If the approach of summer annually gives you an urge to switch up your hair colour, you're not alone. As we emerge from winter hibernation, embracing change and a fresh new look is a natural inclination—especially if you've spent the winter months obsessively mood-boarding on Pinterest and Instagram.
According to the hair experts at trend forecasters WGSN, summer 2023's defining hair trends are all about using colour and texture to make an impact. Expect to see colours that promote joy, allow for self-expression, and embrace (rather than erase) natural hair colour—think accent shades rather than a whole switch up.
Having done the digging (I have the moodboard to prove it), this summer's hair colour trends range from the extremes of bright blonde and popping pastels, to more lowkey and muted styles, such as the addition of warmer and darker undertones to subtly enhance natural hair colour. So whether you want a dramatic change or simply something to freshen things up for summer, there's something for everyone—and you've come to the right place.
The Best Hair Colours for Summer 2023
1. Luxury Blonde
Both natural and bottle-dyed blondes will be able to get on board with this trend, which is all about using layers and tones to create movement and dimension in hair. So rather than one flat hair colour, you might add a darker panel to the lower layers of your hair, or a few lighter and brighter strands through your lengths. For a truly luxury effect, honey and caramel tones are popular—and also have the benefit of being easy to maintain.
2. Warm Undertones
As a brunette myself, I know that it can often feel like your options are limited when it comes to hair colour—certainly when you don't want to make any drastic changes. However, one colour trend that's set to be huge for summer 2023 is a move towards natural-looking and warmer-toned shades as a means to subtly tweak and enhance hair colour. According to WGSN, rich, warm shades like desert browns and sepia will be popular accent colours. The best part is that the subtlety of this trend means it's low maintenance and universally flattering, which is great news for us brunettes.
3. Powdery Pastels
If you really want to make a statement and embrace a fresh new hair colour, then consider pastels. They're one of the key hair colour trends identified by WGSN for summer 2023, presenting a softer, more 'dialled down' take on the bright and bold hair colours that have trended in previous years. Think romantic and traditional shades like digital lavender, vintage pink, sky blue, and pistachio green, which look fresh and surprisingly modern.
4. High Gloss
Hair colour is as much about texture as it is shade. To really make your colour pop, a shiny, glossy finish is essential, so whatever hue you decide to embrace this summer, ensure that the finish is a high-shine, ultra-glossy effect. Ask your colourist to layer, mix, and blend in brighter strands to create a shifting, light-reflective effect or opt for an ombré effect to create the illusion of iridescence.
5. Barbie Blonde
Naturally, with the Barbie move set to hit screens in July, hair experts are anticipating a revival of bright, '90s blonde for summer 2023. Searches for 'bleach blonde hair dye' have rocketed by 224% in the past few months, so if you've been considering a platinum 'do, now's the time to get ahead of the curve.
6. Dark Tones
Darker hair colours typically trend in winter, but with a grungy, '00s-inspired aesthetic already shaping makeup and fashion trends for the summer, we're anticipating a similar trend for dark tones in hair colour, too. Ideal for low maintenance people, this trend requires less bleach, fewer touch-ups, and tends to last longer than lighter shades.
Shop the Best Products for Hair Colour Maintenance:
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Blonde hair is notoriously difficult to maintain, but don't let that put you off. There are plenty of treatments out there specifically formulated to help maintain your blonde in between appointments.
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Multitasking as both a nourishing treatment for dry ends and as an instant shine booster, a hair oil is a must-have for newly-coloured hair.
This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.
Grace Day is a beauty editor and content creator. She has over 10 years of beauty-industry experience, spanning editorial, retail, and e-commerce, which gives her a unique understanding into how people shop for their beauty routines.
While studying for a history degree (specialising in the history of beauty) and working as a beauty adviser in department stores, Grace started writing her own beauty blog in order to share the products she discovered while dealing with acne. After graduating, she moved to Beauty Bay as beauty editor and content manager. Grace is currently a beauty contributor to Who What Wear. She has also written for Hypebae and PopSugar and works as a brand consultant and copywriter.
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