The hottest hair colour trends of 2021 – from Parisian brunette to lilac and navy blue

The hottest hair colour trends of 2021 – from Parisian brunette to lilac and navy blue

Written by Rebecca Cox

Craving a new-season colour for the new year? Four of the industry’s leading stylists pick their favourite hair colour trends for 2021, and tell us how to wear them for maximum impact.     

Never could we have anticipated the end-of-year countdown quite like this. As we finally kiss goodbye to 2020 and welcome a (tentatively) more promising 2021, how about a new look to see in the new year in style? 

If one hair colour trend encapsulated 2020 it would be home dye – but what can we expect from 2021? Some of this year’s new-found love of low-maintenance beauty will prevail, but with salons finally reopened, what colours should we be asking for to stay ahead of the hair curve? 

We asked four of the industry’s top hair stylists which colour trends they’ll be recommending for the new season, and how to wear them – with recommendations for every hair type.

First up, Dom Seeley, celebrity hairstylist to the likes of Kendall Jenner and Jessica Alba, and international creative director of Color Wow.

Trend: block colour

“I predict big things for rich, one-shade hues for 2021. Women want luxe, expensive-looking hair and a new spring in their locks after the lockdowns of 2020. This look will work for anybody. The best thing about one-shade hues or colours is that people can be more daring.”

Top tip:

“Opt for something as close to your natural shade as possible. If you do want to go bold, always opt for two shades darker than your natural shade, or two shades lighter.”

Trend: dark roots

“Rooted looks are sure to be big in 2021. Lockdown meant we had to go longer between appointments, and we have embraced our roots more. I predict that softer, more lived-in tonal balayage and ombre colours will be present in 2021. It will be great for anyone not wanting to commit to high-maintenance colour.”

Top tip:

“If you want to be super low-maintenance, opt for uncoloured roots – they can last up to a year between salon visits. Don’t clash warm and cool tones as it can make hair colour dull or muddy. To further stretch out salon visits, invest in a great root cover/touch-up powder.”

Trend: bronde

“My final prediction for 2021 is that blondes will become warmer; think more honeys and copper hues. Brondes will take the forefront for those who don’t want to be brunette or blonde; it sits in the middle, warming up all hair colour palettes with a rich and youthful appeal. This colour will work on just about all hair colours and types. Warmer blondes reflect light and appear brighter, giving a radiant and healthy-looking glow to the skin.”

Top tip:

“The key to finding the perfect shade is to look at your vein colour. If your veins are green, you’ll suit warm golden tones. If your veins are blue then you fall in the cooler tonal family.”

Next up with her take on 2021 hair colour trends is Siobhan Jones, international colour artist and educator for L’Oreal, and co-founder of Rose & Wild Hair. 

Trend: blonde foilayage

“This is the ultimate blonde balayage effect. 2021 brings us the perfect combination of bright white lights and seamlessly blended colour with foilayage. This creates cleaner, cooler blonde highlights that still have that low-maintenance feel. The highlights are placed under the parting to give a subtler regrowth and blend out from your natural hair, while still remaining bright and light.”

Top tip:

“Opt to have more of the foilayage around the face. This means you gain maximum impact and transformation without having to commit to a high-maintenance colour all over.”

Parisian brunette

“Rediscovered the love of your natural brunette hue in lockdown? A back-to-basics gloss is a perfectly prescribed blend of brunette shades made to enhance and revive your natural hair colour. Multi-tonal brunette shades give an uber-natural and low-maintenance effect whilst adding mirror-like shine and an understated Parisian chic finish. Think Emily In Paris-style brunette waves.”

Top tip:

“This colour is great for those wishing to enhance their natural brunette hair or return to their natural colour. The Parisian brunette can also be tailored to suit most skin tones as it is multi-tonal and combines warm and cool shades. Not a must, but this Parisian brunette looks super-cute with a Taylor Lashae-inspired bob.”

Trend: colour-kissed curls

“Great for textured hair and afro hair, this trend sees each bend, curl and wave enhanced and defined with a touch of colour; giving the impression that each curl has been kissed by the sun. This adds contrast and definition; the shadow and light of the colour is strategically placed to really showcase each movement and bend individually. A mix of butterscotch and fudge hues intertwined throughout the ends of the hair works well as a finish.”

Top tip:

“These tones are often best-suited to those who suit warmer shades. However the application can be tailored to suit cooler tones by introducing a cooler shade around the hairline and face.”

Trend: chalky pastels

“I feel 2021’s chalk trend will make pastel hues a bit more accessible for the masses. They will have a cooler and dustier finish, which means the effect can appear subtler and less vivid than previous incarnations. Dusty rose, powder peach and muted lilac are a few of the main contenders all created by adding a little extra ash to soften your chosen shades.”

Top tip:

“One for blondes: these tones will wash out of your hair, which is great if you are looking to update your hair for an event. However if you are wishing to make this a more permanent fixture for 2021, the colour will need to be regularly reapplied.”

Earl Simms is a global hairstylist with a client list including Sienna Miller, Victoria Beckham, Pooja Mor and Emilia Clarke. Here are his top hair colour trends to watch for 2021. 

Trend: lilac

“Lilac is a cool, interesting colour. It’s a modern-day, fun take on the blue rinse and an inclusive colour that works for all ages and genres, including men. Lilac is not too bright or strong and can be a soft way to use colour.”

Top tip:

“Super-flattering, lilac also works well to complement grey hair.”

Trend: navy blue

“A strong statement colour, but navy blue can still look understated if worn well. This works better on darker hair – short or medium-length afro or dark caucasian hair. If you want to have a bit of a colour without being too loud, this is a great choice. It looks best as a full colour.”

Top tip:

“No matter what colour you choose for your hair, always remember that healthy hair is important. Whatever texture hair you have, the colour is always going to take better, look richer and be at its best if it’s healthy. It is always best to go to a professional colourist to create your looks and help with ideas – they can offer you options and will understand what is possible and would work best for your hair and your skin tone.”

Finally, Lisa Shepherd, multi-award winning hair colourist and founder of hair care brand, The Hair Boss, shares her pick of hot hair colour trends for next year.

Trend: freehand colour

“Balayage or any type of freehand colour is still a super-popular trend. It’s great on any hair type, any hair length (even short) and works on any texture. The grow out is gracious and seems to get better as time goes by, as long as it is freshened up now and again.”

Top tip:

“If you want to move on from balayage, try face-framing. This is when you see what is called “the money piece”. It’s perfectly-placed, seamless colour that just sits around the hairline. It’s quite tricky to achieve but it does look totally divine and effortless.”

Trend: back to basics

“Low-maintenance colour started in 2020 and will carry through to 2021, as we work with our own natural hair colour (including grey) now more than ever before. Surprisingly, how we achieve that is a highly-skilled technique. We place the base colour back within the natural and existing coloured hair; it’s called creating negative space. All this means is we are reducing the amount of lights/colour and increasing and encouraging the amount of the natural base.”

Top tip:

“This might take a little effort to get started, but once you’re back to your natural hue, you’ll be able to spend 2021 enjoying truly low-maintenance and beautiful hair.”

Images: Getty/Igor Ustynskyy

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