The Best Hair Color Trends Of 2021

It's hard to pick one word to describe 2021's top hair trends because it was a year where people expressed their individual styles in a variety of ways. As far as cuts, it seemed like there was something for everyone, with everything from classic, long, and healthy layers to a modern mullet coming into fashion. We also saw throwbacks to the '70s, '90s, and early 2000s, and many people embraced their natural curls and hair texture.

Just like the hairstyles, there was a diverse range of hair colors trending throughout 2021. While some people preferred natural brunette and blond colors to keep their hair healthy and limit upkeep, others went for cooler shades, and plenty of people experimented with color blocking and bright pastel colors. Trying new hair colors is a great way to express your style and personality. And 2021 brought lots of exciting ways to do that. We're rounding up our favorite hair color trends of 2021.

Bronde hair

One of the top trending hair colors in spring 2021 was bronde, with the name coming from combining blond and brown. L'oréal describes the in-between color by saying that the bronde hair color trend "means you are no longer forced to choose between the two ... Bronde is a color technique that fuses brown and blond to create a flattering, sun-kissed color result." It's a more natural look that requires less treatment than bleach or platinum blond, and it also adds some brightness to your look. In that way, bronde is truly the best of both worlds.

Because the color finds a nice middle ground, anyone getting it done can adjust the shades to work with their natural hair color and go best with their skin tone. Celebrity hairstylist Dom Seeley told Stylist, "This color will work on just about all hair colors and types. Warmer blonds reflect light and appear brighter, giving a radiant and healthy-looking glow to the skin." Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sofía Vergara looked stunning in this combo color throughout 2021.

Money piece highlights

Another hair color trend that took off in 2021 was money piece highlights. This is where the two front sections of your hair are a lighter color than the rest. It's another way to brighten your hair without going fully blond, and just like the bronde trend, it works for any hair color. Discussing this money piece style, Matt Rez, Redken brand ambassador and colorist, told The Zoe Report that this is a good way to give the "illusion of brighter hair without having to commit to completely going lighter."

The great thing about this trend is there were lots of different ways people wore it. Money piece highlights can vary in how much they contrast with the rest of the hair. Some people only added slightly lighter front pieces to bring attention to and brighten their faces subtly. However, others preferred to make the trend more noticeable and bold with the blond money pieces a few shades lighter than the rest of their highlights. And, of course, people tried everything in between while experimenting with this fun 2021 hair color trend.

Chunky face-framing blond pieces

These chunky, face-framing blond pieces are a twist on the money piece highlighting. Like with the highlights, the front strands of your hair are dyed lighter. However, the blond pieces are added to an otherwise darker hair color instead of complementing the rest of your highlighted hair. The front strands that are dyed are also usually a lot chunkier. Unlike the highlighted money pieces, this look isn't supposed to appear natural. It's a much more drastic look that had some people obsessed and had others rolling their eyes.

The chunky blond streaks were popular in the '90s, and they started getting brought back in 2020, going strong into 2021. Allure suggested many names for these trendy front pieces including, "90s bangs," "Pepé Le Pew streak" (inspired by the somewhat skunk-like look), and "flaps." But, no matter what you call them, it was definitely interesting to see everyone experimenting with this look throughout the year. Colorist Cherin Choi told Allure, "It's is a bold way to [lighten] your hair with very little commitment. You don't have to dye your entire head. The lightness around your face will make it feel as though it's on your entire head, and it takes only a fraction of the time."

Face-framing colored streaks

These face-framing streaks, or e-girl streaks, are just like the blond front pieces except with an extra step. After bleaching the front chunks, people with this style then dye the bleached pieces with a bright in-fashion color. Those with naturally light hair could also accomplish the trend without first bleaching.

These color-blocking styles had a big moment in 2021, likely because they're fun, easy to personalize, and aren't as expensive, time-consuming, or as big of a commitment as dying all your hair one stylish color. You could enjoy all the fun of having blue, purple, green, pink, or any other color hair without dying your whole head.

When advising how to accomplish these face-framing streaks, celebrity colorist Jeremy Tardo said, "Ask your colorist for a bright bit of color in the front. If you want to increase the high contrast look, you can request a solid color on the rest of your hair too" (via Glamour).

