right about now, many of us are probably dreaming about faraway tropical vacations. Until it’s safer to travel, we can channel beachside vibes with our hair. “Think subtle, light reflecting highlights that are just one to two tones lighter than your base color,” explains Tabloff. “Ask your colorist for an express balayage, where they will strategically paint only a few balayage pieces to frame your face and a sprinkle in your part depending on your haircut,” she adds.
13. Buttercream Blonde
“Think warm and bright, channeling those 90s supermodel vibes,” says Lee. This particular shade of blonde is softer and more natural looking (especially when worn with loose beach waves like Emma here).
14. Face-Framing Streaks
Remember the money piece highlights that were all the rage last year? Well, they’re still going strong into this spring. Only now, we’re getting a bit funkier with it, adding more than one hue to the mix like Bella’s two-toned look above.
15. Honey Bronde
God bless the bronde—that is, this perfect meld of blonde and brown tones you see here. It’s also the rare shade that somehow looks better as it fades.
16. Lime Glow
“This dayglo green shade is inspired by the juniper tree of the same name and it’s a great option for bleach blondes looking for a bold change,” says Tabloff. “To get the look, ask your colorist for a bleach and tone, but opt for a semi-permanent dye in green instead of your usual toner. Keep the color vibrant at home with a tinted conditioner like Overtone Vibrant Green Daily Conditioner when you start to notice any fading.”
17. Icy Blonde
“A shade brighter than ash-blonde, celebrities and influencers are turning to whiter tones to stand out,” shares Aura Friedman, a celebrity hair colorist. “This icy tone is cool and reflective, and bleach is definitely needed to achieve this color, so I always recommend using K18 Biomimetic Hairscience to protect hair and keep it healthy and bright,” explains Aura.
18. Rainbow Brights
“I love putting unconventional color in my clients’ hair. Pinks, blues, greens, whether bright or pastel, are going to be everywhere this spring. After a dark year, it’s a beautiful thing to bring pops of color to 2021,” says Friedman.
19. Honey Blonde
Fact: Adding a few sunny streaks is a surefire way to brighten things up for the season (especially after a long winter like the one we just had). Take a cue from Ciara here and make sure to add bigger, brighter pieces around your face to really amp up the glow factor.
20. Golden Black
Gone are the days of dull, black hair. The latest iteration is super shiny and multi-dimensional. “I would recommend adding a gloss to black hair for pure shine, but to really add dimension, I would also weave in multiple brunette and blonde undertones,” says Friedman.
21. Pastel Melt
Though there’s a lot of different colors going on here, the effect is surprisingly subtle. “It’s all about proper sectioning and color placement to best accent the face. This will also prevent the overall color from turning out too stripey,” says Tang.
If you have naturally dark hair and you're looking to make a simple (and less damaging) enhancement, consider adding subtle highlights in a mix of cool and warm tones to create a rich hazelnut hue.
23. Peekaboo Neon
Like the money piece above, but with the color placement sitting underneath the rest of your hair so you get a flash of neon peeking out whenever you move or a nice breeze hits.