Light-brunette hair is back in the spotlight: see Hailey Bieber’s move from beach blonde to chestnut, and Zendaya’s face-framing honey-inflected brown. This hue, although similar to mousy brown, is elevated thanks to near-invisible high- and lowlights. “This color still needs definition,” notes Josh Wood, owner of Josh Wood Atelier. “The addition of some highs and lows will look glossier than one flat color.” When adopting this more natural brown shade, it’s important to keep your skin tone from looking sallow, though. “If you are losing your summer tan, your hair may feel a bit boring after going from brighter blonde tones. But tans always fade, so be careful not to go too dark,” warns Nicola Clarke, owner of Nicola Clarke at John Frieda.
Soft blends for curls and coils
For curly and textured hair, color placement often errs on the chunkier side, which can make color appear more obvious, especially in summer, as the sun naturally lightens hair. “Sometimes with textured hair, you do have to go bolder and stronger with color placement because it can easily get lost within the curl pattern,” says Robert Eaton, British Hairdresser of the Year. But for fall, when skin can lack radiance naturally, it’s all about creating softer blends, melting color placements for a natural enhancement. “If you’re taking Afro-textured hair lighter, stay away from cool tones,” adds Clarke. “Golden tones and warmer blondes complement deeper skin tones better.”
Playing with fun color isn’t limited to summer, and this year you can expect to see more pastel tones with a subtle feel. “There is a pastel for everyone in my book,” says Wood. “I like to pale down the pastels for fall with a hint of a tint using a gloss product; you can just add conditioner to it to get a diluted look. Plus, pastels don’t last long, so you can switch it up from pale shell-pink through to the softest bleached coral.” When working with wash-in, wash-out colors, protecting your hair when styling will keep the condition and help color stay true to tone for longer, especially if you have pre-lightened your hair before applying.
Smudged money pieces
Money pieces – the technique where strands framing your face are lightened more than the rest of your hair – is a trend that has taken off over the past few seasons (see Kendall Jenner’s take on brunette with a lighter honey shade around the perimeter of her face). However, for fall, these pieces are less statement and more smudged to create a lived-in luxe look. This ‘smudged’ update brings the color into a more natural realm for less obvious roots, but keeps face-framing highlights prominent. “I like to smudge a slightly more lifted root back into these pieces, so you don’t get that obvious line as it grows back,” says Eaton. “Face-framing pieces are a brilliant way of really creating an accent area of color at the front of any haircut, but particularly longer styles and balayage.”