Meet "Vacation Hair": Spring's Big, Surprising Color Trend

Updated 09/23/16

Remember the height of the ombré craze? Never before had we loved the term “gradual fade” more, or screen-shotted as many photos of Rachel Bilson. Though we’re glad the trend is still going strong (mainly because we can grow out our hair and not have to immediately go back for root touch-ups), we’re also ready for something new, something different, something…vacation inspired.

We reached out to master colorists Rita Hazan of Rita Hazan Salon and Johnny Ramirez of Ramirez-Tran Salon to ask for their biggest spring hair color predictions. Turns out, they both came to the same conclusion: basically, you want your hair to look like you just got back from sunbathing in St. Barths. Consider this “vacation hair” a warmer, sunnier take on balayage, with slim, subtle, face-framing highlights that instantly brighten your complexion. For inspiration, we’ve gathered the best instances of this spring trend ahead for brunettes, blondes, and redheads—keep scrolling, and bookmark this for your next salon visit!

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Brunettes

“Ask for very subtle, sun-kissed highlights that make it look like you just got back from an amazing hot weather vacation,” Ramirez says. “This is something that I receive requests from all over the country, so it isn’t specific to any particular region, either.” We like the face-framing highlights that break up Alba’s subtler version of ombré.

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“For brunettes, the trend is a natural color, with an edge,” Hazan says. “Brunettes are always better with tone-on-tone colors like toffee, honey, and caramels.”

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“You want an effortless color that makes it look like the sun kissed your hair,” Hazan says. Exhibit A: the honey-golden color her client Beyoncé has been rocking lately.

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Blondes

When it comes to blondes, Ramirez says the trend right now is to have really “punched-up highlights” around the face—he calls them almost “kid-like” or “baby-blonde.”

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“Blondes are best when they have contrast and dimension, then it doesn’t look like boxed color,” Hazan says. “Keep it looking expensive and chic—golden blondes, baby-blonde highlights, and sun-kissed blonde are all colors that work well together.”

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Here’s the key to mastering vacation hair: there should be a slow gradiation of the hair color as it goes lighter towards the ends and it should look totally natural, Ramirez says. “You want to stay away from drastic color changes, like in ombré,” he explains. “That look is completely out!”

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Redheads

We still love Ronze, but the trend for spring is to go in the more ginger or strawberry direction, Hazan says. She recommends adding golden-blonde highlights to red hair, keeping it warm but also adding some light for summer.

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Startraks

Ramirez agrees, saying sun-kissed strawberry blonde highlights are the way to go. “Punching it up with strawberry highlights around the face is the best way to add some dimension to red hair color and break it up so it looks natural,” he explains.

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If all else fails, just remember—natural is better. “I think lived-in hair color is such a timeless look,” Ramirez says. “It’s good for all seasons, all hair colors, and works with anyone’s skin tone—this trend doesn’t discriminate.”

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