Another year, and not one but two colours! Pantone has crowned Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow as Color of the Year. What does it mean for hair in 2021?
After a year of uncertainty and gloominess, Pantone is set to brighten 2021 with a bit of hope. It has selected Ultimate Gray and Illuminating yellow as its Color of 2021, and the marriage of the two hues is described by Pantone as “practical and solid but at the same time warming and optimistic. The union of Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow is one of strength and positivity; a story of color that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly”.
Sunny and friendly is certainly something we could all use a little more of going forward into 2021, and the shades offer options for both colour-shy and creative clients looking to switch up their look in the new year. With vibrant yellow favoured by one of our PAINTERS for more than seven years, we caught up with three of the gang to get their take on the two trending tones…
“When the Pantone Color of the Year for 2021 was revealed as being Illuminating Yellow AND Ultimate Gray, I was absolutely thrilled! Number one being that I am a ‘Gray’ by birth right and share this name of colour with so many icons; whether spelt with an ‘E’ or ‘A’, it amounts to the same thing.
“Gray/grey can be found everywhere we turn in nature and everyday life – like the colour of exterior paint on our dwellings (mine is Charleston Grey courtesy of Farrow & Ball.) Evening the morning brew which wakes up the nation each morning is called Earl Grey, and of course there’s the art deco queen Eileen Grey!
There’s even been a series of books that got many a female flustered on the morning commute (Fifty Shades of Grey) – Christian Grey was the envy of many men, and women, across the world. So, you see, this shade is EVERYTHING.
Grey translates into hair rather well, and has been a firm balayage for quite a while. It’s the shade that’s turned many ladies into demure goddesses, once they embraced their destiny and really made it a main feature within their hair, sending out the message ‘I MEAN BUSINESS!’
Compliment this with Illuminating Yellow, and you really do have one amazing combination. Illuminating Yellow is a very fun tone when used to brighten up any pre-lightened base. It works best as a partial technique on most people, but also looks fierce on the right face when used as on a block or global technique. Think Pam Hogg, an icon that has worked this colour for years.
Both colours are amazing, and look equally great when used together. I have used the shades many times over the years in different blends and formats, with two of my favourite looks popping up within my collections. Yellow is very confident and radiant as a colour. Grey is very sober, but confident – it can be dominant yet subtle. These are definitely two of the best Pantone colours to come into play in a long while.”
“How cool that we have our first ever Pantone colour combination for Color of the Year for 2021. And what a strong, uplifting combination it is – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow.
The colour of the year often filters through our industry, and this year won’t be any different. I love the combination of neutral and vivid, and that’s definitely how I will interpret this.
Let’s be real, not every client will run through the door dying to be yellow and grey, so it’s about taking the trend and making it commercial and covetable! Whether it may be pairing cool and warm tones for a beautiful mixed metal blonde, or adding a strong pop of colour next to a gorgeous neutral base that wouldn’t normally be expected! I’m so excited to see all the creative takes on this.”
“I have no doubt in my mind that the Pantone Color of the Year, Illuminating Yellow, is going to be a hot trend for 2021. As someone that’s been wearing Crazy Color Canary Yellow for the past seven years, I saw a strong trend in 2016 where the colour emerged for the first time. It was the first step to making people become more comfortable around yellow.
So, as the micro trend in 2016 broke the ice, 2021 will now be brave and ready to dive right in. The particular tone they have chosen is interesting – it’s quite a bright and brash yellow; likened to things such as road lines and high visibility jackets. To make this colour I would mix half Crazy Color Canary Yellow and half Caution UV for maximum brightness and impact.”