From “liquid brunette” to “Bambi blonde," 2023’s trending shades certainly didn’t leave us wanting, but if the world's top colorists are anything to go by, there’ll be a host of new hues taking over salons in 2024, and there’s something for everyone.
Here’s all the inspiration you need, and then some.
When it comes to bob haircuts, the Italian style — chin-skimming with face-framing edges designed to be tossed to the side — is still trending upwards, according to hairstylist Dimitris Giannetos. If you're looking for a color to go with it, Giannetos loves this "hazelnut latte" tone: bronde (midway between brunette and blonde) with cool, slightly milky highlights. It's both dimensional and low-maintenance. On Rita Ora, Giannetos used a hair gloss, the L'Oreal Paris Le Color Gloss in Smoky Bronde, which gives a subtle, shiny lift to dulling or brassy balayage-d or highlighted hair — and you can apply it in the shower.
If committing to regular salon appointments puts you off something new, try mushroom brown, a low-maintenance, cool-toned, earthy brunette. Stéphane Ferraira, senior colorist at Live True London, says that we’re going to shun “polished” colors and embrace more natural shades like this one, which boasts minimal upkeep. For the perfect mushroom brown, ask your stylist for a cool toned brown that sits close to your natural root color with some balayage or highlights peppered throughout the mid-lengths and ends. We love how this shade defines Amaka Hamelijnck’s curls.
Cyd Charisse, hair colorist and Hairstory contributor, predicts salons will breathe new life into traditional balayage in 2024. This time around, it’s finer and more understated; colorists are calling it “baby balayage." Charisse says, “The heart of 2024’s hair color fashion is subtlety. We’re talking about delicately hand-painted highlights, just at the tips of your locks, which create a mesmerizing, naturally dimensional look that’s chic, effortless and natural.” Look to this shade by Zoë Irwin, editorial, color and trend ambassador for Matrix Haircare.
Introducing the new copper, a “tangy” shade which merges apricot, strawberry and peach tones, says Ferraira. “Copper apricot can be worn as balayage [freehand highlighting from the mid-lengths to ends], as well as all over color or highlights,” Ferraira says (the latter of which usually starts at the root). Balayage requires less effort to maintain, adds Ferraira. “This look is relatively easy to create as hair tends to naturally warm up when lifted, meaning you needn’t treat the hair as much to get the perfect hue.” This shade by hair artist Ryenne Snow fits the bill perfectly.
“Expensive brunette” shows no sign of letting up: “This is a new wave of ‘quiet luxury’ hair, where rich, opulent brunette shades reign supreme,” says Charisse. It’s the glossy finish that makes it appear expensive, so keeping your hair in tip top condition is key. Invest in regular trims, particularly if you’re using hot tools. Also try a hair mask like Amika Hydrorush Intense Moisture Mask, or a gloss treatment like Ouai Hair Gloss. Jennifer Covington-Bowers, stylist, colorist and Hairstory contributor, also calls this “deep cocoa brown." Ask your stylist for a rich brunette with depth.
If you’re not quite swayed by blonde, brunette or copper, settle on caramelized peach, which occupies a space between the three. Darijo, artistic director and signature colorist at Gielly Green, says that caramelized peach suits all kinds of personalities and haircut styles. They advise asking for a mix of deeper caramel tones mixed with light pink hues throughout the mid-lengths and ends to keep the hair balanced. It works especially well on this layered cut by Marcela Hernandez.
Opalizing is the new way to wear platinum blonde, according to Irwin. It marries very subtle blue, violet and pink tones to give an otherwise quite flat color lots of dimension, like this shade by Paco Latorre, creative director at Live True London. Irwin’s technique is to blend all three hues in a herringbone pattern so that each strand of hair glistens in the light, just like an opal stone. Darijo also calls this trend “celestial silver” thanks to its holographic nature, while Live True’s Ferraira has coined it “pearlescent white." Make no mistake, it could take a long time to reach the desired level of brightness, says Ferraira. Be prepared for regular maintenance, too.
Atomic blonde is a trend that Irwin has been working on at the John Frieda salon in London. It’s all about “deep teasing”, she says: using a natural color at the root and melting this into the mid-lengths and ends at different levels. This means that those with dark hair, brows and eyes can wear it easily. “The atomic age is a subgenre of science fiction and retro-futurism,” says Irwin. Take inspiration from this blended, icy color by Reggie Graham.
Deep, graphite tones make dark eyes pop, says Irwin, who predicts that gray will come into its own in 2024. In fact, it’s all about gray contouring: dyeing specific sections of hair so that they stand out among the rest for a real statement. “Previously, people were simply just accepting gray but this is gray as a trend,” says Irwin. Take a cue from Glory Rose on Instagram, who proves that gray contouring works beautifully on curls.
Covington-Bowers has noticed “root melting” making its way into salons across the globe. It’s a graduated, dark-to-light look starting at the roots, says Covington-Bowers, which flows seamlessly into the mid-lengths. This makes the hair look “lived in” and eliminates the dreaded line of demarcation (aka obvious regrowth). It means lower maintenance. This is a good blonde option for those who want less upkeep. Take inspiration from this bronde (blonde-meets-brunette) color by balayage specialist Teegan Hurren at Live True London.
If you aren’t keen on the icy blonde tones taking hold, Francesca Spirito, stylist at Neil Moodie Studio, says that warmer, golden hues are just as on trend — much like this color posted to Instagram by award winning afro and textured hair specialist, Michelle Thompson. “Tell your colorist that you want to go for a honey-caramel vibe, and they will talk you through what’s possible,” advises Spirito. With a richer tone like this, regrowth is slightly less noticeable compared to aforementioned atomic blonde.
“I’m seeing so much of this head-turning and flattering shade,” says Irwin of this lilac-grey tone. In fact, she predicts that gray experts are going to be just as big as balayage specialists in 2024, thanks to the exciting color palettes that they now have to play around with. This smoky, muted lavender by Sara on Instagram hits the nail on the head.
Irwin drew inspiration from the Paco Rabanne and H&M collaboration, specifically the metallic dresses and mirrored accessories, which were a nod to the ’90s. “I felt a tone needed to be launched around this because it brings designer to a new audience,” says Irwin. Enter: sonic silver. Ask your colorist for a “beige, silver ash." We love this shade by hairdresser Miki on Instagram.
“Midnight navy is blue within a gray palette,” says Irwin, who predicts that this will be a key tone in 2024. “It looks amazing on textured hair and curls, especially,” adds Irwin, like this color on Grace Francis, posted to Instagram by Michelle Thompson. The intense shine that the blue tinge lends each curl is mesmerizing.
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.
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