InStyle September 25, 2020



The 8 Breakout Hair Color Trends of Winter 2021


Expect to see these shades all over Instagram.

Hair colors never really go out of style. Sure, a shade may have its moment until another one is ushered in as the new "it color," but what's more important than following trends is finding a color that suits you.

That being said, it's hard to ignore the fact that the same handful of colors keep popping up on celebrities, as well as our Instagram feeds. And when you're dying to switch up your hair color for the new season, there's nothing wrong with turning to your favorite celeb or Insta-famous hair colorist for inspiration.

In case that's your current sitch, we've compiled eight shades that on their way to becoming winter 2021's biggest hair color trends. Then we turned to a handful of top stylists for details on why these colors are great for winter, along with helpful maintenance tips. 

From warm honey blonde to pastel pink, keep reading for a complete breakdown on the eight hair colors you'll see everywhere this winter.

Cotton Candy Pink

Pastel pink hair was the most unexpected beauty trend to come out of quarantine.

With salons closed for a handful of months and only so much bread to bake, celebs started to experiment with semi-permanent hair dye. But even though salons are back in business, cotton candy pink hair is still going strong. Take Ariel Winter for example.

"We saw lots of pastel pinks at the beginning of the year and it’s still trending, because who doesn’t get bored?," Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, says of the look. "It’s a dramatic change, but also temporary. The enemy of unnatural dyes is washing, so maintain the color by shampooing less and rinsing with cool water."

One-Dimensional Colors

"The '90s influence is still very much alive," says Demi Passaris master colorist at Spoke & Weal Chicago. People are looking more for single process color instead of dimension, balayage, or rooted looks. This look is about one single color reflecting richly from roots to ends."

Whether you go with a shade of red, blonde, or deep chocolate brown like Lucy Hale, Passaris says a uniform color looks fresh and modern. To ride out your time between salon visits, she recommends going with a shade that isn't too far off from your natural color.

"If you want the single process or one color look and have darker roots, and you want to go three to four months between services, keep the shade closer to your natural so the new growth will not be distinct," she explains.

Silvery White

With salons shut down, quarantine caused a lot of people to embrace their grays. And guess what? Silver is hair is gorgeous at any age.

"Hair can lose pigment and become white, gray, or silver at any age. Embracing your natural doesn’t mean you can’t enhance it," says Schaudt. While supermodel Dilone dyed her hair gray, if you've decided to transition to gray hair, you can enhance your color with a demi-permanent gloss or ask your colorist to add foiled hi-lites or low-lites to your base to blend uneven sections of gray.

At home, Schaudt recommends washing your hair with blue shampoo once a week to keep your color vibrant and shiny. We're fans of dpHUE's formula.

Jet Black

"Normally fashion is a huge proponent of hair trends, but this year I predict the state of the world and the economy will impact whether it’s more of a balayage or single process color," says Derick Monroe, celebrity stylist and Dark & Lovely ambassador. "These are processes that will allow you to not have to visit the salon as often, and that in the case of a second wave, you won’t be out of sorts if you can’t make it to the salon."

Monroe says deep shades like Ciara's jet black, along with chestnut, and plum are foolproof options because they can easily be achieved at home, if needed. He recommends Dark & Lovely's Fade Resist Permanent Hair Color collection, along with using color-safe shampoo and conditioner.

Icy Blonde

On the opposite end of the hair color spectrum, Monroe says icy blonde will also be popular come winter — and we get it. When it's snowy and cold outside, it's inevitable you'll be inspired by your surroundings.

Going platinum like Lady Gaga isn't exactly gentle on your hair, so using a reparative treatment can help revive stressed-out strands. Passaris suggests khairpep's K18PEPTIDE Masque, which repairs hair from the inside out.

Rich Copper

Passaris says she's had more requests than ever for warm copper and red shades like Zendaya's, so expect to see these shades everywhere in 2021. "While cooler fashion colors are coming in, every thing else is warm," she shares.

While a professional colorist can help you achieve this look, if it's not a dramatic color change, try Overtone's pigmented Copper Conditioner Kit — the exact product Zendaya used in her hair before hitting the 2019 Emmy Awards red carpet. The semi-permanent color only takes 10 to 15 minutes to deposit and lasts a number of washes, depending on your natural hair color.


There's nothing low maintenance about traditional highlights. You can only go so long between touch ups before that demarcation line gets out of control. Enter foilayage, an option that combines foil highlights and balayage for a look that doesn't require you to get your roots done as often.

"This is a mix of foils and balayage, keeping fine bright pieces around the hairline while maintaining a dimensional look," says Schaudt. "This is less maintenance than all over highlights, but still needs to be touched up about every three months."

If you have golden or blonde foilayage like J.Lo, try washing your hair with a purple shampoo once a week to keep them from getting brassy. We're fans of amika's Bust Your Brass Blonde Purple Shampoo.

Golden Blonde

"Just because it is getting colder and darker doesn’t mean your hair needs to tone down or get darker," says Passaris. While platinum is trending for winter 2021, so are warm golden and strawberry blonde like Kate Bosworth's shade.

"Color safe shampoo is a must," says Passaris. "You have invested in your service so don't muck it up with harsh cleansers that strip color."

Aveda's Color Conserve Shampoo helps protect dyed hair from fading and getting dull.