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Hair Color Ideas: List For Stylish And Unique Looks

Coloring your hair can be a fun way to experiment with your look.  Many people color their hair to mark a drastic change in their life, or they could simply be looking for a subtle way to enhance their natural features.  Whatever the case may be, we have a list of trendy new hair color ideas to try for your next salon visit.

What Is Hair Color?

coloring hair using hair salon equipments

Hair is made up of the protein, keratin. The natural color of the hair is determined by the presence of two other proteins, eumelanin, and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for black to brown shades, and pheomelanin is responsible for the red, copper, and blonde shades. When you change the color of your hair, you are really changing the ratio of eumelanin and pheomelanin pigments present in the hair.  This is done by either lightening or darkening your natural hair using specially formulated hair dyes. It is always advised to seek the help of a salon professional when making changes to your hair color for best results.

For the hair color novice, it can be intimidating to navigate through the world of hair color. Meeting with a professional stylist will allow you to voice your concerns and give you a chance to bounce hair color ideas off of a professional. Every salon appointment begins with a thorough consultation in which your stylist will determine what hair color will look best with your skin tone, eye color, and personal style. From there, they will determine the best technique to use to execute a look that's customized just for you.

How Does Hair Color Work?

a long hair lady with a cute hair color

The hair coloring process is determined by the hair color ideas you want to try. You can either go lighter or darker than your natural hair color.  If you are going lighter, you will be bleaching your hair with lightener that is applied using specific techniques by a skilled professional. Going darker is usually a one-step process that involves coloring the entire head one cohesive color with permanent or semi-permanent hair dye.

Going Darker

Permanent or semi-permanent hair dye is used to create the appearance of a different hair color. These hair dyes open up the cuticle of the hair shaft, which allows color molecules to penetrate and stick. This process is what creates the change in hair color, making it appear darker than it naturally is. Typically, you will color your whole head the first time you go darker, and after that will only need to touch up your roots every 4-6 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows.

Going Lighter

When you are dying your hair lighter, you will be bleaching the hair.  The bleach acts as a catalyst to strip the hair of eumelanin pigments, leaving only the pheomelanin pigments.  This results in hair that appears lighter. These days, there are many bond-restoring additives that stylists add to the bleach to make it safe and gentle to use on any hair type, minimizing damage. Popular lightening trends right now include balayage and ombre.  With balayage, your stylist paints on highlights for a highly customized, sun-kissed look. With ombre, only the bottom half of the hair is lightened.  This creates a trendy graduation effect where the hair is blended seamlessly from dark on top to light on the bottom.

Your Perfect Hair Color

Figuring out the color that's right for you can be determined by your skin tone, eye color, and personal style.  Talking with a professional stylist is a great way to come up with a hair color that is perfect for enhancing your unique features.  The ideal hair color should complement your natural features and give your complexion a healthy glow and make your eyes pop.

‚ÄčTo determine whether you are cool or warm toned, look at the veins in your wrists to determine what your underlying tones are. If your veins appear blue, you are more cool toned and have a more pink complexion.  If your veins appear green, you are more warm toned and have a more yellow or olive complexion. Take a look at the list below for hair color ideas that complement your unique skin tone.

Best Hair Color Ideas for Cool Skin Tones

Cool skin tones are enhanced by the following colors:

  • Champagne Blonde
  • Strawberry Blonde
  • Medium Ash Brown
  • Espresso Brown

Best Hair Color Ideas for Warm Skin Tones

Warm skin tones are enhanced by the following colors:

  • Light Golden Blonde
  • Chocolate Brown
  • Dark Auburn
  • Off Black

How Long Will Hair Color Last?

Depending on the hair color you've decided on, you may need to visit the salon anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. A good rule of thumb for the longevity of hair color is the farther you stray from your natural hair color, the more maintenance and salon visits it will require. Vibrant colors such as red and purple are very high maintenance colors that require more frequent visits to the salon.  This is because these pigments tend to leave the hair more quickly, due to the fact that they are not permanent dyes. Sun-kissed highlights tend to be the best for those who are looking for a low maintenance style because they will only need to visit the salon once every 6-12 weeks. Darker colors tend to need a root touch up every 6 weeks, or longer depending on how quickly the new growth grows in.

To make your hair color last as long as possible, invest in a good color safe shampoo and conditioner from your local salon.

Is There a Need for Hair Colors?

