Just like our minds automatically drift toward moody shades of nail polish, knit dresses, and boots for fall, our hair starts to shift toward luxe hues such as copper, dark chocolate, or icy platinum. However, after tapping some of the best celebrity hair colorists for their expert seasonal shade predictions, the coolest hair colors this fall aren't quite so predictable.
Sublime shades of russet red, wheat blonde, and poppy are on the table alongside less-expected hair color trends celebrity colorist Jeremy Tardo calls "party in the front," "neon juxtaposition," and "back to natural." Intrigued yet?
To obtain each and every detail, we asked top colorists who cater to a slew of our favorite celebrities for the most-wanted fall hair colors that we should definitely have on our radar this upcoming season. From essential instructions for your colorist to the best color-maintaining hair products, we have you covered. Ahead, six hair colors for fall and everything you need to know for each. Keep scrolling!
Trend #1: Party in the Front
"From knee socks and platform sneakers to wide-legged pants, the '90s are back," notes Tardo. "This hair color trend is bringing us '90s vibes with a twist. Think Ginger Spice meets Rogue from X-Men, and a few modern-day references include Beyoncé, Jackie Aina, and Sable Yong, who credits Elizabeth Hiserodt at Cutler Salon for her stunning color.
As Tardo explains to us, this color trend is traditionally done with bright colors that pop in the front of your face, and in order for those colors to look ultra vibrant, the strands need to be bleached first. (So yes, if/when you're able to see a colorist this fall, it's best to take this trend to the professionals instead of trying it yourself at home.)
"If you choose a bright color for your front pieces, avoid over-shampooing to help keep the tone in your hair longer," Tardo warns. Instead, he recommends using a high-quality color-care shampoo and conditioner like Davines's Nounou Shampoo and Conditioner. If your pieces are blonde, he's a fan of Sachajuan's Silver Shampoo to help to neutralize unwanted yellow tones.
"After all of the quarantine hair disasters, lots of people are opting to get back to their roots," shares Tardo. "A return to more natural colors will give overprocessed strands a healthy break. Celebrities like Jane Fonda, Jourdan Dunn, and Julianne [Hough] are great examples."
Depending on your current color, Tardo says this trend can sometimes be done at home. If your hair is on the healthier side of the spectrum, he recommends using a demi-permanent hair color with no ammonia, such as Clairol Natural Instincts, which is a gentle option for darkening highlights or previously colored hair. If your hair is excessively damaged, however, Tardo recommends having your hair darkened closer to your natural color by a professional.
"If your hair has been lightened prior to you coloring it to a more natural shade, you can expect the color to fade over time," Tardo explains. To help with this, he recommends adding a color-depositing shampoo, conditioner, or mask that's close to your natural hair color to your maintenance routine and using it once a week to redeposit some of the tone that has washed out.
Trend #3: Poppy Red
It seems as though every celebrity has been debuting a new, ultra-juicy iteration of red this summer, and according to pro colorists such as Tardo and Chris Appleton (who just took Kim Kardashian West to her stunning shade of cherry!), this hue will have legs well into fall. FKA Twigs and Sarah Hyland have also tried the trend.
"Summer's pink hair color trend is making way for this bright hue," emphasizes Tardo. "Because shades like poppy and cherry are more pigmented than the pastel colors of late, it will have more wearability, and it will still look rich even as it fades."
If your hair is already light, Tardo says this fall color trend can be done at home using bright-red pigments mixed with very small amounts of orange. If your hair is dark, have a colorist lighten it for you first.
"If you have this color done in a salon, ask your colorist to make a color conditioner for you," suggests Tardo. Purchase a white conditioner and have them mix a small amount of your poppy color into the conditioner. You can use this at home to keep your hair bright." Tardo also notes that the color mixed into your conditioner should be a non-oxidative color only.
Trend #4: Wheat Blonde
Bright blonde is timeless, but Tardo tells us to expect glowing shades of wheat blonde (à la Chrissy Teigen, Jennifer Lopez, Jasmine Sanders, and Ciara) as autumn sets in. Plus, this tone, he notes, is easier on the shade and will add more shine and gloss back into sun-bleached or damaged strands.
"You will need highlighting done for this trend, so I suggest having this done in-salon," Tardo tells us. "If you want to do a more solid color version of this at home, check out home-care lines, like Clairol Nice n' Easy, which are user-friendly. If your highlights are lifted and toned to the right shade, you will find that this look has longevity. Use Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector at home to keep your hair strong and healthy after the highlighting."
Additionally, Jennifer Lopez's longtime hairstylist, Appleton, recommends investing in a buildup-nixing product like the below from ColorWow to help maintain your blonde. "This product is great at removing minerals and metals that can dull color," he tells us. "It’s like a magnet that removes buildup and leaves color looking fresh."
Trend #5: Russet Red
Yes, more red! Although, according to Tardo, this fall color trend is a deeper, richer, more "natural" take on the aforementioned juicy hues like poppy or cherry. Celebrities such as Issa Rae, Zendaya, and Madeline Brewer all have iterations of the hue.
"Auburn tones make this hair color look natural and rich," explains Tardo. "It is great for adding depth to the hair while maintaining more brightness than we get from darker brunette shades or ultra-light red tones.
According to Tardo, this color can be achieved both at home and in-salon. If your hair is naturally dark, he suggests opting for a permanent hair color that delivers mild hair lightening as well as color deposit. If your hair is already light, opt for demi-permanent hair color, which will only deposit color into your hair.
"As always, if your hair is excessively damaged or has lots of colors in it already, have a pro colorist help you out!" extolls Tardo. "Try adding Davines's Alchemic line of shampoos whenever needed to keep the warmth in your color."
Trend #6: Neon Juxtapostion
Dua Lipa, Amandla Stenberg, Billie Eilish, Kristen Stewart—what do all of these celebrities have in common? Eye-catching, juxtaposed hair color.
"For fall, the fashion-forward can expect to begin seeing more high-contrast hair color trends," predicts Tardo. "Color-blocking in hair is about to have a big moment. We are beginning to see panels and large sections of hair colored differently than the hair that lies right next to them. Boredom with balayage is creating a space for creativity in hair color."
"This style of coloring should be done with precision. Trying to do multiple colors with tricky placements at home is difficult and can easily result in inconsistencies and blotchy-looking results," warns Tardo. "I strongly advise having a professional colorist execute this for you."
As for his product recs for keeping your color sublime with shine and nutrition, he loves Milbon’s Weightless Replenishing Mist as well as its Inphenom Hair Treatment to keep high-contrast hair color in the best condition possible.