Is there a rush on earth that can compare to that first crisp, cool hint of fall air? It feels like it happens literally overnight—one evening you're flip-flopping around town trying to pat your sweat down into a glow, and the next, every person you pass is swaddled in a leather jacket. The energy's electric, and the calendar's jam-packed, which means it's time to embrace the autumn aesthetic and adopt one of fall 2022's biggest hair color trends.
As you might expect for this time of year, there's a major focus on deep, moody colors that reflect the changing leaves and weather around you. Celebrities like Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Affleck, Sophie Turner, and Megan Thee Stallion are embracing richer, darker colors for the season, but there are just as many A-listers lightening things up with luminous highlights and warm tones. Look at the red-toned ribbon highlights flowing through Priyanka Chopra's waves, or Beyoncé's ultra-buzzy (and completely genius) spotlight highlights—there are plenty of ways to get into the fall beauty spirit without going darker.
To navigate the best new fall hair colors, Byrdie turned to a team of celebrity colorists who are all tuned in to the most sought-after shades in Hollywood and beyond. Even if the temperatures outside aren't quite at "light the allspice candle" levels yet, your hair definitely can be.
To get a sense of the fall vibe ahead, consider the season's best fabrics: leather, cashmere, wool, velvet, and denim—in other words, deliciously rich. That's exactly how Felicia Dosso, colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon, defines autumn beauty: warmer, richer, and more luxurious than the easy-breezy summer months.
For an easy shortcut to the perfect warm brunette shade, just look to the pastry aisle. L'Oréal Professionnel Global Ambassador Min Kim says food-inspired shades like dark chocolate and caramel are surefire for the season, and many pros agree. Dosso says with a Nutella brown, "you'll be able to see those warmer flecks in each strand."
Because so much emphasis is always placed on that autumnal warmth, there are plenty of ways to incorporate hints of gold and red without straying too far from a true brunette shade. Keeping in step with the sweet-inspired shades, expect cherry-chocolate brown to be this year's Hollywood go-to.
Celebrity colorist Jenna Perry—she works with stars like Bella Hadid, Maude Apatow, and Kendall Jenner—says it's a playful switch-up she's already seeing so many requests for. If a full-on color change isn't in the cards this season, some strategic highlights can give any brunette shade new life. Experiment with warm caramel or maroon-toned ribbon highlights, which look especially striking with layers—it's a flash of brilliant dimension with every hair toss.
When most people think of fall hair, they typically think of going a few shades darker. According to the experts, though, blondes are only getting brighter and more vibrant. Perry says for fall 2022, the blonder, the better. "This summer was the summer of de-blonding and root smudging," she explains, "but I feel like people will want to go lighter for fall."
If it's impossible to resist the siren song of a moodier, deeper color for fall, consider getting warmer instead of darker. According to Tauni Dawson, L'Oréal Professionnel Global Ambassador and colorist to stars like Shay Mitchell and Desi Perkins, this fall's best blondes are all about adding golden hues and plenty of dimension.
She suggests taking whatever leftover summer blonde you already have and punching it up with warmth, lowlights, and tons of shine. Light-induced shimmer effects have always been a major part of blonde's allure, and Dosso says sparkling champagne blonde—created by deepening a brighter blonde with a sparkling champagne-colored gloss—tones down the brightness without sacrificing color.
Fall was made for red. With so many crimsons, coppers, ambers, and auburns found in the changing leaves, it's hard not to feel inspired. Dosso says to follow that instinct and look to nature for hints on where to head. Irish Setter red—yes, like the dog breed—is to fall what strawberry blonde is to summer, she explains. "It's deep, it's shiny, and it screams fall."
For those looking to segue their color into a fall-friendly red, all the golden tones so popular this season makes the transition a breeze. Perry suggests adding more red-based tones to a golden copper.
The best part about fall beauty is how big of a difference subtle changes can make. A tone-adjusting gloss or a touch of warmth can amplify the autumn vibes without too much work or cost. Dosso says the easy options range from depth-adding lowlights to a shadow-smudged root, but a deeper gloss is always an easy at-home option.
Dawson also suggests a gloss to add a little something to your look and suggests finding one with a gold base. "Adding gold tones will help the hair appear healthier and shinier," she explains.
For a slightly longer-term commitment, nothing beats the dimension and movement a set of complementary highlights and lowlights can provide. "It's a simple way to make a change or play with tone without major commitment or a large investment of time or dollars," Kim tells Byrdie.
Work with your colorist to find a palette to flatter your existing shade or tailor it to an entirely different fall color. Regardless of what sort of fall hair color you go for, take advantage of the changing season and use it as an opportunity for a little reinvention.