When lazy summers roll around, you're probably tempted to throw out your rich, dark hair that was such a hit in winter in favor of something a little lighter to reflect the breeziness of the season. A firm favorite that never goes out of style is sun kissed highlights. But you might want to broaden your horizon a little and try something different. This summer, hair goes from low-maintenance dye jobs, such as leaving your dark roots on display, to embracing a neon shade that makes a statement wherever you go. Then, there are also interesting in-betweens that reflect the mood of the season: think candy floss pastel shades, saturated sunsets, and mermaid colors that make you dream of taking a road trip to the beach. While you're finding the perfect summer hair color to make you feel alive, don't forget that darker shades still have their place, even when the weather heats up. The trick is to add a touch of vibrancy to them, such as with a dash of rose-gold on your dark locks or dollops of creamy color to your espresso tresses. We show you the 20 hottest summer hair colors so you can look good wherever you go, from that fun camping trip to that sizzling pool party.
Sometimes you just want to try something completely different with your hair, so why not opt for a really bright color? Some great inspiration can be taken from ultraviolet. It's been crowned the Pantone color of 2018 and it's been heating up hair salons everywhere. The color represents originality and creativity.
Although you might think that a bright violet color is all about having fun hair, shades of purple have been upgraded into a much more elegant look.
Don't think that they always have to make you look like you're in a heavy metal band! This summer, violet colors are all about having smooth, shiny hair that reflects the light, creating radiance on the top of your head, and choosing an intriguing shade of color that reflects your dazzling personality. If ultraviolet is too bright for your liking, reach for deeper shades of purple. These color trends go all the way to a rich blackberry shade, which is a nice place to start if you want to do something different with your hair without going all the way over to the light spectrum. The key when choosing to wear purple hair is to make sure you've got a deep color that offers a beautiful jewel tone, thus adding a more romantic touch to the look.
When you think of color-blocking, chances are you think of following this trend with your clothing choices, such as by wearing two bright colors together. But now it's been striking hairstyles everywhere, too. The great thing about this orange-red hairstyle is that it hits all the right notes for summer. For starters, it's got that bright shade that will make you cause a stir everywhere you go. This shade reflects the beauty of those gorgeous summer sunsets, giving you a carefree and fun 'tude to go with your new dye job. Then, it reflects the current trends in a big way: both orange and red shades of hair color are big this season, reflecting people's desire to think outside of the hair color box. Finally, this hair color dares to be bold by choosing to put two bright shades together. Often, the trend with adding a dash of color to your hair is to add an extra color to your natural hair. For example, dipping the ends of your natural brown hair into an ice blonde dye. But this hair trend is all about going big by adding orange elements to a red base of color. So, instead of being timid with fiery highlights or dipped hair, go big and be bold!
18 Honey-Cream Ombre
Ombre hair has been hot for ages, and it's still trendy this summer. In case you're wondering, ombre basically means "shaded" or "shading." So, it's when your hair's darker at the roots and then about midway, it starts to slowly get lighter until it's brightest at the ends of your hair, as reported by Live About. Sometimes people mistake ombre hair for dipped tips, but they're not the same thing.
The key to mastering ombre dyes is that the color has to change through your hair in a gradual way, as this makes it look more natural and also gives it lots of layers of color instead of a harsh difference in color.
A nice summer-y and light take on the ombre hair trend is to play with different blonde shades. Although putting blonde on a darker blonde or bronde (brownish-blonde) color might not seem to make a big difference, as you can see in the picture it really works to create a luscious and creamy effect. Adding light bits of blonde to your hair is the classic summer move, but this ombre look is even better than highlights because it melts your hair into beautiful shades that really complement each other.
We've talked about how orange hair has been gaining ground in the hair color trends this season, but it's not for everyone. For some people, a bright orange hair color can seem a little too out there or clash with their skin tone. But fret not because cinnamon is a great compromise on the orange spectrum, and it easily heats up your look. If you're naturally born with cinnamon shades of hair, you're lucky because this look burns brightly and beautifully during the summer months.
