The Pros Have Spoken: These Are the 9 Hair-Color Trends to Bookmark in 2021

Getty / Edward Berthelot

From boxed hair dye to “banded” roots to the decidedly unintentional DIY “home-bré,” the world of hair color in 2020 quickly spiraled into unchartered territory as salon closures swept the country for the better part of the year. Now, with resolutions on the mind – and yet, still not a damn clue how the impending months will unfold – experts say the biggest color trends you’ll see in 2021 will lean one of two ways: either very low-key or kicked up 10 octaves.

“This has been an exhausting and emotional year for everyone; it has been hard to get into the salon and many people are steering toward a low-maintenance direction,” said celebrity hairstylist Bianca Hillier. “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, with everything that has been going on in the world, 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. “For those of us getting restless while stuck at home, we want to see a big change,” said Hillier. That’s where the next wave of trends comes in: of brighter blonds, streaks of copper, and bold single-process colors. Another idea? “Pastel colors are a fantastic way to completely change it up without a long-lasting burden.”

No matter which camp you fall under, there are countless hair color ideas to look forward to in 2021. Ahead, we’ve asked a handful of pros to break down each and every one (because haven’t we all done enough guessing this year?).

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