Glamour November 7, 2023



The Coolest Winter Hair Colors to Try Right Now


Espresso martini brunette, anyone?

Now that the weather is cooling down, it's time to turn your attention to the hunt for the best winter hair colors. Because yes, it’s somehow already that time. Plus, there's really no need to get through all those awkward family get-togethers and desperate holiday gift brainstorm sessions without a fresh shade to debut in the new year.

As for what's trending? Natural hair colors and techniques like subtly highlighted brunette is having a moment, but that doesn't mean hair color is in a boring place—in fact, quite the opposite. There's plenty of unexpected hair color trends to be had. From super-dark shades like jet-black and radiant reds like cowboy copper to light shades like creamy blonde, there's sure to be at least one, if not several, winter hair color trends you'll want to try.

If you're unsure where to start, you're in the right place. We asked top hairstylists for the coolest winter hair colors for every style, hair length, and texture. Read on for the best winter hair colors for 2023, and get ready to screenshot to show your colorist.

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Edgy Copper

“The top trending shades for this winter season will be a mix of vibrant, enchanting reds and coppers,” says Richy Kandasamy, colorist, VP of R+Color development, and R+Co collective member. “Think luxe, rich palettes of valentine reds and coppers and bronze that evoke warmth and sophistication. These can range anywhere from traditional shades to multidimensional hues.”

One of his favorites for the season? Edgy rust copper. “This offers a bit of an edge to traditional red and copper shades,” he says. “For added intensity, you can add more of a rust color.”

Espresso Martini Brunette

“An ode to everyone's favorite festive cocktail, this season’s espresso martini hair color is steering brunettes toward cooler and deeper shades and away from gold and mahogany hues,” says Shvonne Perkins, Madison Reed master colorist. “The shade emphasizes smoky, cool ash hues in various brown shades, leaning toward a neutral to cool spectrum while minimizing red and warm reflections. The result? Rich, deep brown hair with cool undertones that create a truly sophisticated look.”

Cashmere Bronde

On the lighter side is cashmere bronde, which Perkins defines as an artful blend of coffee tones that emphasizes cooler and darker blonde shades. “Departing from the ultra-light, platinum looks of the past, it sits between dark and light blondes with violet sterling undertones, avoiding overly yellow or gold tones for a universally flattering hue," she says. If you are starting with blonde or highlighted hair, you can achieve it by perfecting your tone with Madison Reed Color Therapy Mask in Perla or Color Reviving Gloss in Crema.


Dark hair colors like jet-black are predicted to be everywhere in the New Year. “Jet-black is a deep, intense black shade that can create a striking and dramatic appearance,” says Nicole Ann Hardy, a colorist at New York City's Mahogany Grace Salon. “It can be a bold choice that adds a touch of sophistication to your overall look. However, it's important to note that jet-black hair can require regular maintenance to keep the color looking vibrant and to prevent any potential fading.”

Valentine Red

Expect to see an uptick in bright reds, like valentine, and pinks this winter too, says Kandasamy. To get the look, he suggests using IGK’s Color Depositing Mask in shade Tarantino Red.


Prefer your hair colors low-maintenance? There are plenty of natural-looking shades to choose from this winter too. “Focusing on a ‘less is more’ approach, this trend emphasizes accent highlights over a classic shade to create a subtle yet impactful effect without appearing overly highlighted,” says Perkins of “subtle-lights.” “These glowing strands placed throughout your hair will add dimension to your winter locks, and with the right shade and placement, it can also help brighten up complexion.”

Copper Penny

“Winter will bring a more vibrant twist to the copper trends we’ve been seeing with shades resembling golden and high-shine coppers: Think a copper penny,” says Perkins. “Especially for those with light to medium brunette or highlighted hair, this trend emphasizes staying light and bright while avoiding dramatic shifts toward deep reds.” To create the look, use Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit in Matera Merigold or Carrara Crimson.

“Expensive” Brunette

If jet-black feels a little too extreme for you, hair color and extension specialist Kevin Kelly has a solution. “I have most of my clients go more toward a deep brunette, or as I like to call it, ‘expensive brunette,’ where you’re still overall dark with very subtle brown dimension,” he says.

