Glamour May 12, 2023



The Best Summer Hair Colors to Try Right Now


From cinnamon copper to Playboy-inspired gold.

Now that the weather is (mostly) warming up, the search for the best summer hair colors is on. No matter what vibe you’re going for, there are more options than ever if you want to cross over to the dark or light side—or somewhere in the middle. This season’s trending tints are both high and low-maintenance. Some beauty buffs are opting to add warmth to dark tones with candlelit brunette, while blondes are leaning into platinum, champagne, and Playboy-inspired gold.

“People are ready to get out and show off and live their best lives, and I’m seeing that with color,” says Tracey Cunningham, a celebrity colorist and the author of True Color, says of this summer’s hair trends. “Some are going super blonde, and others are sticking to a beautiful balayage or ombré that makes them look and feel their best.” She says a big trend in her salon has been clients’ going lighter and brighter. (It is summer, after all.) “Highlights are back in. Every time I’m in the salon, I see hair getting blonder, blonder, blonder—whether their natural tone is a brunette, redhead, or darker blonde.” On the other hand, shades of red, copper, and strawberry are still going strong, as are amped-up shades of whatever nature gave you.

No matter what your vibe is, we rounded up the coolest summer hair color ideas to try, from bold Technicolor to low-key natural and everything in between. We even threw in a few DIY options, in case you’ve yet to return to the salon. (Just be sure to read our guide on how to color your hair at home first.) Read on for 23 trending summer hair colors to try this season, and get ready to book an appointment.

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Icy Platinum

Temperatures may be rising, but hair color shades are cooling down, says Gregory Patterson, celebrity hairstylist and DIY expert for Sally Beauty. “Hair colors, just like anything else in beauty and fashion, go through trends, and hair colors and styles usually ride next to fashion trends,” Patterson says of bright platinum blonde. “At New York Fashion Week, the color palettes are super icy blues and lavender tones. It was very cool, so rather than brightening for spring, we may see a cool-color resurgence.”

Cinnamon Copper

Red hair isn’t going anywhere, says Emily Boulin, hairstylist and Sally Beauty DIY color and styling expert: “All variations of red are in, but copper seems to be the quickest on the rise when clients are looking for a bigger change.” One especially popular take on the shade is cinnamon copper, which is “making a heavy wave,” says hairstylist and color expert for Cosmo Prof Presley Poe, who suggests the Schwarzkopf Vibrance line for maintaining beautiful, rich, and reflective red hair tones.

Butterscotch Blonde

You’re going to see butterscotch blonde everywhere this season, Madison Reed master colorist Shvonne Perkins tells Glamour. “Deep blonde will be trending this season, with butterscotch blonde taking the cake,” she says. “This rich, balanced color allows for a beautiful golden depth, instead of an icy pop.”

The best part? It’s so easy to DIY. If you're starting with a light blonde base and looking to add richness, opt for Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Prosecco. “When golden is present, violet tones are key for keeping color balanced,” she continues. “To maintain the color, choose the ColorSolve Shampoo and Conditioner flavor best suited for your personal hair needs and add the Color Depositing Shot in Blonde for toning and vibrancy.”

Candlelit Brunette

One of 2023’s biggest brunette hair trends is candlelit brunette, says Jennifer Korab, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa in Hillsborough, New Jersey. Korab describes it as “a warm and radiant brown hair color that’s achieved by adding subtle highlights and lowlights to a brown base; the overall effect is meant to mimic the soft, flickering glow of candlelight.”

“To achieve this medium brown ombré color, I use a combination of foiling and balayage highlights techniques to add dimension and depth to the hair,” Korab says. “The tones of the highlights are typically a shade or two lighter than the base color. The shade of a candlelit brunette can vary depending on individual preferences and skin tones. Some people may prefer a more golden, honey-toned look, while others may opt for a deeper, chocolatey tone.” This is an especially ideal option for those with naturally light brown hair, and touch-ups can be infrequent since it looks so chic grown out.