One of the best things about cinnamon hair is that it also warms up your complexion. It gives your skin a rosier, porcelain-like appearance. Of course, a few tweaks on the color can help to match it to your specific skin tone to prevent it from looking odd. If your skin is fair, a dash of honey to cinnamon can work beautifully to keep it light. On the other hand, medium skin tones work beautifully with caramel hair colors, so a slightly darker cinnamon will be good to try. If you have a dark skin tone, go the toffee route, but don't be afraid to add some blonde to your cinnamon for a slightly more dramatic touch.
16 Chunky Blonde Highlights
Fact: highlights will never go out of style. Although sometimes the trends focus on using softer blonde highlights through your hair to create a gentle look, one trend this season focuses on making highlights much chunkier. This creates a much more striking and obvious look while bringing beautiful shades of blonde to your hair that makes you think of surfing and long, lazy days of getting your hair kissed by the sun. As you can see in the above picture, the highlights aren't just one color.
There are a few different shades that are ribboned through the hair, from white blonde to honey, as well as caramel and then brown.
With the use of big streaks in colors such as white blonde, the result looks like it's been brought together without too much pre-planning. This prevents stripes from occurring, which as you know is a hair highlighting no-no! Chunky highlights are supposed to look like they were as a result of a spontaneous trip to a hairdresser with a heavy hand, creating eye-catching summer hair that you'll probably want to keep all year round because it'll always be appealing. They're also a fun way to experiment with ice blonde, which is a firm favorite of the season.
15 Jawline Ombre
Having ombre hair isn't always a dramatic change to your hair. And, although we always tend to see ombre hair on really long hair, it can be used on shorter hair. That's where the Jawline Ombre trend comes in. As seen on celebrities such as Jenna Dawson, touches of lighter color around the tips of hair give it a sun-kissed appearance which warms up a solid hair color really prettily.
The use of spicy color on the hair length, such as cinnamon or paprika, provide an interesting look that complements all skin tones. It also looks like the lighter shades of color have merely grown out of the hair, and that's key: the Jawline Ombre color is supposed to look relaxed and easy to achieve. It's perfect for summer when you want your hair to be less of a hassle and growing out your highlights is a chill way to gain something different without lots of trips to the hair salon. This ombre hairstyle has that in mind, but it still gives your hair a chic and attractive appearance. Draw inspiration from Jenna Dawson and let your hair be styled in a messy bedhead fashion to further bring home those chilled summer hair vibes.
14 Marble Hair
Having lots of colorful highlights in your hair is always fun to try, especially with products like hair chalk that give you an easy and instant way to update the color of your hair without committing to anything new, before washing it off and going back to your normal hair color. But why not be more daring this summer, with a technique known as marble hair? It sounds intriguing, right? As reported by Good Housekeeping, hair marbling was created by hair colorist Ash Fortis.
In an interesting process, she coats mesh strips with shaving cream before adding rainbow colors to it with the back of a color brush and swirling them around.
Once she's got that marble effect down, she presses hair onto the strip before covering the strands with clear plastic. But here's why it's worth trying when you feel like an experimental new hair color: everyone will get a different marbling effect, so you never really know exactly what you're going to get when you step into the hair salon. That's really fun because the look will be unique to you. A great tip for the summer is to rock pastel shades that create a pretty swirling design.
Remember when the trend of grey hair hit the scene? Everyone, young and old, started rocking beautiful, sultry tones of grey hair color, including celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne, Kylie Jenner, and Lady Gaga. There were many different takes on the grey shades, with some being more metallic than others. Although grey and silver tones aren't going away any time soon because they're always in style, there's a new summery take on the look to make them a little less harsh and pale. Summer's all about getting gorgeous tans and warmer complexions, right? That's where the color greige comes in. It's basically a combination of grey and beige, as reported by Southern Living. Its effect on hair is quite mesmerizing because you have to take a second and maybe third glance at the greige hair to see exactly where the individual colors begin and end. But, as you can see in the picture, doing your whole head in this color creates a warmer shade than wearing grey or silver hair on its own, and that warmth almost turns into a pretty shade that makes you think of caramel popcorn. That's the best thing about greige shades: they keep you guessing!