Split dye

Another style of color blocking that we saw all over in 2021 was this split-dye look. It's a bold, contrasting look you can use with a variety of color combos. Some people bleached one-half of their hair while leaving the other natural. Another option is using a fashion color like pink, orange, green, or any other fun color along with your natural color or a bleached half. And some people even used two bright fashion colors with one on each side. With so many options, selecting two colors that go well together can be difficult. The Salon Success Academy offered some advice for picking two colors that go well together. They recommended combining light pastel colors and complementary colors or contrasting with blond and black.

The great thing about this style is that if you want to try a bold color but can't pick between two, you can just use them both. However, it's far from easy when if comes to upkeep. As Success Salon Academy said, "If you like easy, breezy color jobs, split color isn't for you. If you want to maintain the look, it does take time, money, and a stylist you trust! However, it can be a super fun trend, and if you love the look, you should rock it!"

Champagne blond

Another blond trend that made a splash in 2021 was champagne blond. The light blond shade combines both warm and cool tones for a complex blond that's somewhere in between ashy and brassy. Because of the blend of warm and cool tones, hair color specialist Rex Jimieson told Glamour that the trend "looks good on any skin tone." This was probably the reason we saw it everywhere in 2021 and may see more variations going into 2022. Several celebrities hopped on the trend, with Sophie Turner and Hilary Duff embracing the dazzling look.

Another great thing about light blond colors like this one is that you can easily use them as a jumping-off point to try more adventurous trends. Jimieson suggested an easy way to try out a more whimsical twist on the color with a touch of pink. "Blush tones can be added to light blond or used all over to give a twist to your signature look," he said. And we love the idea of a rosé champagne trend.

Coppery redhead

Amidst the blond and brunette colors, we can't forget gorgeous red shades. If the cooler tones weren't your style, then you might have fallen in love with this warmer trend. When it came to ginger hair, copper tones were huge in 2021. The exact color could range from strawberry blond to deeper ginger. As celebrity colorist George Papanikolas told The Zoe Report, the spectrum of red colors makes it easy for anyone to select what works best with their skin tone. But what the colors have in common is a warm, coppery glow to the orange hair. Papanikolas also advised, "If you're unsure about a sudden change, the easiest way to dip your toe into copper is to do a copper gloss over your highlights or natural hair."

Anyone thinking about going ginger can find plenty of inspiration from the many celebrities who embraced the coppery look during 2021. Famously blond model Gigi Hadid surprised fans by debuting her long red hair at Versace's Milan Fashion Week show. And Carmen Lee Solomons was another fashion model rocking the warm red tones throughout 2021. 

Mushroom brown

If you didn't hear about this trend, then the name might have you confused. We can't blame you, "mushroom brown" definitely doesn't have the same appealing ring to it as "champagne blond." But whether you like mushrooms or not, plenty of people were falling in love with this oddly named hair color trend in 2021.

Mushroom brown sets itself apart from most brunette styles because, unlike typical brown colors with a warm base, this one uses cool tones and highlights for an ashy finish. It was fun to see all the variations on this style throughout 2021. Because the mushroom trend focused on the cool tone and less on an exact shade, people applied the style to a range of brunette shades from mousy brown to a deeper mocha color. The key is sticking to a cool and earthy palette within the brunette shades.

Keep in mind that if your natural hair has brassy undertones, then this trendy look takes some upkeep. Laura Gibson, the artistic director for RUSK, recommended going to the salon to get a gloss touch-up every six weeks to preserve the mushroom brown color (via The Zoe Report).

Blond with natural roots

With hair salons closing during lockdowns in 2020, many people started opting for more natural hair colors, and those low-maintenance styles continued into 2021. One of these styles was the natural blond look with roots. Instead of a light bleach blond that takes a lot of upkeep, people started embracing baby blond hair with natural warmth throughout, and the best part is you don't have to worry about your roots growing out!

That's right; this 2021 look embraced grown-out roots for an authentic and hassle-free style. Talking about 2021 styles, celebrity colorist Jeremy Tardo told Glamour, "This new year is ushering in effortless-looking blonds that can be worn all year long." When it comes to achieving this blond look, Tardo recommends that you keep your roots their natural color and "ask your colorist for a natural blond color melt." This trend makes the blond look so much easier and means you don't have to rush to make a salon appointment every time your roots start showing. It's especially convenient if your hair is naturally light, then you'll only have to get it touched up a couple of times a year. Hopefully, the low-maintenance style continues into 2022.

