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These Are the Hair Color Ideas You’re About To See Everywhere, According to Celeb Stylists

Courtesy of Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

A new season ushers in new trends, and one of the biggest changes we’re seeing from a beauty perspective comes from the world of hair color. As we all begin to venture out and ease back into the world, we’re also embracing the opportunity to express ourselves and have fun and experiment—especially when it comes to trending hues. 

“Now that everyone is able to come back to salons, we are going to see big changes happening,” predicts Nikki Lee, celebrity colorist and Garnier brand ambassador. At the top of her trend radar? “Going bolder with fun red tones and bringing back that ‘90s Baby Spice blonde.”. 

If you are ready for a fresh start and a trendy new hair color, you’ve come to the right place. We consulted a panel of the top celebrity hairstylists (they’re responsible for some of the most vivid hues in Hollywood) to break down the trendiest hair color ideas for 2021.

About the Experts: 
George Papanikolas is a brand ambassador for Matrix and one of the top celebrity colorists in Hollywood. His past clients have included Kim Kardashian, Penélope Cruz, and Hailey Bieber.
Nikki Lee is a celebrity colorist, brand ambassador for Garnier, and co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon in L.A. Her celebrity clientele includes Selena Gomez, Emma Roberts, and Hilary Duff. 
Nikki Ferrara is a celebrity colorist based in New York City. Her client list includes names like Ellie Kemper, Olivia Wilde, and Mila Kunis. After years working at esteemed salons, including Oscar Blandi and Sally Hershberger, Ferrara opened her own bespoke salon, Nikki Ferrara Hair Color.
Aura Friedman is a celebrity colorist and the master colorist at Sally Hershberger in New York City.

1. Strawberry Blonde

An image of Phoebe Dynevor showing her strawberry blonde hair
Courtesy of Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

The biggest hair color trend of 2021? All shades of red hair. “I think with the popularity of Bridgerton, red hair color is definitely going to have a bigger moment this year,” says Nikki Ferrara, the celebrity hair colorist behind Phoebe Dynevor’s gorgeous red hue. Ferrara predicts that most people will keep it more natural, which is exactly what you could do with a beautiful strawberry blonde hue. “Redheads are definitely my wheelhouse, as you may know, and mostly anyone can be a redhead,” says Ferrara. Her tip? Steer clear of anything that looks artificial.

2. Copper

A photo of Zendaya looking chic with a copper hair color
Courtesy of Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

While red is the hair color of 2021, it isn’t just about strawberry blonde hair color—copper is another popular shade on our radar this year. “Try to stick with deep coopers or gold coopers,” says Ferrara. In order to achieve best results, Ferrara recommends staying away from red violet or violet undertones. “It tends to make people look washed out, especially if your skin tone is on the deeper side,” says Ferrara.

3. Rose Gold 

Hailey Bieber rocking it with a rose gold hair color
Courtesy of Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Pretty in pink still applies, as far as your tresses are concerned. “Rose gold is still trending and to maintain it try using a rose gold shampoo or conditioner when you feel like it needs to be freshened up,” says Lee, who recommends using color-safe shampoos and conditioners “to keep the color locked in” if you want your pink hair to last. In order to achieve this look, you’ll start with blonde balayage highlights. “Make sure the ends are light enough to accept the pastel tones,” says George Papanikolas, celebrity colorist and Matrix brand ambassador. 

4. Balayage

A photo of Ellen Pompeo showing her balayage
Courtesy of Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

While hair color trends may come and go, there is one constant in the space: beautiful balayage. “Balayage has become the most requested color in the salon. It not only photographs well, but it can be tailored to suit almost any client,” says Papanikolas, who is known for his skilled balayage technique, just like the look he crafted for client Ellen Pompeo. Whether you have light brown, dark brown hair, or blonde hair you can add dimension and depth to your color with a little balayage. 

5. Rooted Blonde

A photo of Selena Gomez with a rooted blonde
Courtesy of Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

After quarantine it seems like even the celeb set is more comfortable with showing off dark roots, and rooted blonde hair color, (AKA shadow roots),  is an emerging trend for 2021. “Embrace your roots! The rooted look is in now. If this pandemic taught us anything about ourselves is, we might like our natural more than we think,” says Lee. 

6. Skunk Hair

A photo of Billie Eilish with her iconic green skunk hair
Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

While some may prefer to freshen up their balayage, others are embracing bold throwback trends from the ‘90s, like skunk hair, which is “a blend of harmonizing 2 hues together such as dark brown and platinum,” says Lee. While Christina Aguilera was known for sporting the style back in the day, now everyone from Dua Lipa to Billie Ellish is also showing off a variety of shades in interesting hairstyles, Whether you opt for face-framing highlights or a peek-a-boo streak of color or reserve ombre, there are so many different ways to sport the style. 

7. Caramel Brown

A photo of Zendaya looking cute with a caramel brown hair color
Courtesy of JP Yim/Getty Images

“Caramel Balayage tips are very popular for brunettes,” says Papanikolas, who says it’s best to space out the highlights and stay away from the roots. “This gives the hair movement and dimension without losing the richness of the dark color,” he says. The secret to striking the perfect balance when attempting to achieve caramel highlights? Keeping enough dark hair and not highlighting all the ends. When working with brown hair color this is key to “avoid looking brassy and dip-dyed,” says Papanikolas. 

