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Inspired by everything from desserts and plants to the weather and old age, the year’s hottest hair trends are nothing short of eye-catching, head-turning, and totally gorgeous. 2016’s top trends definitely make a statement. But just because this year is coming to a close doesn’t mean these super-cool styles are going anywhere. Behold: Our favorite hair color trends of the year. Prepare to be inspired for your next hair color change!
Ever wondered how you could illuminate your locks without resorting to getting super-piecey highlights? Well, snowlights debuted in the beginning of 2016 to save the day—and ultimately earned itself a spot on the list of our fave looks for winter. So, what makes this trend so special? Where ombré hair focuses on lightening hair at the ends, snowlights focus all lightening power at the roots for a snow-scattered feel. Think: Uber-pale pieces around the crown of the head for a frosted look that makes you glow from head to toe.
Could it be true that blondes really do have more fun? The hair color is certainly on-trend these days—and women are opting to go lighter and lighter. Case in point: the popularity of platinum. Known for its super-light all-over color, this is the ultimate chic, glam look of 2016.
3. Exposed Roots
Remember the days when exposed roots looked sloppy and were thought to a major hair faux pas? Luckily for lazy girls everywhere, that’s totally not the case anymore. And if we’re being honest, we couldn’t be more excited. With 2016 came the appreciation of grown-out roots and their slightly grungy, very laidback, cool girl vibe. Just think of being on trend with this particular look as the perfect excuse to not schedule regular touch-ups. Yes, please.
4. Denim Hair
There’s just something about a good pair of denim jeans that really ties a look together. So, it’s no wonder that the same sought after wardrobe color palette is now being applied to hair. From stonewash to indigo to inky blue washes, 2016 was proof that blue hair could look edgy without sacrificing an ounce of fashionable flair.
If natural sun-kissed hair is what you’re after, look no further than the fuss-free technique of balayage. Balyage is the French word for ‘sweeping,’ and when you opt for this look, you can expect to walk out of the salon with a super-soft, natural, swept-on color. To make the look possible, a colorist will sweep dye on to the surface of your hair in a hue that’s suited to your skin tone. This color will be geared towards really brightening up your appearance. Since the painted sections of hair don’t start until slightly down from your roots in an ombré-esque fashion, this trendy style requires little to no maintenance—it still looks natural even as it’s growing out (yay!).
6. Silver Gray Hair
What once was an immediate excuse to run to the salon for a color treatment has now become the color of choice when scheduling appointments. That’s right: We’re talking about gray hair. Seen on celebs, bloggers, and everyday folks, this hair color has permeated every corner of 2016’s must-have hues.
7. Pumpkin Spice Hair
Pumpkin spice is absolutely everywhere these days. In facts, it’s one of the most sought after hair tones. Although one picture alone can’t adequately depict this hair trend, a series of undertones can. Think: coppery, red undertones with a hint of orange and gold. Sounds pretty, right? To get this look, make sure you clearly depict to your colorist what you want the resulting color to be. Looking to eliminate the guess work on which undertones are best for you? Typically, ginger undertones are best for fair skin, while warm honey hues work wonders for darker skin.
8. Nude Hair
When this look first debuted in 2016, people sat scratching their heads for a minute wondering how it was different from traditional blonde. But, the more you gaze into the strands, the more you’ll realize just how unique this hue really is. The closer you look, the more you understand that nude hair isn’t purely a warm or cool shade. Rather, it’s something in the middle that encompasses a series of neutrals to balance each other out. Just think of it as the ultimate no-makeup makeup look—but for your hair.
9. Rose Gold Hair
Known as the hair color of 2016, rose gold hair has certainly made a name for itself this year. With undertones ranging from copper to pink, this redhead rendition is taking over Hollywood red carpets, the streets of New York, runways, and the everyday—not to mention our Instagram feeds. What once was relegated to your favorite jewelry or home accessories has quickly become the must-have hue for every skin tone near and far.
10. Hidden Rainbow Hair
A little scared to douse your hair in ultimate ROYGBIV fashion when you have to dress professionally at the office? This trend—that we (literally) never saw coming—is the hair look for you, then! Concealed by the top layers of your hair, the bottom layers are able to shine bright in magnificent rainbow form, making it only visible when tied up or in the occasional gust of wind. The trick to keeping your rainbow on point is to lighten your hair enough for each shade to retain its colorful integrity—that way the color won’t look like it’s unintended. After all, you don’t want to apply blue dye to yellow hair and then wonder why you have two green sections. Ya dig?
11. Succulent Hair
Ironically enough, the world’s favorite low maintenance plants have become one of the highest maintenance hair colors of 2016. Despite the process of creating the look (as well as the time-consuming upkeep!), succulent hair has earned its spot as one of the most swooned over hair colors as 2016 comes to a close. From the pink and magenta tips, to the aqua roots, this is a seriously bold, yet super-feminine look worth rocking at least once in your life. (Hey, you only live once!) Since it’s tricky to bring this look to life, we highly recommend enlisting a colorist to make all your plant-like hair dreams become something of reality.
12. Tortoiseshell Hair
First there was ombré, and then there was balaygae; now, just think of tortoiseshell as their love child. Known for its ombré base and a litter of balayage highlights from root to tip, this melting pot of golden and bronzed tones makes for the most beautiful sun-kissed, beachy girl vibe. Plus, just imagine how gorg it will look with a tortoiseshell clip!
No matter which trend train you decide to hop aboard, a few rules remain the same when it comes to maintaining colored hair. Follow these to help keep your strands vivid for as long as you can:
1. Wash as little as possible. Some shampoos are formulated with detergents, and these can strip color from your hair. So, try to do your very best to limit washing your hair two to three times a week. If you’re worried about oil, add dry shampoo to your routine to help sop up sweat and oil on the days you don’t ‘poo. Try the L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo, which is formulated with three refined clays to help absorb oil at the root and refresh hair.
2. Turn the temperature down when you do wash. Hot water, however soothing it may be, is actually one of dyed hair’s biggest enemies. In an effort to not wash all that time and money down the drain, opt for lukewarm temps when you lather your locks.
3. And use color-safe products. Consider using sulfate-free products like L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris Hair Expert Color Vibrancy Intensive Conditioner. To use the shampoo, massage into wet hair, lather, then rinse. To use the conditioner, apply it after shampooing and leave it on for one to three minutes before rinsing out.
4. Invest in an ultra-restorative mask. Replenish any moisture you may have lost during the dyeing process. Try the L’Oréal Paris Color Vibrancy Intensive Mask, which is formulated for dry, damaged, and color-treated tresses. Once you’re done cleansing your strands with shampoo, slather the mask on for three to five minutes, then rinse. Use once or twice a week for best results.
5. Watch the way you brush. Your hair could become more become brittle after being dyed. That means when it comes to brushing your hair, make sure not to tug too hard. This will help prevent any excess breakage. Beautiful and healthy-looking hair awaits!