Summer has arrived, and you know what that means: It’s time to break out your favorite sunglasses and breezy outfits, sip on some crisp rosé, and pencil in ample hours for the beach or pool. The seasonal shift is also the perfect time to consider a hair color update—a sort of “coming out of hibernation and I look fine!” kind of vibe.
To help you lock down some contenders, we’re showcasing some of the trendiest and most flattering summer hair colors for 2021. From the perfect summer blonde hair colors to playful fashion hues to gorgeous summer hair colors for dark skin, we’re confident you’ll find a winner while perusing this carefully curated list of 50 summer hair color ideas.
How To Care For Your Summer Hair Color
Before diving into some fresh hues, let’s first cover some summer hair care basics. We tapped Min Kim, L'Oréal Professionnel global brand ambassador, for everything you need to know about keeping your new ‘do healthy and vibrant.
Don’t Skip Sun Protection
When it comes to preserving summer hair colors, Kim doesn’t take the matter lightly.
“Sun is hair color's mortal enemy,” she says.
No need to skip the beach or pool, but do prioritize sun protection to keep the sun’s powerful UV rays at bay. There are scalp sunscreens you can apply directly to your hairline and partline to protect the exposed skin, and hats and sun umbrellas are your best friends, too.
Protect Your Strands From Chlorine
Before diving headfirst into the pool this summer, keep in mind the ways chlorine can damage your strands—especially if you’re a salon blonde.
“Chlorine strips the hair of moisture,” Kim says. “Always wet your hair with fresh water before exposure to chlorine,” she advises. This step allows your hair to absorb more of the regular water, leaving less room for chlorine-infused water to infiltrate your strands.
Use Products for Color-Treated Hair
Another way to preserve summer hair colors is to use products formulated specifically for color-treated hair. These will work overtime for you to maintain the vibrancy and health of your hair.
Start by swapping your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system like Pureology’s Hydrate Shampoo + Conditioner, a deeply hydrating pair that boasts the brand's powerful AntiFade Complex. Kérastase Soleil Nourishing After-Sun Shampoo and Solei Revitalizing Masque are also another option. Each is formulated with anti-oxidizing elements that help balance out the harsh effects of summer elements.
“Adding a mask treatment afterward is even better,” Kim says. “These nourishing balms work to soothe and restore sun-exposed strands and are truly a luxurious treat after a sun-filled day. As an added bonus, a mask is easy to take with you on your next holiday!”
If you follow these expert tips, you can count on healthy summer hair colors with long-lasting vibrancy all season long!
What hair colors are good for summer?
We’re not much for following hard and fast rules, so opt for a summer hair color that’s speaking to you right now. That said, if you’re looking for some guidance, summer is a great time to experiment with lighter hues. Take your blonde a bit blonder, add lightness via highlights or balayage, or consider a money piece for an instant, noncommittal lift.
Since summer is arguably one of the more “playful” seasons, it’s also a great time to experiment with fashion colors, like pink, purple, teal, blue, or yellow. Have fun with it!
The Best Summer Hair Colors To Try Now
Ready to dive into our 50 summer hair color ideas? From a variety of summer blonde hair colors to trendy summer hair colors for brunettes, redheads, and beyond, we’ve got you covered.
Dark roots are always a good look, but have you ever considered colorful roots instead? This high-contrast placement adds a touch of vibrancy to your summer hue in an unexpected way.
Mother Of Pearl
If you want to add summer vibes to your platinum hue, take your inspiration straight from the beach via mother of pearl hair color. Just like the pearl you find inside of a clam, this vibrant shade incorporates hints of pastel blue, pink, and lavender throughout a platinum blonde base.
Whether you plan to spend hours soaking in the sun or laying under your beach umbrella, there’s one blonde hair color that every skin tone can count on: honey blonde. No matter your skin tone, this stunning blend of gold, amber, and light brown shades is a no-fail choice for your summer hair color change.
Looking to brighten your brunette mane without the commitment of all-over color? Ask your colorist for honey highlights for a low-maintenance sun-kissed effect.
Teal hair is bright, bold, and electrifying—like all the best summer hair colors are! If you have pale skin, this blue-green hue is the perfect choice for you this season.
Indulge in a hue inspired by your favorite childhood summer dessert. To achieve sherbert hair color, your colorist will blend shades of peach, orange, and bright pink for a rainbow look that’s ideal for summertime.
