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The 10 Freshest Hair Color Trends for 2021

Say goodbye to 2020 and ring in the new year with these exciting new hair color trends for 2021. From subtle shade changes that are easy to maintain, big, bold colors and soft pastels, to embracing some throwback classics with a twist— get inspired by these fresh new color palettes and modern styles that can refresh any look and add some variety to the upcoming season.


1. Silver Tones

Today, more clients are embracing their natural gray and silver hair. Instead of covering it up, colorists are choosing to blend gray hair with highlights or lowlights to build upon the beauty of what’s organically happening in the hair and magnify it. They are beautifully transitioning from covering up grays with a single process color, to blended, dimensional silver, white, and gray tones. Traditional blonde clients are also becoming bolder with full platinum cards and icier tones to embrace the upcoming winter.

Pro-Tip: Use different foil colors to track highlights and lowlight applications or use Smooth Heavyweight Foil for extra-icy platinum looks.


2. High Contrast Color

High contrast color is making a comeback! Today we are seeing an updated version of the popular 90’s chunky highlights trend but with a modern spin. Colorists are taking the trend of bright face frames and expanding it by adding high contrast highlights that add bright dimension throughout the entire head. Extended root shadows that blend dark roots into lighter strands are also gaining popularity, since they are an easier, lower maintenance way to create bold, high contrast color that pops!

Pro Tip: The Blending Brush Set and Mini Applicator Bottles make it easy to get a precise blend at the roots using just the right amount of root glaze you need.


3. Mushroom Brown

For a luxe, low maintenance look, many people are choosing mushroom brown, an earthy brunette tone. The “lived in” look is definitely on the rise in hair today and these earthy brown tones have a light golden, slightly green undertone for a subtle look with a soft grow out. Sticking with cool to neutral brown and buttery almond shades is the ultimate key to getting an earthy tint with a more natural, neutral result (not super yellow or ashy).


4. Reverse Bronde Balayage

Bronde hair is all about dimension with blended, natural-looking highlights. Blending brown and blonde hair lets clients enjoy the best of both worlds with a multidimensional, natural-looking, low maintenance result. Many clients have been asking for softer, more blended dimension in the hair for a subtle grow out. A reverse bronde balayage technique is a great transition for clients who no longer want to be super blonde or keep up with a full head of highlights. This process allows clients to go longer between appointments, which is ideal if they are not comfortable with frequent visits to the salon. To reduce frequent root touchups, we recommend transitioning them to lower maintenance glaze appointments. This keeps their hair looking shiny and healthy and the color looking fresh, but decreases the amount of time they spend in the chair. It’s a win-win for both the colorist and the client.

Pro-Tip: Use the Color Comb to apply and blend glaze seamlessly and evenly through the hair.


5. Burgundy Copper Tones

Deep cranberry, wine red, and shimmery copper are no longer hair colors just for fall. More clients are carrying this deep color trend into winter and spring and are warming up their hair color with these rich rouge tones. Auburn tones are especially great for brunettes looking for a hair color change. If they want to warm things up without going golden blonde or caramel, colorists can suggest these rich, dimensional warm reds for a bold and brilliant look.


6. Soft Pastels

Shades of lavender, lilac, soft pink, and baby blue are having a moment. Working from home has certainly given clients the opportunity to have more fun with their hair color. Soft pastels are perfect for adding color without being too dramatic and bright. These soft colors will fade and wash out in a gradual, yet attractive way, offering a low maintenance grow out.

Pro Tip: Get into the soft pink mood by using Pink Ombre Pop-Up Foils to add some style to your application!


7. Dimensional Hairline Details

Little details can make a big difference and the perfect placement of color can make the hair look more natural and sun kissed. Painting the hairline ensures that brightness will be maintained no matter how clients choose to wear their hair. Paint highlights at the hairline around the eyes to frame the face. Painting the hair underneath the nape of the neck adds definition and color and is especially great for clients who prefer low maintenance styles, like ponytails and high messy buns. Babylights are a perfect technique to use when creating a hairline blend.

Pro-Tip: Feather Bristle Brushes are perfect for creating soft, diffused details that are extremely natural looking since the soft bristles sweep effortlessly across the hair.


8. Tiger Eye Balayage

Inspired by the look of the striped copper, tiger eye gemstone, tiger eye hair is an updated balayage technique that harmoniously blends light copper, warm golden blonde, and caramel brunette tones for a striking, multidimensional effect. This innovative technique embraces the fact that most hair pulls warm when lifted, and draws attention to the warmth instead of trying to tone it down. The result is deep, warm base colors that transition into shades of caramel and bronze, and the darker and lighter shades play nicely against a warm skin tone. These subtle, melted bronze blends look luxurious yet effortless.


9. Warm/Cool Foilyage

Mixing warm golden tones with cooler, ashy blonde pieces creates a multidimensional baby blonde effect that works well with a variety of skin tones. It’s a nice change-up for hair that needs a touch of brightness and a little sunshine in the winter months. You can also cool down warmer shades by adding icy white-blonde highlights, so clients can be one step away from being full-on platinum blonde.

Pro-Tip: Use a mix of foils to insulate and provide extra lift for the icy tones, and then use an open-air painting technique with a Balayage Paint Brush on the pieces that you want to be a little warmer.


10. Strawberry Blonde Balayage

Delicious strawberry blonde balayage is a fun new take on traditional balayage that allows clients to play around with their color while still staying low maintenance. This innovative and playful look creates dimensional blonde ribbons that pop beautifully against soft red tones. Painting warm, red hues on blonde hair is also a gentle way to try out red tones without going full copper or burgundy and a unique way to add contrast and dimension to color.

Pro-Tip: Isolate painted pieces of hair with Balayage Film for seamless processing.


As you look ahead to 2021, we hope that you will try some of these new trends to add some color, brightness, and fresh artistry to the new year.

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