Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest clients are more switched on to trends than ever before – so you need to stay one step ahead

We’ve scoured the catwalks for the latest looks and chatted to top colourists about the hottest techniques, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re offering the best colour services around.

Antique shop

In an increasingly uncertain world it’s no wonder that clients are taking the opportunity to inject some optimism into their lives. They’re embracing feel good nostalgia and sepia-style blondes or faded pastels – it’s the hair equivalent of rose-tinted glasses.

“Think pared-back hues reminiscent of dusty vintage gems, the muted hint of metallic in antique metals such as copper and brushed gold, and the faded pastel shades of washed-out polaroids,” says Thomas Hills, director at TH1 Hair. “I put the rise of this trend down to Instagram and the use of filters that add a retro effect.”

Goldwell Elumen Play

KAM Hair and Body Spa

Schwarzkopf Professional IGORA Royal

Gary Taylor, owner of Edward & Co in Brighouse in Yorkshire, attributes this trend to an upbeat attitude despite the seasons changing. “The colder months are coming but hair is not following suit with cooler tones. Warm hues, reminiscent of radiant golden hour sunshine in summer are becoming more popular. A flawless base is essential to this Polaroid-perfect look,” says Gary. “I always use BlondMe by Schwarzkopf Professional for lifting locks to this golden-gleam finish.”

Once you’ve achieved the right foundation, you can layer on shimmering shades in delicate colours, says Karen Thomson, owner of KAM Hair and Body Spa. “Mauve, a very subtle petal-like hue, is great for blondes or clients with grey hair who want to a touch of colour and create a bit of dimension.”

And it’s not just a trend for light hair, as Thomas explains. “Brunettes look stunning when given a shade inspired by antique metals. Dusty copper is a great example as it’s toned-down and less vibrant than standard copper.”

Chasing Waterfalls 

It’s undeniable that interest in all things natural is at an all-time high, and that extends to hair. Clients who want subtle yet expensive-looking hair are requesting ribbons of natural tones, which is an evolution of a classic trend, says Tracey Devine-Smith, global ambassador for ASP Affinage Salon Professional. “It’s an update on a ‘80s technique, but now it’s more subtle.”

It’s a highly personalised look that works in tandem with the cut. “This trend pushes the boundaries of traditional balayage, featuring clever colour placement around the hairline to suit the unique layers of a cut,” explains global head of technical training at Fudge Professional, Tracy Hayes. “Bleach isn’t a necessity, but high-lift blondes, gold blondes, and caramels will keep this technique looking super-effortless.”

L’Oréal Professionnel Majirel GLOW

ASP Kitoko Botanical Colour

Bad Apple Hair

Steph Peckmore, colour manager at Bad Apple Hair Group, explains the subtleties of making coloured hair look so natural. “It’s similar to contouring in the sense that you are using the colour to create an effect, rather than for colour change. Follow the lines as they will dictate where to place colour for maximum effect.”

Krysia Eddery, owner and director of Perfectly Posh Hair, warns against lifting the hair too much – it’s important to keep it fluid and understated. “With this technique it’s all about giving the hair a very natural, sun-kissed like finish, so never go too light.”

And it’s important to send your clients away with the right tools to keep their hair gleaming. “The look may appear low-maintenance, but treatments and the right aftercare are essential,” adds Tracey Devine-Smith.

Spice Rack 

Exotic bazaars are the source of inspiration for spicing things up this season – add a sprinkle of these rich, luxurious shades to liven up natural hair or create an all-over colour for a fuller flavour.

Zoë Irwin, Wella Professionals colour trend expert and Most Wanted Creative Talent 2019, has identified a rising interest in terracotta, mustard and sage green. “Yellow as a tone has had a 50 per cent year on year rise, and terracotta is coming through as being a strong colour forecast for 2020,” she explains.

Vas Mikellides, executive stylist at Sinead Kelly London and winner of the L’Oréal Colour Trophy 2019, agrees that this trend is heating up. “For maximum impact adventurous clients can go for an all-over gloss, and for clients who only want a touch of spice, you can use freehand techniques.”

Zoë Irwin for Wella Professionals

Revlon Professional 

Fudge Professional

Suzie McGill, Schwarzkopf Professional UK ambassador and international artistic director at Rainbow Room International, advises blondes opt for a turmeric yellow. “This hair colour is great for blondes who want to update their look and opt for something more vibrant and for those who do not want the colour all over the hair, they can incorporate this into flashes or panels for a cool update.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Paul Finnell, director at F&M, recommends dark peppercorn tones for a deep and mysterious look, and a dusting of paprika is equally alluring to red-headed clients. “Shades of cinnamon and paprika are particularly favoured,” says Neil Barton, Goldwell ambassador and owner of Neil Barton Hairdressing. “I love to mix highlights with Goldwell @Pure Pigments for gloss and to warm up the skin tone”.