Green might sound like an unexpected hair color idea for summer, but don’t count it out just yet! From pale mint green to jewel-toned emerald, celebrities love this versatile hair color in every shade. It’s all about finding the perfect shade of green for your skin tone!
Purple And Blue
When it comes to statement-making hair colors, two is sometimes better than one! If you’re looking to try the half-and-half hair color trend this summer, consider two shades that perfectly compliment each other: purple and blue.
Despite the rising temperatures, this wintry shade is sticking around for the summertime. Even though maintaining white hair can be quite demanding, every second will be worth it when you’re swimming in compliments. Be sure to use a purple shampoo like Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Yubi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo to counteract brassiness for a long-lasing cool-toned blonde.
In honor of our favorite fruit and emoji, peach hair color is the delicious shade guaranteed to brighten up your summer.
Blonde Hair With Lowlights
There is no better time to test the “blondes have more fun” theory than during the summer months. For a dimensional twist, ask your stylist for lowlights, which will add just the right amount of dimension to your mane (minus the upkeep and damage).
Blue Ombre Hair
We’re big believers that ombre hair will never go out of style. This color technique has been going strong for almost a decade and shows no signs of slowing down this summer. We love this seamless blend of blue shades, which is giving us major beachy, mermaid vibes.
It seems like there is a new brunette shade spamming our social media feeds every day. The latest and greatest is honey brown hair, a sultry blend of light brown and honey tones made to create a beautiful sun-kissed effect.
Amber Honey Brown
Dial up the warmth just a notch higher via amber honey brown. It has a slightly redder tone that will compliment your glowing summer skin.
Honey Brown Money Piece
If you’re not ready to take your full head of brunette to honey brown, consider a honey brown money piece. It instantly freshens up your look for that low-key, sunkissed vibe.
Red Hair Balayage
Ready to get in touch with your inner vixen? Red hair balayage is the perfect way to do it. With so many shades red to choose from, you’ll never get bored experimenting with this trending style.
Sometimes it feels like you need a vibrant shade to stand out from the crowd, but we’re here to tell you that dark chocolate hair can be just as striking as any bright hue. To keep your color from looking flat, ask your stylist for a hair gloss to ensure your strands always look shiny and alluring.
Trying to find the balance between hair that is easy to maintain, and a statement hair color can be difficult. We understand wanting to try something that’s out of the box, but not wanting to spend all your money on maintenance. Say hello to mauve hair color, the perfect purple meets pink hue that’s flattering on everyone.
If there’s one hair color that works for every season, it’s rose gold. We can’t say we’re surprised because this color is utterly dreamy and romantic.
There are so many shades of blonde out there, and this variation lies smack in the middle. The nude blonde trend is an ashy blend of warm and cool blonde tones that create a neutral hue. This color will have everyone convinced you’re a natural beachside blonde.
So long to the days when the sight of dark roots on your blonde hair made you cringe. This summer, we’re embracing your hair growth and calling it “shadow roots.” Be sure to book an appointment with your colorist to blend your roots into your all-over color seamlessly. You (and your wallet) will thank us later.
A monochromatic black hair color looks flawless year-round. To keep your raven hair looking glossy and rich, make sure you’re hydrating with products intended for your texture. And if your hair isn’t naturally jet black, head into the salon for a professional dye job.
Instead of opting for a light shade to brighten your hair color, consider copper highlights. Adding a bold color to your mane is redefining how we talk about dimension. Ask your stylist to add copper highlights to your dark brown hair for a look that’s dazzling and bright.
There is no shade more suited to complement your glowing sun-kissed skin than golden brunette hair. Use a color-toning system like Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo and Conditioner to keep your golden hue brass-free all season long.
Rumor has it, vivid colors are super on-trend this summer season, so expect to see electric hues everywhere you go. We recommend trying a bright orange, an invigorating color that flatters women of all different skin tones.
Pastel Money Piece
For a fun twist on a money piece, consider something on the pastel spectrum. Pink is always a good option since it flatters so many skin tones, but have fun with it!
Dark Pastel Swirl
If you’re not keen on light and airy pastels, make a statement with a mixture of dark pastel hues. This is a great way for naturally darker hair colors to lean into the pastel trend without having to go ham on bleach, too.
If you’re planning on sitting beachside all season long, try a hue that’s going to enhance your summer glow. Caramel brown complements women of all different skin tones and hair types. You can’t go wrong with a color that turns you into an ethereal summer queen.