Glossy black

When it comes to a color that's both classic and bold, black is one that never goes out of style, and it spent a lot of time in the spotlight during 2021. The key to the year's on-trend black hair was its glossy sheen. Hair colorist George Papanikolas warned that an easy trap to fall into with black hair is thinking you only need one shade. "But there are actually multiple tones involved to get the right shine and movement without looking inky and solid," he told PopSugar. According to him, a truly healthy-looking glossy black incorporates a spectrum of colors from deep black to medium brown. Papanikolas also recommended that anyone going dark start using a green-based shampoo to keep red tones out.

Despite a bit of upkeep, black was a style that caught a lot of attention in 2021 with many enjoying the dramatic and sleek look. "Jet black is a vibe, it's a whole commitment," celebrity hairstylist Bianca Hillier explained to PopSugar. "Cool-tone black gives off an eclectic feel helping any artist get into the groove."

Pastel pink

The summer is always a good time to experiment with more fun fashion colors, and the 2021 summer color was pastel pink. There were a few reasons pink took off. Firstly, it's an easy color to add to blond hair, and because the light pink fades fairly quickly, it was a great way to experiment without worrying about a big commitment. As Katy Kavrazonis, an extension specialist and educator at Covet and Mane, told The Zoe Report, "Pastels and vibrant colors are a great way to have fun with your hair, and you don't have to stay married to the color for too long."

Kravrazonis also theorized that the increase of people working from home could have led to more fashion colors. Although some returned to the office in 2021, many employees continued working remotely. And, with fewer people worrying about an office dress code, more felt free to experiment with pinks and other fun colors in their hair.

We also saw several celebrities trying out this look in 2021, like Chrissy Teigen, who went pink in April. And Lana Condor beat most of us to the trend by showing off her pink hair as early as February.

Light blue

The year 2021 was a great one for trying out bright colors that you may have shied away from in the past. Although pink had its moment in the summer, blue was the fashion color of winter. Many people used icy, light blue shades for a whimsical, wintery look. However, celebrity hair colorist Bianca Hillier warned Glamour that blue is more difficult to get right than pink. The cool color can bring out pink undertones in your skin, and if you don't lift the yellow tones out of your hair, then the blue easily fades into green.

But, when executed well, the light blue looks amazing, and as long as your stylist lifts all the yellow out of your base color, then you can also use the blue hair to highlight light, ashy roots. The blue color is also easy to incorporate into color-blocking styles like a chunky face-framing look.

Expensive brunette

Despite what the name implies, the expensive brunette isn't necessarily a high-maintenance or pricey look. This was another trend that came out of the pandemic. While plenty went into 2020 as blonds, their hair grew out during the lockdown. But instead of rushing to the salon to get back their former look as soon as they opened, a lot of people found they liked the natural darker hair they'd grown out. The leftover blond created light honey highlights in naturally darker, healthier hair.

So, while it's called the expensive brunette, it's actually a natural look for a lot of people that takes little to no maintenance. Although since it's been popularized, many have recreated the look by dying their hair. Hairstylist Sarah Klein described the style, saying to InStyle, "It's shiny, it's warm, it sparkles in the light, and it's natural. What makes it look expensive is the richness of the tones and the shine." Hailey Bieber was one of the first to popularize the expensive brunette when her blond hair grew out. She told Refinery29 that she noticed a "big difference" in the health of her hair and avoids dying it now.


An alternative to the bright coppery ginger hair color, a more natural and darker red was trending in 2021. The color was called cinnamon due to its beautiful deep red with rich brown tones. In some lights, it looks brunette, but when the light hits right, you can see the rich auburn throughout.

If you loved this trend but were nervous to dye your hair red, hair colorist Olivia Casanova recommended an easy way to try it out. Instead of committing to a red hair dye, she suggested asking your stylist for a gloss to start out, as noted by Oprah Daily.

Gloss is a non-permanent way to color your hair that doesn't damage it the way dye does. As colorist Lucille Javier explained it to Elle, "Semi-permanent gloss is typically a professional product — pigment mixed with developer. Direct dyes have just pure pigment and basically stain the hair." Glosses are an excellent option if you want to test a color like cinnamon but don't want it long-term or don't want to risk damaging your hair.