Caramel Lowlights

For a more quiet-luxury-inspired take on brownie-batter brunette, Nicole Lucero, a colorist at NYC’s Mahogany Grace Salon recommends dyeing your hair a rich chocolate brown with reddish undertones and opting for lowlights instead of blonde highlights.

“This look is achieved by adding lowlights to the hair in shades of caramel or burgundy,” she says. “It is a great way to achieve a natural-looking hair color that is also striking and bold.”

Smoky Red

Kandasamy also points to smoky valentine red as a top hair color trend to watch this winter. “This is a classic reflective red shade that is glossy and rich,” he says. “Alternatively, you could ask for a cooler, satin-like finish. Go bold and you can add in some smokiness with darker reds.”

Chantilly Blonde

Now that Beyoncé has debuted her own take on chantilly blonde hair, you can expect to see it everywhere soon. “Chantilly blonde is still blonde and bright but with contrast and warmer tones for the fall,” says celebrity hair colorist Rita Hazan, who dyed Beyoncé’s hair the creamy shade for fall.

To get the look yourself, Hazan says there is one rule of thumb: “Go one to two shades darker than your current shade.” At the salon, be sure to ask your hair colorist for contrast and dimension with highlights; that’s essential. “You can add lowlights to create the contrast one to two shades darker,” Hazan says, suggesting you keep the color tones buttery and golden.

Cowboy Copper

Cowboy copper is pretty much the next iteration of last year’s copper craze but is now leaning more into golden auburn territory than its highly pigmented predecessors. “This hair color shifts the bold copper shade we’ve been seeing everywhere to a more muted copper,” says Perkins. “Think apple cider. It’s a mix of a warm, light auburn hue with subtle hints of gold and copper.”

Rich Brunette

Leland Joel Olson, style and color master for Kevin Murphy, says deep brunette looks will be huge this season. “A rich and luxe brunette provides incredible shine and smoothness and evenness to your hair color,” he says and recommends incorporating Everlasting Colour Treatment into your routine to maintain the shade and integrity of your hair.

Chai Blonde

If you love to keep your hair light in the winter, don't fret: Chai blonde might be the hue for you. “In the summer we tend to get more sun exposure at the beach, causing our blondes to lighten more, becoming brighter and drier,” Olson says. That's why going for a golden dark blondes with hints of honey and caramel in the winter is so popular. “It will give life back into your sun bleach tresses,” he says.

Warm Chocolate

On the darker side? Opt for warm chocolate tones, like Selena Gomez's current shade. “Her dark chocolate tone softens her light honey complexion, and these colors are great for winter,” says Wiley. What's more, she adds, is that warm tones reflect more light. “Adding warmth in will brighten the hairs reflection, create shine, and give the skin the appearance of evenness and glow.”

Auburn Balayage

Balayage is making a comeback, especially in red and auburn tones. “These looks are popular because they are changing the norm of heavy balayaged hair,” says Lorena M. Valdes, hair colorist at Chicago's Maxine Salon. “It's usually so dark at the roots to extremely blonde on the ends, but that is time-consuming. Now people want more simplicity”—and to look like Rihanna, obviously.

Cozy Blonde

According to Jennifer Korab, hairstylist and owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa, we're going to see a lot of cozy blonde and bronde shades this winter. “The cozy-blonde trend is more of a darker blonde, but clients who are usually lovers of bright platinum hair are requesting this color to warm things up for the season,” she says. This look is also super low-maintenance.

Pumpkin Spice Red

Lauren Mildice, hair colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, points to pumpkin spice “bropper,” which is brown hair and copper color mix, as a prime red shade to watch for the season.

“This is a great option for the cozy months when you feel the urge to richen your color but do not want a dramatic change,” she says, adding that the best part about this color is that it’s so customizable. “This color keeps everyone guessing since it reflects differently in the light, like an amber gemstone, and you can keep it solid or add dimension. Customize it with your colorist!”

Gilded Brown

Wiley also predicts an uptick in more dimensional and gilded browns come winter. “Emmy Rossum has that deep golden brunette that everyone will be asking for,” she says. Just don't forget the importance of at-home hair care when transitioning to or incorporating more warm tones, she continues: “Use a color-safe shampoo like Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. It moisturizes hair in the winter months and retains your hair color with its sulfate-free formula.”

