Breaking Down 2023's Most Popular Hair Color Trends

If you want to change your hair color this year, you're certainly not the only one. "After two years of everyone keeping their color low-maintenance — and basic, for lack of better words — everyone is itching for a big change, and they're not worried if it will be high-maintenance or not," celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee tells InStyle. "Get ready for high-maintenance hair color in the best possible way," she adds.


And she's not wrong. Most of this year's hair color trends require regular trips to the hair salon, but trust us — they are totally worth it. As always, a lot of the hair color trends that are currently popular are inspired by what celebrities have been rocking, what television shows are popular, and what shades are viral on TikTok. From dusty blonds to vampy reds, 2023 has a trending hair color for everyone — whether you like natural tones or vibrant, head-turning colors!

Gemini hair (hair colored in two contrasting shades)

Over the past couple of years, Gen Z has experimented with bold contrasts when it comes to hair colors, and in 2023 the trend will only be bigger. Hairstylists have dubbed the style Gemini Hair, as it usually consists of two shades. "Gemini Hair is a lot of fun," hairstylist Quia Querisma tells Well + Good. "Hair is an extension of fashion, and if you've got quirky and edgy fashion sense, why not apply it to your hair as well? Most recently, I've done deep orchid hair with teal roots, a baby pink and jet black split dye, and jet black with peek-a-boo color blocks in violet and dark blue."


While some may be tempted to try this trend at home, we wouldn't advise it, as Gemini Hair usually requires bleaching to make the bright colors pop. And those who love the trend but are too scared to try a fully split dye job can opt for something less overwhelming, like a couple of vibrant face-framing pieces.

Targaryen blond

It's no secret that pop culture influences fashion, and if there is one show that was huge in 2022, it's "House of the Dragon." Those who have seen it (or "Game of Thrones") know that the members of the House Targaryen have icy blond locks, and it is exactly those that will be big this year. "Targaryen blond is winter white blond," celebrity colorist Jenna Perry tells Glamour. "It's as virgin blond as you can get."


This platinum blond shade is much easier to achieve on those who are already naturally blond, but a good hairstylist will manage to do it on other colors as well. However, don't expect to go home icy blond from just one hair salon visit — going this blond might take a couple of sessions. "The chance of going platinum in one sitting is greater on fine hair and lighter levels of natural color," Rick Wellman, Hue Director at the NYC Salon John Sahag, tells Seventeen. Apart from the fact that going this blond is challenging, maintaining this shade is also time-consuming. "Keeping this color is a very large commitment," Perry admits. "You have to receive touch-ups very regularly to maintain the color and roots."


Cowgirl Copper

Copper hair was a huge trend in 2022, and it will still be very popular this year. A particular shade that experts predict will be in demand is Cowgirl Copper. "Inspired by the super-rich, caramel hues of Western leather, Cowgirl Copper is tipped to be the most in-demand hair color trend of 2023," hairstylist Tom Smith tells Glamour. He says it's all about "a super glossy, rich caramel tone that sits perfectly between brunette and blond." The stylist adds that this is a version of copper hair that is less intense and more wearable. "This is the color for those scared of intense orange tones," Smith admits.


Because this version of copper is less intense, if you have light brown or blond hair, you can also achieve the look with hair tint, which is semi-permanent. That way, you can also experiment with the shade before fully committing to it by permanently dying your hair.

Highlighted curls

If you have curly hair, one of the biggest color trends for this year is highlights. However, if curly hair isn't bleached correctly, it can be damaged, resulting in brittleness and frizziness. "Highlighted curls come with the fear of damaging the delicate strands and losing the curl pattern, but both can be achieved," celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas tells InStyle. "It's easy to get lost in all that movement and volume, so when hand-painting highlights, keep the placement simple: Choose the curls you want to pop and just paint them as you want to see them."


Communicating to your hairstylist that you don't want classic highlights is key. Instead, they should do a balayage — a coloring technique in which they hand-paint certain pieces, making sure the curls are accentuated. With curly hair, it's better to opt for thicker highlights, as thin ones won't be very noticeable. "I always like to add larger sections of different colors next to each other to make them pop. So my highlights, instead of being a tiny weave that would get lost in curly hair, are wide slices that vary on the thickness of hair," L'oréal Pro Ambassador Shelley Gregory tells Mane Addicts.


