But colorists have been busy dreaming up all manner of new shades and innovative techniques in time for the cold months. Whether you’re after something dark and brooding to match the season, or you want to brighten things up a little, read ahead to uncover the hues that are going to be the talk of salons everywhere.
“Jet brunette” takes inspiration from last year’s trending shade “liquid brunette,” but it’s twice as glossy, say Nicola Clarke, hair colorist at John Frieda, and Zoë Irwin, the salon’s creative director, who coined the trend together. “At Fashion Week, show after show, the brunette hair became much darker,” says Irwin, but she adds that there are a few rules to wearing this amount of depth. First, the base color must be super dark — hence the “jet” — and your colorist should layer a shade or a half lighter over the top for more nuance. A glaze (similar to a gloss, but a tad thicker) can be applied through the ends to maximize shine. “Mixing all of these can be super flattering,” adds Irwin, who says the shade reigned supreme at the Versace and Stella McCartney S/S24 shows. Lorena Castro, hairstylist and balayage expert, and Michelle Thompson, award-winning afro and textured hair specialist, prove that it’s mesmerizing.
Irwin has a smart trick for dialing up the shine once you’re at home and styling your hair yourself: “We sprinkle a little Virtue Healing Oil onto a Mason Pearson brush and simply pull this through the hair.” She suggests starting at the back rather than the front. “Concentrate on your mid-lengths and ends so that you have the least amount of product on your hands when it comes to the front,” she advises. This will help you avoid a greasy, stringy look to your strands.
Irwin and Clarke dreamt up “Bambi blonde” during London Fashion Week. As the likes of Miu Miu and Stella McCartney sent models down the runway in grey marl, camel tones, and soft honey hues, they became convinced that a mix of all three would make the ultimate autumn blonde. “We both looked at the fawn palette, which is a little bit flatter and more wearable,” says Irwin, which is where the reference to Bambi comes from. She worked with Clarke on a layering technique which does away with painstaking highlights in favour of thicker slices of honey, caramel, beige, and gold tones that blend seamlessly, like this color on model Amelia Swaby. “Beachy balayage is lessening,” says Clarke, “and we’re going into something that’s softer; the color is softly merging.”
Clarke says that Bambi blonde works beautifully on those with light brunette hair, and is especially great for curly and afro hair. “It’s easy to lift [afro hair] so you get a flat, gold, all-over tone,” says Clarke. “It complements dark skin, too, because it’s dark at the root. The vanilla [shade] is on the top surface and the ends specifically.”
“We see the rise of copper colors every autumn, and this year we expect no different,” says Tyler Moore, expert hair stylist at Live True London. “Instead of bright tones and more yellow-based shades, we’re expecting the color of the moment to lean deeper into red — even more so than before. The result is a beautiful shade reminiscent of autumn leaves,” says Moore. Take a cue from this burnt orange hue peppered throughout jet brunette, created by colorist Casey Pragnell, or this shade by colorist Maria, which is deeper and richer.
Cocoa butter bronde
“Cocoa butter bronde” is an extension of the “strawberry girl” and “cinnamon cookie butter” hair color trends that flooded salons, thanks to Hailey Bieber. “Bronde” essentially occupies a cozy space between brunette and blonde. “Think warm, cocoa-colored highlights that perfectly suit medium-to-dark brown hair,” says Moore. “They’re created by taking the natural, brunette hair color just a few shades lighter and warmer in certain places.” Cocoa butter bronde is a little less intense than typical blonde highlights, and gives dark hair more nuance without lending too much of a contrast. “It’s multi-dimensional and low maintenance,” adds Moore. So what exactly should you ask your colorist for? Moore says, “Subtle and warm tones that don’t stray too far from your natural shade. Also, be sure to bring reference pictures to help them nail your desired tone.” We love this hair posted to Instagram by Michelle Thompson.
“Bamboo blonde” is a more subdued and natural shade compared to the yellow and platinum blondes that ruled summer. Just like bamboo, it’s a seamlessly blended golden-beige. “This look is reminiscent of the ‘tweed blonde’ trend of last year,” says Moore, “although it is distinctly more natural, a little more beige and can be adjusted for both blonde and light-medium brown hair.”
