21 Best Hair Color Trends of 2021 You’ll Be Wearing All Year Long

This year will feel like breaking off a toxic relationship that you wish would’ve ended much earlier (bye, 2020! See you never!). And what’s the best way to get over a breakup? With a new hairstyle and hair color, duh. Although trips to the hair salon looked a little different during the last year and will probably continue to for a while, there has been no shortage of hair color experimentation over the last few months—and the same can be said for the future of 2021.

From subtle shade changes that are easy to maintain to big, bold new colors, I’m calling it: These will be the biggest 2021 hair color trends you’ll see next year. Now, while I go set a reminder one year from now to come back and check on these highly accurate predictions, you should get to scrolling and deciding on which one you want to try first in the new year. I call number three.

1Dark Chocolate Hair for 2021

one-dimensional, dark-chocolate shade like this will be a popular color choice in 2021, and lucky for you, it’s also one of the easier colors on this list to DIY with a little box dye. But if you choose to dye your hair yourself this year, it’s still best to stick with a color that’s only two shades darker than your natural color.

2This Bronzey Brunette Color

If you like dark-chocolate shades, but want the teeniest bit of dimension, add a few subtle highlights to your brown hair. Even if you’re stuck inside for a good chunk of 2021, you can still get the look of bronzed strands with a little help from your colorist.

3Warm Brown Balayage Trend

This soft ombré (sombré, if you will) fades flawlessly from dark chocolate to warm brown, which is everything I want my hair to be during winter 2021.

4Chunky Highlights

The year 2020 brought back the chunky highlights around the face that your mom was rocking 20 years ago, and you’ll still be seeing a lot of ’em come 2021—but maybe a slightly more subtle version like this.

5Toffee Tones for 2021

If you have naturally dark-brown hair and want to lighten it up this year without doing anything too drastic, try adding a few golden pieces to your dark hair with balayage. The way these highlights hit right at the cheekbones brings warmth and brightness around the face.

6Subtle Highlights

Looking for a new hair color to go with your new shaggy haircut and bangs? A few subtle highlights scattered throughout will add even more depth and dimension to your style and be fully on trend for 2021.

7Chestnut Brown Balayage

Did someone say dimension?! If you love yourself some highlights and lowlights, this balayage hair color is the perfect balance of bright blonde and warm chestnut. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of people wearing it come 2021.

8Highlighted Curls for 2021

If you love your curl pattern and really want to show it off, try getting a few highlights on select curls throughout—but don’t try highlighting your hair yourself. Because the color process can alter the shape of your curls, you want to make sure to work with a pro for the best results.

9Rooty Blonde Hair Color Trend

“Blonde hair” and “low-maintenance” are generally not two things you hear in the same sentence, but a rooty-blonde look like this will help you prolong the time between visits to the salon—and help you look good while doing it.

10Blonde Balayage for 2021

Natural roots and blonde highlights look great on a lot of different hair types, but a golden-blonde balayage looks particularly amazing on curls, IMO. While sometimes highlights on curls can appear stripy, when they’re off the root like this, you get color that looks natural and grows out smoothly. It’s the perfect choice when you don’t know when your next trip to the salon will be.

11Bright Blonde Hair Color

If you’re able to see your colorist on a regular basis in 2021, this bright, all-over blonde would be worth all the extra time spent at the salon. And for those weeks in between, become BFFs with a purple shampoo to stop the warm tones from turning brassy.

12Honey Blonde Hair Color Trend

A warm-toned blonde like this was huge in 2020, and the natural-looking shade will be sticking around for 2021, too. A little bit of a shadow root will help soften the look of the highlights and help your color grow out a little more seamlessly (are you noticing a theme?? This year we’re all about color that grows out nicely).

13Glossy, Shiny Hair for 2021

If you want to try something new but keep it close to your natural hair color, get a hair gloss at the salon or try an at-home version. While some glosses simply add shine, others can leave a tint to your hair so you can switch up your color ever so slightly.

14Auburn Hair Trend

If you want to bust into 2021 in the best way, this bright, warm, fiery red hair color is the way to do it. Although it might not last the longest or be the easiest to maintain, a bold color like this one is worth all the trouble.

15Cinnamon Brown Hair Color

This more natural shade of cinnamon is a good choice if you want to go red but don’t want to overcommit yourself. To maintain the health of your strands in between appointments, a deep-conditioner and a hot-oil treatment to your regular routine.

16Rusty Red Hair for 2021

The perfect balance of red and brown tones, this auburn hair color is a solid choice for brunettes looking to add a little warmth to their look.

17Copper Red Hair

The subtle highlights throughout this fiery red shade create depth that makes this hair color trend look like actual shiny, copper. And it works particularly well to balance out pink undertones in someone with fair skin.

18Pastel Pink for 2021

There was no shortage of bright, fun, unnatural hair colors in 2020 (what’s a person to do when they’re stuck inside with a lot of time and a lot of hair dye?), and come spring 2021, you’ll be seeing a lot of pastel colors like this, so stock up on that temporary hair color.

19Multicolored Hair

But why limit yourself to just one shade of pink? If you love to experiment with your color, go all in with lots of different shades and color trends in 2021. Just make sure to see a pro colorist if you plan on bleaching your hair first for the best color payoff.

20Ash Blonde Hair

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about warm, golden tones, but don’t forget about ash-blonde hair if you love a cool-toned blonde. There’s about a million ways to wear ash blonde hair, like this dark ash blonde, and you’ll be seeing them all in 2021.

21Silver Hair for 2021

A step up from ash-blonde, you’ll find silver hair. Some celebs and influencers have already jumped on the gray hair trend lately, and it’s a particularly great choice if you’re looking to hide some grays without all the upkeep of a darker color.

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