It pays to be patient when it comes to fall hair color. Even if it’s been six months since your last appointment, it’s better to score your dream shade mid-September than regret premature lowlights in August. In fact, if you’ve been holding out until now, you’re actually golden.
That’s because the latest hair-color trends are all rooted in fresh tones applied as beautifully-blended balayage — as in, subtle, hand-painted color that requires minimal upkeep, is universally flattering, and is particularly easy to infuse into grown-out summer highlights or on virgin hair.
From honey gold and chocolate chai to a creamy blonde and smoky cocoa, scroll through our slideshow to find the trending looks to ask for at your upcoming (safely socially-distant) salon appointment.Chocolate Chai
Fake a summer spent lounging in the sun with fall’s breakout brunette balayage trend, chocolate chai. The anatomy is simple: Keep your root tone naturally dark, which is where the chocolate reference comes from, then add pale brown “chai” highlights through the midshaft and ends of the hair.
Pro tip: Stephanie Brown, colorist at SoHo’s IGK Salon, explains that chocolate chai balayage is a barely-there color refresh. “I keep the root tone naturally dark, and just paint lighter balayage highlights around the hairline,” she explains. “The vibe is so subtle — it just looks like you spent a summer at the beach.” Colorist Chad Kenyon shows a closeup of a similar chocolate chai color on longer curls — which really shows the dimension in tone.Golden Honey
Fall doesn’t have to mean giving up your blonde, but if you want to transition your bright tone to something that feels more autumnal, a honey-meets-gold balayage is the perfect way to score a flattering, warm undertone.
Pro tip: Amy Clark, a stylist at NYC’s Rob Peetoom Salon, tells us that a honeycomb tone looks best with dimension and shine. “You can ask your stylist for some babylights or foils in the face frame area, and then gloss over it to tone and give your hair a natural looking shine,” she suggests. According to Brown, blonde with a gilded base — like this example on model Paige Drury-Lawrence — is universally flattering. “Those pretty golden, buttery blonde tones are beautiful when transitioning from summer to fall,” she says. But the best part? “I find that it looks good on everyone.” Cinnamon Copper
Experts from L.A. to NYC agree that shades of trendy red color show no signs of slowing down. There are numerous ways to test out a crimson undertone, but the pros we spoke to recommend a cinnamon-meets-copper balayage blend for newbies.
Pro tip: Liv Virden, a colorist from L.A.’s Nova Arts Salon, tells us that if you’re going for a golden copper lift, it’s important to bring lots of photos. “Show the shades that you like, and the ones that you don’t, so that your vision comes to life in a way that looks natural,” she says. We’d recommend screenshot-ing this visual, …read more