Though the color is innovative, the technique used to create it is nothing new. “Your stylist will achieve this look by either balayage-ing or highlighting your hair, and then using different toners to achieve that multi-dimensional look,” says Moore. Again, be sure to bring reference photos to help them nail your desired shade. We love this hue by colorist Red Gaetano.
If you’re after something much cooler to complement the weather, try “washed blonde,” says Moore. “It’s a desaturated, ashy, and cool blonde shade that is achieved by bleaching the hair to a very high lift,” like the above color on digital creator, Glory Rose. Bear in mind this might not be achievable in one session — once managed, though, your stylist will then tone your hair. “This imparts a gorgeous, creamy blonde by neutralizing any natural yellows,” says Moore. It doesn’t have to be an all-over color. Moore says that it looks great as highlights on a darker canvas, or as “high-contrast balayage,” a hair painting technique that requires thicker swathes of color for more of a blended look. Despite its name, though, it can be high maintenance, says Moore. “Load up on color-safe shampoos and don’t forget to rebook for a toner refresh. We also recommend protecting your hair by adding Olaplex or a similar bond-building treatment to your session.”
Warm winter blonde
Subtle, golden tones create depth and dimension, while microlights (essentially minute highlights) sprinkled around the face act to brighten the skin, says Kelly May, creative stylist and colorist at The Neil Moodie Studio in London’s Spitalfields. This warm winter-ready blonde by Nicole Kahlani, hairstylist and senior colorist at BLEACH London, hits the nail on the head — and the curtain bangs make the microlights pop.
According to Ami King, signature colorist at Gielly Green, the most requested hair shades for autumn and winter are various takes on strawberry. “Blondes are asking for a more subtle palette, with the introduction of strawberry-toned, slightly coppery highlights,” says King, who references Jennifer Aniston in the ’90s. “Brunettes want dark, rich colors with a red tinge,” adds King, like this color by colorist James Earnshaw, while natural redheads want more depth with the addition of multi-tonal hair glosses to enhance shine. This shade by Paige Hammond at BLEACH London is beautiful.
“Chocolate cherry” walked so that “burgundy noir” could run. Luke Tyrrell, creative art director and colorist at The Neil Moodie Studio says that it combines deeper, more plummy red wine hues with a rich, dark brown to create striking contrast. Look to the above color by balayage specialist, Angelica Adamé. “For maximum impact I’d recommend opting for a color that is two to three shades lighter on the ends to highlight the impact of the burgundy tone,” says Tyrrell.
The Scandi hairline
“If you want a natural blonde look without the upkeep of highlights, check out the ‘Scandinavian hairline’ trend,” says Eddie Parker, creative colorist at The Neil Moodie Studio. Bleach is concentrated solely to the hairline for a bright, white blonde that makes the baby hairs look sun-kissed, as though you’ve been soaking up the sun somewhere exotic. We love this look on model @fuhzz. Parker thinks it requires pretty low upkeep, as the bleach is concentrated to a small portion of hair. You might want to invest in a good, purple shampoo to counteract any brassiness, though. Try Bumble and bumble Illuminated Blonde Purple Shampoo or John Frieda Go Blonder Shampoo, if you’d rather spend less.
“This is the softest of copper tones, inspired by leather from the rolling hills of Tuscany,” says Tyrrell. It combines light and dark shades of copper, but is offset with a slight rosy undertone. “Its warm and inviting vintage tones are sure to leave you feeling romantic and expensive,” says Tyrrell. We love this shade (combined with C-shape layers) by rich color and layered haircut specialist, Marcela Hernandez.
Amethyst is arguably the most popular wildcard shade this autumn. “Rich, jewel tones are in this season,” confirms Live True’s Moore. It can be a big statement (an all-over color) or balayage to contrast with your natural shade, adds Moore, like this look by colorist Red Gaetano on Instagram. “If you're unsure, weaving some deep plum tones into your balayage is a more wearable option,” says Moore, like the above look on influencer Linasha by April Christina Taylor, owner of Shag! London.
This story was originally published on Refinery29UK.
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