Popsugar April 19, 2023



The Pros Have Spoken: These Are the 8 Hair Colors to Bookmark in 2023


In the last two-plus years, hair color went from boxed hair dye, "banded" roots, and the decidedly unintentional DIY "home-bré" to some semblance of normalcy. Now, with a few months into the new year, experts say the biggest color trends you'll see in 2023 will lean one of two ways: either very low-key or kicked up 10 octaves.

"Many people are steering toward a low-maintenance direction," celebrity hairstylist Bianca Hillier tells POPSUGAR. "In the past, people were more dedicated to visiting the salon and committing to color that requires frequent upkeep for highlights and bases that demand frequent toners. Right now, color that's extremely low-maintenance will be the vibe."

The upside about this approach, she said, is that these easier-to-upkeep hues "tend to have more depth and muted dimension for movement." The downside: it doesn't scratch that itch for a big hair transformation that so many people are experiencing. That's where the next wave of trends comes in: of brighter blonds, streaks of copper, and bold, single-process colors.

No matter which camp you fall under, there are countless hair-color ideas to look forward to all 2023. Ahead, we've asked a handful of pros to break down each and every one (because haven't we all done enough guessing these last few years?).

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Reverse Balayage

This is one you've probably seen 10 times over on TikTok, but reverse balayage isn't going anywhere in 2023. "The reverse highlight has been making a grand appearance," Hillier says. The trend gets its name because it's the polar opposite of balayage you immediately think of (read: light, sun-kissed color). Instead, it's all about utilizing darker hues to bring in that contrast.

"The idea is to blend the client's natural color, or a tone that you and your colorist agree upon, into previously highlighted hair to create a melted, gradient look from root to ends," Giancarlo Carollo, colorist at the Marine Robinson Salon, previously told POPSUGAR.

The trend looks especially flattering on people with a blond base and is an easy way to transition to a darker tone, but it can also be customized for brown or red hair colors. The best part: a darker root typically means less upkeep.

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Barbie Pink

ICYMI: the release of the official "Barbie" movie trailer, which is set to premiere on July 21, fueled a frenzy of Barbiecore aesthetic trends — hair color included. In recent months, celebrities and influencers have hopped on the pink hair bandwagon across various shades: magenta, hot pink, ballerina pink, pastel pink, and every hue in between.

"Anyone can go pink as long as their hair can be lightened to a shade of light blond," Guy Tang, celebrity hairstylist and founder of #MyDentity, previously told POPSUGAR. "You will not get the same color intensity on darker hair tones, so it also depends on the look you are aiming to achieve."

With pink hair specifically, because it usually requires a lighter base, results are always best if you book an appointment at your local hair salon. If you do decide to DIY, only buy semipermanent or temporary boxed dyes to test out the look.

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Red Clay

"I have been working a lot with earth tones," colorist Jeremy Tardo told POPSUGAR, adding that the "red clay" color is an earthy "copper with depth." Lorena M. Valdes, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, says, "This intense copper with auburn roots will be a head-turner that will transition from the fall into the new year."

Not only does this shade look stunning the second you walk out of the salon, but it also looks more natural as it fades.

"This look works well for you if you have dark or light hair that you want to change up and brighten," says Tardo. Those with a lighter skin tone should go for strawberry and light copper hues; darker skin tones should opt for auburn and rich copper shades. To get that rich tone with lots of depth, "Ask your colorist for balayage or highlights to create dimension on the ends," says Valdes.

If you want something slightly lighter, try a toned-down version of rouge that teeters into copper territory. "Copper-ginger is one of the most attention-grabbing colors out there — just look at model Carmen Solomons," says celebrity colorist and Matrix expert George Papanikolas. "You can't not see her wild and curly copper hair, which shows that copper hair is not just for those who are fair skinned. This tone can be warmed up for golden skin tones or also cooled down to a more auburn copper."

2023 Hair-Color Trend: "Winter Gold"

Everyone from Hailey Bieber to Kaia Gerber is getting in on the "winter gold" hair-color trend, which includes golden-toned highlights and looks especially flattering on anyone with a medium- to dark-brown base. "[It's] a brunette shade that uses gold as the dominant tone, rather than red, chocolate, or ash," celebrity hairstylist and Evo Hair brand ambassador Tom Smith previously told POPSUGAR.

