Summer is calling for a new hair color. Whether you’re a brunette beauty or a natural blonde, we have some ideas to spice up your locks this season. Ahead we tapped 11 leading color specialists and stylists, who share the 16 trendiest summer hair colors to try in 2023—plus, all of the products you’ll need to keep your new shade vibrant and healthy.
From Bronde Rose to Ice Spice Red, Here Are the Top 16 Summer Hair Colors to Try in 2023
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Meet the Experts:
- Gregory Patterson is a celebrity hairstylist and a DIY expert for Sally Beauty. He’s based in New York City and has previously worked as a lead stylist for Project Runway. His clients included Britney Spears, Anne Hathaway and Julianne Moore.
- Adina Pignatare is a hair color specialist and ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel. She specializes in balayage, foil and vivid services at the Designer's Edge Salon in Massachusetts.
- Mai Hernandez is a hair color specialist, owner of A|M Salon in West Hollywood, California and an artistic educator for Joico. She specializes in color corrections, dimensional coloring and styling.
- Kieron Justin is a celebrity and editorial hair stylist. His clients include Georgia May Jagger, Gigi Hadid and Poppy Delevingne. He also worked on photoshoots for magazines like Vogue Arabia, L’Officiel and Elle.
- Kelly Noonan is a hair colorist at Fekkai Soho in New York. She specializes in balayage techniques and major color transformations. She’s also an ambassador for L’Oréal.
- Alex Brownsell is a celebrity colorist based in the UK. She’s also co-founder of Bleach London, a hair dye and bleach company. Her clients include Iris Law, FKA Twigs and Florence Welch.
- Sophie Rose Gutterman is a celebrity and editorial hair stylist who has over ten years of experience. She’s currently based in California, where she worked on campaigns for Harper Bazaar, Vogue, Elegant Magazine and Shuba Magazine. She’s also worked with brands like Adidas, Maybelline and Fenty.
- Guy Tang is a hair educator and creator of Mydentity, a haircare brand that offers styling products and color dyes to licensed professionals. He’s based in California and is best known for his YouTube channel ‘GuyTangHair’ where he posts fitness, beauty and lifestyle videos.
- Jacob Schmidt is a hair color specialist and senior stylist at Sally Hershberger Nomad in New York City. He specializes in color transformations, color services and styling cuts.
- George Papnikolas is a hair colorist and brand ambassador for Matrix and is based in Los Angeles. He’s worked on editorial shoots for Allure, InStyle and People Magazine. His clients include Madonna, Hailey Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger and Kim Kardashian.
- Abby Haliti is a balayage expert and founder of Abby Haliti Color Studio. She’s based in New York City and is known for her European hair color technique. Her clients include Olivia Palermo, Sigourney Weaver and Rita Ora.
1. Ginger Hazel
If you’ve been contemplating a copper shade this season, look no further than this trendy hue that’s especially flattering for brunette gals. “I love this tone for summer because it almost beats the sun-bathing to the punch. Plus, the maintenance is a breeze at home,” says Patterson. To achieve this shade, apply a copper glaze to your brunette base for added richness and dimension. After your color treatment, Patterson recommends adding a hair mask to your routine to strengthen locks and maintain the vibrancy of your new color.
2. Burnt Ends
“Think of those Aussies or surfers from Manhattan Beach that somehow have the perfect tone of salted highlights that you marvel at when you're in their presence,” says Patterson. The highlights for this look sit solely on the ends, which requires the balayage technique to bleach the ends while avoiding color on the mid-section and roots. Patterson suggests adding moisturizing hair products, like purple shampoo and a hair mask, to reduce brassiness and brittleness. He says, “For both light and darker tones that are going lighter, it’s imperative that you keep your hair strong, repaired and hydrated.”
3. Warm Brunette
Highlights can add subtle brightness to your natural hair color, as evidenced by this balayage technique that also flatters all skin tones. As Pignatare explains, the process is different for a natural brunette versus a blonde: “When I paint a brunette, I always stay on the surface so I don’t expose too much warmth. But when I paint on blonde hair, I saturate both sides of the strands,” she says. To maintain the look, the stylist suggests incorporating moisture into every step of your routine (aka shampoo, conditioner and a finishing oil) to strengthen strands, reduce breakage and improve your overall hair health.
4. Expensive Brunette
If you thought the expensive brunette trend was losing its momentum, then you haven’t been paying attention. The popular shade is still going strong this summer. “Less is more these days and this shade gives a slight dimension to your strands that makes the movement of your hair more pronounced,” says Pignatare. To get the look, ask your stylist to add lowlights to dark locks and finish with a hair gloss to get that extra vibrant tone.
5. Warm Blondes
This shade proves that blondes are having way more fun this summer. “Warm hues are here to stay. The great thing about this hair color is that it appears brighter and reflects light better. Plus, it complements most complexions,” says Hernandez. The foiling technique adds dimension and movement to natural blonde hair. Since bleaching will be involved, Hernandez says hydrating (or bond building) products can help improve your hair’s appearance and help the color last longer in-between appointments.