12 Ice Cream Swirl
Pink hair is a huge hair color trend this year, and what's so great about it is that there are many different ways in which to achieve pink hair. This could take the form of pastel pink, pink highlights, or blending pink with blonde and soft brown to create a swirly ice cream shade that looks good enough to eat. The danger with dyeing your hair pink, however, is that going OTT with the shade can make your hair look like you've been playing with too many crayons or neon highlighters. The look is just too harsh, which is what you want to avoid in the pretty season of summer.
That's why the trend of mixing pink with other colors is so appealing because it prevents a solid pink hair color from coming across like something out of a cartoon.
By balancing the pink with more neutral hair colors, the effects are actually more intriguing and the pink stands out much more, but in a chic way. Adding a dash of pink to your hair without completely removing your natural hair color is a fun way to enjoy the summer, and it's stylish without being childish. So, with that in mind, opt for pink shades such as candy floss, ice cream, and icing.
You'll surely have seen that blue hair is big this year, with lots of bright and bold blue colors coming to the fore. The idea is usually to get inspired by the ocean, with mermaid-blue hair colors being a hot trend. However, an interesting spin on the blue trend is denim-inspired hair. It's darker, more saturated with color, but has a few crisp pieces of paler color to give you that stone-washed effect. This is different from ocean-blue hair which tends to add pops of green color into the mix.
Denim hair is, therefore, a little less colorful but just as striking to make a statement.
In fact, its subtle yet mystical color is what makes it such a hit. As reported by Allure, denim hair is just like the denim that you wear: they're timeless and always in style! However, the site adds that the addition of dusty or blonde colors to your denim hair makes going back to blonde much easier, say when you grow tired of having blue hair (although that probably won't happen because the look is so juicy). Best of all, while denim looks great on long hair, shorter hair can also rock the trend beautifully, so there's really no excuse not to try it out.
Rose gold jewelry is in style, so the idea of rose gold hair is delectable! The trend is a nice approach to getting lighter hair without heading towards blonde color palettes. Rose gold combines touches of brown with copper and pink hues, creating a summery warmth that will brighten up your look really easily. Of course, you can make it less saturated by downplaying the tones of pink, or make it much more vibrant, such as by adding more white blonde to the mix so that it looks like rose gold that's combined with platinum. And, if you want to use the opportunity to play up some pink in your hair, then putting more rose in the rose gold can be the perfect way to achieve summery floral tones. There's really something for everyone, which is why rose gold hair is such a summer staple.
If you're tempted to try the look but aren't sure it's for you, L'Oréal has the perfect compromise: purchase a rose gold hairspray such as L'Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray. This is perfect if you don't want to commit to a rose gold color and just enjoy experimenting with it every now and then. Chances are, you'll love it so much you'll want to get a more permanent shade.
9 Butter Hair
Blonde is always beautiful. It looks radiant, which is perfect for those summer days when the sun strikes your halo of hair. There are so many interesting blonde shades to choose from if you feel like lightening up your hair color. While you might follow the usual route of heading towards the icy or caramel tones of blonde, don't forget to try the slightly yellow hues.
Yellow-blonde has come a long way since it was synonymous with discoloration.
Nowadays, it's more focused on being golden, which makes it much more vibrant. Buttery blonde hair color is super-stylish, as seen on celebrities such as Emma Stone. What makes it so lovely is that the yellowish tone gives the blonde color a richer, warmer effect. It really does make you think of hot butter on toast. If that sounds good to you, your hair colorist might use lowlights to give the color a natural effect with more than one shade, according to The Cut. The site goes on to say that it's important to use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner after getting buttery blonde hair since sulfate actually removes the toner from hair and leaves you with dry locks. That's not what you want for your summer holiday!
