Despite rumours of a heat wave, autumn is here, and it has us hankering after a hair colour update. Whether you want a drastic change or a new-season tweak, there’s an autumn hair colour trend to suit every taste. What’s interesting is that advancements in colour technology mean we’re seeing new tones coming to the fore, also thanks to in-salon products like Olaplex, we’re able to push the boundaries of colour experimentation without the risk of damage. In short, this autumn the hair colour trends top of the agenda are both seriously creative and downright beautiful. Intrigued as to what’s trending? We spoke to Zoë Irwin, Wella Professionals UK colour trend expert, and Adam Reed, L’Oréal Professionnel Editorial Ambassador. Keep reading for the five autumn colour trends these experts are backing…
“Tones in hair are moving to a more futuristic feel because of the development of toners in the last two or three years. This means hairstylists are able to work in a completely different way, so we’re seeing new tones and beautiful blends of one trend with another. We’re coming from a time when everything has been made slightly ashy or flat metallic tones, but now what colourists are doing is blending these with softer pastel colours—for example, flatter kinds of rose gold where the undertone is soft and metallic, but you have a peachy or pinky colour coming through,” says Irwin.
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“There will also be soft tonal plays in hair, which will see a mix of cooler tones with warmer ones put over to create an almost futuristic feel,” she adds.
To give your pink hair an edge for autumn/winter, Reed recommends blending pink and grey. "Smokey Pink is a grown-up version of pink hair. It is soft, sooty, with smokey sophisticated undertones; it is definitely anything but flat. If you also add a cool grey root to smokey pink it suits most skin tones and gives pink hair a modern (almost elegant) update too,” he says.
Courtesy of Adam Reed and L’Oréal Professionnel.
“The influence of the ’70s with the tan and brown clothes for autumn/winter means that baked earthy tones and mellow, almost yellow, amber shades are coming through. Red hair with soft tones is a big story this season,” says Irwin.
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“The ’80s are also a dominant theme for autumn/winter—colour becomes highly pigmented and saturated. For the first time in a long time, you’re starting to see purple-reds and ultra-bright, garish, neon-type reds; think damson tones and vibrant, vibrant coppers,” adds Irwin.
Google doesn't lie and it tells us that searches of ‘copper highlights on brown hair’ has increased 60% year on year, with 'light copper hair' increasing by 50%. Every month copper hair is searched for 2,900 times in the UK.
Reed has dubbed this trend Copper Velvet, which he describes as "a super wearable beautiful multi-tonal shade that is luxurious and luxe looking. It’s impossible to create my version of Copper Velvet at home because of the nuances in tone and the technical complexities that make up the shade.”
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“Browns are moving to more of smoked-wood effect, so we’re laying more earthy flatter browns and what we are calling a ‘flat amber.’ Because of this futuristic feel, you get an ash tone that has an amber wash over it. Once again, these are new tones that have not been around before, but flat amber is set to be a very dominant colour,” suggests Irwin.
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“We’re still exploring the grey palette, taking hair from dark to extremely light and then putting lots of different metallic flat grey and purple green grey tones on top of it. For this, the colour is based more towards the ends,” says Irwin.
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Reed agrees that grey is going nowhere, "The grey hair trend has been around for a while but it isn’t going away! I love the new shades from the L’Oréal Professionnel Parisian Cool palette, one is a beautiful smokey ashy shade and another is called ‘charcoal milkshake’ which creates a lighter silver charcoal tone. You can create charcoal hair in-salon using toners over blonde hair too, which I love because it’s like applying a filter to your hair colour!”
“Another interesting trend is the mixing baby lights with balayage. You have one section of baby lights and the next section is balayage, so you’re getting a blend of the two. [Ed note: Baby lights are super-fine highlights that blend with the base colour, while balayage is when the lightener is painted onto the hair using a freehand technique, both give a more natural effect.] This is what clients are demanding, so colourists are working a lot on these techniques. You have a blend that goes through to the crown, but most of the colour is concentrated on the ends,” explains Irwin.
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