These Subtle Hair Color Trends Are Sweeping NYC For Fall

Imagine strolling out of the hair salon on a sunny October Saturday after a long-awaited appointment with your favorite colorist. Whether you spent six hours taking your dark brown hair to shiny platinum, or went in for a quick caramel highlight around your face, you’re probably on cloud nine, running your fingers through your new hair and smiling as you catch your reflection in a storefront window.

While the allure of fresh, glossy color knows no season, fall really is the best time for a refresh. Why? You’re likely at a yearly low for environmental stressors like sun and salt, it’s when most of us have fun switching up our wardrobes, and holiday party invites are just about to flood your inbox.

Have we convinced you to try something new yet? Ahead, we’re breaking down the seven chicest hair trends sweeping through New York City this season. From rich red to cinnamon blonde, there’s a shade here that will have you calling your colorist, booking the next available appointment, and experiencing your own brisk afternoon new hair flip moment.

Toasted Chestnut

“High contrast hair color — bright whites, ashy silvers, deep roots with platinum ends — had a moment for awhile,” Elisabeth Lovell, co-founder of the Whiteroom Salon in Brooklyn, tells us. “But the current fall hair trend we’re seeing is a lot warmer. I’ve seen vibrant reds, soft golds, and most notably, a lot of soft, chestnut browns.”

Toasty chestnut shades might make you think brassy, but Lovell explains that a little warmth actually complements your hair’s natural undertone and typically reads softer on the skin. She also recommends the Christophe Robin hair mask in Warm Chestnut, because it helps keep the hair tone rich and shiny — and wards against brassiness.

Warm, Golden Blonde

Alissa Frum, a colorist at Blackstones Salon in NYC, tells us that golden highlights help soften the transition from summer to fall, no matter your base color. “Right now, it seems like everyone — no matter how dark their natural color — wants to brighten up a shade or two as the summer fades,” says Frum. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go blonde from root to tip. “Even the deepest brunettes can achieve natural looking dimension and lightness with subtle gold highlights that soften and warm up the face, without making a drastic change.”

For maintenance, Frum recommends using the Davines gold treatment mask. She says that it helps bring out the golden tones in your color, which reflects light and makes hair appear shiny and healthy.

Cold Brew

The cold brew hair color trend is only getting buzzier. David Stanko, master colorist at Madison Reed, says that subtle, caramel-colored balayage is hot cool right now. “It’s a way for anyone to take naturally dark hair a tinge lighter and brighter, without making it obvious,” he explains. The key is to ask for ribbons of creamy pale blonde highlights, like the drop of milk in a cold brew coffee.

Rich, Vibrant Red

NYC-based colorist for Unite haircare, Jared Riccardi, cued us into the fact that bright red is really big this fall. “Women are getting over their fear of taking their hair red,” explains Riccardi. “Incorporating red tones can work with any natural shade, from black to blonde — just be sure to ask your stylist for a red tone that complements your skin. Generally, if you have warmer tones, then you want to go for a warmer red. Alternatively, if you have more blue undertones in your complexion, then you want the red tone to be cooler.”

Blush Rose

Manhattan and Brooklyn-based girls are elevating their summery, single process platinum tones with a soft tinge of pale pink, according to colorist Gia Calvo, who you’ll find at Bumble and bumble’s midtown salon. “In New York, light and bright color is always in, no matter the season,” Calvo explains. “Heading into the fall, warm rose and blush-toned shades feel fresh and fun. The tricky part is maintaining the shade, so I always recommend my blondes use Bb. Hairdressers Invisible Oil Primer, which is an amazing detangler, and Save The Day Protective Repair Fluid — they are both heat protectants and are light enough to layer into your daily regimen.”

Cinnamon Blonde

Alexis Antonellis, a colorist at Eddie Arthur Salon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, says that she’s loving this seasonal shade. “Copper or cinnamon-tinted blonde highlights are an easy way to elevate your color,” she explains. If you’re interested in adding a touch of cinnamon or red-based blonde highlight without taking the color all over, Diaz, a colorist at NYC’s Bumble and bumble salon, tells us that a face-framing highlight is the perfect baby step. “I love the look of warm highlights around the perimeter of the face frame, with natural depth at the root,” she explains. “The goal is to have low maintenance color that brightens the complexion using warmth and highlights in the right places.”

Caramel Highlights

Like chestnut brown and cinnamon blonde, these warm-toned highlights are also trending in NYC this season. Brian K, colorist at DevaCurl Salon, tells us that adding a touch of caramel is a quick way to liven up your ‘do without taking on a lot of commitment. “This shade is an easy way for those with brown or black hair to add a lot of dimension,” he says. “Plus, it’s super low maintenance, since the color still looks great when the roots grow out.” In terms of products, he recommends Schwarzkopf’s Vibrance gloss as an at-home treatment for those who come in for this pale brown highlight.

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