It’s a tale as old as time (or as old as when hair dye was first invented): Girl meets fall, girl gets strong urge to change hair color. Deciding on which hair color to go with is where the plot usually thickens. Darker? Lighter? Somewhere in-between? To make the decision easier, we spoke with Joico celebrity colorist Denis de Souza (he’s responsible for the envy-inducing strands of celebs like Kate Mara, Mila Kunis, and more) and asked him about this fall’s trendiest hair colors and which would be most flattering on our skin tone.
Because nothing ruins a good love/hair story like regret, right? Keep scrolling to see what de Souza said!
“We’re at the time of year where our tans start to fade away and harsh, ashy tones are too drastic for fall,” de Souza says. “That’s when we need to [choose] a warmer tone for our hair.” He suggests choosing from shades like gold, copper, and caramel to accent or deepen your current hair color. Why? The warm tones are flattering on any skin tone and “soften” your look. De Souza’s client, Lucy Hale, is a perfect example of how a light touch of color in the right places can instantly warm up your face.
“Definite go-tos for hair color this season are more strawberry blonde; rich, copper red hair; caramel hues; and deep, chocolate colors,” de Souza says. Noted. (Also, who else is hungry now? Just us?) Keep scrolling to see his suggestions for every skin tone!
If you’re fair like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or Emma Stone, de Souza suggests trying a warm, strawberry blonde hue with lots of dimension this fall. “For this [color], the roots are a bit deeper, warmer, and you can see a bit of copper mixed in along with gorgeous gold tones,” he says. “[I would also add] lots of low-lights, which bring out the contrast of the hair.”
De Souza says that your low-lights should be the same color as your roots, leaving bits of blonde behind, as shown in his well-tressed client Kate Mara.
Red hair—like young love and your interest in the new season of Real Housewives—fades quickly. To keep your color vibrant, de Souza suggests getting a color gloss with gold and copper accents to add shine and warmth. In between salon visits, he says to use a shampoo with red pigments, like Joico’s Color Infuse Red Shampoo ($16) and Conditioner ($18). “Red hair color is the fastest fading hair color,” he says. “In order to maintain the look and keep it vibrant, use a pigmented shampoo once a week.”
If your skin has a touch of olive but still falls on the lighter end of the spectrum, de Souza says to add a bit of honey and sand to your fried summer strands.
“In the summer, brunettes everywhere were sporting ombré, more so than sombré,” de Souza says. “This made their ends really light, which tends to turn brassy with exposure to the sun, salt water, and chlorine.” The quick fix? A visit to your trusted hairstylist to get your highlights freshened up.
Just because you’re adding warmth to your hair color doesn’t mean you have to let go of your love for the gradual fade. De Souza suggests embracing the dark to light contrast, but updating sandy, pale, and blonde shades to honey and caramel.
If you have caramel skin à la J.Lo, try adding deeper hues and low-lights to your strands to update your look for fall.
Another note for anyone with honey-colored skin: Don’t be afraid to up the contrast. De Souza says to consider low-lights that pop and don’t blend in.
Or, do as Jessica Alba did and swap your highlights for a melty, all-over color.
“When you have beautiful dark skin, like Joan Smalls, you need to be subtle when adding highlights,” de Souza tells us. “Keeping highlights one to one and a half shade lighter than your natural hair color is the way to go.”
Adding a few subtle highlights, like Kerry Washington did, will soften up an espresso hair color.
“Going for a more natural, soft look is ideal for fall,” de Souza says. “At the end of the day, all you have to do is just freshen and tweak what already looks fabulous on you!”
Are you changing up your hair color for fall? In case you need more hair inspiration, here are four haircuts everyone will have by the end of the season.