8. The Money Piece

A photo of Jamie Chung looking fresh with highlights
Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Lighter, face-framing highlights that brighten your complexion and add dimension to your hair, a’la Jamie Chung, are totally trending and often referred to as the money piece. “Piece-y highlights that look like they were created by the sun, are more the standard,” says Ferrara. When it comes to styling your face-framing highlights you can wear your hair down in waves or put it up and put the focus on the lightened strands. “For money pieces around the face, a slicked-back bun and loose tendrils of colored hair is the perfect mix of sophistication and edge,” says Aura Friedman. 

9. Baby Blonde

A photo of Anya Taylor-Joy looking cute on a baby blonde hair color
Courtesy of Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

Baby Blonde, (like we’ve seen in the ‘90s on Baby Spice), is back in a big way—and no one sports the platinum blonde hue quite like Anya Taylor Joy. “After a year of quarantine, blondes want to come back brighter and blonder than ever,” says Papanikolas, who says pale baby blonde is seriously trending. 

10. Bronde

A photo of Beyoncé rocking the stage with her look
Courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images

A harmonious blend of brunette hair and blonde highlights is a soft balayage trend that we can expect to see in a big way this year. “Brunettes always look best on the warmer side,” says Ferrara of the trend, which works well on a variety of skin tones and complexions. Many are also drawn to this hair dye trend because it's low-maintenance when it starts to grow out. 

11. Inky Black

An image of Awkwafina with a classy inky black hair color
Courtesy of Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

There’s something so glamorous about a shiny coat of black hair, especially because it works well on a variety of skin tones, but Papanikolas advises against making a major change to pull off black hair, especially if it’s a stretch from your base color. “Glossy black coloring looks best on natural brunettes, the universal rule is to stay within four shades of your natural hair color,” he says. If you go any darker the results might seem too harsh. For maintenance, reach for a green shampoo to “help neutralize unwanted red tones,” says Papanikolas. 

12. Buttercream Blonde

A photo of Emma Roberts with a captivating buttercream blonde hair
Courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

This golden blonde, sun-kissed shade is on the top of Lee’s trending list and is defined by a natural, creamy approach with golden highlights and a lot of dimension, just like the warm buttercream shade she created for her client, Emma Roberts. The beauty of it is in the way the varying shades blend together—and because of this, it works well on a variety of skin tones. If you have blonde hair to begin with and want to add some dimension to your look, adding some lowlights will help you achieve the trend. If you have brown hair, adding blonde highlights will bring you to a honey blonde or golden blonde and then you can work from there.

13. Chunky Highlights

An image of Jennifer Lopez with flashy highlights

When it comes to hair color ideas, ‘90s trends are back in a big way, and chunky highlights are no exception. From Jennifer Lopez to Dua Lipa and Kaia Gerber, the celeb set can’t seem to get enough of this throwback trend. “The ‘90s are back and bolder than ever,” says Lee. Nothing brings back ‘90s vibes quite like chunky highlights, just like the ones Kelly Clarkson used to rock. While the chunky streaks of today are a bit more blended, they still make a major statement. 

14. So Silver

A photo of Kim Kardashian being sexy with a silver blonde hair color
Courtesy of Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Futuristic silver blonde shades are also on our radar for 2021, and it’s partially because many have started to embrace their natural hair color and the appearance of gray hairs. Thinking about embracing your roots? “If you are naturally 80% grey then it's an easy transition and will make upkeep much easier,” says Papanikolas. The futuristic silver shades are typically more flattering on younger clients, yet achieving such a bold color doesn’t come easy. “Platinum and silver requires a financial and time commitment and can be hard on the hair,” Papanikolas says. If you’re ready to embrace some bleach to unleash your inner ice queen, let Kim Kardashian’s rooted silver serve as an inspiration before you book your appointment. 

15. Chestnut Brown

A photo of Issa Rae with a stylish chestnut brown hair color
Courtesy of Rich Polk/Getty Images

This rich, chocolate brown hue on Issa Rae is filled with warm tones, which is exactly what Ferrara expects we will see this year. It’s all about “chocolates, golds, espressos, anything that displays a level of shine,” she says. Not only does this specific shade of brown hair color brighten up the face and add dimension, but it’s easy to keep your color looking vibrant. “This hair color can be maintained nicely with a color depositing mask,” says Lee. 

Thinking about switching up your look? While you can easily buy a box of hair dye and attempt to DIY a new hair color, if you're thinking of making a big change it might be best to book an appointment with your hairstylist, who can manage expectations and help you achieve your desired hue without sacrificing the health of your hair. 

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About the author
Katrina Mitzeliotis Lanza
Katrina is a freelance writer and on-air correspondent with over a decade of experience covering beauty, fashion, and entertainment. When she isn't freelancing, you can catch her on QVC or chasing after her two-year-old son.
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Article Last Updated May 21, 2021 12:00 AM