6. Natural Copper
From Megan Fox to Jessica Chastain and Eva Mendes, copper hair continues to be a hot summer style. “It’s bold and eye-catching. It also has a dimensional and vibrant look for people who are ready to make a statement this summer,” says Noonan. According to the stylist, the shade features an all-over color treatment, highlights and a hair gloss for a multidimensional look. She adds, “Red tones fade quickly, so avoid clarifying shampoos and minimize the number of times you wash your hair every week.” While you’re at it, look for color-safe shampoos that preserve and refresh your shade when you do wash.
7. Signature Blondes
“Blondes are always a popular request for many people in the summer months, but this year, we’re changing from ash to warm tones,” says Justin. According to the stylist, the lighting service you’ll need (i.e, highlights, balayage, face frames or paneling) will depend on your natural hair color, skin tone and eye color. Tip: Use a purple shampoo and a hair mask that prevents brassiness, enhances tone and strengthens strands in-between touch-ups.
8. Bleach Blonde
Barbiecore is thriving right now, so it’s only fitting that we go for a bleach blonde moment this summer. “Blondes want to go even blondes than ever before. 2023’s blonde is ultra-pale, but not quite as cool-toned as a pure platinum,” says Brownsell. FYI: This is a major color transformation that is going to take a second (or rather, many hours) in the salon chair so plan accordingly.
9. Dark Honey
“There’s been a rise in popularity of hues that live between blonde and brown, which has to do with clients prioritizing their hair health and wanting a color that requires minimal upkeep over the summer,” says Brownsell. For dark locks, this shade will require a toning gloss that slightly lifts the roots and adds a cool brown tone to your hair. As Brownsell points out, the gloss works to neutralize the color without making it too dark. However, lighter hair needs a more permanent hair dye to achieve the darker tone.
10. Ice Spice Red
If you haven’t heard of rapper Ice Spice, chances are you’ve listened to one of her popular bops or you’ve seen her iconic red ‘fro walking the red carpet. This summer, fans are ready to recreate her vibrant hue on their own curly locks. “So many people are turning to this bold, fun pop of color for summer! With hints of copper and red, it’s shiny and bright, while also bringing out the warm tones of your skin. Plus, it looks good on curly and straight hair,” says Gutterman. To achieve the rapper’s signature color, Gutterman suggests an all-over color that can be done in the salon or at home. Once you’ve got your Ice Spice Red locks, she recommends incorporating a color safe shampoo and conditioner into your routine, which will help freshen up your hue between touch ups.
11. Bronde Rose
“Summer is all about having fun, so there is no better time for brunettes to try rose tones, which blends perfectly with any natural shade,” says Tang. The process zones in on highlighting your hair with a rosy red tone and the results will depend on if you want to go light like the photo above or a bit darker like Keke Palmers’ hue. “Your stylist can help you decide what level of rose is best for you. But if you already have highlights (or light hair), then you would most likely skip this step and your stylist would color your hair with a toner,” adds Tang.
12. Warm Sunset Red
Red continues its reign as the hair color of the season and this warm sunset hue is just another example of why it’s such a flattering pick. “A warm sunset red is perfect for the summer, especially since it’ll match those gorgeous sunsets at the beach all season long. I find that clients typically like to go bolder and brighter during the warmer months,” says Schmidt. The fun part of this shade is that it’s customizable to fit your preferences. Add more red tones for a fiery finish or incorporate more orange for a warm ginger tone. One more thing: Since it’s a high maintenance hair color, Schmidt suggests minimizing your shampoo days to keep the color bright for the next few weeks.
13. Low-Maintenance Platinum
“Everyone wants to be blonde during the summer, but no one wants the maintenance that comes with actually going platinum. This color gives you the best of both worlds, aka super light platinum strands with a lived-in shadow root,” explains Schmidt. As the stylist explains, the process is similar to a balayage, which focuses on lightening specific strands for a blended, natural look like Bebe Rehxa above. However, the technique intentionally leaves the roots dark to minimize how often you’ll need to visit the salon for upkeep (hence, the low-maintenance name). Since it’s an icy tone, Schmidt recommends applying a purple shampoo and a hair mask once a week to strengthen strands and keep the color bright.
Bronde will always be a classic for the summer. “This shade has universal appeal since it sits right in the middle of the hair color spectrum,” says Papanikolas. Everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Sofia Vergara has gone bronde because the shade adds warmth and dimension to natural dark hair. To avoid brassiness, the stylist suggests using a treatment mask weekly to improve shine, repair strands and hydrate hair.
15. Cool Brunette
Want to stay cool for the summer? This hair color adds a hint of depth and dimension to darker locks. If you already sport a dark base, Papanikolas notes this treatment will offer an even richer brown (or cool black) tone to your hair. “It’s done by lifting dark hair using one shade to remove any inkinesss, and instead, bring out a soft illuminator [to your strands,]” he explains.
16. French Balayage
Maybe you don’t have a trip booked to Saint Tropez this summer, but at least your hair can look the part. “This shade has become increasingly popular as we aim to promote natural-looking hair with rich, clean color tones. It frees you from over-coloring your hair and gives it a much-needed break during the warm weather,” explains Haliti. It’s done using the balayage technique, but the French way—which is to say the stylist will still hand-paint sections of your hair, but will skip the traditional teasing and using foils, resulting, in a lower-maintenance look.
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