Coloring your hair can be a fun way to enhance your look. You can create your own personal style by changing up your hair color as often as you wish. Many people use hair color as a way to express their creativity, and to create a unique look that allows them to stand out from the crowd.  Others like to use hair color for a confidence booster.  Whatever your personal reason for coloring your hair, it is always a great way to add some fun to your look.

When Should You Color Your Hair?

Coloring your hair is a great way to spice up your appearance.  Being in a style rut is no fun and coloring your hair is an easy fix.  If you're new to the hair coloring world, here are a few reasons why you might want to consider making the switch.

light hair colors

Dramatic Change

You can color your hair whenever you're stuck in a funk and are ready to make a dramatic change.  Right now, it is very trendy to dye your hair any and every color of the rainbow!  Experiment with your favorite colors to create a look that's totally unique to you. If you prefer to stay within a more natural color palette, you can always take your look to the next level by coloring your natural hair with the opposite end of the spectrum.  

If you have blonde hair, opt for a rich, chocolate brown or sultry, deep auburn for a drastically new look.  Or, if you're a brunette, brighten up your look by going blonde.

Going Gray

As you age, your hair follicles stop producing pigment.  This results in less melanin being produced, making hair appear gray, silver, and white.  

When this happens, many people like to color their gray hairs to match their natural hair.  This can instantly change your look and make you appear years younger.

Subtle Switch

If you've never colored your hair before, what are you waiting for!  The right color can really brighten your complexion and make your eyes pop.  Face-framing highlights are a great way to introduce brightness and light to your look.  If you're hesitant to try new colors, begin by going only two shades lighter or darker than your natural color to test the waters.

7 Unique Hair Color Ideas to Try

Check out this list of 7 hair color ideas to try next time you want to change up your look!

1. Rainbow


Bright, vibrant hues in rainbows shades are extremely trendy right now.  This is definitely a way to make a bold statement about your look.

You could have every color of the rainbow on your head blended together seamlessly by your stylist, or choose your favorite color and make it yours with this totally unique hair trend.  This color suits anyone willing to try it.

a girl with bright vibrant hues in rainbow shades hair color

2. Balayage


Balayage is a great option for people who love the look of sun-kissed highlights. This hair color can be customized to complement anyone's natural appearance. It also looks great at any length; whether it be on sleek bobs, or long, cascading waves.

It is perfect for brunettes looking to add beautiful caramel ribbons to their naturally dark hair. Lighter shades also look great with balayage, and natural redheads looking to enhance their natural copper hues with strawberry blonde highlights.

balayage hair color

3. Platinum Blonde


This is a bold color for strong, confident women!  Platinum blonde has such a beautiful, striking appearance, and looks amazing at every length.

Keep in mind this is a very high maintenance color, so have a talk with your stylist about the best way to keep it looking fresh.

platinum blonde hair color

4. Ombre


Ombre hair is a low maintenance option for people who love the look of blonde hair but don't want to deal with the upkeep. This technique works for any hair color, whether you're feeling more vibrant, rainbow hues, or a more natural look. 

If you're feeling bold, you can ask your stylist for an ombre in your favorite color, and your stylist will create a natural graduation of the color from dark roots to light ends.

ombre hair color

5. Iridescent Opal


If you're looking to take your platinum blonde to the next level, give this hair color idea a try. 

Your hair will look like it's changing colors whenever the wind blows, with a mix of soft pinks, purples, and light greens to create the appearance of an opal stone. This is definitely a one of a kind look.

iridescent opal hair color

6. Blue-Black


There's nothing more striking than a raven-haired beauty, and a blue-black hair color change is the perfect way to add a subtle edge to your look.  

It's subtle but definitely striking. This is a really low maintenance look and is the perfect color for anyone looking to make a drastic change to their appearance.

a lady with a blue-black hair color

7. Pastel


Pastel shades in mint, lavender, light pink, and periwinkle are all beautiful options to make the most of this hair color. It's the softer, more delicate cousin of the rainbow hair trend. 

This hair color works best for blondes, but don't let that stop you if you're naturally darker.  Your stylist will work with you to achieve the look you want, no matter what your starting shade is.

a short hair lady with pastel hair color


Changing your hair color can be a fun way to experiment with your look. If you're a natural beauty wanting to subtly brighten up your features, give a balayage or ombre a try. Or, if you're bold try out a pastel or rainbow shade to show off your unique style. The possibilities for beautiful hair color ideas are endless, especially when you have an awesome stylist.

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