Popsugar.com August 16, 2020



The Pros Have Spoken: These Are the 15 Hair-Color Trends Making a Splash in 2020


Had you asked us at the end of last year — that time when you go from listening to "All I Want For Christmas Is You" until you cry tears of eggnog to half-pretending you finally want to start drinking more water — we couldn't have predicted what 2020 would look like. There were countless trend predictions, from makeup to nails, but our hands-down favorites have been the hair colors.

How the year unfolded wasn't exactly as we'd imagined, but whether you were itching to make a subtle change or wanted to try something dramatic, there has been a hair-color idea out there for you. The biggest theme, according to celebrity colorist and Matrix brand ambassador George Papanikolas, was "bold, strong tones with seamlessly blended highlights," but there were a lot more flooding our feeds as the months flew by.

Ahead, we asked a handful of pros — including Papanikolas, colorist Karissa Schaudt, Redken brand ambassador and colorist Cassondra Kaeding, and more — to identify the biggest hair-color trends that have been everywhere in 2020. As for everything else you wanted to achieve, well, there's always AquaAlert.

2020 Hair Color Trend: "Twilighting"

"Twilighting" sounds like something you'd get from putting Edward Cullen and Fenty Beauty's Killawatt highlighter in the same deliberation room, but it's actually a cool new hair color technique you'll be seeing everywhere in the new year.

"[It] is a brunette shade with warm undertones, meaning the color reflects golden hues," said Schaudt. "The look is achieved by painting a few gilded balayage pieces throughout, in addition to foiled 'babylights' placed around the hairline and a couple inches into the fringe or hairline to keep it looking current but uniform. The balayage is focused toward the back of the head and concentrated on the mid to ends of the hair to maintain a natural effect."

2020 Hair Color Trend: Buttercream Blond

Buttercream frosting might be your favorite holiday treat, but it's also a huge forecasted color for blondes in 2020. "These tones can range from light iridescent gold blonds, light to medium gold, and light to medium warm gold hues," Kaeding said. "A perk to the buttery cream and champagne blond hair color is that you can easily try these hues without having to make a big change."

"A perk to the buttery cream and champagne blond hair color is that you can easily try these hues without having to make a big change"

Papanikolas echoes the sentiment that buttery blond will be a huge trend in the new year and suggests you bring certain instructions to your colorist for the most optimal results: "To get this color, lift the base one shade after your highlights to illuminate the color and give a soft golden finish," he said. Then, he recommends using purple-based shampoos at home to help maintain the color.

2020 Hair Color Trend: Cinnamon Swirl

One of the new year's biggest hair color trends will remind you of cozy nights curled up by the fireplace with a hot toddy in hand: cinnamon swirl. "Rich auburns have merged into Winter with a luxurious tone-on-tone finish," Papanikolas said. "The best versions have a deep mahogany base color with cinnamon accents."

If you have dark hair to begin with, he recommends keeping the auburn color within two shades of your natural color. "Going any lighter than this can result in brassy tones," he said. Ditto if you have lighter hair but want to go into this ashier territory: stay within two shades. "Any darker can look harsh and inky."

2020 Hair Color Trend: Pastel Plus

Pastel hair has seen its heyday(s) many moons ago, but the latest iteration for 2020 is a lot more washed out — in a good way. "As we all know, platinum carried over from 2018 and stayed strong in the early stages of 2019," Kaeding said, adding that there's only one place to go from platinum in the new year: "Pastel colors are a quick and easy change before saying goodbye to your icy blonds and dusty pastel colors like dusty rose, dusty pink, dusty coral. These are an easy way to play with hair color without committing."

2020 Hair Color Trend: Smoky Gold

"One trend I'm really excited about is a smoky gold hair color," Kaeding said. "This shade is great because you get the best of both worlds — a soft gold with a dash of a cool smoky tone."

These two tones, she explained, work really well together for a multitude of reasons: "Sometimes a cool tone can give a flat finish, but with the translucency of the gold, you can achieve that shine that everyone wants. Smoky gold can also be achieved on different hair types and textures and will be seen on many brunettes in 2020."

