4 Hair-Color Trends That Will Be Huge In 2021

For most of us, 2021 couldn't come soon enough. While we've all managed our expectations — understanding that the end of 2020 doesn't mean the end of COVID-19 — at the very least, the arrival of a new year is symbolic of new beginnings, transitions, and brighter, happier times ahead.

So, over the next few weeks, we mood board and manifest all the positive changes and personal gains for the shiny, clean slate to come. For you, that could mean organizing your closet or medicine cabinet. But we prefer to tackle the fun stuff first, like mapping out our 2021 haircut and color.


Starting with the latter — because highlights take more forethought than a simple refresh trim — we've laid out the four tones pros are predicting will trend in the new year. Find your inspiration, ahead.

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Icy Silver

Consider platinum silver the winter whites of hair color. The tone is cool and reflective, and according to colorist James Nguyen — the pro to credit for this killer gray metallic dye job — it's the perfect way to lean into a light, pastel-adjacent shade in the winter.
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If you're looking for an icy silver hair color that stops just short of full gray, channel an ash platinum, like this color by Houston-based colorist Janae Miller.
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Sand Tropez 

Colorist Karissa Schaudt turned us onto a trending golden bronde tone she's calling "sand tropez," which marries cool brown and warm blonde tones. "Mixing highlights and mid-lights creates this multi-dimensional shade of warm sandy and cool beige tones," explains Schaudt.

Plus, this visual, provided by NYC-based colorist Madison Rae Garrett out of SoHo's Spoke & Weal Salon, proves that sand-gold highlights are the perfect complement to cozy Zoom loungewear (which we'll still be wearing in 2021).
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Another reference, this one by way of L.A.-based colorist Bianca Hillier, shows the sand tropez tone applied via balayage for a color that can withstand a few months between touch ups.
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Blame The Queen's Gambit hype, or the fact that people are channeling major color changes for 2021, but statement red — or "rouge" tones, as Schaudt calls them — will trend in January. "It's a true red, meaning deeper than a copper, but lighter than auburn," Schaudt explains. "In most cases you'll achieve this color in one appointment, but I suggest keeping this as a single-process, as adding highlights would decrease the intensity." For shade, we're referencing this sophisticated red styled by artist Torin Ashtun.
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If you're looking for something a bit softer that still feels vibrant and rich, try a rouge tone that skews more strawberry, like this example by Redken colorist Max Gourgues.
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If you're a natural brunette, consider a hazelnut tone, which is all about brown-on-brown dimension. "A lighter brown highlight just breaks up an ordinary brunette," explains Ryan Trygstad, colorist and owner of Mark Ryan Salon in NYC. "It's dark, but not black, and reads very natural, like a golden brown or a reflective hazelnut." L.A.-based colorist Sierra Kener shows a closeup of a hazelnut highlight, proving its tonality.
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Brian Hawthorne, a colorist out of NYC's DevaChan Salon, tells us that his approach to achieving natural-looking brunette highlights is to use Pintura highlighting. "I think hand-painted highlights, such as our Pintura technique, is the best way to add natural-looking dimension without creating a stripe-y look," he explains. Colorist Carolyn Long shows a stunning example of hazelnut color on natural curls, achieved with a deep golden Pintura highlight.
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If you're thinking of trying a protective hairstyle in the new year, you can still get a two-toned hazelnut color. Just opt for warm-brown extensions for your braids or twists, like influencer Rahel Brhane.
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