The 8 Hottest Hair Color Trends

Update Your Locks with a Fresh New Look

Nicole Trunfio & Lily Aldridge. Aldridge (r) is sporting ombré highlights.
Lorenzo Santini/Getty Images

Feeling the need to update your style? A fresh, new hair color always does the trick. Go mellow and opt for the natural look of all-over highlights or spice it up by working in some pastel hues. Whatever look you choose, we've got the details on the hottest hair color trends, so you can pick a style perfectly tailored to both your personality and your natural coloring. For runway-approved hair, start here.


Yielding a more natural look than traditional foils, the balayage might be the most requested hair trend in salons. For a balayage, your colorist paints the color onto your hair, as opposed to traditional highlights, where your hair is separated, colored, and wrapped in foil. The hand-painted technique gives you a more natural look with a less obvious grow-out. Request a mix of highlights and lowlights for a sun-kissed glow. This technique is suitable for all hair colors, but looks especially stunning on blondes or medium brunettes. 


You know that sun-blessed, dimensional color rarely seen on anyone over the age of three? Well, if you're willing to spend some cash, you can get that look too. Babylights are superfine highlights that take way longer than traditional highlights to achieve the desired effect. Your stylist will separate your hair into many small sections, and then paint variations of color on sections of those sections. Unlike foils, babylights are painted onto the hair (similar to a balayage), so some strands have heavier color than others. It's a tedious process that can take a few hours, but the end result is gorgeous and more natural looking than a full head of foiled highlights or an all-over color.

The Classic Brunette 

"Boring," you say? No way! Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, blows this notion out of the park with her natural take on one of the hottest hair color trends! Many women are now embracing their natural brown hair color and stepping it up a notch by going for rich, chestnut shades and caramel hues. Go for a "French brown" to eliminate any warm copper or golden tones. This two- to three-step process (depending on your colorist) involves pre-coloring the hair before adding an all-over final shade. The French-brown technique gives a natural, multidimensional effect that won't go brassy on you.

Sombré (Or Subtle Ombré)

The passé ombré paved the way for a more subdued style—the sombré. “I think ombré ... (dark roots and dip-dyed ends), is out,” said Matrix hairstylist George Papanikolas in an article by The Powder Room. Instead, Papanikolas chooses the sombré technique for a softer way to achieve that summer grown-out look. Like the ombré, the sombré starts out dark at the roots and then transitions down the hair shaft to a lighter shade. However, the key to a polished sombré is incorporating more variation of color to avoid the ombré's unsightly line of delineation.


Long lives the platinum blonde! It seems this hair color never goes out of style, as blondes continue to abandon golden honey tones for lighter, icier shades. Keeping your hair this blonde is high maintenance, though. So make sure you want to invest both the time and the money it takes to maintain your roots. And before you opt for that bleached-blond look, ensure that it suits your skin tone. Out of all the hair color trends, this one can go way wrong if it's forced onto someone with an incompatible skin color. 


Bronde is that perfect shade between blonde and brunette. First made popular by supermodel Gisele Bündchen, this hair color trend stands the test of time. Of course, you have to be blessed with blonde, dirty blond, or medium brown hair to pull this look off. But the key to achieving this effect is having your stylist incorporate tones that will jive with your skin color. Maybe you go a little browner or a little more blonde, depending. A good colorist will know just how much of your natural tone to pull through and what to brighten up. 

Cayenne Spice Red

Red hair is big right now and you don't have to be a natural redhead to rock it. Enter—cayenne spice red, one of the hottest hair color trends to hit Hollywood. No, it's not orange, but rather a pumpkin hue with gorgeous golden undertones. Again, make sure you have the right skin tone before sprinkling on the spice. But if you can pull it off, your ginger locks will be the envy of even your most conservative friends. 

Pastel Dip-Dye

Many celebrities rock dip-dyed pastels. Pale pinks, baby blues, apricots, and light violets can all be seen in magazines and on the runway. This "unicorn hair color" references hues that are not found on anyone's natural head of hair. If you don't want to go all out, consider dip-dying a few strands of hair at the end of each shaft. This noncommittal approach to incorporating color assures you won't damage your entire head of hair (remember, you need to bleach it first before applying color). And if you hate it, just lop it off above the dye line. Or opt for temporary colors, which wash out in a shampoo or two.

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