The Coolest Winter Hair Colors Are Heating Up
If you were to ask a hairstylist when the best time is to dye your hair, many of them would say winter. That's not just because the cold-weather season is bursting with exciting new hair color ideas to try, but also because there are fewer external aggressors (think: sun, salt water, chlorine) that could ruin the color you just spent time and money on.
Even if you're someone who switches up your look often, the task of deciding your next big change is never an easy one, so it can't hurt to look at the current trends. According to experts, there's an underlying theme you'll be seeing with the winter hair colors this year: each one is warm, cozy, and flattering across all skin tones. From there, you can choose to either go bold or more toned down with your color of choice. From low-key "winter gold" and "sombré" highlights to the more jet-blacks or warm strawberry-blonds, the possibilities are endless.
"Obviously, there will always be your basic colors — your browns, your blonds — but what we're also seeing now is more of those 'trend' colors," master stylist Edward Tricomi of Warren Tricomi salons in NYC tells POPSUGAR. Chassidy Mickale Woods, hairstylist and ORS Haircare consultant, echoes that sentiment. "Bold colors aren't getting the side-eye like they used to and self-expression is much more acceptable."
Still, if you're after something more subtle, there's plenty of room for that too this winter. Rich brown tones and multidimensional blonds will also be trending in varying depth and boldness. When you're going the permanent route, though, seek the help of a pro: "You will always get a better color job at a salon — first because you have a professional doing it, and second, they know how to work with the products in a more meaningful way," Tricomi says.
If you're looking for a little inspiration (or could just use a break before your 6 p.m. work call), we've asked a handful of experts to break down their favorite winter hair color ideas. Just remember: "Have fun with your color," Woods says. "It's just hair." Keep scrolling to see them for yourself.
— Additional reporting by Kelsey Castañon
Strawberry-Blond For Winter
Strawberry blond, as seen on stars like Adele and Sydney Sweeney, is one of the best winter hair colors for blonds. The shade is characterized by its light blond hue with a soft red undertone, striking the perfect balance between straight-up blond and fiery copper. "I describe it as a warm golden blond with a hint of red," Sally Hershberger NoMad senior colorist Jacob Schmidt previously told POPSUGAR.
Jet-Black For Winter
In search of a winter hair color for dark hair? Jet-black is a classic choice for anyone looking to make a statement. It's extra-glossy with lots of shine, exucting health. "There is an element of black hair that has moved on from the gothic, heavy box-dyed color to something that looks natural," Adam Reed, celebrity hairstylist and founder of Arkive Headcare, previously told POPSUGAR.
Winter Gold For Winter
Adding golden tones to your hair color can warm up your overall look for winter. The winter gold hair-color trend, in particular, is perfect for medium- to dark-brown hair bases. "[It's] a brunette shade that uses gold as the dominant tone, rather than red, chocolate, or ash," celebrity hairstylist and Evo Hair brand ambassador Tom Smith previously told POPSUGAR. It's been popularized by it girls like Hailey Bieber, Kaia Gerber, and Beyoncé.
Flannel Highlights For Winter
The prettiest tweak on balayage: winter flannel highlights. "This look creates ribbons of color while still maintaining dimension," says Lorena Martinez, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "These chunky highlights and money pieces frame the perimeter around the face and look great styled with a round brush for movement. The benefit is that you have a pop of color while still maintaining a high-dimension look."
If you're looking for a bigger color punch, consider playing with the contrast between your base and highlight: "Ask your colorist for ribbons that pop and to leave a lot of background color to ensure the color stands out. Create this with a traditional balayage where it really showcases each piece rather than the overly saturated 'balayage' that we commonly see."
Rich Auburn For Winter
"I have been working a lot with earth tones," colorist Jeremy Tardo says, adding that the auburn color was an earthy "copper with depth." Not only does this shade look stunning the second you walk out of the salon, but it also looks more natural as it fades.
"This look works well for you if you have dark or light hair that you want to change up and brighten," he says. Those with a light skin tone should go for strawberry and light copper hues; dark skin tones should opt for auburn and rich copper shades.
Regardless of the exact shade of auburn you choose based on your skin tone, colorist Jennifer Korab says, "It's a great way to warm up your look for the winter. The warm, rich red tones can be more on the natural side, or they can be bold and bright." As it goes with all things beauty: it's up to your individual preference on which way you go.
Bronde For Winter
Like your favorite cashmere sweater or a cup of hot cocoa, this winter's color trend for blonds is all about being cozy with a bronde hue. "Clients who are usually lovers of bright platinum hair are requesting a darker golden blond to warm things up for winter," Korab says. "We are seeing a shift in bright blonds to warmer, darker tones with more lightness around the face. A lot of my clients are adding a money-piece highlights to keep that pop of blond around the face."
To get that face-framing pop of color with this winter blond hair color, ask your stylist for warmer pieces of darker blond tones around the face that also blend in naturally with the rest of your hair.
Sombré Highlights For Winter
Move over, ombré — the latest trend is all about sombré highlights (which combines the words "soft" and "ombré"). Like balayage, it's more about the coloring technique than the shade itself. "Sombré can be done with all sorts of colors," celebrity hairstylist and Dove Hair ambassador Jennifer Yepez previously told POPSUGAR. "You will see a softer change of color in the hair instead of the typical dark root into blond."
You can get the sombré look on blond, brunette, and red hair, to name just a few of the possibilities, so when you head to the salon, the first thing your colorist will want to do is establish your base. Once you determine your starting point, you'll want to look for some inspiration.
Winter Hair-Color Trend: Brownie-Batter Brunette
Brunette hair is getting a (delicious) glow up this season thanks to the "brownie batter" color trend. "Chocolate is a girl's best friend this coming year," LA-based colorist Ashleigh Marie says. "Lots of brunettes are embracing their roots and toning down the highlights to a more subtle tone-on-tone [brown color] with less contrast."
Think of this trend like the "expensive brunette" color: it's all about subtle dimension, shine, and hair health. When you get to the salon, ask your stylist to keep your brunette base but weave in slightly lighter tones of brown throughout. Should you want to forgo highlights, you can ask them to finish your appointment with a brown hair gloss to lock in that brunette color and add some dimension.