Pantone 2020

Another year, another colour! Pantone has crowned Classic Blue as Color of the Year. What does it mean for hair in 2020?

Classic Blue is the Color of the Year for 2020, huh? Pantone describes the shade as: “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.”

Classic Blue will probably have a limited impact on hair colour in the UK, unlike its predecessor Living Coral. Colour-loving K-Pop starlets, on the other hand, have been seen embracing this colour already this autumn, clearly getting ahead of the trend.

We asked colourists how they anticipate Classic Blue will influence colour trends in 2020…


Paddy McDougall, Indola global ambassador and Rainbow Room International George Square art director

“As a colourist, this is an exciting choice. It’s sure to get people thinking about blue when it comes to their hair again. Don’t just think of it as a global tone, think outside the box; deploy as a face frame or balayage tip out. My personal favourite is to layer with contrasting tones, such as gold and chocolate, to create something unusual and bespoke.”


Mads Sune-Lund Christensen, master colourist at Josh Wood Atelier
“It’s not an everyday hue, but clients are more willing to try new variations of wearing bold colours. With inspiration from people like Billie Eilish and Lady Gaga, whether it’s an all over statement colour, subtle roots or a strong root dye, I’m confident hints of blue will be a statement for 2020. We will see more than any of us would have expected.”

Gareth Williams, Headmasters colour lead and creative ambassador

“It’s important to remember all of your neutral shades and classic tones will remain on point but have remixes to them. The general trend has departed from the strong vivid colour we saw for the last few years, so I don’t think we will see a direct blue.

I’m anticipating more of an interpretation of it, through a sense of synergy and harmony bought to hair colour with perfectly blended cool tones and seamless cool toned melts.”

Tim Scott Wright, owner of Tim Scott Wright at the Hair Surgery

“From a hairdresser’s perspective it’s nice to introduce the new Pantone colours as part of the trends you can recommend and offer to clients within the salon.

My recommendation for clients wanting to trial this colour initially is hair extensions. Most extension brands offer fashion colours, so clever colour placement with extension pieces would be a great way to trial this for 2020.”

Robert Eaton, Russell Eaton and Wella Professionals technical director UKI
“I am very excited about this year’s colour. Creatively it is such a fantastic shade to work with, but also technically it can be really interesting. This is a tone that works amazingly on darker hair, infused through the hair in fine sections or used as a glaze to give a cooler and more navy/blue hue to darker shades. Or use creatively on a lighter base to really create a statement colour choice.
The Classic Blue tone will appeal to a consumer that loves bright colours but also wants to retain an expensive, high end look, and is a welcome move from the traditional bright colours we’ve seen over recent seasons.”

Paul Watts, JOICO European colour design team member and owner of Paul Watts Hairdressing

“I will be looking at expanding my palette and offering some variations for next year. Blue won’t be for everyone, but it’s all about how you use it. A classic blue root stretch into a crystal clear blonde, creative colour placement, or one of the biggest trends we will be seeing – colour panelling. I can see this being used for impact; colour paneling will be a must for the fashionistas, and where better to start than with a punchy blue?


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