7 Top Summer Hair Colours & How To Ask For Them

What's new in hair colour right now? We're so glad you asked. There's a whole spectrum of shade options, which is both exciting and overwhelming when you're planning your next appointment. To help, we asked some of our favourite colourists to break down the exact tones and styles they're excited about for summer — like a surprisingly low-maintenance platinum-adjacent blonde, or a tone of gold that reads as almost pearlescent.
Whether you're heading in for a bi-annual refresh on your summer highlights or looking for something completely fresh to go along with a new short haircut, we've got your inspiration ahead.

"Raw" Blonde

When asked about her favourite colour trend of summer, colourist Alex Brownsell immediately mentioned her recent client, model Iris Law. "I love Iris Law’s bleached hair," says Alex. "This blonde is ultra-pale, but not quite as cool-toned as pure platinum. I’d call [it] a 'raw blonde' as the bleach is left untoned, keeping the colour super bright and fun for summer. "
Here's how to ask for it: According to Alex, you want to ask your colourist to lift the hair with bleach, but skip the toner. "No toner — instead, silver conditioner was used to remove some of the yellow tones," Alex explains of Iris' colour. "The whole process takes about an hour to apply and then the bleach is left on for 45-60 minutes, depending on the depth of the natural hair. After this is all washed and shampooed, the silver conditioner stays on for five minutes, which helps neutralise any warmth but not overtone the hair."
For maintenance, you'll want to refresh your roots every six weeks, either at home with a bleach kit or (ideally) at the salon. Between touch-ups, you can alternate Bleach London Silver Conditioner, £8, with a bonding shampoo and conditioner to keep your colour looking fresh and your strands healthy.

Midsummer Brunette

Richy Kandasamy, a colourist for R+Co, says that a shiny, dimensional brunette is designed for a natural summer growout. Take inspiration from senior colour technician Maxine at Heshersons. "The midsummer brunette is an amalgamation of rich deep brunette hues with light mid-summer reflects for dimension," he explains. It's a "natural" and "minimalist" colour trend, as compared to your dramatic bleach blondes.
Here's how to ask for it: You should bring photo references to your appointment. But beyond that, the word you want to use when describing this kind of colour is "seamless". As for what to expect with the appointment: "It will take an hour and a half to two hours," Richy explains. "The technique is a classic seamless highlight."

Strawberry Red

When thinking of red colour, the undertones are especially important, as that's what differentiates strawberry (a gilded red-orange) from copper (a darker, true red). Moroccanoil's colour ambassador Matt Rez explains the exact tone to aim for right now as "a copper red base colour with super-fine strawberry blonde babylights." He explains, "Having the orange undertone to red hair colour gives it the most natural result. I stay away from purple or blue tones when it comes to redheads."
Here's how to ask for it: Ask for highlights and midlights to be woven simultaneously, Matt explains (midlighting is a technique that blends the root colour to the ends). "This is the only way to get the perfect natural results in most hair colours," Matt says.
All colours fade with washes over time — but red in particularly is notorious for its quick fade. "To keep your colour vibrant and shiny between salon visits, I suggest using Moroccanoil’s High Shine Gloss Color Depositing Mask in Clear, £28," Matt says. "[It] gives the benefits of an at-home deep conditioning treatment with a professional-strength gloss service."

"Oysterette" Gold

Richy calls blonde with reflective gold undertones an "oysterette" shade, and he's loving it for summer. "It’s a clean, rich blonde," he explains, "not warm or cool, but balanced." This example on model Kae, a client at Bleach London, shows an oysterette blonde with a warmer base that gives it the illusion of a "golden hour" glow.
Here's how to ask for it: This is a single-process blonde that will require bleach and toning. However, the key is to bring reference photos of someone that looks to have a hair colour and texture similar to yours. That way, your colourist will be better able to achieve the tone of blonde that has the reflective quality by going a touch warmer or cooler, depending on your base tone. For maintenance, Richy recommends a purple shampoo and colour-protective hair mask.

Caramel Glow

Maryann Hennings, a film and TV hairdresser who most recently worked as the lead stylist on Daisy Jones & The Six, tells us that well-placed highlights can make fine or thin hair appear fuller. If your base tone is brown, you'll want to ask for a "dimensional" brunette. "Highlights give hair texture, which is great," says Maryann. Colourist Justin Anderson agrees: "I love a colour you can live in, and it still looks expensive weeks after the salon," he says. "I've noticed a big trend with variations of chocolate and caramel hues to add a bit of depth in a very natural yet noticeable way." Take cue from this shade by Maria at Live True London.
Here's how to ask for it: You’re looking for a colourist who specialises in fine, hand-painted highlights — and your job is to come prepared with plenty of visuals. "The number one thing you should do is bring in lots of example photos to your colourist," says Justin. "This will better explain your vision so your colourists can bring it to life." One of our favourite examples, shown above, comes from Carla Lorenz, a NYC-based colourist at Jenna Perry Hair Studio.

Natural Chocolate

A bit of an anti-colour colour trend, "natural chocolate" conveys a minimalist vibe and can help get previously colour-treated hair back to a baseline tone. We love this shade on model Coco, posted to Instagram by award winning afro and textured hair specialist Michelle Thompson. Think: hand-painted highlights for sun-kissed dimension that reads as natural.
Here's how to ask for it: How you approach this trend will depend on what state your hair is in currently. If your hair is already a shade of brown naturally, this might be as simple as a hair gloss. Colourist Rita Hazan says that the tone should be one shade lighter or darker than your natural base shade — she prefers darker for the added shine. On the other hand, if your hair is in need of a colour correction, it might require a single process, a cut, and a bit of highlighting.

Earthy Blonde

We don't often see a bleached tone described as "earthy". However, this blonde shade on Rebecca Graham pictured by Michelle, feels grounded because there's a bit of warmth that keeps the platinum tone from turning icy. It's similar to the aforementioned oysterette gold, but more beige-yellow in tone.
Here's how to ask for it: Ask for a shade of beige blonde that's not over-lifted or too pale and incorporates a balance of golden and purple tones while keeping some of the natural warmth in your hair, recommends Cherise Wilson, a colourist at Marie Robinson Salon. The key word is "neutral," so that you don't lean too warm or too cool.
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