The Stylists Have Spoken: Winter Gold Is *The* Hair Color of 2023

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If you’re ready to enter the new year with a hair change, don’t wait until the ball drops to hop on the latest trend. A few winter hair colors (like 'Red Velvet Cake' and 'Expensive Brunette') are already gaining traction, but there’s one shade that top stylists predict is going to surpass them all in 2023: winter gold.

Red Velvet Cake and 9 Other Winter Hair Colors You're About to See Everywhere

Meet the Experts:

  • Min Kim is a hair colorist and global ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel 
  • George Papanikolas is a hair colorist and brand ambassador for Matrix
  • Nikki Chick is a hair colorist at The Marie Robinson Salon in New York

What Is Winter Gold?

‘Winter Gold’ is a brown shade featuring subtle pops of gold throughout your hair. “It’s a softer, subdued hue. The highlights have a muted warm golden tone to them (without any red or orange undertones) on brunettes, whereas on blondes, the effect is a dusty gold,” shares Papanikolas. This look works especially well for medium to dark brown locks, as it adds warmth and dimension for the season. 

Why Is It So Popular?

Celebs like Hailey Bieber, Zendaya and Kaia Gerber have been spotted wearing the shade recently, and if you a natural brunette, it’s a look that doesn’t require much time in the chair. “Hair colors with rich, subtle warm tones like winter gold are going to be a big trend for 2023 because they're low maintenance and complement all skin tones,” says Kim.

Another reason why we predict it’s going to be everywhere next year is the ongoing trend towards darker hair. As we’ve mentioned before expensive brunette gained mass popularity in 2022 for its blending of lowlights and highlights. The ‘Winter Gold’ shade just elevates and brightens hair in a subtler way. “Changing your hair color from time to time is exciting, especially when it comes to different seasons. Winter gold offers a perfect combination of warmer tones, while staying true to those darker roots,” adds Chick. 

How to Achieve the Trendy Color

Now, that you’re all caught up on the allure of winter gold, here’s how to achieve the trendy color. Note: Though you may be tempted to try this hue at home, all the stylists we spoke to recommend leaving this job to the pros because it involves a double-process. “Attempting a hair color or chemical service at home is risky! If you end up with damage, unwanted tone or placement, your salon bill can go up astronomically to fix it,” says Kim. Simply put: Book your salon appointment and have a few reference pictures ready to go.

According to the experts, a stylist should highlight key areas to create dimension and movement throughout your strands. Those areas include: the crown, ends and a few face-framing locks. “My favorite method is using the balayage technique. This approach will allow the stylist to completely customize the color for their client, control the level of lift (aka how blonde, warm or cool they want to go), and where the highlights are placed to best suit the person wearing the look,” explains Kim. 

Is the Process Different for Brunettes Vs Blondes?

Yes. While it’s easier for brunettes to try this color, that doesn’t mean blondes can’t get in on the fun. It just requires a few more steps to achieve the look. “The best way to achieve ‘Winter Gold’ is by lifting the hair to no lighter than a yellow tone,” shares Chick. “This process makes it less likely for the hair to fade too quickly. You want to make sure brunettes stay in the honey/golden tones and blondes stay in buttery tones.”

How to Maintain the Color At Home

Once you’re rocking your brand new color, invest in haircare products that help maintain shine and preserve your shade. We recommend shampooing once to twice a week and swapping in a clarifying formula every other week to reduce dullness. You’ll also want to use a hair mask once a week to keep those highlights golden. Kim adds that a hair mask (or deep conditioner) can nourish and protect your strands before your next touch up.

So, who’s ready for their golden hour glow up in 2023?

Experts' Recommendations: L’Oreal Professionnel Metal Detox Shampoo ($34); Matrix Total Results Unbreak My Blonde Conditioner ($43); Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask in Golden Blonde ($53)

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...