The Most Popular Instagram Hair Colour Trends We’ll See in 2021

by akesha / last updated December 21, 2020

For some it may be making a bold statement and for others something more subtle – 2021 is set to be the year of change, and we think it’s a more exciting time than ever to predict the hair colour trends that will sweep Instagram for the next 12 months.

For HJ’s Season of Giving, we asked a handful of experts who spend their lives dedicated to colour to give their insight on what we can expect in 2021.

Tracy Hayes, Fudge Professional Global Colour Ambassador

“The bolder the better! We will all be looking to a positive future this coming spring, and what better way to bounce into it with statement colour to celebrate. Alice band hair colour will still be popular with colours becoming more prominent, so where we were seeing heavier highlighted front areas, these will progress to stronger bands in bleach and toners. Don’t be afraid to clash some colour mixes for the brave- it’s all about framing the face.” 

“I would love to see fun with hairline colour even on shorter lengths; clever placement through the hairlines of colour diffusing through the tonal palette, possibly seeing shades move through lighter to darker, and this can be played with any palette from blonde to brunettes and copper and reds. As well as this, we will also see lots of block colour in strong colour choices. This will vary from blondes to reds and deep brunettes, and these colours will be the perfect complement for more graphic haircuts that we will be seeing.


Tracey Devine-Smith, French & Ivi, Belper, and ASP Global Ambassador

“Aubergine is going to be a hot colour next year. Think an earthy take on red, which looks stunning on dark hair. For the bolder clients, this can be combined with heavier panels of soft copper to create a bold effect, but on its own it’s simply shiny and a beautiful wearable colour.”

“The biggest story of 2021 will be the two-tone 90s vibe. Think one full vibrant colour underneath and another on top. We also saw lots of pastel pinks at the beginning of the year and it’s still trending. It’s a dramatic change, but also temporary, and perfect for the clients that are happy to experiment.”

“Smoky tones are becoming a thing where blondes are toning down the icy white to soft mushrooms, smoky soft blues, light smokey browns and true organic earthy tones. This is easy to achieve on a blonde base and even easier to wear as it’s super consumer friendly and gives minimizes root glow.”

“Vanilla and butter blondes will be our 2021 blonde palette, moving away from icy grey hair and letting things feel softer and looking plush and elegant. Expensive looking shiny blondes will be a huge hit.”

Carolyn Newman, International Colour Educator and Expert

“One of the key colour trends to continue in 2021 will be two-tone and face frame, but these will be softer contrasts and can be blended rather than extreme so they enhance skin tone and highlight cheekbones. Think wearable colour with combinations of muted blondes and beige browns.”

“I feel we are moving to more ‘lived in colour’, and tones which will be popular are rustic reds which are a brunette with warmth or for blondes a lighter apricot hue. We are seeing a lot of clients embrace their own natural curls and texture and the technique curl painting will be popular, where individual curls are chosen and either lightened or darkened 2-3 shades to add contrast bringing light and shade to the curls.”


Robert Eaton, Wella Professionals Technical Director

“After a year of turmoil, hair trends and new ideas are going to create excitement for our clients, and we are working on several directions in hair colour which I’ll break down:

“Embracing The Natural looks at working with, enhancing and embracing everything that is beautiful about your natural hair, from colour through to its texture. We are working with techniques such as grey blending, glossing and conscious colour placement to enhance and accentuate every cut.”

“Next Level Balayage is where we are working on the most subtle and tasteful ways of placing colour in the hair, making them more bespoke than ever and working with layering, blending and glossing to create the perfect colour experience.”

“Painted Curls involves placing a big emphasis on understanding curl patterns and how colour works within this to create luxurious, light reflective hair colour. Tonally working with a colour palette that’s bespoke to each individual.”

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