Prevention July 23, 2020



40 Best Fall Hair Color Ideas & Trends for Women Over 40


Transition from summer hues to honey browns, warm blondes, and more gorgeous shades.

When fall rolls around—bringing cooler temperatures, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, and earth-toned sweaters—there's a good chance you're going to want to switch up your hair color. "People tend to want to put color back in after all the summer fading and lightening," says Rex Jimieson, color educator and colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "The best way to do this is with lowlights and tone. It essentially makes the light pieces pop and fixes brassiness, which comes from colors bleaching out to be too solid. It works for blondes, brunettes, and redheads alike."

While relying on sunlight to naturally brighten your hair got you through the summer months as hair salons remained closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, after the stay-at-home orders lift in some states, people are going to be looking to bring color back to the top, Jimeson says. "We are seeing less intentional root shadows," he adds. "It's time for a shift in the new decade. And after being forced to grow out your roots, people want a more evenly dispersed color."

As a result, Jimeson says balayage around the roots will be making a comeback, you know, in case there's a chance we're not able to visit salons in-person again. Plus, he adds, "people have seen their hair become healthier after leaving it alone for a few months, so they want to keep it that way." So, if you're feeling ready to give yourself a makeover come autumn, we spoke with experts to figure out the prettiest, trendiest fall hair colors that will be hitting salons everywhere this autumn.

1 Spiced Gold Hair

This spiced gold look practically screams fall. "This color is a mix of golden highlights and copper mid-lights using your natural color as the background, or shifting your base subtly copper to really get that gold to pop," Jimieson says. "It's pretty low maintenance, and easy to wear because everyone's natural hair lifts warm."

2 Champagne Pop Hair Color

"For bleach tones that want a sprinkle of color, this precious pink is perfect," says Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "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."

3 Two-Toned Gray Hair

If you want to prolong your next hair appointment by choosing a color that will blend in with your natural roots, go for a two-toned gray. "We're seeing a lot of high contrast colors, which is perfect for clients asking for a multi-dimensional fall look," Schaudt says.

4 Chocolate Balayage Hair Color

No touch up, no problem! "The warm, rich hues in this balayage are the perfect balance for when the weather's cooling down. Fall is going to see a lot of rich high- and low-lighted tones that blend softly with a deep neutral base," says Brittany Johnson of Mayvenn Hair. "Keep this look fresh with color safe products and going in for a toner when your stylist recommends."

5 Black Espresso Hair

"Black Espresso is making a comeback as well," Jimieson says. "It's softer and easy to wear if you add the black to your medium or dark brown base color with foils or balayage rather than going completely solid." He recommends asking your colorist for a demi permanent, so you can change your color down the road and your locks will remain super shiny!

6 Ballerina Blonde Hair Color

"Blush tones can be added to a lightest blond client or used all over to give an easily 'changed back' twist to your signature career blond look," Jimieson explains. "Again, it's both warm and cool, so it looks good on any skin tone even without your summer tan."

7 Root-Shaded Blonde Hair

"Another perfect post-quarantine color, this look lets you enjoy all the 'more fun' that blondes have while not stressing about touching up your roots," Johnson says, adding that this blonde is not too warm or cool, but comfortably in the middle. "Ask your stylist for a neutral, champagne-colored toner, and keep brass away at home using purple shampoo between touch-ups."

8 Amethyst Brown Hair

Rather than going bright purple, amethyst brown is a subtle, muted violet tone that is added to a medium brown base. "It will look rich and chocolatey, and because violet is made of red and blue tones, it looks good on both warm and cool skin tones," Jimieson says. "We've become more comfortable with complementing our real hair and real skin after months of seeing it on the daily during lockdown."

9 Sweet Chocolate Hair Color

Sweet chocolate falls under the warmer brunette family, Schaudt says. "This look is adding golden undertones that will create a healthy appearance and reflect tons of new shine."

10 Suntanned Blonde Hair

"For the blondes that don't want to lose their blonde, continue highlights around the hairline but add neutral low-lights within the crown area," Schaudt suggests. "This creates depth on over-lightened summer blondes."

11 Ashy Blonde Hair Color

Meryl Streep is one of many celebrities to embrace they gray roots in 2020. Let your gray roots blend with your soft blonde base for an ashy blonde look for autumn.

12 Deep Chocolate Brown Hair

You don't have to go super dark just because winter is approaching. Tone down your brown strands with a deep chocolate brown that feels crisp and fall-ready.

13 Ruby Bronze Hair Color

"Fall will be the perfect time to deposit tone into a previously faded copper," Schaudt says. "Mixing multiple colors, like brown and red, will look incredibly natural." The result? A gorgeous ruby rose fall hair color.

14 Deep Sea Black Hair

If you want to prevent fading due to sun exposure, transition into this dramatic color during the cooler months, Schaudt says. "Deep sea black is so dark that it has an underlying shade of blue. I would suggest depositing only with a demi or semi-permanent color line."

15 Beach Blonde Hair Color

Some of us are not ready to give up that sun-kissed blonde just yet (🙋). Ask your colorist to brighten up your grown-out roots like Gwyneth Paltrow to carry those summer vibes well into the winter.

16 Cool Silver Hair

Embrace those grays by blending silver dye with your gray roots. The result is a cool silver that will make you look cool at any age, like the gorgeous Helen Mirren.

