Changing our hairstyle and color is one of the easiest and most fun ways to hit the refresh button at the start of a new season. With cold winter days behind us and blitzing summer days ahead, we're all for trying out hair colors for spring that fit this transitional period. This year, experts predict there will be a wide variety of trendy colors for every taste and level of comfort. For the classic gals, there are natural-looking shades such as Sand Tropez and caramel balayage, and for the bolder babes, candy cotton sunset hair and bold money pieces fit the bill. Here, nine professional hair colorists share what this season's 17 go-to shades are.
1. Placid blue:
Aura Friedman, a Manhattan-based hair colorist predicts that the calming blue shade is making a strong comeback this season. "It's bright and relaxing," she explains of the shade that celebrities, such as Hilary Duff, can't seem to get enough of.
2. 24 karat blonde:
This spring, Freidman says she's anticipating requests for a lot of bright, rich, golden blonde hues which can be applied to naturally black, brown, red, and blonde shades. With sunny days ahead, it's no wonder this rich-looking color is about to take center stage.
3. Candy cotton sunset:
Following the trends of brighter colors, this season is the next trend: Sunset colors. "It's all overtones that are a bit more subtle than bright pink or bright orange—you're working with light sky blues and softer pink shades, says Michael Dueñas, a Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist. To achieve this look, he explains, you need to use a shadowed root. "The shadow root helps your hair grow out and go to the next stage—shorter hair with lighter tips and a natural root."
4. Natural money piece:
"This look is bold yet subtle, with the face-framing pieces being a tone-on-tone blend to a stark contrast of lightening around the face," says Michelle O'Connor, Matrix Artistic Director. She further explains that this color choice is a great way to maintain depth at the roots, which makes for lower maintenance and upkeep.
5. Wheat-toned balayage:
Courtesy of Wyatt Wyamone
Kevin Hughes, the Moroccanoil Artistic Director and bi-coastal hairstylist, says that he's seeing a lot of balayage from golden to wheat tones with more depth at the roots so that maintenance is easier. Wyatt Wyamone, a Manhattan-based colorist at Bumble and bumble, echoes Hughes's opinion, saying that her clients are leaning toward shadow roots.
6. Firey peach:
Bold apricot and peach tones will be everywhere this spring, predicts Friedman. "Not only are they complimentary on most skin tones, but these citrus shades are a true mood booster," she adds. "I'll either apply dye across the whole head of hair and follow with a gloss for high shine, or paint individual highlights throughout for added dimension.
7. Rich chocolate drizzle:
Hughes says that he's seeing a lot of people embrace their natural dark tone, and opt to simply add richness to it. "People are using gloss, which adds a tone of shine and richness to the hair as it's low maintenance and enhances their natural color," he says. "We'll also be seeing more dimensional color on darker hair—keeping it tone on tone—meaning the lighter bits will be closer to the natural color."
8. Vintage blonde bombshell:
If you're looking to transition out of a bleach blonde look, then the vintage bombshell vibe is perfect for you. Aside from adding overall brightness to your hair and face, it's also the perfect color for spring. "To achieve it, add babylights and a short dark smudge root," recommends Nikki Lee, a California-based Garnier celebrity hair colorist.
9. Bad bitch money piece:
If you've been on TikTok lately, you know that the biggest Gen Z hair trends are all about colorful pieces. "A fun way to experiment with color without going all in is to just color the bangs," says celebrity hairstylist Harry Josh. "To achieve this, make sure you separate the front pieces and choose your color wisely." If you're unsure about what color to choose, you can test out some temporary colors before you make the permanent jump.
10. "My Little Pony" purple:
Feeling nostalgic? One of spring's most fun beauty trends is all about channeling our favorite cartoon ponies from the '90s. "Silky shades of purple are sure to be a hit this spring," predicts Freidman. "I love to infuse multiple tones by weaving highlights throughout that are in different tones but the same shade of purple." Take it further by adding more cotton candy shades to create more dimension and movement.
11. Sweet strawberry blonde:
The lightest shade of red is back and here to stay. "To achieve this look with your colorist, identify how light you want your base to be, and then infuse softer shades of pinks and oranges throughout until you reach your desired tone," suggests Friedman.
12. Caramel balayage:
"Balayage can range from bronde, tortoiseshell, and, of course, the most popular right now: caramel," says George Papanikolas, MATRIX celebrity colorist, of this Insta-popular shade. He explains that the reason balayage continues to be so popular is that it has a universally flattering result, seeing as it sits right in the middle of the hair color spectrum and can be adjusted as warmer or cooler to suit each persons' skin tone. "If you prefer warmer colors, then caramel is your tone, but if you prefer cooler tones, ask for a neutral or ash shade."
13. Regal rouge:
You're going to say checkmate in this color. "This beautiful shade of red is in popular demand after making its appearance in 'The Queen's Gambit,'" says Chicago-based hairstylist Karissa Schaudt of Maxine Salon. "This sleek and sophisticated color will transform old outdated shades. It's a true red, meaning it's deeper than a copper red but lighter than auburn. In most cases, you'll achieve this color in one appointment, but you'll need to keep up on the maintenance with touch-ups every four to six weeks to avoid fading. I suggest keeping this as a single process as adding highlights would decrease the intensity."
14. Dark honey highlights:
Warm honey highlights are the perfect way to lighten up dark brunette hair without creating a drastic change. To recreate, Lee recommends asking your colorist to use a teasy light method of highlighting to help achieve that perfectly diffused look.
15. Alpine ice:
Move over Queen of Dragons, there's a beachier bleach in town. "This icy shade is achieved by using foilayage or balayage—it keeps minimal dimension at the base with full saturation of blonde through the ends," says Schaudt. "A toner can help achieve this ash blonde, along with frequent use of blue shampoo at home. Toning is important so there's minimal damage by overlapping lightener."
16. Natural red:
"Natural redheads are blessed with one of the most covetable natural stones," says Friedman. "I'm seeing my redhead clients embrace it in a new way this spring." To achieve this look, she recommends starting with a lighter base (if possible) to ensure that the red tones appear pigmented and then build the color out by painting in similarly toned highlights.
17. Sand Tropez
At this point, we're all dying to hop on a plane to go on vacation. As we inch toward that reality, we can prep our beauty look by channeling this Jenner-approved shade. "Neither ash or gold, it's a beautiful blend of both," says Schaudt. "Mixing highlights and mid-lights creates this multi-dimensional shade of warm sandy and cool beige tones that are perfect for someone who wants to keep a beach vibe year-round."