Popsugar November 27, 2023



The Pros Have Spoken: These Are the 8 Hair Colors Worth Trying Now


In the last three-plus years, hair color went from boxed hair dye, "banded" roots, and the decidedly unintentional DIY "home-bré" to some semblance of normalcy. Now, nearly halfway into the new year, experts say the biggest color trends you'll see for the rest of 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 for 2023. Ahead, we've asked a handful of pros to break down each and every one.


Bronde hair-color is nothing new, but it's had a resurgence lately due to its easy maintenance. "[It's] when a brunette wants to have an element of blond, but doesn't want to be described by her girlfriends as being 'blond,'" celebrity colorist Jason Backe, cofounder of Starring by Ted Gibson in Los Angeles, previously told POPSUGAR.

This hair-color idea uses the balayage technique to paint on lighter pieces, which makes the entire look appear very natural. As for the actual shade, "It's basically the opposite version of blonds with a tint of violet to them — it's the cooler version, both literally and figuratively," Backe says. "It's brunette with lighter pieces of khaki. It's so ash, it almost has a little bit of green to make it cooler."


"I have been working a lot with earth tones," colorist Jeremy Tardo tells POPSUGAR, adding that the "bropper" trend 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."

The "bropper" color specifically is a buzzy new variety of copper that's perfect for brunette and redhead beauties alike. It combines the two popular hues into one ultra-warm and glossy shade.

"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."


Highlights are the definition of an easy, breezy summer look, but they don't really get much more natural-looking than the "midlights" trend. The term, coined by celebrity colorist Matt Rez, is a hair-color technique that connects your base shade to your highlights for a seamless blend that doesn't look stripe-y. The difference: while highlights lighten the hair and lowlights darken the hair, midlights are a midway point that adds a sun-kissed tint without using bleach.

"To achieve the lift of a midlight, color is used; not lightener," Rez previously told POPSUGAR. The best part? Anyone can try this hair-color idea. "All hair colors and hair types can look enhanced and more seamless with a secondary color and tone for dimension," Rez says. "Those with permanent base colors can achieve 1-1.5 levels of lift since bleach is not used; so just make sure highlights are not more than two levels lighter than the midlights for cohesion."

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."

Golden Highlights

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.

Reverse Balayage

This is one you've probably seen 10 times over on TikTok, but reverse balayage isn't going anywhere in 2024. "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.

Buttery Blond

When you hear the word "butter," maybe you think "The Great British Bake Off" (and you're not wrong). But in 2024, 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."

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.