17 Caramel-Toned Rooted Bronde Hair Color

Jen Smack, stylist at Privé, says adding dimensional and soft highlights to darker hair will give you a soft, low maintenance glow. "Caramel-toned rooted blonde can also aid as a softer transition for the cooler season," she says.

18 Toned-Down Brown Hair

Less intense than jet black, toned-down brown brings the deep winter tones you're looking for without going full on black. You'll look just like a Duchess!

19 Rust-Tone Red Hair Color

Want to turn heads this fall? Try rust-tone red. "Rich, warm tones will compliment most warm to olive skin tones, and the trend will carry well past the fall season," Smack says.

20 Balayge Hair

Jimieson says that balayge will be a very popular hair color this fall, as it disguises grown-out roots for longer periods of time. "We will see a shift away from ultra-lifted white or ash blond hair," he adds.

21 Ginger Blonde Hair Color

If you're not quite ready to go full on blonde, consider dying your strands a few shades lighter with warm, strawberry blonde highlights. The subtle highlights will brighten up your look without being too intense.

22 White Dreadlocks

In September, Whoopi Goldberg said goodbye to her dark brunette hair and unveiled faux-white dreadlocks on The View, and boy did she stun! The milky-white dreadlocks are perfect for any age, but especially if you have gray roots coming in.

23 Chic Streak Hair

Own those gray strands! Stacy London let her front gray strands grow in while keeping the rest of her hair dark for a chic, contrasted look that is ageless.

24 Faded Red Hair Color

This subtle color is for those who want a more toned-down look. Dying your hair red can be beautifully dramatic for those who are born with a naturally different base hue, but this faded red can help you ease into the bold color.

25 Black-Brown Toned Hair

Smack suggests going for black-brown as a softer, less daunting alternative to jet black color. "This makes it more suitable for a wider variety of skin tones," she says.

26 Golden Honey Highlighted Hair Color

Honey highlights are always popular in the fall, and 2020 is no exception. Take a page out of Jennifer Lopez's book with some golden honey highlights this autumn.

27 Bronde Hair

Kate Middleton is back with a new, brighter look for the summer. The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled a bronde hair color with soft copper undertones, and she looks just dashing! By the way, in case you didn't know, bronde is a combination of blonde and brown hair. You don't have to pick one and get the best of both worlds!

28 Platinum Blonde Hair Color

Platinum blonde is not just for the summer months: This gorgeous bright look rocked by Gwen Stefani is great for any season, as long as you're in for the maintenance! Platinum blondes have to have their color touched up more frequently, as the contrast between this bright color and natural roots can be quite drastic for some.

29 Salt and Pepper Hair

Help your transition to gray by opting for a salt and pepper look. Ask your colorist what color they recommend adding to help make your transition to gray smoother and more subtle, like incorporating baby highlights in between sections of gray.

30 Warm Chestnut Hair Color

Chestnut paired with mocha is a combo that is the epitome of fall. Add warmer tones like chestnut to a darker base to lighten up your look. Blend them to create an ombré effect and frame the face.

31 Silvery-White Hair

Jane Fonda debuted a silvery-white color at the 2020 Academy Awards, inspiring people everywhere to go gray. Ask your colorist for a mix between white and silver to really stand out. When you're roots grow in, they will blend right in with your new color.

32 Jet Black Hair Color

No one rocks glossy black hair quite like Gabrielle Union—and you! If you've been on the fence about committing to jet black, this fall is the perfect time to experiment with a new look. "Jet black is a timeless color that's going to continue to be a classic this fall," Johnson says. "Use clip-ins, a sleek new unit, or have your stylist tone your natural strands to a deeper, midnight black and watch how shiny your hair looks."

33 Exposed Roots

There's nothing wrong with letting your roots grow out a bit. Just have your colorist blend your highlights with your natural roots, so that they grow in blended. No one will ever notice.

34 Golden Toffee Hair

While toffee hair colors can come in burnt, cream, and honey hues, this golden caramel tone worn by Hoda Kotb is perfect for fall. The golden caramel highlights add contrast against a darker brown base.

35 Bright White Hair Color

Cut your hair to pixie-length and dye it bright white to stun like Jamie Lee Curtis. This is the perfect color for letting your lighter strands grow in.

36 Spicy Auburn Hair

If auburn and red got married, the result would be spicy auburn. This light, purple-red look is definitely bold, but "after months of being locked away inside, rocking a fresh bright 'do is going to be the way that so many women break free" following lockdown, Johnson says. "Using a color-safe shampoo and keeping your hair moisturized will keep this tone bright in between salon appointments."

37 Steel Gray Hair Color

For a more subtle transition to gray, opt for this bold, steel hue. Have your colorist add dark gray highlights to your black-and-gray base to create this dark fall color. It is timeless!

38 Cream-Tone Blonde Hair

"Cream-tone blonde is a warmer alternative to bright blonde," Smack says. "It's a softer feel to warm up the skin as the summer tan fades away."

39 Mocha Hair Color

This mocha hair color feels about as fall as a Starbuck Salted Caramel Mocha Latte. This autumn-inspired color involves a medium-to-deep brown base that is painted with highlights and lowlights to add dimension.

40 Lived-in Blonde Hair

"This time to go back to basics has been refreshing," Johnson says. Tone down your summery blonde with blonde and brunette lowlights, resulting in a warmer, lived-in look. This blonde is low-maintenance, meaning you can go a few months before having to run back to the salon for a touch up.