2020 Hair Color Trend: Mushroom Brown

Where ashy tones in hair color were out for the larger part of 2019, there will be a slight resurgence of mushroom brown shades. "For brunettes wanting cool tones, you'll want to lift the hair past orange and then use an ash-based toner to give a cool brown finish," Papanikolas said.

The best part? Because it's created using a combination of cool and warm colors, it'll suit any skin tone. Plus, because it's subtle enough, you could ask your colorist to apply the hue all over or with strategically placed highlights.

2020 Hair Color Trend: Chunky Highlights

Remember Kelly Clarkson's chunky highlights in the '90s? Well, a slightly more updated, sleeker version of the style is going to be everywhere this year. "The twist is a deeper root area and spacing out the highlights to create the contrast," said Papanikolas. To keep your hair in great condition, he recommends using hydrating products like deep conditioning treatments.

2020 Hair Color Trend: “Drenched” Hair

If Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish are any indications of the newest trends, bold and high contrast color are going to take over. This includes neon roots and vivid tones — anything that pushes boundaries.

Schaudt calls this "drenched" hair color and there are two ways to wear it: your roots or your ends. "This isn't an ombré because the entire head is 'drenched' in color," Schaudt said. "The vision is decorative grunge."

Papanikolas added: "If you want to tiptoe into the trend, start with a few vivid pieces added to your highlighted hair. Since these tend to fade rather quickly it's fun to experiment without fear of commitment."

2020 Hair Color Trend: Icy Blond

For blondes, "lighter and brighter" means ditching those warm and buttery hues for a more icy tone. "Super pale, light, bright blonds will be pushing the limits for this ultrachic modern look," said Papanikolas. Think: Julianne Hough with her chic, cool blond chop.

2020 Hair Color Trend: Glow-in-the-Dark Neons

This one is in honor of festival season. While pastel hues reigned supreme at Coachella last year, vivid neon colors and glow-in-the-dark neons will live on in 2020.

"These can be applied over existing highlights and balayage hair for a hint of color, or all over on pre-lightened hair," Papanikolas said. If glow-in-the-dark hair is out of your realm of hair dye knowledge he recommends the Matrix SoColor Cult to achieve a color that glows under black lights.

2020 Hair-Color Trend: Champagne Pop

Colorist Karissa Schaudt likes to call this hue "ballerina blond," in that it's ideal for people with bleached hair who want a sprinkle of color. "This precious pink is perfect," she said. "After the hair is freshly bleached and lifted to a pure white, mix a clear toner with a dash of pink mixer clear to achieve this more translucent tone."

According to hair color educator at Maxine Salon, Rex Jimieson, adding in blush tones on the lightest blond shades (or used all over) can give an easily "changed back" twist to your signature look. "Again, it's both warm and cool, so it looks good on any skin tone."

2020 Hair-Color Trend: Amethyst Brown

That's right: it's not just faded pink or neon. Purple hues will also be very on trend (and easy to maintain) this year. Oh, wait, don't go!

"I'm not talking a full-on, Duran Duran red-violet, but adding a subtle muted violet tone to your medium browns will look rich and chocolaty," Jimieson said. "Once again, the common theme is that violet is made of red and blue, so it looks good on both warm and cool skin tones. We've become more comfortable with complementing our real hair and real skin tones after months of seeing it on the daily during lockdown."

2020 Hair-Color Trend: Chocolate Almond

A slightly tweaked take on the aforementioned copper-highlights trend, this color "falls under the warmer brunette family," Schaudt said. "This look adds golden undertones to brown hair that will create a healthy appearance and reflect tons of new shine."

2020 Hair-Color Trend: Black Espresso

Turns out, shiny black is the new black. "It's smart to transition into this dramatic color during the cooler months, to prevent fading due to sun exposure," Schaudt said. Both she and Jimieson recommend doing a demipermanent dye in case you're feeling noncommittal.

"It's also softer and easier to wear if you add the black to your medium or dark brown base color with foils or balayage rather than going completely solid," Jimieson said. "Ask for a demipermanent so you can change it down the road and it will be super shiny."

2020 Hair-Color Trend: Evergreen

For the überbold, this one's for you: "If your style is ultraedgy, a forest-green hair color is where it's at," Jimieson said. "Green is a mix of blue and yellow, so it looks good on warm and cool skin tones."