To get the look, Smith says to ask your stylist for a level six or seven shade of brown with multidimensional golden tones. "Think lots of lowlights in differing levels with gold being the dominant tone," LA-based colorist Ashleigh Marie adds.

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Buttery Blond

When you hear the word "butter," maybe you think "The Great British Bake Off" (and you're not wrong). But in 2023, it's also forecasted to be a huge hair-color trend for blondes. "Clients who are usually lovers of bright platinum hair are requesting a darker golden blond to warm things up for winter," says colorist Jennifer Korab. "We are seeing a shift in bright blonds to warmer, darker tones with more lightness around the face. A lot of my clients are adding a money-piece highlights to keep that pop of blond around the face."

"Soft baby blond is always a mood — something that pops but can be mistaken for natural color," Hillier says. "This is a great look for those who have a natural blond base — it's harder to achieve this buttery, creamy type of color on anyone with a natural brunette base. With a natural light canvas to work off of, you are already cutting through several layers of underlying warmth that takes a brunette hours to accomplish." (Editor's note: it can be done, it may just require multiple sessions with your colorist.)

The best part is that the grow-out period is much easier than, say, icier shades of blond. "This color grows out nice and easily without much maintenance," says Hillier. "You can get away with highlights once or twice a year."

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Glossy Black

Turns out, glossy black is the new black — especially when it comes to hair color. "This rich black with extra shine treatments to give it a reflective look is trending after Netflix's popular show 'Wednesday,'" says Valdes.

Still, before you grab a box of hair dye, know this: "This sounds easier than it is since most people think of glossy black as one color, but there are actually multiple tones involved to get the right shine and movement without looking inky and solid," Papanikolas says. "Hair color comes in 10 levels, and half of them are in the dark family, ranging from level one, black, to level five, medium brown. Glossy black incorporates all of these."

Hillier agrees, adding, "Jet black is a vibe, it's a whole commitment. Cool-tone black gives off an eclectic feel, helping any artist get into the groove. Be sure to specify with your colorist what tone you want the hair to shine in the light to nail it exactly."

The easiest way to achieve this is when coloring your dark roots, Papanikolas says, have your stylist give you a gloss with a sheer, acidic brunette toner. "Maintain this look at home with a green-based shampoo and hair mask to neutralize unwanted red tones in dark hair."

Valdes adds that you could ask your colorist for an all-over color from roots to ends, and incorporate shine treatments every few months "to remove any build-up that helps dull or greasy hair."

2023 Hair-Color Trend: Icy Blond

Call it the Targaryen effect or the byproduct of Barbie-core everything, but the truth is this: bright blond hair is making a comeback for 2023. "This icy shade is achieved by using foilayage or balayage," says colorist Karissa Schaudt. "It keeps minimal dimension at the base with full saturation of blond through the ends. A toner can help achieve this ash blond, along with frequent use of blue shampoo at home. Toning is important so there's minimal damage by overlapping lightener."

Achieving the right shade will look different for everyone, depending on your natural base color. Like going platinum, those with naturally lighter hair will have an easier time, while those with darker hair may need to be a bit more patient and space out the bleaching process.

No matter which color you choose, Hillier recommends you keep it healthy in between appointments to ensure the least amount of damage. She suggests Olaplex treatments, which features a "patented formula, which allows for the color molecules to latch inside the hair bonds for an antifade-like treatment."

Winter Hair-Color Trend: Sombré Highlights

Move over, ombré — the latest highlights trend is all about sombré (which combines the words "soft" and "ombré"). Like balayage, it's more about the coloring technique than the shade itself. "Sombré can be done with all sorts of colors," celebrity hairstylist and Dove Hair ambassador Jennifer Yepez previously told POPSUGAR. "You will see a softer change of color in the hair instead of the typical dark root into blond."

You can get the sombré look on blond, brunette, and red hair, to name just a few of the possibilities, so when you head to the salon, the first thing your colorist will want to do is establish your base. Once you determine your starting point, you'll want to look for some inspiration. "I suggest bringing a reference to show your stylist no matter what look you're going for," Yepez says.