Apricot Bronde

For a fresh twist on the light red copper craze, Perkins suggests apricot bronde, which features a light brown base with apricot golden red tones. “A touch darker than strawberry blonde, this color will beautifully warm up your skin tone and complement a natural makeup look,” she says. “The perfect way to nail this color is with our Radiant Hair Color Kit in Genova Red and refresh the color at home with Color Therapy Mask in Zucca and Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella.”

Expensive Brunette

If you prefer your hair on the warm side, don’t worry: Expensive brunette is very much still in vogue. “Brunettes with a golden undertone are rising in popularity,” Boulin tells Glamour. “It’s subtle, looks natural, and adds a touch of warmth, creating a soft, flattering dimension that looks like it grew out of one’s head organically.”

Expensive Blonde

Yes, there is also an expensive blonde, which Boulin points to as an up-and-coming trend. “It’s natural, softly dimensional, on the higher scale of hair levels,” she says of the shade. To get the warm blonde look, she suggests using Wella Color Charm Honey Blonde 10GV. This look also looks works well as creamy blonde balayage paired with a darker root.

Chocolate Cherry

If your hair is naturally dark but you want to dabble in red hair color, chocolate cherry is the perfect way to combine the two. “It’s an alternative to auburn but still in the warm, reddish family,” says Jason Lee, hairstylist, colorist, and founder of hair care maker Mela & Kera, defining the shade as adding a red wine undertone throughout brunette, which can also be accomplished through red highlights or balayage.

“For those of us who aren’t ready to take the full plunge into red, chocolate cherry seems to be a great way to update your look and make it modern but still live in the brunette world,” he says.

Chilled Chardonnay

Another prime example of the cool color resurgence? Chilled chardonnay. “We’re looking at very cool tones, but the good kind—think very cool, smoky, oaky ash blonde,” Patterson says, pointing to Ion’s 6A Dark Ash Blonde as a prime example of what we’re now calling a chardonnay-inspired cool blonde.

Smoky Espresso

Perkins and Patterson also assert that cool, smoky shades of espresso and brown are having their moment this spring. “This smoky, natural brunette is a great option for brunettes looking to cool down their tone and is reminiscent of the mushroom brunette trend but with a fresh splash of sandy tones,” says Perkins. “Use Madison Reed’s Color Reviving Gloss in Espresso to achieve this color at home, while using the Color Therapy Mask in Caffe for the ultimate refresh between glosses

Cherry Coke Red

“Cherry Coke red is a rich, brunette red with burgundy and violet undertones,” says Alex Brownsell, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Bleach London. “The great thing about this red is that  everyone can achieve the color without having to lift your hair too much or even at all.”

Want to get the look at home? Here’s how: “All shades of blonde hair through to mid brunettes can use our conditioning Super Cool Colors to achieve this color without lifting the hair,” Brownell says, adding that you can get the easily DIY with red hair dye. “Darker hair colors will need to lift the hair to a dark orange, using one of our Bleach Kits. To achieve the color, I use two parts I Saw Red Super Cool Color with one part Bruised Violet Super Cool Color.”

Honey Wheat

“There’s no doubt that brown hair has been a huge color trend in recent years, with many celebrities opting for a natural (even if it’s not their own natural) hue,” says Brownsell. “We have seen many blondes becoming more beige, with many people opting to keep their blonde but tone it down to something that could pass as natural.” Examples of the phenomenon includes caramel blonde and honey wheat, which can be created using part Just Like Honey, part White Heat, and part Instant Coffee.

Midnight Onyx

Wednesday-inspired goth glam has inspired a resurgence in deep brown and black hair like midnight onyx. “This rich black with extra shine, as if to look reflective, is trending after Wednesday,” says Lorena M. Valdes, colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon. “For this look, ask your colorist for an allover hair dye from roots to ends. Malibu C treatments are great to remove any buildup that helps dull and greasy hair.”

