6 Fall Hair Color Trends You’re About To See All Over L.A.

Heading into the hair salon for a seasonal color can be tricky. You’re feeling the fall spirit, hankering for a warmer shade, but don’t know exactly what to ask for. The next thing you know, you’re walking out of the salon with a shinier version same blonde highlights that you had all summer, kicking yourself for being so gun-shy.

Luckily, for those of us who want to try something new for fall, L.A.’s top stylists tell us that this year’s of-the-moment color trends are natural, yet will instantly put a fresh spin on any base shade you’re working with. If you’re a natural dirty-blonde and your summer color’s feeling a little flat, you can add a strawberry-gold highlight for instant warmth. Or, if you’re a brunette and craving a remixed refresh, there’s a caramel cold brew tone perfect for you.

The six hair color trends that are going to be big this fall, along with ample inspiration to bring to your colorist, ahead.

Red-Hot Reds

L.A. colorist Anthony Holguin tells us that rich warm reds, including the very trendy “red velvet,” are having a big moment this fall. And though they’re not the easiest shades to achieve — with the right coloring techniques and diligent maintenance, they can look super natural on all hair colors.

“When adding red color on a natural blonde or a dark brunette, I typically recommend highlighting the hair to a pale yellow, then adding in the red tones,” Holguin explains. “Everyones hair lifts in stages, and we all have a warm factor when we lift our color, meaning your highlights go through a phase of orange yellow to pale yellow, and eventually to white. To achieve a rich, but still natural looking red, stick to the yellows and pale yellow shades of highlight.”

This shade is particularly popular with girls who’ve been bleaching their hair single-process platinum, and are looking for a darker tone that still has warmth.

A rich auburn color can work as a highlight, instantly brightening the face while framing your features.

A coppery red shade looks even more vibrant when it’s woven through the mid-shafts of bouncy curls.

Dusty Blonde

This summer has been all about bright, glossy tones — which aren’t going anywhere — but Cherin Choi, colorist at Nova Arts Salon in L.A., tells us that the fall is the perfect time to take your color a little cooler, more muted, and less Barbie Blonde. “I am enjoying dimension and change for a fresh new fall look,” she explains. “Cooler blonde highlights blended over a dark base shade lets you go lighter, without feeling too blonde — and it gives the look a little texture and edge.”

Balayage is a great technique for mixing a cool, dusty blonde highlight into long hair, because it looks even radder when your dark roots grow in.

Want to really take it to the next level? Icy gray-blonde highlights are unexpected on jet-black hair, but when they’re focused on the ends, the overall look is both soft and hip at the same time.

Cold Brew Balayage

NYC-based colorist Stephanie Brown says the “cold brew” color trend will continue to be big for fall. The name is a bit deceiving, because we’re not talking about plain coffee, rather a play on varying degrees of the cream that’s added. It’s about the “swirling of neutral and golden tones down the hair,” Brown explains. “Just like when you pour a little bit of milk into your coffee.”

L.A.-based colorist Erin Carter shows us how a face-framing, golden shine can make a deep, chestnut base color come alive.

Popping soft, caramel-colored curls with sun-kissed blonde highlights is like ordering your cold brew with a half-pump of hazelnut. It’s so subtle, but makes all the difference.

Warm Golden Tones

Choi calls this hue “lioness color.” This trend uses a subtle highlight to play up the warmer gold, strawberry blonde, or red-ish base, whether natural or done with dye or gloss. The trick is to find a golden tone that works well with your root color so it grows out seamlessly.

A copper color can be tricky because you don’t want your highlight to read brassy, but when you err on the side of gold, with just a touch of red undertones, the result is the perfect rich fall shade that’ll look incredible at golden hour.

See how golden highlights make curls look vivacious, while a transitional amber-tinged tone keeps it from looking overdone? The result is fresh and modern, but still subtle.

Shadow Roots

A shadow root — also called gloss smudging — is the perfect complement to the sunny summer highlight you already have going on, and actually looks cooler as it grows out.

Brown tells us that she likes to give her clients a shadow root to transition summer color into fall. “I’ll tone the roots a bit darker than the mid-shaft and ends of the hair,” she explains. “This lets you go a little lighter with the color, without the worry of having a harsh contrast when your hair is growing out.”

L.A. colorist Justin Anderson shows us how to take hair darker for fall without doing away with leftover highlights. The idea is to deepen the root shade so that the blonde accent actually appears brighter by contrast.

Rich Brown

Daniel M, a colorist at Nova Arts Salon, tells us that he’s playing up rich brown colors for fall. “Fall is the best excuse to give your hair a nice break from bleach,” he says. “Opt for a warm brown — it’ll take your blonde back to a natural brunette. But keep a touch of highlight or a rich gloss, to keep it from looking flat.”

Subtle babylights woven through the ends of hair look completely natural, yet make the whole look feel more voluminous and healthy.

A high-shine gloss finish makes multidimensional brown color feel all the more fresh and vibrant for fall.

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