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Top Winter Hair Colors of 2021 | Shape – Shape Magazine

When you think about it, the start of winter is an opportune time to color your hair. It can be a fun way to reset your look before any holiday plans roll around. Plus, you probably don't spend as much time exposing your hair to direct sunlight, salt water, or chlorine — which can all cause fading or discoloration — during the winter as you do during warmer months.
With fall well underway, now is the perfect time to book a winter color appointment or pencil in a DIY session. At this point you still have plenty of time to research the best winter hair colors to decide which shade you'll go with. But to give you a head start, here are some winter hair colors that hairstylists are currently excited about. (Related: Fall 2021 Hair Color Trends That'll Have You Sprinting to the Salon)
Guy Tang, hair colorist and founder of hair brand #mydentity, counts deep cherry reds with cool undertones as one of his favorite winter hair colors for 2021. (Think: bing cherries more so than maraschino.)
"Deep cherry reds make a bold statement," he says. "My favorite way to create this look is to do a level darker on the rootage than the mids/ends, this helps avoid the dreaded hot root and helps the color grow out better." ("Hot roots" refer to when the roots of your hair become unintentionally warmer than the rest.) To get this look at the salon, Tang suggests asking your stylist for "a deep cool red tone with a darker red root." (Related: How to Use Toning Shampoos to Keep Your Hair Color Bright and Shiny)
It's right in the name — icy blondes are perfect for coldest season of the year. "For winter, think clean, snowy, cream tones instead of the beachy yellow gold you had during summer," suggests Cassandra Cuccia, a colorist at Mark Ryan Salon. "Ask your colorist to lift your blonde slightly paler, especially through the ends."
Tang is loving icy blonde with darker roots and strong "money pieces," aka contrasting streaks that frame the face. (You can see a visual here of the full look.) "This icy blonde is popular because it is so easy to transition to and from through the year and it keeps every complexion bright," he says. "If you want this look, ask for your stylist for icy bright blond highlights concentrated around the face and ends of the hair, then blended into the natural or darker root."
As for maintenance, be sure not to overly tone your hair (using products that adjust the warmth of coolness of your color) "as they will appear drab and gray," says Cuccia. "Instead opt for something like Shu Uemura Yubi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo(Buy It, $49, sephora.com) once every couple of weeks."
Cuccia's next trend isn't a specific color, but rather a movement toward "your natural color but better" among those who have colored their hair lighter. Going closer to your natural, darker color can give your hair a bit of a break. "Deepening your old highlights allows for a break from the lightening process and gives your locks a chance to repair and regain luster," says Cuccia. "Your colorist may need to 'fill' the highlights [a technique for restoring pigment to the hair] before darkening in order to ensure shininess and avoid an unwanted flat color. Also, leaving a minor amount of lightness throughout will ensure color looks natural instead of heavy and artificial."
To maintain an almost-natural shade, Cuccia suggests visiting the salon every few months (the exact frequency will vary depending on how often you wash your hair) for semi-permanent gloss treatments. Glosses "fill, deepen, and seal the cuticle smooth," and can "subtly enhance and richen your natural hair color," she says. With any color, semi-permanent or otherwise, you want to make sure to use color-safe products while washing your hair, she says. She likes Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shampoo (Buy It, $49, sephora.com) and Conditioner (Buy It, $59, sephora.com).
Tang considers rich chocolate brown "the 'it' color" of winter 2021. "There are so many ways to customize a rich brown tone," he says. "I like to make the rootage area a little cooler in tone than the rest of the hair to create a shadow root illusion. Then mix different levels of the same brown tone through the mids and ends. This allows for subtle dimension that makes the hair shine when the light hits it."
Translation: ask your colorist for "a rich chocolate brown tone with dimension through mid/ends and a slightly darker root," or when in doubt, bring a photo, says Tang. Again, color-safe shampoo and conditioner are key. Tang suggests the #mydentity MyConfidant Color Securing Shampoo (Buy It, $23, ulta.com) and Conditioner (Buy It, $23, ulta.com).
Another one of Cuccia's favorite fall/winter 2021 hair color trends are copper-toned highlights that evoke "autumn leaves, cinnamon, and deep honey." These highlights tend to look best against a brunette backdrop, she says. Copper highlights "aid in hair appearing shiny and healthy due to reflection of light," says Cuccia. "This tonality adds warmth to the skin, enhancing your complexion." (Related: The Best Tips and Products for Nailing Salon-Worthy Color at Home)
If you want to try it, "ask your colorist to gloss highlights with these warm tones and to keep contrast in the hair for extra dimension," says Cuccia. To keep the color looking fresh, she suggests relying on Christophe Robin Shade Variation Mask in Chic Copper (Buy It, $53, sephora.com) or a similar color-depositing hair mask between appointments.

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