Inspired by one of our favorite healthy snacks, strawberry blonde hair is the warm-toned hue that makes our mouths water. This red-leaning blonde shade is so rich and lush that we see no flaws.
Remember when “chunky” highlights were streaky blonde strips arbitrarily placed on your mane? We’re happy to say we've come a long way since then because chunky highlights have taken on a whole new meaning. To achieve this look, be sure to ask your stylist to use the hair ribboning technique to give you purposefully placed highlights that are effortlessly blended.
One of our favorite summer hair colors of all time has to be bronde hair—and it’s not just because it reminds us of a blondie dessert. While both are sweetly satisfying, bronde hair is a popular blend of brown and blonde shades suitable for women of all different skin tones.
Snickers Shake Hair
Snickers shake hair color is the epitome of the phrase “treat yourself.” Summertime is the perfect time to indulge in all of your favorite things, so be sure to treat yourself to a well-deserved salon day.
We’ve all heard about dirty blonde hair, but what about dirty brunette? It’s a color that gives you all the dimension and warmth that we love from dirty blonde without the upkeep. That’s definitely a win-win in our book.
Ladies born with naturally red hair, it’s your moment to shine. Natural-looking shades of red hair are having their time in the limelight. They’re perfect for those who aren’t ready to commit to a drastic all over color.
Cool off this summer with a platinum hair color. This cool-toned shade of blonde is the refreshing glass of cold water you need in 90-degree weather. It’s light and fresh, making it the perfect summer look.
What we love most about this hair color is its versatility. Mix some copper tones into your dark brown hair for a look that doesn’t stray too far from your comfort zone or go full-on vixen with a bright reddish-copper shade all over your hair. Whatever you decide, you’ll be sure to shine brighter than a new penny everywhere you go. And FYI: This summer hair color is super complimentary for those with pale skin.
If you’re not quite ready to go full-blown copper, consider adding warm copper balayage to your existing color. To maintain that richness, make sure you’re using a color-protecting shampoo.
Despite us focusing on warmer hues, pastel violet is the trending cool-toned shade that’s making some serious headway in 2021. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart and involves quite a bit of maintenance, but it’s definitely a color worth putting on your summer bucket list.
Cool Dirty Blonde
We love a good dirty blonde hair color, and this cooler version feels ultra-hip for 2021. Pair it with your favorite scrunchy for a non-fussy, cool girl look (pun intended).
Did someone say lemonade? This splashy hue is perfect for summer and will definitely stand out in a crowd. To get there, you’ll want to ask your stylist to bring you down to an icy blonde and then add the perfect splash of sunshine yellow. This is a great summer hair color for dark skin to medium skin.
Pour us a glass, please! We’re calling it here: pink will never, ever go out of style. Not only is it a fun hue, but it’s a complimentary shade on so many skin tones. This sparkling version is especially apropos for summer.
Whether you’ve got dark brown hair or medium blonde, taking your hair to “dirty blonde” is a great way to lighten up your color for summer. For an extra low-maintenance look, ask your stylist for a root smudge or to create shadow roots.
Bringing in some golden blonde pieces via balayage is another way to easily transition your hair into summer territory.
Chocolate Brown With Babylights
If you’re looking for even less maintenance than the above options, babylights are the way to go! They add just enough warmth and sparkly to elevate your ‘do for summer splashing.
Instead of infusing your dark tresses with warmth, consider going cooler this summer via an ash bronde. Make sure to use a neutralizing purple or blue shampoo to keep your locks perfectly bright and cool.
Take your cue from one of summer’s prettiest flowers! Lavender hair is an unexpected summer hair color that flatters a broad range of skin tones. To pull it off, your stylist will want to bleach your hair and then apply the purple on top. We love the multidimensional shades of purple in this hue.
Add warmth to your blonde hair for summer via classic butter blonde. This medium blonde shade leans on warm, buttery tones but infuses just enough cool blonde for a touch of brightness.
Pale Golden Blonde Hair
This lighter variation of butter blonde is a great way to take your already blonde locks and make them a bit brighter and lighter. It makes for an excellent summer refresh.
The perfect blend of cool and warm, natural brown is a gorgeous, flattering hair color that reigns all summer long. You can ask your stylist to add a gloss for extra shine, and make sure to keep it hydrated and healthy throughout the summer months.
This color is an excellent in-between for those wanting to go either lighter or darker. It’s a mixture of cool and warm, and allows you to transition more slowly from blonde to brown (or vice versa).
Interested in trying a summer hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.