Along with a new season comes its weather-appropriate wardrobe, updated nail colors, of-the-moment makeup combos and, if you’re feeling particularly daring, a fresh hair color to tie it all together. While blonde, brunette, black, and red are the obvious first thoughts to come to mind, when it comes to embracing the best hair color for fall 2018, we urge you to get a little creative. Instead of platinum blonde, consider creamy and icy opposite ends of the lightened hair spectrum. And rather than hopping on the crimson train, why not take a bite out of the gingersnap hue? To help you achieve your new ‘do, we spoke with some of the industry’s top celebrity stylists to bring you five head-turning fall hair color ideas. Ahead, you’ll learn what makes these shades so special and how to keep them looking their best all season long.

Creamy Blonde

Zoe Kravitz rocking a creamy blonde crop haircut.

When you think of autumn, cooler, darker colors may be your first inclination. Chase Kusero, co-founder of IGK Hair Care, urges you to think differently, though. “A creamy blonde color is a brighter take on a fall shade,” he says. “It’s wearable because you can keep a bit of root, so there’s less maintenance, but add brightness with layers of baby blonde highlights.” (Photo via George Pimentel/ Getty)

To get the look, ask your colorist to create a bright, almost platinum base before glossing it over with something warmer and more buttery. “It’s a good transition for someone who may want to try a lighter look or who went blonde in the summer,” Kusero says. Best of all, it pairs well with any skin tone and, according to the celebrity hair guru, can look especially modern and unexpected with warmer complexions like Zoë Kravitz’s.

Chocolate Truffle 

Mandy Moore rocking chocolate truffle hair.

As the leaves begin to change, it’s only natural to let your locks follow suit. So often that means blondes and soft brown balayages are traded for a dark brunette alternative. That can look perfectly stunning; however, if celebrity hair muses (think: Mandy Moore, Serena Williams, Jennifer Garner, and Rowan Blanchard) are any indication, it can look even better with a touch of rich warmth in the form of highlights. That’s where chocolate truffle hair comes in to play. (Photo via John Shearer/ Getty)

“[This color] is a medium brown with very subtle highlights all over (not starting at the root) to add warmth and dimension,” Stephanie Brown, master hair colorist at the Eddie Arthur Salon in NYC, says. “It’s a rich chocolate brunette that makes you feel like a decadent dessert.”

To get the look, Brown recommends asking your stylist for a medium brown, neutral base color with tone-on-tone, off-the-root highlights. “The dimension helps the hair look fuller and bouncier,” she says. And, when paired with warm skin tones, it can add an ethereal autumn goddess vibe that makes eyes and bone structure pop.

GingerSnap Red

Isla Fisher showing off gingersnap red hair.

Taking inspiration from autumn’s maple leaves, perhaps you’ve thought about going red a time or two. If you’ve been on the fence, it’s time to take a peek at gingersnap hair. Brown says that the new hair color trend is characterized by subtle red highlights that work in unison to add dimension and different tones into dirty blonde, light brown, and red hair. It’s not so much about a bold, in-your-fave firecracker red, as it is a warm, toasted, spicy cookie-inspired hue. (Photo via Jon Kopaloff/ Getty)

It’s easiest to achieve on those who already have a color in the red family — though it’s not impossible with other shades. “I find that it’s easier to highlight on a natural redhead than a brunette [or dirty blonde] because when lifting/bleaching hair on a brunette [you start with] red, then red-orange, then orange, and so on until pale yellow to white,” says Brown. When you start off with red hair, however, the first color you lift to is already in the family, so it doesn’t require as much work, meaning you can usually skip toning and hop straight to a gloss to smooth the cuticle and enhance shine. If you don’t have red hair, she recommends starting with a dirty blonde or light brown base and adding subtle copper highlights throughout to create depth. “I usually highlight with color on redheads,” Brown says. “For non-natural redheads, I would use bleach instead of color, and you may have to tone.”

However you start the process, one of the most alluring parts about the gingersnap hair color idea is that, depending on the added depth, it can be universally flattering.

Shadow-Rooted Highlights

Blake Lively showing off rooted blonde hair.

Just because you want to update your hair color doesn’t mean you have to douse your whole head in dye. Kusero says that one of the best ways to rock an elevated fall hair hue is to add in some highlights without creating extra maintenance. While that used to be nearly impossible, thanks to balayage techniques and shadow roots, you can look forward to a gorgeous new ‘do without as much of a commitment. (Photo via Mike Marsland/ Getty)

“Shadow roots work with either blondes or brunettes [across all skin tones],” Kusero says. “The best way to do it is to create highlights not too far off from the natural root color. It may take a few sessions, but the end goal is to give the hair a lived-in, natural highlighted look like you would get from the sun.” In other words, you want it to look like your hair was sun-kissed a couple months ago and has now begun to gracefully grow out in a v. trendy way à la Blake Lively.


Julianne Hough with Snow Bunny blonde hair.

If you could care less about going darker as the daylight hours grow shorter, you’ll be happy to know that there’s not one, but two fall hair color ideas for blondes. Creamy, yellow-toned tresses are stunning, but, if you want to keep it cool with the changing seasons, look no further than a modern bluish blonde. (Photo via David Livingston/ Getty)

Aptly named snow bunny hair, this blonde fall hair color is characterized by very pale highlights with powdery, ash undertones and a subtle blue tint. “You want it to feel like a pastel blue but without it actually being blue,” Brown says. “It’s unique because it gives the illusion of platinum and powdery pastel blue, but it’s neither.”

To get the look, ask your stylist for extra pale highlights and then gloss them with something that is slightly blue. “Your base color should be light and either neutral or ashy,” Brown says. “It doesn’t work as well on a warm base [or warm skin tones], so take that into consideration if you need to lighten your natural color.”

How to Maintain Your New Color

Picture of IGK Bad & Bougie Shampoo and Conditioner on a street corner.

Regardless of the fall hair color you choose to explore, your haircare routine will need to be updated as well. The best way to protect your fresh coat of color is to stock your shower caddy with sulfate-free, color-safe, UV-protecting shampoo and conditioner (like the IGK Bad & Bougie Amla Oil Deep Repair Shampoo ($25) and Conditioner ($25)).

“[UV protection] is another important aspect of hair maintenance,” Kusero says, exaggerating not to expose your colored tresses to the damaging rays. “Being in the sun will affect your color and can cause lightening or brassiness.” To help keep your color-treated hair healthy and shiny, in addition to using products that specifically ward off UV rays and prevent color loss, add a deep conditioning gloss treatment (like the IGK Expensive Amala Oil High Shine Topcoat ($29)) to your routine. It’ll enhance your color and seal the cuticle to help lock in deeper dimension.

Last but not least, if you go the blonde route, you’ll need to take an extra step in the protection department with purple-tinted cleansing and conditioning combos (like Function of Beauty’s new customizable Purple Shampoo (starting at $18)), as well as more potent toning drops (like the IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Drops (29) or Amika Bust Your Brass Violet Leave-In Foam ($25)). These will help combat brassiness and elongate your light look.

Will you switch up your hair color this season? Tell us @BritandCo!

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