So, you've finally decided to update your hair color. It can be pretty daunting to choose your next, most flattering shade regardless if you're a blonde, brunette, or redhead. To help you find your best hair color yet, we chatted with celebrity stylists and Instagram influencers to get heir thoughts on the latest and greatest hues. Once you've selected your color, consider our short hair ideas, ombré inspo, and braided hairstyles for an even bigger transformation.
Request warm-toned highlights rather than more summery champagne or platinum, says Rita Hazan, a celebrity colorist in New York City, who's created custom hues for celebs like J.Lo and Madonna. If you're dyeing your hair at home, add ribbons of highlights using a color kit no more than two shades lighter than your base; look for terms like “warm,” “golden,” “honey,” “butter” and “buttery."
Ask for a clear shine glaze or lowlights with a deep brown undertone. At home, try a "gloss" treatment and add depth by painting on thin lowlights a shade darker than your base or look for a color like "caramel" or "chestnut."
Ask your pro for a toned-down copper to go lighter or auburn for a darker hue. At home, opt for a color kit with keywords on the box like “medium auburn,” “dark auburn,” “copper,” or “natural” in the name of the shade.
Ask your colorist for a cool toner or gloss to neutralize any brassiness. Or try a cool-toned gloss, such as Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss in Breaking Brass which also enhances shine and dimension.
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Red, coppery tones are still going strong in 2019, but Matrix celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas has an updated idea. For more summer-friendly hair, consider trying out a softer shade. "Since most redheads tend to fade very fast, this is a great color to play with when your hair is faded or after you've done some highlights," he says.
Ahh, bronde — this hair color trend that's definitely gaining popularity as we go into the summer months. "This is a great way to go lighter without requiring tons of upkeep or damage to the hair," says Papanikolas. "The highlights act as an accent and give the hair movement and dimension, rather than a drastic color change."
Particularly in the spring and summer months, it's time to match your hair to the blazing sun. "People are going to lighten the colors they have now by a few shades," says Danielle Lint, expert colorist at Warren Tricomi Salons. "We'll be seeing bright blondes with baby highlights."
Lint also expects to see more ashy shades on brunettes like Olivia Palermo. If you have dark hair but want to liven it up for the warmer months ahead, you should consider requesting this softer tone the next time you're in the salon.
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"This is a great way to experiment with a playful color without the commitment or a full vivid shade," says Papanikolas. "Pastel balayage requires some maintenance, as these tones tend to fade quickly." To manage this, he recommends using an acid-based shampoo, like Matrix Total Results Keep Me Vivid.
Stylist Katie Reid is ready to bring Pantone's Color of the Year to your hair. Shown here on Sienna Miller, Living Coral is a shade that works for all skin tones and works in medium blonde or lighter hair. With that, Chrissie Aria adds that we might start seeing more sky blues and mint greens to complement this orangey-pink shade.
This year, it's all about looking naturalish, says Papanikolas. "A return to natural color is on the outlook, but when I say natural, don't mean, you know, natural," he says. "I'm talking about a more seamless blend of hair color."
Whether you choose a deeper tone to dye your roots or simply stick with your natural color, your stylist can add warm highlights to bring your hair into the new year. They may cascade down in bouncy curls, or frame your face if you style it straight. Either way, this is bound to show up among blondes, brunettes, and redheads alike, says Edward Blum, founder and owner of Makeovers Salon + Spa.
While rose gold had a major moment in 2018, trend forecasters think the new "it girl" hair color is lilac. The pastel purple shade, like this one from stylists Melody and Michael Lowenstein at Ross Michaels Salon, is what they call "when vintage meets modern." If you need even more encouragement, people can't stop searching and pinning the pastel shade on Pinterest.
In the past, ombré hairstyles have been anything but subtle. But according to Rick Wellman, hue director at Marc Harris Salon, the color is going to be even more soft and blended. "It is low maintenance and promotes a natural-looking feel," he says. "It's commercial, glamorous, flattering, and wears well."