A hair color that will be popular amongst brunettes who want to switch things up without going lighter and bleaching their hair is eggplant. The color — which is obviously named after the vegetable — is a more toned town purple that looks incredibly vibrant in the sun. "The eggplant hue added to brown hair is a great way for brunettes to wake up their hair color without turning into a true redhead," hair colorist Shvonne Perkins tells Allure. "You'll want to ask for a deep violet, amethyst overtone as a demi- or semi-permanent gloss or glaze over dark brown hair."


If you have lighter hair, be careful with this trend — especially if you're attempting to dye your hair at home. While a dark base will always result in a more muted color, if your hair is lighter, keep in mind that at-home dying kits can make it look vibrantly purple (which is also cool, if that's what you're going for).

Pastel rose

In order to go pastel rose, one has to first bleach their hair to that Targaryen blond level. Once the hair is platinum blond, it can be tinted with different hues of pastel colors, and one that will continue to be popular this year is pink. "I remember first seeing this in the late '90s Japanese Harajuku fashion wave. It was a cooler take on the more vivid neons that had their moment," master colorist Shvonne Perkins tells Bustle.


However, getting platinum hair with pastel hues doesn't come cheap. "If you are having your hair completely transformed, this would absolutely require a consultation, and it can cost anywhere from $400 to $1000 and up. If you are coming in for a bleach and pastel touch-up, it could possibly start at $300 and up. If you already have your hair bleached and just want to add pastel pink, this service could be $50-$150," hair colorist Jeanise Aviles tells Byrdie. A cheaper way to achieve the pastel pink look is to only get a couple of thick face-framing pieces bleached and dyed, something like a toned-down version of the previously mentioned Gemini Hair.

Chocolate cherry

A popular trend this year is adding just a hint of color to your natural shade. Chocolate cherry is a perfect example of how brunettes can spice things up by adding a hint of red without the overwhelming commitment of having to dye their roots constantly. Yes, the roots will still grow out, but they won't be as noticeable as when you go full-on red. "For those of us who aren't ready to take the full plunge into red, chocolate cherry seems to be a great way to update your look and make it modern but still living in the brunette world," hairstylist and colorist Jason Lee tells The Zoe Report.


We always advise that you go to a professional to get your hair done, but this is actually a color you can also achieve at home — even temporarily with a tinted conditioner or semi-permanent hair dye. This way, you can see whether you like the red hue against your skin tone before committing to a more permanent change.

Buttercream blond

Blond hair is trending every year, and in 2023 having rich golden blond hair will be in demand. "The double process blond will be big," celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee tells InStyle. "Base and highlights all the way, which create the most beautiful creamy blonds, like Paris Hilton's." Of course, like any blond hair trend, this hair color requires a lot of commitment, as regular touch-ups are needed.


And don't be fooled, this isn't the same as platinum blond hair — buttercream blond is less ashy and much more golden. "It's the lightest shade of gold possible, with just enough richness and depth needed to complement fairer skin tones in winter," master colorist Tiffanie Richards tells Allure. However, keep in mind that different shades of blond suit different skin tones. Buttercream blond will look great on you if your skin has warm and neutral undertones. However, if your skin's undertones are on the cooler side, consider going more in the direction of Targaryen blond (via Matrix).


Those who tend to gravitate towards darker hair will be happy to hear that almost-black (also known as off-black) will be big this year. "Megan Fox's almost-black hair will be a hit because it's always a surprise — in some lights, it will look black, and in others, you'll see hints of brown. [It's] perfect for those who've always wanted to go dark," celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee tells InStyle.


To achieve this look, ask for a dark brown with no warm or red undertones, as those tend to make it appear lighter. "Cool-toned colors always appear darker than warmer colors," hair colorist Tom Smith tells Allure, adding that you should go for "extremely ashy and cool tones with no red tones or warmth in there." This hair color looks good on many skin tones, from the fairest to the darkest ones. However, if your natural hair is light brown or blond, you will have to dye your roots regularly — darker roots can be trendy (shadow roots are a thing, after all), but lighter roots just look odd.

California highlights

With the resurgence of Y2K fashion, it was only a matter of time before California highlights would become popular again. Reality television stars (and California babes) Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port made the hairstyle popular in the 2000s, and more than 10 years later, the world is ready to rock it again. "Californian balayage is created with a more lived-in root and lighter ends and is normally paired with bangs or grown-out bangs," Tommie Gleed, color director at Nicky Clarke, tells Glamour. "The look is all about the beachy SoCal vibes, and [the] color is distributed throughout to mimic the look of naturally sunkissed strands and give a gorgeous glowing holiday hair effect."