8 Cotton Candy Highlights
We've spoken about pink highlights and marble effects, but a summer staple that will win hearts every time is candy floss highlights. Whether matte or shiny, these pastel pink shades give you a fun, light touch for summer while keeping you ahead of the trends. Although lots of people have been experimenting with solid candy floss hair, the look can get boring really quickly, which is why having streaks of this pretty pink through your hair instead is much more striking and you'll be able to wear it everywhere, from that chic party to the boardroom.
Candy floss highlights aren't just about the color pink, though. They really focus on lots of summery colors, such as blue, green, and lilac, but the common thread between them all is that they're pastel colors. Some people love to mix up their cotton candy colors, such as by blending some pink with purple or blue and green. This helps you straddle lots of different hair color trends while creating something that's unique to your style. Whether it's a few stripes of cotton candy color in your hair or a rainbow effect that covers your whole head, cotton candy hair is feminine and pretty, while giving your appearance a burst of playfulness.
7 Leopard Print
There's lightening your hair with blonde highlights and ombre shades, and then there's something a little wilder - we're talking animal print hair! Yes, it's really a trend to note this summer, with leopard print especially being a hot one to try.
A fresh buzz cut is the easiest way to make this look pop, but if you love your long hair you don't have to do anything so extreme.
As mentioned on Marie Claire, hairstylist Eric Pascarelli states that you can just use a leopard print stencil and colored hairspray to get the cool effect, which is great for when you want to do something different with your look for a hot summer party.
Interestingly, this animal print hair actually started last year, but it's so hot and stylish that it's stuck around for longer than expected. And, it's not just such a dramatic animal-inspired hair color that's hot this season. As Woman's Day reports, tiger stripes are also in, featuring colors of cinnamon, honey, and brown in a balayage technique. While not making use of dramatic tiger stripes, as one would expect they would be in the fact of the leopard-print buzz cut trend, the effect gives you a subtle walk on the wild side. Grrrr!
6 Rainbow Roots
Putting rainbow colors all over your hair is trendy, but it's not always the best way to add a dash of color to your appearance. With the Rainbow Roots trend, you don't have to. Giving full-blown neon color a miss doesn't mean that you end up with boring hair this summer, either. In the Rainbow Roots trend, your hair outgrowth gets a showering of bright and neon hair colors, while the length of your hair remains in its normal hair color. The benefit of this trend is that anyone can rock it, and it will look fabulous on all hair colors, which makes it easy to do. Best of all, it screams summer hair love, not just because it makes your hair more colorful but because it's much easier to achieve than spending a long time at the hair salon getting full-length rainbow hair. Bonus: if you haven't touched up your dark roots, now you can cover them up with a more dazzling effect.
You can do different things with this look, such as choose lots of rainbow colors and wear them simultaneously, pick one or two, or choose only one. Whatever you decide to go with, the look gives you an interesting surprise in your hair, so bow down and let people see all your glorious colors!
5 Dark Roots
There are rainbow roots that make your scalp burst with color, and then there are dark roots that add a more mystical take on the trends of coloring your roots. Interestingly, while hair outgrowth is usually something you want to touch up ASAP, especially if you've got blonde-dyed hair, this season embracing your dark roots is the name of the game. Hey, it's summer and you want to chill out and enjoy yourself without getting too high maintenance about your hair, right? If that's your way of thinking, then dark roots are your go-to hair color for the season.
Let your natural hair color shine through underneath your dye and don't be afraid to show it off because it breaks up that solid hair color and makes it more interesting.