RELATED: 38 Beautiful Ombré Hair Color Ideas
Natural redheads and those looking for a bold change will punch up the intensity of their color, says Wellman. "We will see very vibrant reds in many shades for 2019 displayed in a dimensional effect to actually give a natural yet very eye-catching effect," he says, crediting celebrities like Julianne Moore and Amy Adams with the trend.
As more and more celebs continue to go blonde, Saoirse Ronan's honey hued hair is the perfect transition from season to season. "You will see multi-dimensional, honey-toned and buttery blondes as opposed to the stark bleached out blondes of 2018," says Giselle, a hairstylist at Pierre Michel Salon.
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One of Pinterest's trending terms for 2019 is "going gray." If you're thinking about letting nature run its course, now's the time — women are actually dyeing their hair gray. Like with platinum blonde hair, be sure to eliminate any brass or yellow tones by using a purple shampoo like Clairol Shimmer Lights a few times a week.
"New pastels will be huge," Reid says. If you're blonde and feeling daring but noncommittal, Reid recommends using a demi-permanent color that will last up to 24 washes.
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If you've always wanted to go dark with your hair, now's the time. "Brown hair colors will be more woodsy, ranging from chocolate to espresso," says Giselle. If you're stressed about the dullness of your hair, ask your colorist to apply a color gloss — or use one like John Frieda Color Refreshing Gloss at home — for added shine.
RELATED: 30 Brilliant Brown Hair Color Ideas
Just a hair deeper than grey, this ash blonde on Jane Fonda is an incredible option if you're not yet ready to embrace fully silver strands.
There's little variation in this soft, light shade of blonde, which is what makes it so special. It has an even more dramatic effect if it closely resembles your skin tone, like you see here with Nicole Kidman.
With so many platinum blondes trying to keep their hair cool-toned, it's refreshing to see a yellowy blonde that looks so fabulous. The key to Claire Danes's shade: It's buttery, not brassy. Keep your color happy with Winsome & Wisdom #BlondeMoment Shampoo.
Los Angeles colorist Chrissie Plisky blends two highlighting techniques — balayage and babylights — for bright, beautiful dimension, similar to Jennifer Aniston's hair. She also adds a rooty look so her clients "can wear it longer without having to get it touched up as often."
Call it whatever you'd like, but Meryl Streep's blondish-gray hybrid hair color is out of this world. Grounded by darker roots, this modern look is goals incarnate.
Charlize Theron has struck a perfect balance with this polished-yet-natural-looking shade of blonde: It's rich and warm without being brassy, light without washing out her skin, and dimensional without looking overly highlighted.
These delicate highlights hit the hair scene in 2015, and they've since gone mainstream in 2019. "These are similar to balayage and ombre techniques, but more subtle shades of blonde are placed in the hair to create soft, natural look," says Johnathan Breitung, owner of Johnathan Breitung Salon and Luxury Spa in Chicago.
Nude hair is about balance. "There's an even amount of both warm and cool tones, which cancel each other out to create a neutral color," explains Meri Kate O'Connor, senior colorist and educator at Eva Scrivo Salons in New York City. Bonus: They're very flattering on all skin tones. "Neutral colors are trendy because they're so easy to wear," says O'Connor.
With "snowlight" highlights, shimmering pieces of pale blonde scatter across the top of the head like — you guessed it — snow. Try this to get a sparkling lift for your fall hair color, then use Khlorane Sun Lightening Spray with Chamomile and Honey to bring out the highlights.
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Strobing, the popular makeup technique that highlights where the light would naturally hit, has recently become popular in the hair realm, as well. "Hair strobing is an individualized highlighting that is specific to one's hair color, face shape, and skin tone," explains Daniel Moon, an LA-based celebrity stylist. If you want hair that makes you positively glow, ask your stylist to customize your highlights to your specific features.