When it comes to hair color, trends don’t really change, they shift — which is the perfect way to describe the breakout looks we'e seeing in 2018. After 2017's full year of cozy, hygge-inspired hues, we've seen brighter, bolder, and spicier shades this year.
Our personal favorites? Look-at-me acid colors (R.I.P. rainbow pastels) and red-hot "cinnamon" looks. Meanwhile, '90s-inspired gold and caramel highlights will both brighten and warm up dark hair. Of course, as these the trends emerge, we'll continue to update this story with the latest and greatest, end of year inspiration.
Call your colorist, ready your save button, and click ahead for a sneak peek at the top trends that have been trending this year.
This rich, luscious red became the hair color de jour
this year. According
to Colleen Flaherty
, master colorist & educator at Spoke and Weal
salon in New York City, through red velvet cake is universally delicious, the hair color recipe isn't one size fits all. The color and process will look different depending on your hair color and hair type.
To keep your color smooth and shiny between salon appointments, prepare to cut back on washing. Red velvet hair color will need some additional maintenance. Pro tip: Adding color-safe products to your regimen will help keep your hair vibrant between appointments. (Flaherty recommends the Aveda Color Conserve
range.) You may also want to make an appointment for a gloss treatment to revive your color
when it starts to fade.
For even more shade inspiration, we're looking to RiRi
back when she rocked this gorgeous crimson color.
Soft, denim-inspired shades of blue
were popular in L.A. in 2017, but lately a brighter, bolder iteration has been popping up all over Hollywood
. Many celebs have already taken to the color trend, and we're thinking that the rest of the world is sure to follow.
Earlier this year, Fergie gave us an early taste of neon blue with tinted tips that were created by celebrity colorist George Papanikos.
(Yep, the same colorist who just gave Jonah Hill hot pink hair.
) To get Fergie's cool blue temporary color, Papanikos told R29
that he used weft hair extensions dipped with Matrix's SoColor Cult
hair dye (a salon-only treatment) in the shade Admiral Navy, adding that blue hair can really elevate an outfit. "The hair color is that extra accessory to complete the look," Papanikos explains
Beyoncé likes to take her hair lighter and blonder with the help of her go-to colorists Rita Hazaan
and Neal Farinah
when she's performing. We haven't seen Bey step out with blue hair IRL, but Farinah posted a teaser Instagram of the On The Run Tour Book, which shows the queen rocking a steel blue bob, too.
You can add some edge to your look with temporary blue streaks applied to the underside of your hair. All the cool... with zero commitment.
Here, you can see how rad a royal blue punch of color looks on platinum blonde hair. And styled in a high, braided pony? Even chicer.
All of our colorists have either noticed the uptick or already started brightening their color concoctions, because acid hair is the next rainbow hue to sweep the industry. Call it what you want — neon, dayglow, electric, '80s-inspired — but things are going more Technicolor, less My Little Pony. "I think the biggest color trend will be acid colored hair," hairstylist Christian Wood
says. Here, cult colorist Guy Tang shows us how to take pink into 2018.
Not sure if you can handle the it? Take a cue from in-demand L.A. colorist Cherin Choi: She tempers the brightness of the trend with a natural-looking root, which allows for an easier (and more predictable) grow out.
Hairstylist Marcia Hamilton is already onboard — she gave Alicia Keys technicolor box braids this fall.
Instead of vibrant color allover, why not focus all the attention to your roots? It'll convince everyone that the fading color was totally on purpose.
Shades of Gold
Blond shades went dramatically warmer in 2017 — and they're staying put on the more golden side of the spectrum. "A lot more women are going for the gold!" Mèche colorist Chris Green
reports. "Blonds will still be bright, but will have a soft, golden hue to them and brunettes will have subtle, golden flecks weaved in for dimension and shine." Celeb hair colorist Kari Hill
agrees that warmth will be huge in 2018 and suggests asking for a "'90s, soft gold, almost buttery hue."
Here, Hairstory's Julia Elena proves that a bleach and tone need not mean cool — this warm shade wins the highest honors. (So, gold.)
Greene's been warming up his formula with gold-based color that helps the whole look shine. "Having warmth (gold) in your hair is very flattering to almost every skin tone and it is so much shiner than ashy colors," he adds.
Another of her recent looks, Elena strikes a balance between bold and bright by weaving vibrant gold through her client's hair.
However, Hill notes that at the end of the day, it's all about what looks good on your complexion. Her guidelines? "If you're pale or have pink or blue/green undertones, you can go for the icy look," she says. "But, if you have golden or yellow undertones it's best not to clash and go with what is the best look on you: a buttery, warmer blond."
While the combination might sound as appetizing as sucking on a Werther's Original during summer happy hour, the result is drop dead gorgeous — and the perfect marriage of cool pink and warm caramel that's daring, but not too daring. "It's your hair, but just jazzed up!" Choi explains. "It's natural looking color that blends in easily and adds texture and dimension."
The look might be bold, but it's not hard to achieve. To score the look: Add a gloss over old highlights
(the easiest route, if it applies to you) or ask for sombré done with ribbons of caramel and pink.
Even blonds can try the look on for size — just opt for orangey tones to bridge the gap between blond and caramel. (For once, brass is a good thing!)
A deeper take on the look, ask for rich, warm caramel woven into dark hair with a touch of pink. The end result is almost burgundy — but with way more dimension.
Prefer an all-over color? Hamilton gave Tinashe this rad color for her latest cover: A pink-toned caramel we can't stop staring at.
Fiery Orange, Pink, & Red
"I’ve had a lot of clients recently asking for more unnatural shades of red, orange, and pink," Elena says. She notes that the spicy shades are popular because they're fresh and marry the top trends, but are also unexpected and push the boundaries a bit more than most. "One of my clients picked it specifically because she wanted to step outside of her comfort zone, one picked red because he wanted something loud because he has a big personality."
"Red is a loud color and it demands your attention!" Elena says. "The people who are asking for this are asking to be seen and are opting for a color that feels like a big change."
Celeb colorist Cassondra Kaeding notes that the look does require more upkeep. Not only does all-over red, pink, or orange mean you need to have your roots touched up every 4-6 weeks, it's also a shade that is prone to fading faster than most. Her tip? Wash in lukewarm, not hot, water and ask your colorist for a color-depositing mask to freshen things up at home.
Sure, the upkeep's a lot. But the payoff? So worth it.
Photo: Via @kimkardashian.
Even Kim Kardashian couldn't deny the allure of bright pink dye. "Kim and I wanted to do a pink that would complement her skin tone," her hairstylist Chris Appleton told us. "There are so many types of pinks to try, so it's important that you work with one that suits your skin tone to get the right look."
We love Nicki Minaj's "Pink Lemonade
" braids, which start with a vibrant pink at the roots and fade into pretty pastel.
appearance by Lucie Fink.