Fall, we have a thing for you. We love you for your crisp, perfectly cool temperatures (a much-appreciated respite following the dog days of summer), the debut of Starbucks’s frothy autumnal menu, and, of course, the luscious shades of hair color that flood our social media feeds via fall fashion week, red carpets, and our favorite celebrities.
Unsurprisingly, it’s been the season of blond. From Katy Perry’s glowing platinum pixie to Allison Williams’s freshly flaxen strands, it’s no secret that the warm months of summer inspire bright highlights, ice-blond toners, and buttery balayage aplenty. Pretty? Indubitably. Predictable? You betcha. Therefore, we look forward to the moodier hues of fall with an almost unbearable air of enthusiasm. And since September is fast approaching, we’re already in hot pursuit. Here at Byrdie HQ, we like to be one step ahead and ID the trends months in advance so we can book our color appointment and, of course, pass them on to our readers. (Because you guys are the best!)
After pestering high-profile colorists for their expert intel and inspiration this season, we have, shall we say, the definitive guide to fall hair color. The predictions are in, and we’ll be the first ones to say that they’re good. From gray to ruby to onyx, all you have to do is decide which one you’ll try first.
Keep scrolling for our official fall 2017 hair color guide.
If you went platinum for spring and summer, try upgrading your look for fall with a cool shade of gray. Not only will the hue really pop on top of your pre-lightened strands, but according to Ariel Hauck, colorist at Ramirez Tran Salon, it’s also easy to transition your way back to the blond side: “For those platinum ladies who want to switch things up but still be able to go back easily, go slate gray. It’s fun and head turning.”
Darker strands? Fear not—the trend is still totally doable. We love the way model Jourdan Dunn’s sleek bob looked with slate-gray tips at this year’s Met Gala.
To really go for it, Hauck recommends plenty of volume and body with your styling. The shade is muted, so do like Leona Lewis and don’t be afraid to serve up some va-va-voom with your gray hue for fall.
“The best way to show off this color is to style your hair with a lot of texture either with curling or using product [that has] a bit of grit!” says Hauck. We recommend spritzing hair with your favorite salt spray or trying this texturizing spray from Oribe. (It’s one of our personal favorites.)
According to Hauck, a striking shade of ruby red (seen here on Madeleine Petsch), is coming in hot for fall. Consider us ready and willing.
Hauck tells us, “Nothing is sexier than deep red. To show this color off, try curling your hair in a softer, more uniform way, almost like women in the ’60s.” Leave it to one of our forever favorite redheads, Florence Welch, to show us how it’s done.
Another option is to take a red tone to the cooler side like on Lily Collins. Not only is the color striking and a tad unexpected (aka perfect for fall!), but Hauck tells us that it also takes the look “deeper” and makes it a little more fun.
Our experts also agreed that a color that’s almost black—but not quite—is going to be a big trend for fall. And with the help of a trusted stylist, it’s pretty easy to achieve. Ryan Sanger from Bomane Salon in Beverly Hills gave us the inside scoop: “Take your base deeper and darker than the traditional brunette, adding cooler tones to cancel out the warmth the summer sun brought out in your hair.”
Love Adriana Lima’s deep, dark hue? An extra dose of shine is going to be important. “Cooler weather is known for stripping hair of moisture,” says Sanger. To combat dull and dehydrated hair, he suggests incorporating a super-moisturizing shampoo and conditioner into your haircare routine and adding a small amount of smoothing cream “from root to ends” prior to a blow-dry or any flatiron touch-ups.
Plus, Hauck tells us the “dark and stormy” look is super low-maintenance—which, to be honest, is music to our ears. Her tip: “When going darker, stay on the cool side and never ever go black.” To do the color justice this fall, try it slick and straight like Lucy Hale. Hauck adds, “Since dark brunettes don’t have highlights, you can pull this off more than others.”
If you’re looking to go darker this fall but find onyx a tad too intimidating, try a rich hue of espresso, which can be accentuated with warm hints of caramel and chocolate. To achieve Priyanka Chopra’s trademark color, Sanger suggests the following: “Ask your stylist to deepen your base color and pull lowlights through the rest of the hair to add dimension.”
“The key to any dark hair color is a generous amount of shine and texture,” Sanger adds. For hair that glows, he recommends applying a shimmer mist from mid-shaft through to the ends and finishing with a lightweight serum.
Hauck explains, “With fall, you think of trees and falling leaves. Nothing matches that mood more than a soft brunette with caramel highlights.” To nail Eiza González’s cozy fall shade, she says, “make sure you see a colorist who knows to lift your hair to the right color before depositing in this gorgeous, low-maintenance tone.”
To style, Hauck suggests either air-drying to accentuate natural texture or using a curling wand to create soft and flowing waves.
If you love your blond (or are interested in traveling to the light side), dip your toe in “alchemic gold,” a fall color trend that Sanger predicts will be big.
Essentially, this trend is all about making your blond color look completely au naturel. And, according to Sanger, the key is in your toner. To hit the sweet spot, ask your colorist for a toner that’s “creamy beige: not too warm, not too cool,” he says.
Additionally, a little bit of root is A-okay. After all, what’s more natural than a little bit of grow-out? However, if the sight of your natural color totally wigs you out, try Hauck’s take on the golden trend and experiment with some light-handed highlights: “Babylights are the most seamless way of pushing you color appointments far apart but still feeling trendy and up to date. Natural hair color never goes out of style.”