Icy Blue

If you've been platinum for a while, it may be time to give pastels a try. While baby pink had a moment this spring, for winter, celebrity colorist and Clairol partner Jeremy Tardo suggests a pale blue or teal. “Mermaids are a vibe all year,” Tardo says. “If you’re someone who loves to play with hair color, this is a great way to change up your look. We all want more fun!”

Strawberry Shades

Strawberry shades are in high demand too. “Blonde clients are transitioning to strawberry blonde,” Wiley says, and Korab says the same of her own salon: “Clients are requesting this color to warm things up for winter. The warm rich red tones can be more on the natural side, or can be bold and bright.”

Golden Platinum 

The most modern take on platinum is a little warmer than the icy gray shades that popped up a few years ago but is still superbright. “Platinum perfection is hard to achieve,” says celebrity colorist Bianca Hillier. “Buttery golden blonde tones are fun and reflect the most shine.” She adds that a more golden platinum is also easier to pull off if you're pale and prone to redness, since it doesn't contrast with the warmth in your skin the way silver does. “Keep in mind that, when time passes, all color fades, so a perfect purple toning shampoo is key,” she says. “Try using the new Olaplex No 4p Blonde Enhancer Toning Shampoo for extra longevity between salon appointments.”

Iridescent Orange

Peachy-orange shades were one of the top hair-color trends for fall, and it looks like the shade isn't going anywhere for winter; it's just getting a little richer. “This color palette frames your facial features with brightness when cold and dreary climates make everything else look dull,” says celebrity colorist and Clairol partner Jeremy Tardo. “These hair colors are especially flattering on fair complexions that can sometimes look a bit washed out in winter.” To get the shade, he suggests asking for a light red color with peach and orange kickers. If you're already blonde and want to DIY the shade at home, try Clairol Nice’n Easy 8SC Medium Copper Blonde.

Biscotti Blonde

Tardo calls this soft shade a “timeless Tuscan blonde.” It's also the perfect shade to try if you want something on the light side but are weary of maintenance. “This look puts just enough sun reflection in your hair but avoids excessive bleaching,” says Tardo. “I’m enjoying creating these kinds of blondes for my clients who want to give their hair a rest from all of the summer lightening processes.” This shade is great for light brunettes who want to go blonder or blondes who want something more natural, but either way, it's best left to the pros. “If you’re already blonde, have your hairdresser add deeper wheat tones into your previously lightened hair,” he says. “If your hair is not too light already, opt for subtle pieces of neutral blonde.”

Golden Swirls 

Sometimes you don't need a cut to refresh your curls, just some carefully placed color. “This is what luxury looks like,” says Hillier. “Swirls of multidimensional sunshine brings blonde brightness to all curls. This look works on tight and loose curls and brings movement in real life and in a still frame. It’s beautiful for keeping depth but also bringing in pale tones.”

Cherry Cola 

For a different take on red, try a base that's more purple than gold. “This auburn color has various layers of dimension, which looks beautiful any way the light hits it,” says Jamila Powell, owner of Miami's Maggie Rose Salon. “It’s suitable for all skin tones and definitely brightens up your face.” It's also a great way to warm up darker shades like black or brown.

Opalescent Blonde

This shade of blond is so unique, as it just so slightly verges into pink territory without leaning too warm. “I love this particular shade because it’s a multifaceted, shiny, and opalescent blond that has a great dewdrop shimmer when the sun hits,” says Aura Friedman, master colorist at Sally Hershberger Salon. “Ask your stylist for a platinum base, and be sure to have a gloss applied. A key component to achieving this color is the application of a gloss formulated with both warm and cool colors to create the metallic, pearlescent shimmer of this look.”

Honey Hues 

If you're looking to add just a touch of warm to your brunette, consider going for some honey-colored swirls. “Honey hues are a really natural way to add a bit of flair to your typical style,” says Powell. “Plus, the warm hue will stand out against the cold weather.” For a more natural feel, she suggests asking for a lived-in look that doesn't start right at the root.

Golden Glow

Bring the sunshine with you with a shiny, golden shade. “I love this gilded shade of blonde because it’s very warm,” says Freidman. “As skin tones tend to gradually get a bit paler during the winter season, this look is great to infuse color back. To achieve this, I use a lot more golden, warm shades, rather than cool tones, to keep the color bright.”

