It isn't just a change in season that autumn's arrival marks—it's a change in mindset too. For me, when it comes to beauty, the shift from summer to cooler climes has me instantly drifting towards hibernation mode and that means focusing on a more nourishing skincare routine (cleansing balms and hair masks are my current beauty BFFs), and embracing deeper hues in my makeup bag in the form of classic berry-toned lipsticks and grungier nail colours.
When it comes to hair, though, along with the inevitable turn to the dark side, celebs and fashion girls have been stepping out in a spectrum of fresh colours for autumn 2021. My go-to hair salon, Muse of London, is taking inspiration from the kitchen cupboard with a spice rack-inspired menu of hair colours for autumn, from turmeric to paprika. While editorially we are seeing everything from icy blonde to raven black leading the way.
To find out exactly which shades will be taking off for the season ahead, I caught up with a couple of top hair experts for all the colour intel. As well as garnering plenty of inspiration from the fashion and girls and celebs who have already embraced the new seasonal shades, I also found out some top tips on keeping your colour looking fresh for as long as possible.
Ready for a confidence boost? Keep scrolling to discover this autumn's top five trending hair colours.
1. Peppercorn Black
"We created the polarising onyx black and pale blonde colours at Prada, and it feels evident to me that this season is going to be about strong global colours," explained Josh Wood, celebrity colourist and founder of Josh Wood Colour. "I think, in some ways, it's a slight reaction against balayage or heavily blended colours."
The key to embracing a strong, "one shade all over" look though is to focus on boosting shine. "Peppercorn black can be created with a full head tint to give the hair a super-glossy finish," said Carly Price, partner stylist at Muse of London.
Wood agrees. "Well-conditioned hair is everything this season, linking into hair health as a symbol of our overall well-being."
While she looks fabulous with bleached strands and softer honey highlights, Kim Kardashian West often returns to the dark side for her autumn style.
2. Golden Turmeric
"Shades of yellow blonde resembling turmeric can be created with a golden balayage," said Price. "We're sure to use Olaplex and hair treatment and strengthening services to clients interested in lightening their locks for the season to ensure hair looks as healthy and shiny as possible."
I'm all over Kendall Jenner's golden-blonde pony.
3. Ice Cold Silver
"Ice-white and silver shades are always popular during the cooler months, and that's no different for A/W,," advised Price. "We'll see a lot of blonde clients looking to update their locks and give them a fresh look for the season coming into the salon for babylights, highlights and to have their hair pre-lightened and toned for that ice-queen look."
I adore the silver-toned blonde of Jada's braided updo.
4. Paprika Spice
"Red shades like hot chilli red and smoked paprika can be achieved by tinting the hair, or adding in red and copper highlights onto a brunette base to give the hair an instant update for the season," said Price.
Wood also focused on red as a key shade this autumn, but is opting for a softer take on the hue for real-life wear. "We are creating more solid colours in the atelier," explained Wood. "They aren't as strong as the reds from the shows, but there is more focus on shine and gloss."
Make like Courtney Trop and match your chilli-hued strands to your lipstick and jacket for fashion-girl points.
Zendaya's rich auburn hair colour has major autumnal vibes.
If you don't want to go pillar-box red, then opt for a red-toned brown like Megan Ellaby for an effortless approach to hair colour.
5. Chocolate Brown
Wood explains that there are two "queens of gloss" providing inspiration for the final hair colour trend for autumn: "Vintage Cindy Crawford or Nanette Newman had super-shiny brunette hair that everybody wanted."
"Emily Ratajkowski is another celebrity whose hair is a great inspiration for colour right now," agreed Price. "Emily has a gorgeous, luxurious chocolate hair hue—and this is exactly how brunettes should be for A/W, with high shine and looking as healthy as possible."
6. Pastel Pop
"Pastels, also known as pop colours, such as lilac and baby pink are top of the trending list for autumn/winter," advised celebrity hair colourist Rita Hazan. "I would highly recommend if you are indulging in the these colour trends to use my True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss (£21) to help prevent colour fading and dullness. It comes in five shades, including clear, so even pop colours can now last longer!"
If you don't want to go for an all-over colour then try pastel highlights like Khloé Kardashian.
Cynthia Erivo's curls look so damn lovely in lavender.
I'm not sure I'll ever get over how beautiful Helen Mirren looks with her candyfloss pink hairstyle.
Shop the Best Products to Maintain Your Colour
Josh Wood recommends this semi-permanent treatment gloss for maintaining your colour during the winter months. "We created Gloss to boost colour while conditioning your hair at the same time. It's a semi-permanent colour, 100% vegan, sulphate-free and loaded with natural ingredients," he explained.
Rita Hazan's gloss comes in a selection of shades so you can get that shiny, on-trend, healthy-hair look whatever autumn hair colour you want.
"Hair masks and treatments are incredibly important and should be used a couple of times a week to keep colour sealed in, and to avoid fading and your hair going dry, brittle and lifeless due to the colder weather," advised Carly Price. This one from Amika is one of my favourites thanks to its ability to seal split ends and intensely hydrate.
"When it comes to maintaining fresh colour during the cold months, it’s important to invest in colour-saving shampoos and conditioners that will keep your hair colour looking vibrant and long-lasting," advised Price.
This new range from Living Proof uses a special "locking molecule" to prevent colour fade.