In fact, you might even want to get your roots specifically darkened by your hair stylist because it adds more dimension to your current hair color, as reported by InStyle. Dark roots on blonde hair color also creates a lovely contrast, the site goes on to say. So, with that in mind, make sure you keep your blonde length crisp and fresh to make the dark roots even more striking.
4 Holographic Hair
Sometimes all the different hair color trends can become a tad confusing because they seem to be the same thing. For example, is holographic hair the same thing as rainbow hair? No, here's a crash course. According to ELLE, holographic hair is about putting subtle pastel highlights in your hair that catch the light and create the impression that your hair is changing color. It's actually similar to those hot holographic nail trends that make it seem like your nail polish is one color in the shade and a totally different one in the sun. Those are awesome, who wouldn't want the same effect in their hair? As the above picture displays, the violet hair color looks grey in some parts and purple in others, creating an intriguing result.
How holographic hair is achieved is that the hair is lightened before being streaked with color. And yes, you can get it streaked with lots of rainbow colors if you wish, although sticking to a max of two shades is definitely the chicest way to rock this trend. Finally, the hair needs to be as shiny as possible to create a metallic coat, ELLE goes on to point out. It's that beautiful sheen that makes holographic hair so delectable.
3 Halo Highlights
Sometimes you want to have a lot of light colors infused into your dark locks, but other times less really is more. This proves to definitely be the case when it comes to halo highlights. They add a touch of shimmery, light color into your dark solid hair color that emphasizes the waves and texture of your hair. Halo highlights can be done in a variety of colors, but whatever shade you choose, know that they're especially great for use on a base of dark hair.
FYI: dark hair colors, like jet black and coffee brown, are trendy this season, which is an interesting take for summer as the season is usually focused on bringing you lighter hair palettes.
So, keep your dark tresses, but update them with a gentle touch of color. The use of blonde or caramel that's carefully dabbed onto dark color like thin ribbons is intriguing, creating a beautiful and elegant effect. These highlights are also an easy way to give you a refreshing take on your current hair color without a complicated hair dye routine. This makes your summer hair care much more relaxed, without making you miss out on making a statement with your hair.
2 Ice Blonde
We've talked about lots of different blonde shades that are hot to try this summer, such as honey, cream, and butter. They're all warm and sweet. But if you want something to cool you down this season, a crisp ice blonde is the way to go. Just look how gorgeous and polished it makes Zoë Kravitz look! Not just glamorous, ice-blonde hair is also a way to update your current hairstyle. Whether you've got long and lustrous locks a la Kim Kardashian or a tousled pixie cut, ice blonde gives your hairstyle a huge dose of stylishness. Besides, icy platinum hair works best when you want to try colorful trends, such as pastel highlights, because you've got such a light base of color on which to work. In that way it's similar to how wearing a white base coat on your nails makes any color worn on top of it come to life much more. Bonus: this icy blonde color looks really gorgeous when you combine it with the dark roots trend. Again, it's because of that beautiful contrast between the two extremes. Icy blond can be creamy in color or a little closer to the metallic side of things, but either way, it's always painfully chic.
1 Cream Soda
We've talked about blue being a huge statement hair color this season, but let's not forget about green. No, we're not talking about that murky green hue your hair gets from chlorine! Darker, more saturated tones have come out to play, such as in the case of ocean-inspired hair that makes you feel like a mermaid. However, more subtle green shades are also great to try, especially when you want to cultivate that cool attitude of summer. What's fresher than minty green hair, after all? It looks beautifully crisp when worn with blonde highlights or on a blonde base of color, but it also adds lovely personality to darker locks (although you'll obviously have to bleach your hair to get the green to show up).
Creamy green shades also work wonderfully in ombre hair color trends, and if you want to take them to an even more luxurious level, focus on jewel-green tones.
While you might think pastel greens aren't going to be around for longer than your summer fling, the good news is that there's so much you can do to them to give them a style upgrade. So, go on and live a little, otherwise, you'll be green with envy for not giving this delicious trend a try.