Warm Brown 

“Brunettes can be tricky and there is a fine line between warmth and brass,” says Hillier. “Just because a brown is warm does not mean it has that red or orange hue. Keeping the root a bit deeper of a shade and the tips a bit warmer and softer will give the credibility of natural lived in hair.” She also suggests chatting with your stylist to choose a shade of warmth that makes your eye color pop.

Spiced Swirls 

Extensions aren't just for adding length—they can also be a temporary way to play with color. For this look Clint Torres Jr., a stylist at LA's Nine Zero One Salon, started with some brown highlights, and then added in swirls of caramel extensions, one or two shades lighter than her natural hair. “I love this look because of the color-blocking created,” he says. “Warm strands of honey and caramel blended together to create warmth to her naturally dark hair.”

Buttery Blonde

For blondes this season it's all about more natural, lived-in color. “Blondes are opting for more casual, shade-on-shade dimension,” says Mark DeBolt, co-owner and master stylist at New York's Mark Ryan Salon. “We’re creating blondes that have shadowed highlights closer to the root with light ends. This season we achieve this by adding darker pieces directly beneath the lighter strands. This creates contrast and movement throughout the hair and will add depth closer to the root.”


If you've been toying with going super dark, there's no better time than winter to go all the way. Not only is it dramatic and sexy, but it also makes hair look so shiny and healthy. “Black goes well on every skin tone, texture, and length of hair,” says Powell. “Just keep in mind that once you go black, it can be very hard to lift.”

Ginger Blonde

If you want to add some warmth without going full-on red, opt for a mix of gold and ginger tones. It's a pretty way to ease into red, and the pops of blond add tons of movement on any hair type. “This really works for anyone who wants to put in pops of color, but to also use warm tones,” says Torres. “Ask your stylist for a partial ombré with some warm tones.”

Lighten Up 

Torres is a firm believer in breaking hair rules and is a fan of going lighter for winter instead of darker. For a similar look to this one—which started as jet-black—ask your stylist to do a full highlight and melt your base color at the root.

Dark Coffee 

Consider this one of our favorite takes on dark winter hair colors. “It's softer and easy to wear if you add black to your medium or dark brown base color with foils or balayage rather than going completely solid,” says Rex Jimieson, color educator and colorist at Maxine Salon. “Ask for a demipermanent color so you can change it down the road. Plus, it will be super shiny.”

Vino Rojo

“This is a gorgeous, deep ruby tone,” says Tardo. “It’s warm but dark, so it feels sexy and strong. This is a great color on most skin tones. However, if you have a super-fair complexion, I’d suggest adding a bit more warmth to the color formula.” He suggests asking your stylist for a deep neutral red-brown shade, or try Clairol Nice’n Easy 5M Medium Mahogany Brown at home.

Toasty Ginger 

“I always feel drawn to gingers, because how much movement and reflection of light these toasty tones give off,” says Torres. For another pretty take on peachy tones, ask for a warm toasty ginger with golden tones.

Honey Wheat Highlights 

Dramatic highlights are one of the season's biggest trends, but they particularly pop on curls. “This color is beautiful on warmer skin tones and is drastic enough to feel like you’re really switching up your look,” says Powell. “Dimension is key, so make sure you and your stylist are on the same page about the final color you're looking for.”

Creamy Blonde

“Warm is the best tonal direction to go for when it starts getting cold out,” says Matt Rez, celebrity colorist at LA's Meche Salon. “If you're a blonde that’s been more on the creamy, or even the beige side, and have wanted to try a warmer allover feel, adding midlights that will lift warm and/or warmer highlights to your existing color will ease your way to super warm down the road. Fall is the best time to try this trend—not to mention intentional warmer colors have a softer fade over time.” To ease into the shade, start by asking for a warm golden gloss on top of your existing blonde.

Cinnamon Chocolate 

The trick to nailing this perfect winter hair color is the contrast created between a warm auburn tint and a dark brunette base. The layering is very subtle and looks amazing on every length and texture.

Subtle Dimension

Hillier says it's all about creating movement and dimension through color. “Painted balayage throughout the bangs give for an even more natural vibe, but be sure to not over highlight and have a lighter chunk hanging in your face,” she says. “These warm tones are all the rage this fall and are giving us autumn inspo.”

