Winter isn't my favorite season, and I'll tell you why. When you're bundled under five-plus layers of fleece and wool, there's not many ways to feel cute. That's why a new hair color can feel more transformative than ever this time of year—and this season's trends are looking cooler than ever. And we do mean that literally—the palette is looking distinctly cooler this year, according to colorists. Many people are switching over to richer, darker shades, and Nick Stenson, hairstylist and MATRIX Artistic Director, predicts that icy cool hues will make a resurgence. And the best part? There is a lot of variety here, so whether you want to go bold or stick to a more conventional hue, there's something below for everyone.
“This season, we’re seeing blondes move toward champagne beige, a perfect balance of the coziest cashmere and the softest silk,” says Shvonne Perkins, master colorist at Madison Reed. Because of the warmth the fusion of gold and beige gives off, it’s an especially ideal hue for colder temps.
When it comes to brunettes, darker, cooler tones with brown hues and hints of eggplant and cherry are trending. According to Perkins, violet and red tones will take center stage this winter and are perfect for brunettes who want to try the violet trend without having to lighten their hair.
Inspired by the inside of an oyster shell, this pearlescent color trend creates a holographic silver illusion by bringing together platinum blonde and shimmering silver tones. Just note: The glossy sheen is what elevates this color to the next level, which means hair masks and glossing treatments will need to become part of your hair care routine.
It's natural for people to want to go darker when it gets cold—this particular take on brown hair is a slightly richer, more exotic shade that can make your hair look super-glossy. The all-over brunette shade tones out highlights, but if you want to create some depth, you can combine the trend with some multidimensional, face-framing layers.
Icy doesn't just refer to the weather outside—it's also the hottest winter hair color trend. This super-pale, icy platinum blonde hue is giving major Elsa vibes. "If you love a cool blonde, the Ice Queen is your go-to look of the season," says celebrity hairstylist Laurie Heaps. "This blonde is icy all over and especially bright and heavy around the hairline. When seeing your colorist for this, ask if your salon has Olaplex on hand. This will help protect your hair as you lift and lighten."
"From burgundy to copper and everything in between, reds are everywhere this winter," says celebrity hairstylist Michelle Cleveland . "Whether you choose a full head or just some pops of color, these reds are always a fan favorite." For a more intense red, bold auburn isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Just keep in mind that glossing is a really important factor for redheads, so regular maintenance will be in order.
Brighter than auburn but more wearable than ginger-red, this rich color features a warm base of yellow gold and orange shades that suits practically every skin tone. The key to achieving Bowie copper is all about extreme richness and shine that will evoke the intensity of copper. "The copper shade can be adjusted or bespoke to suit your skin tone, but also to suit your lifestyle and personality too," says Richy Kandasamy, colorist and R+Co Collective Member. "For those with light blonde to light brown hair, this color is super-easy to achieve. However, those with darker hair will need to pre-lighten into a lighter level to obtain this look."
Dark chocolate not dark enough? Dare to go a bit darker—or the darkest you can get—with jet black. According to RUSK Global Creative Director Matt Swinney , raven black (a la Megan Fox) can add unexpected depth to strands and make hair look healthy and shiny. Ask your colorist for a single-process color using the darkest shade, topped with a blue-based gloss for that extra glow and shine.
Peach Rose Sorbet
Consider this hazy rose the moody, sexy version of the bright summer pink we've been seeing everywhere. "Working on platinum or very light blonde hair as a base or canvas, toning the hair with a delicate peach rose will lighten up everyone's face and skin tone for the winter," says Kandasamy. "It's basically a more sophisticated and lighter strawberry blonde. Blue and green eyes will pop and cool skin tones will look more healthy."
This look is similar to the balayage we all know and love, but darker. "By reversing the technique, you are adding in depth at the roots and mid-shaft," says George Papanikolas , celebrity colorist and brand ambassador for MATRIX. "This softens the contrast between the highlights and base color and makes the remaining highlights pop."