Subtle Ombré

“Less is more this spring with a subtle ombré look,” Perkins tells Glamour. “It draws inspiration from ’70s style icons and features a solid root with grown-in, sun-kissed color weaved throughout the mid lengths and ends. Madison Reed’s Light Works Balayage Highlighting Kit is perfect for achieving this look at home.”

Ginger Spice

Megan Fox’s shade of ginger spice hair, seen here, is equal parts eye-catching and natural looking, and that’s what Meche Salon stylist Jacob Schwartz wanted to convey with the shade. “For Megan’s color, we looked through different variations of red. Her eyes are so blue, so I knew adding more copper would be the move,” he says. “I wanted her change to be a full-on moment, but also wanted to approach it with a natural touch, so I kept it a deeper copper tone.” This look is especially well-suited to those with blue eyes, as proven by Fox.

Warm Honey

Looking for a dark blonde hair color? Good news: Hairstylist Nicholas Taylor has also noticed a surge in warm blonde and honey blondes. “I predict deep honey blonde is making its comeback; Chris Appleton did a honey blonde on Kim Kardashian and I’m obsessed,” he says.

Peek-a-boo Pigment

Boulin also points to adding pops of pastel, vivid, and/or contrasting hair color to your head in block sections as an up-and-coming trend. “It’s a fun way to add life into one’s hair color in a trendy, unique way, without committing to a full color correction,” she says, pointing to Miley Cyrus’s two-tone look as a prime example of the style. Another way to experiment with the aesthetic? TikTok-viral skunk-stripe hair.

Strawberry Shortcake

If you want go warmer but aren’t quite ready for pink, consider opting for strawberry blonde, or medium blonde with red undertones. “The perfect way to nail this color is with our Radiant Hair Color Kit in Genova Red and refresh the color at home with Color Therapy Mask in Zucca and Color Reviving Gloss in Cannella," says Perkins.

Copper Brunette

Another way to add a red tint to brunette? Copper brunette. “We are seeing a lot of copper brunettes that are high in shine and rich in copper, golden tones,” Korab tells Glamour. “This hair color is soft and seamless. We are seeing a lot of brunettes also add highlights of copper to accentuate and create a warm vibrant look.”

Creamy White

Another creamy, cool blonde is snowy winter-white blonde. To get the look, Boulin suggests mixing Icy White and Snow Cap from Ion Color Brilliance Bright White Creme toners for the ultimate white blonde tint.

Coffee & Cream

If you prefer rocking a darker shade, you can get the blonde aesthetic with high-contrast colors. “This lux light brown and blonde look is the pigment mix of the moment,” Brownsell says of the two-tone blonde-on-brunette look. “This coffee brown is the perfect color for sectioned styles like Charlie XCX’s Gemini hair and half and half or Dua Lipa-inspired peekaboo stripes.” (Another example? Skunk stripe hair.)

You can achieve this at home using semi-permanent dye like Bleach London’s Instant Coffee Super Cool Color, says Brownsell, and make the blonde pop with face-framing babylights. But the best part? It’s super-low upkeep, as it looks just as chic while growing out.

Playboy Gold

Taylor has also noticed an uptick in Playboy-inspired “bunny golden blonde” as of late. “In 2023, the ‘ash blonde’ is going to be less relevant and we are going to be seeing more gold and honey tones,” he says of the bright baby blonde look.

Mushroom Blonde

Last but certainly not least is mushroom blonde, which is the cool and ashy version of “bronde” (assuming apricot is a bit too warm for your taste). “I love the idea of using mushrooms to describe the tone of the hair color,” says Joel Warren, celebrity colorist and founder of the Salon Project. “They have so many different tones of beige and gray that are hard to describe. These tones evolved from the gray and silver trend to a slightly more natural look. The combinations with highlights and lowlights gives a beautiful modern look.”