According to celebrity hairstylist George Papanikolas, California highlights are darker than classic highlights, with only a couple of face-framing lighter highlights. "If you start with lighter hair, you can reverse the typical highlighting technique by adding depth at the roots and mid-shaft to soften the contrast between the highlights and base color and make the remaining highlights pop," Papanikolas tells InStyle.

Vampy red hair

While copper remains a trend in 2023, experts predict that a deep vampy red will also be in demand this year. "This is a fun play on the redhead trend we've been seeing," hairstylist Emaly Baum tells Vogue. "It's a deep red-violet tone that is super vampy and not at all natural."


If this shade speaks to you, you should know a couple of things. First of all, this shade of red is difficult to get, which is why using at-home dye kits is not something we'd recommend (chances of it looking too vibrant are very high). Second, red is the one color that washes out very quickly, which is why you should extend the time between washes for as long as possible. "Red hair is high maintenance but oh so fun," hair colorist Cherin Choi tells Mane Addicts. "Red doesn't fully fade but becomes less vibrant with each wash."

Winter gold

Celebs are a huge influence when it comes to trending hair colors, and Winter Gold is a shade that got popularized thanks to two models. "Celebs like Hailey Bieber and Kendall Jenner started the trend; I'm finding more and more girls are taking the plunge," colorist and stylist Reece Walker tells The Zoe Report. "Rich warmer, browns and bronds are here to stay."


Hair colorist George Papanikolas explains to PureWow that in order to achieve this hair color, the highlights have to have "a muted warm golden tone to them (without any red or orange undertones) on brunettes, whereas on blonds, the effect is a dusty gold." Because this hair color features balayage highlights, it tends to look great even once it grows out (if the base is your natural hair color). This hair color trend is perfect for those who want a change but don't want anything drastic, as variations of it can be done on any shade from medium brown to medium blond.

Gray hair

A trend many will be happy to hear about is gray hair — whether it's dyed or natural. "On the red carpet and in streetwear, you'll notice that all ages are wearing [gray hair] — all looks and tones are accentuated by seasonal trends and by some who are glamorously growing out their natural gray or white hair," celebrity colorist Min Kim tells Best Life.


If you're considering growing out your grays and saying no to dying your hair, you might be wondering just how to transition without that very obvious line. According to celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, the best way to go about it is to ask your hairstylist for "a glaze, which will help blur the lines between the two tones, or a balayage, which can gently assist in creating highlights that build dimension" (via Martha Stewart). Either way, embracing your naturally gray hair will not only make you look incredibly confident — but it will also make you feel that way.

Honey beige

Apart from celebs who dictate hair trends, social media also tends to heavily influence hair decisions worldwide. In particular, TikTok is known for its hair trends, and recently, '70s-inspired Honey Beige has been viral on the app (via All Things Hair).


"The beige is perfect for the cooler months when the sky has more gray and cool tones," celebrity hairstylist Mara Roszak tells Vogue. Besides Honey Beige, Vogue notes that the shade is also called Honey-Wheat Blond or Baby Bella (after model Bella Hadid who recently dyed her hair this shade). Musician Taylor Swift has also been known for rocking Honey Beige Blond for the past couple of years. The natural-looking blond tone has increased in popularity lately as it is much easier to maintain than a lighter shade. And since we're on the topic of 70s hair — this hair color looks great combined with a retro wolf or butterfly cut (both of which have also been viral on TikTok).

Strawberry balayage on brown hair

Balayage has remained trendy for years, as the coloring technique gives natural-looking results that don't need much maintenance (via The List). While most of us think of sandy blond tones when someone mentions balayage, this year, getting a strawberry red balayage on brown hair is bound to make heads turn.


The best part about this look is that it gives you red color without the annoying maintenance that usually comes with the shade. Yes, your ends will fade — it is a red shade, after all — but your hair might still look great, even once the strawberry red turns into a pale pink. However, if you'd like to keep it vibrant, you'll have to see your hairstylist every six to eight weeks, master colorist Lauren Paglionico reveals to Byrdie. "If your color has faded, but you are not ready for your next touch-up, book a gloss with your colorist to freshen it up," she adds.