It's Official: These Are the 7 Biggest Hair Color Trends for Summer 2018

Updated 08/31/19

The highly anticipated, albeit gradual, transition from the cold months of winter to the warm months of summer kind of makes us feel as if we've been reborn, surrounded by the sun and, if we're lucky, some form or body of water, reinvigorated with life. And to be honest, a fresh hair color usually gives us the same burst of energy, making us feel like new-and-improved versions of ourselves. Thus, it's only fitting that the start of summer and a cool new shade should go hand in hand.

We already told you all about the best new haircuts celebrity hairstylists are predicting for summer 2018, but what about color? To get to the bottom of it, we reached out to a handful of the best colorists in the business to glean their expert predictions. Spoiler: Covetable variations of blonde (plus a Duchess of Sussex–inspired hue) will be the name of the game. Ready to see which summer hair colors will be everywhere this season? Keep scrolling for the seven sizzling shades we've already saved to our notes app.

Buttery Blonde

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According to Nicole Leal, one of Nine Zero One's master stylists and the director of education at 901 Academy, a golden, buttery shade of bright blonde like Solange's or Rebel Wilson's trademark colors will be one shade to have on your radar this season. She recommends incorporating a brightening shampoo like the one below from Joico to keep the tone fresh and from veering too brassy.

"For blondes, highlights should be applied just slightly off the root, about one or two inches, with a mixture of both fine and chunkier sections," celebrity colorist Kadi Lee advises. "After highlights are rinsed, have your colorist apply a semi-permanent shade to roots (such as L'Oréal Dialight in Medium Golden Blonde), which breaks up the line of demarcation, and to the ends during those final few minutes of processing. The semi-permanent will warm up your natural color and also provide a golden glow to the hair highlighted."

Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo
Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo $18

Rich Hazelnut

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Post-wedding, the world is still obsessing over Meghan Markle's amazing beauty aesthetic. And this summer, Leal predicts the princess's rich shade of brunette (a color she refers to as hazelnut) will be one of the most requested hues. She suggests asking your colorist for a shine treatment post–color treatment to lock in vibrancy. Or try incorporating a bottled clear gloss like the below from Bumble and Bumble to achieve a similar result at home.

"For brunettes, the woman of the moment to emulate is Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex," echoes Lee. "She has nailed the low-maintenance vibe, all while looking completely put-together. Upon closer inspection, you can see that her hair color maintains the right amount of rich and subtle dimension to enhance the natural glow of her skin and hair. Ask your colorist for baby-fine highlights throughout the entire head—they should be no more than one or two shades lighter than your original base color and light enough to create movement and shine"

Bumble and Bumble Color Gloss in Clear $34

Gilded Copper

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If you're a redhead (or want to become one this summer), Leal says to aim for a dazzling copper tone with more golden tones than red. She recommends looking to Bryce Dallas Howard for inspiration. Plus, to maintain the shade's luster, she recommends investing in a filter for your showerhead which will prevent things like chemicals and chlorine from tampering with your new summer shade.

"This filter is the first step to maintaining color and keeping your hair healthy," she explains. "Then, adding in a good leave-in conditioner will help keep your hair's moisture balance in a good place."

Celebrity hair colorist Cassondra Kaeding (who has worked wonders on my own strands) agrees, reiterating that fiery shades of red will be taking over. "I'm seeing an awesome array of golden copper reds and golden copper light blondes," she says. "The first and most important step if you're going red is to bring in an inspiration photo. Reds have so many different shades, tones, and levels. You want to make sure your colorist achieves the depth and dimension you're looking for!" To keep your shade of russet pristine and shiny, Kaeding recommends Redken Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask ($29).

Raindrops Beautifying Showerhead Filter $120

Nude Blonde


"During the summer months, it can be a fun time to lighten up your strands and bring some brightness into your look," explains Nine Zero One senior stylist Morgan Parks. "That being said, I think there's going to be a new wave of blonde this summer: "nude blonde." Essentially, it strikes the perfect balance between warm and cool tones, which makes it more universally flattering for clients. We saw a lot of icy platinum earlier this year, but I think it’s time to invite warmer tones in for more of a glow."

To keep ends happy and damage-free, Parks recommends smoothing on a nourishing (and clear!) oil like marula. "It's great to work into the ends of your strands whether it's before blow-drying or while you're out in the sun. Hydration is key!"  

Paul Mitchell Marula Oil Rare Oil Treatment $40

Muted Rust


"I just did this gorgeous muted copper/rust color on a client for a class," says Cassie Siskovic, one of Kenra Professional's color educators. "It's a perfectly natural combination of warm and cool colors, and Gigi Hadid was our inspiration." 

And since great color (and healthy strands) start at the scalp, we recommend using this detoxing scrub—it's strategically infused with activated charcoal—one to two times per week. 

Platinum Deep Detox Scrub
Kenra Professional Platinum Deep Detox Scrub $28

Rustic Mauve

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Meet "rustic mauve," another summer hair color prediction from Siskovic that can be easily copied. Riding the pink hair trend, which has been chugging along for a while now, Siskovic's take is a bit more subdued with some healthy rootage for more a more lived-in, beachy look. 

"It's similar to a smoky rose gold, except it's slightly cooler and more wearable than other shades of pink we've seen recently," she explains. "Ideally, it will fade back to a champagne shade of blonde similar to Hailey Baldwin's." To keep color pristine, feel free to brush up the tone every so often with IGK's easy-to-use color spray, which delivers the perfect amount of pigment. 

IGK Girls Club Color Spray $20

Cream Soda Blonde

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For her next summer hair color, Siskovic predicts a "very soft variation of warm balayage" called cream soda blonde. And if the name isn't alluring enough, we suggest taking a look at J.Lo's gorgeous shade as ultimate inspiration. 

"Sunny, golden honey shades of blonde left with a slight deliberate root will flatter the warmth and depth that skin gets in the summer months," confirms Lee. "Plus, having that gradation of color allows for as little maintenance as possible. Summer is about being outside—not being stuck in a salon."

To infuse strands with maximum volume like Lopez's but minimum tackiness and grit, we've recently been into this new addition from R+Co, which pumps up strands with an extra hit of thickness, therefore helping to beef up the look of lightened ends (which can quickly begin to a look a little scraggly). 

R+Co Rodeo Star Thickening Style Foam $30

Next up: Say hello to the best haircuts for summer 2018, according to celebrity hairstylists.

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