Pantone has revealed Viva Magenta as its colour for 2023. We ask colourists what they think its impact will be with clients

Viva Magenta

We’ve had periwinkle, we’ve had coral, we’ve had a combo of steely grey and sunny yellow… now it’s time for Viva Magenta as the colour of the year for 2023! Described by Pantone as “brave and fearless,” this vibrant red is seen to encourage experimentation and self-expression, which makes it the ideal shade for clients looking to go bolder with their colour choices in the new year. According to the internationally known tastemakers, Viva Magenta “welcomes anyone and everyone with the same rebellious spirit.”

With such a spark for creativity, how does this hue translate to hair? We asked some colour experts to share how they see Viva Magenta working its way into hair colour trends for 2023…

Photography: Alex Barron-Hough 

Sarah Mason, Sarah Mason Professional 

“I am absolutely obsessed with Viva Magenta. It’s such an incredible shade for clients to wear this season because it looks expensive, and is vibrant and uplifting while showing strength and empowerment. I have been making shades on this spectrum since September, so my advice is to be playful in your colour mixtures – both in tone and depth. It makes it more exciting when you fuse a few shades together all from similar tonalities, because it adds depth and creates interest in your styling. 
The colour is simple to replicate using the Wella Professionals portfolio. My go-to is Koleston Perfect and Color Touch as they have a high presence of reds, with characteristics of blue and violet to create a variety of shades. These also carry vibrancy, luminosity and vinyl shine, so it looks expensive and bang on trend. 
I also used the vibrant colour on two models for a show at the 2022 Wella TrendVision Award Final. When I landed in London before the show I took some time to hit the high street, and you could see the presence of my chosen shade arriving. As a hot new colour trend, I just knew I had to have my models dressed in two magenta patent coats to match the hair. I lovingly named the shades cool magenta and cool raspberry, which were created with Koleston Perfect.” 

Seung Ki Baek, Rush Artistic Team member

“This is a gorgeous, unique and animated shade that will allow us as colourists to be experimental in 2023. Pinks were so on trend throughout 2022, with hot pinks in particular being prominent on the catwalks, and it’s no surprise that a pink tone would be the colour of the year for 2023. With Viva Magenta being a richer, more berry like hue, this is the perfect shade for the festive season we are now in and for the winter period.

This shade can be worn on both darker hair shades and lighter hair tones, and will of course be more vibrant on those who already have their hair lightened. However, no matter how this colour is worn in the hair, clients should ensure they use colour saving shampoos and conditioners, as well as treatments, to keep the colour looking vivid and to avoid it from fading and looking dull.

I think this shade would look particularly great on those with shorter hair, being panelled through the hair to give a funky, high-fashion finish.”

Suzie McGill, Artistic Director at Rainbow Room International

“Viva Magenta, is such a beautiful, strong and energetic shade in comparison to last year’s Veri Peri hue. The shade is said to be a nuanced shade of crimson red, with a blue/purple undertone that gives it a pinky-red appearance.

The beauty of this shade when it comes to hair is that it will add warmth and a gorgeous glow to all complexions. However, it will look particularly flattering on those with medium-darker skin tones. It can be worn all over the hair for clients who want something bold and vibrant or it can be paired with a root stretch for something a little more low-maintenance yet still quirky and exciting. Being a darker pink/red hue, this will also give the hair a beautiful sheen, particularly on brunettes. This would also look amazing on those with textured, curly hair, adding beautiful ribbons of warmth and shimmer through the hair.” 

Brian Leo McCallum, ROAR Hair and Beauty Salon Group

“While vibrant and bright, this shade is actually very versatile and can be incorporated into many different hair colours and styles. To celebrate Pantone’s colour of the year we are going to be utilising our @pure pigments Cool Pink by Goldwell in ROAR salons. These amazing drops can be used to customise any colour towards the Viva Magenta colour palette. Whether it is subtle hints of pink through a deep brunette, or pastel hues on blondes looking to play with the magenta shade, or a guest fully embracing the Viva Magenta metaverse!”

Sophia Hilton, Not Another Salon

“One thing to know about Magenta is that it’s subject to fade. This shade has been waiting in the shadows for its comeback for a while; it’s a really powerful choice, but fading is inevitable. I recommend using the INNOluxe #SAVED range both to ensure your clients’ hair is really healthy, and also to fight the fade! In this economic climate we need things to last.

Viva Magenta is for EVERY client regardless of their base; it can be dark and muted on darker bases and more vibrant on lighter bases. It’s also a great option to be blended into a balayage, to contrast with another colour or to be added for a ‘pop’ next to more natural colours. I think it’s most impactful though on its own!”