Fall Hair Color Trends – Finding Inspiration in Fashion

Dakota Fanning Bazar MagazineFall is here. What are you doing with your hair color? What’s trending in haircolor? Ombre has taken over the color world in the last 2 years and seems to still be going strong. It’s pretty, organic, and is a low maintenance way to add beautiful dimension to hair. Now this trend is evolving. I want to share what I am seeing for fall through inspiration from fashion and how it translates to hair.

Fall Fashion

Last week I was part of a Redken team facilitating at an industry show for hairstylists. Our job was to help identify what hair color is going to be popular for fall and the next year. I always start my search by looking at the runway and fall fashion campaigns. In addition to the hair, I am looking at the clothes. The themes, colors, and inspiration for collections all influence what will happen with hair.

This fall, I loved Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Juicy Couture, Proenza Schouler, Brian Atwood and Kenzo campaigns. I love the representation of what fashion, colors, and textures are popular for fall. Here is a slide show of my favorite images.

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After I pull images, I look for the prominent themes.

Playing With Light

Marc Jacobs 2013Ombre hair color is a graduation of dark to light color moving from the scalp to the ends. The effect looks like it was created by the sun with a natural effect. This fall I am seeing designers play with how light affects fabrics and textiles. Metallics from Marc Jacobs reflect light giving a ripple effect and Kenzo’s use of colorful iridescent butterflies and beetles creates the same inspiration. Splash Lights is a hair color technique that is a new way to consider how color lives in hair. A colorist adds a highlighted focus to the hair as if it was being hit by a spot of light. The images below are a great example of the technique. A colorist at Sally Hershberger salon in New York created the first look. The second two images are created by colorist and Redken Artist Justin Isaac. Both have such a fresh take on color placement, and we will see more variations of this effect in the next year.

Reverse Ombre/Jewel Tones

Fendi Fall 2013I love the color placement in the Fendi fall collection. You can see an inspiration of fur, while adding pops of color. Their looks are predominately blacks and grays with pops of bright color. Hot pinks, vibrant blues and strong purples make a strong statement. You can see how they have created a reverse ombre effect with the fur like fabrics. Instead of the lightest color on the ends, they have placed the darkest color at the ends and the pops of color at the base.

Pastels were a big influence last spring and summer, but as the season changes jewel tones are the new focus. Violet and purple are my favorite colors for fall. Rose gold for blondes and cool reds and fiery coppers.

Unexpected Color Placement

Proenza Schouler 2013I love the images from the Proenza Schouler campaign. There is a great balance of the pastel palette with a jewel tone pallet. When you look at the images notice where the color lives. It is soft unexpected placement. The image of Dakota Fanning at the top of the page is a perfect translation of the Schouler campaign into hair color.

After identifying what I loved from these images I created looks to share at the hair industry show. Strong pops of color, reverse ombre, cool violets and golds.

Mandy McCullough

What is inspiring your hair color for fall? What colors and trends stand out to you and get you excited for a change? Find images of hair or fashion that you love and take them to your next color appointment to share with your colorist. The results will be amazing.

Hair Trend Report Spring/Summer


I am on my way home from New York where I just spent the last week doing two of my favorite things. The first was spending time with my very best girlfriends who came from across the country to take on the city and the second was stalking some good hair.

There are a thousand reasons I can list why I love stalking hair in New York; you can probably guess most of them. For me this city inspires me in so many ways and influences how I think about hair, and additionally the fashion is always cutting edge. In addition to looking for trends on the streets, I also took a four-day workshop on styling hair for photo shoots from editorial stylist Noah Hatton and Redken New York Artist Hugo Urias. (Side note: if you have a minute check out Noah Hatton’s personal blog. He’s done just about every female celebrity’s hair and has had work published in the top global fashion magazines. The best part is that he’s really down to earth about his experiences while being a killer hair stylist.)

Anyways, back to trends. Let me tell you what we will be seeing a lot of this spring and summer for hair styles….

If I had to choose three words to describe the look of hair it would be: texture, organic and unstructured. In general, hair is looking very natural and unpolished, soft and effortless. If you have natural curl or wave in your hair you’re a lucky girl. Let it go. Put down the flat iron and get
out your diffuser or find the right hair products to enhance that texture. Here are some great examples of textured, organic, and unstructured hair.

The right product is the secret to getting many of these fresh looks. At Fix we love the Curvaceous Line from Redken. This line utilizes Moringa oil to restore moisture, sugar crystals to reactivate curl shape, and UV filters to protect from UV damage and color fading. There is a little something for everyone to create this look for spring and summer. For fine to medium density hair with little to no wave, a texturizing spray like Wind Up or Ringlet is the perfect product. Place either in damp hair then diffuse or scrunch as it air dries.

Medium density hair with wave needs Wave Ahead mousse. Unlike a traditional mousse, Wave Ahead incorporates small wax fibers in it to give strength and flexibility to curl throughout the day. Diffused into wet or damp hair then layered with a dry finishing spray like Forceful23 will give hair tons of volume and a tousled curl that will take you back to your Flashdance days.

I always recommend Full Swirl cream/gel to my clients that have courser hair with curl. A cream/gel combo gives you the best of both worlds. The gel stabilizes the curl and holds it in shape while the cream gives weight and control. When you have a lot of curl you don’t want to manipulate the hair too much or it will expand too much. Full Swirl can be placed in wet hair and air dried or diffuse it half way and let it air dry to finish.

Here are some additional tips for this attaining the hottest spring/summer looks:

  • Embrace imperfection– This is especially true if you are typically a flat iron girl. Fuzz is good, unbalanced curl is good. Give your eye some time to adjust to a more tousled finish
  • Put the shampoo down– I can’t say it enough. This look gets better on day 2-3-even 4. Maybe dampen it a bit and re-hit it with the diffuser or keep adding your dry shampoo. You want it to look lived in.
  • Rethink your hairspray – By this I mean try using a low water content hairspray. We can’t get enough of Redken’s Forceful23 and new Control Addict28. Both of these sprays have low water content meaning they keep the airiness to your texture and won’t weigh it down. Additionally, they have 24 hour humidity control so your curl doesn’t get out of control throughout the day.

Hair color is going to follow suit. We will still see versions of ombré color but in soft, natural color pallets. If you’re a brunette your accent tones will be golds and caramels. Blondes will see bases of butter or rose gold tones with light beachy accent tones. If you’re a girl who is more classic in her color dimension go with traditional highlight placement but ask your colorist to hand paint the color rather than foil it. This creates that organic, effortless feel with soft grow out instead of hard “soldier” lines of color with hard grow out lines.
For your cut, ask your stylist to add softness to the ends with point cutting or texturizing techniques. Blunt cuts will make it challenging to achieve this softer trend look. Weight needs to be strategically removed to give a feel of lightness to the end result.
A diffuser can be your best friend when creating any kind of texture or curl in your hair. I love bowl diffusers with fingers in the bowl for best results. Sometimes it’s hard to find a diffuser like this that universally fits your dryer. Consider buying a dryer that comes with the diffuser for the perfect fit.
Want to know where to find the perfect dryer with a diffuser? Check out my entry Dryers 101 to find resources and more information.
PS- to see spot on images of this trend check out this story from Vogue. Cochella music festival just wrapped up their first weekend and organic, textured and unstructured hair is widely visible. Perfect examples of effortless hair!
Now go rock those curls!