It’s officially winter, and while you may be cozied up under a blanket sipping hot chocolate for most of the season, you still want to make sure that your hair color is on point. When it comes to winter hair color trends, one trend stands out from the rest: cool tone hair colors. While we love trying warm-toned shades when the weather starts to warm up, we’re obsessed with cool-toned shades for winter.
Min Kim, L'Oréal Professionnel global ambassador and celebrity colorist, explains why people lean toward cool tone hair colors during the winter months.
“As winter temperatures cool down, tans have faded, and with less sunlight causing oxidation, cool tones complement winter complexions and offer a nice change for all hair colors, textures, and coil types,” Kim says.
If you’re wondering how to make cool tone hair colors work for you, keep scrolling for everything you need to know, plus 21 shades we can’t get enough of for every skin tone this winter.
What are cool tone hair colors?
Cool tone hair colors have ashy undertones of blue, purple, green, and gray. Depending on the undertones you choose, your stylist can customize the hue in a way that best suits your style, skin tone, and desired maintenance. If you’re wondering which cool-toned hues will be on-trend for 2021, Kim shares a few of her predictions.
“Low maintenance versions of smoky hair with multiple shades dominate as women embrace the cool trend resulting in a softer interpretation from past seasons,” Kim says. “Smoky pale blonde with a deeper regrowth, mushroom blondes, and walnut to malt-toned brunettes will be hot for 2021.”
How To Care For Cool Tone Hair Colors
Before you commit to a cool tone hair color, you should know that you’ll need to upgrade your hair care routine with color-protecting products. Kim recommends kicking off your routine with the L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Resveratrol Color Radiance Shampoo and Conditioner. This system protects hair color from fading while gently removing impurities and keeping the hair soft and protected.
Since heat styling can quickly strip the color from your strands, Kim also recommends priming your hair with the L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Color 10-In-1 Multi Purpose Spray. This leave-in spray prolongs color radiance and provides 10 instant benefits like heat protection, adding shine, reducing the look of frizz, and more.
For those with dark hair, your colorist may need to use bleach to lift your current shade before creating your desired cool-toned shade. It’s important to note that bleach will always cause damage, but your colorist can improve the look and feel of your strands before you leave the salon. You should also add a weekly hair mask like L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Color Mask to your routine. This formula protects, repairs, and nourishes hair while enhancing shine.
If you’re ready to try a cool tone hair color for yourself, keep scrolling for 21 of our top picks.
The Best Cool Tone Hair Colors To Try Now
Smoky Cool Beige
According to Kim, one of the biggest trends to look out for in 2021 are L'Oréal Professionnel’s smoky hair colors. Inspired by the smoky eye trend, these colors are custom-created by L'Oréal Professionnel stylists. To create the look, a colorist will apply two to three custom shades, from the darkest at the roots to the lightest at the tips, and creating a smudged appearance where the two colors meet.
If you’re a blonde looking to try the smoky hair trend, you’ll love this smoky cool beige, made with three Majirel .13 Cool Inforced shades.
For brunettes who want to achieve smoky hair for winter, this cool tone iridescent mocha is a must-try.
When we think of cool-toned hair colors, it’s almost obvious that this shade comes to mind. Platinum blonde is a staple hair color that looks particularly flattering on pale skin tones. If you go platinum, be sure to add a purple shampoo and conditioner like Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine. This color-depositing system tones, strengthens, and brightens to keep brassy undertones at bay.
Ash blonde hair is created with gray and white undertones and serves us serious “too cool for summer” vibes.
Ash Blonde With Dark Roots
If you want to keep your ash blonde hue as low-maintenance as possible, ask your colorist for a root smudge. Keeping your roots darker will give you more time between touch-up appointments.
Cool-toned dark brown hair is a staple shade for brunettes—particularly during the winter months. If you start to notice red undertones popping up throughout your mane, use a green color toning system like Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Shampoo and Conditioner. This color-depositing system neutralizes red undertones in dark hair colors.
Dark Brown With Silver Money Piece
Stick to dark brown hair while softly brightening your complexion by incorporating a silver money piece into your look.
Ash Brown Hair With Purple Face-Framing Highlights
If you’re torn between staying neutral and going bold, get the best of both worlds with ash brown hair and purple face-framing highlights.
Dark Brown With Purple Undertones
To give your dark brown hair a subtle pop of color, ask your colorist to apply dark purple highlights throughout your look.
Shades Of Green
From emerald to neon, there are so many on-trend shades of green hair. If you’re bold enough to go green, take your look a step further with a blend of green shades.
Despite the morning commute inconvenience it may cause, there is one thing we can say about snow: Nothing is more lovely than watching it fall from outside our windows. It’s just as beautiful as this iridescent snow shade. The only difference is this time you’ll be the sight worth watching.
If you want your strands to really shine like a fresh blanket of snow, use a hair oil like L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Huile Originale. Made with argan oil, this formula provides lightweight shine, frizz control, nourishment, and heat protection.
If you’re looking to take a break from fiery red shades this winter, opt for a cool-toned variation like red velvet. This bright, sweet-inspired shade is perfect for the chillier months and looks stunning on all skin tones.
Typically, mushroom blonde hair is a mix of light brown, blonde, and grey tones. Your colorist can customize your look to create the best mushroom blonde shade for your skin tone.
Denim works any time of year, but during the chillier months, we tend to favor darker variations of the shade. If you have pale skin with cool undertones, dark denim hair could be your perfect match.
Changing your mane into a cool lavender shade with grey and silver undertones is the game changer you never knew you needed.
For a deeper, more sultry take on purple hair, opt for plum. This fantasy shade with cool red and purple undertones looks stunning on medium to dark skin tones.
Royal Blue To Turquoise Ombre
Give your mermaid hair a cool-toned, winter-inspired twist with this royal blue to turquoise ombre.
Cool tone hair colors aren’t meant to fall short of being just that—cool. You’ll be sure to snag everyone’s attention everywhere you go with this vibrant hue.
While trends come and go, one thing’s for sure: Gray is one of the most sought-ever cool tone hair colors year after year. Stay on-trend with a deep, smoky gray hue.
Gray And Yellow
Pantone recently announced their colors of the year for 2021, and luckily, the two look stunning paired together. We’re obsessed with this Ultimate Gray to Illuminating Yellow balayage.
When we think pastel hair color has made its way out of the limelight, we find more inspiration that brings it right back onto our radar. The subtle silver undertones make this pastel pink shade appear metallic yet soft. It’s a beautiful twist on pastel hair that looks great on all skin tones.
Interested in trying a cool-tone hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.