Burnt Spice

“This winter is all about burnt copper and brandished red tones,” says DeBolt. “Think deep, earth reds with natural finishes. This works well for anyone with warm, peachy skin and looks particularly stunning on anyone with green or hazel eyes.”

Chunky Highlights 

“There’s a major nod to the ’90s happening right now in hair, from cuts to color,” says DeBolt. “For color, it’s the reimagined ’90s chunky highlights—it’s all about the contrast! This trend looks cooler with either a blowout or air-dried texture.”

Fine Lines 

For a more natural blonde, ask for a mix of finely woven highlights and lowlights. “As seen on Khloé Kardashian it’s gives you an allover statement blonde,” says Karissa Schaudt, a colorist at Maxine Salon. “Ask for babylights to ensure the pieces aren’t chunky and very blended. This is best on short to medium hair lengths and great on blondes all year round including those winter months.”

Pastel Pink 

“Want to end the year with a bang? Pastel Pink is my favorite bold and flirty shade to recommend to my clients,” says Powell. Brighter DIY candy pinks were popular this spring and summer, but for the winter months ask your stylist for a shade with cool tones. “While the maintenance for pastel pink hair can be high, it’s so worth it if you want to celebrate the seasons with some color!”

Deep Espresso 

Embrace the cold-weather vibes and richen up your brown to an almost black espresso. DeBolt suggests asking your stylist for color-support products like shampoos and glosses to maintain shine and depth between salon visits.

Warm Dimension 

To get curls to really pop, add a variation of warm shades on roots and ends. To get a similar look at home, celebrity hairstylist Derick Monroe recommends Dark & Lovely Fade Resist in Chestnut Brown at the roots and Honey Blonde on ends. Since both colors are on the warm side, the result doesn’t look fake, just super dimensional and pretty. 


When it comes to paler skin tones, you want a hint of blue in your black for the most contrast possible. “This is juicy and shiny,” says Hillier. “It’s best on pale skin tones to truly give the sharp contrast. Using a blue tone will keep it looking extra shiny and even wet. Be sure that your colorist is glossing with a nonpermanent to prevent color buildup.”

Deep Auburn 

Red and copper popped up as It shades last year, it isn't slowing down any time soon. “I’m in love with this shade of red hair,” says Rez. “It’s the perfect marriage of warmth and depth that makes this color so special.” For a red with tons of depth, he says to ask your colorist for an auburn shade that doesn't read purple: “The perfect auburn has a brown background with a deep copper reflect.” 

Root Melt 

“With salons being closed in many states for months, a lot of people have embraced their dark roots,” says Katie Cartwright, a colorist at Nine Zero One. “What I like about this look is it keeps your color looking lived in and sun-kissed. It doesn’t have to be a whole situation every time you go to the salon.” The trick, she says, is to ask your stylist for a hairline highlight and root melt to refresh your current color.

Bright Red 

If you're not afraid to make a statement, a bright, true red is a fun change that makes curls pop. “This shade is perfect for the winter because it will really stand out against all of the neutral winter shades,” says Powell. “It’s a fun yet still sophisticated hair color.” Ask your stylist for a bold red that doesn't lean purple, with a little bit of a root.

Ice Cube Blonde 

Schaudt suggests this look for someone who wears their hair up a lot, since the color is concentrated near the face and hairline. “If you’re planning on hitting the gym a lot this winter, try this one out,” she says. As for the color itself, “this tone is an ashy blonde, comparable to a platinum blonde,” she says. “This is heavily placed around the hairline and the first quarter to half inch of the part.” 

Solid Colors 

While ombrés and root smudges are one way to limit maintenance, Rez also suggests going the opposite direction with a solid color with no highlights. “I love this for people who want super-easy and quick trips in and out of the salon,” he says. “If you get touch-ups every two to eight weeks and want to keep it simple—especially now in these times—this is for you.” Although Rez suggests going into the salon if possible (ask for a base that's close to your natural color so there's no demarcation line), it's also easy enough to touch up at home if need be. 

Cold Brew 

You might be all about an extra-hot macchiato come fall, but the cold brew that carried you through summer can be a year-round thing. First spotted as the work of colorist Eric Vaughn, the multidimensional brown tones are paired with a subtle reddish warmth to create a rich mahogany effect.