With the imminence of hot weather right around the corner, you’re likely swapping for cooler sheets and breezy clothes. You’re preoccupied with the important changes that will make summer not only easier, but bearable. The last thing you’re probably debating is a big hair change. In 2022, we get that a big hair change isn’t going to solve your problems; we’ve evolved past that as a society (or at least, once we all hit mid-20s). But that’s precisely how these trending summer hair colors were developed. They’re subtle, chill, and very “that girl.”
Beyond a low-maintenance haircut, a new take on your hair color can make you feel like you just stepped onto a runway… even if you’re just commuting to the office in the morning. If you’re lusting after a new look (or just want to see what all the hype is about), these hair colors will give you hella inspiration at your next salon appointment.
1. “Expensive Blonde”
We discussed “expensive brunette” heavily in the winter and early spring, but this summer, it’s coming around again for the blondes. What is “expensive blonde,” you ask? Unlike the icy, platinum blondes and balayage that has us in a chokehold all of the 2010s, expensive blonde is all about a blonde that looks truly natural and subtle. It usually contains a lot of really fine highlights throughout that add dimension in a soft way. It’s typically more on the neutral to golden side, which is a sharp shift from the white blondes we all were partial to years ago. Blonde is getting a refresh, and I, for one, am stoked about it.
In 2022, everyone’s going red (myself included!). You’ll be hard-pressed to find a celeb who hasn’t taken it for a test drive. Kendall Jenner, Sydney Sweeney, Zendaya, SZA—it’s everywhere. Luckily, there are tons of different red tones you can try depending on your skin tone and your current hair color. Blondes can make the easy shift to strawberry (like Sweeney did), while a brunette can add extra warmth and brightness with a cherry red or copper.
3. Mushroom Brown
In summer, we usually look forward to golden, sunshine tones in our hair. But in 2022, the grungier, the better—even in our hair color. Mushroom brown isn’t the first wave of a ’90s hair color revival (I mean, “expensive brunette” was practically made by the ’90s supermodel), but it nods in a very different direction than we’ve seen previously. It’s grungy and lived-in, thanks to those cool, grey tones. It’s perfect for someone who’s looking for a color they can easily transition to fall and winter instead of having to change up their hair tone once the season’s change.
4. Rose Gold
If there’s any color trend getting us excited right now, it’s rose gold. While it’s bright and different from your usual blonde-brunette-redhead, it still somehow looks natural and subtle when paired with a shadow root. If there’s anyone who can show us how chic it is, it’s Hailey Bieber, who just rocked this color on the cover of Allure this spring.
5. Buttery Blonde
Golden tones of blonde have been swirling around the last couple of years (largely thanks to influencer, Matilda Djerf), but “buttery blonde” is a fresh take. It’s a bit darker than the blonde we’re used to, and it has lots of dimension through lowlights instead of highlights. This warm color somehow always looks natural and might even make people believe you were born blonde (we won’t tell anyone the truth!).
6. Chocolate Caramel
A warm, caramel brunette dream doesn’t get any more summertime. It’s like you drenched your hair in honey. You can go for a balayage to keep this low-maintenance or bring the brightness up to your roots to frame your face. Issa Rae has tons of extra dimension in her curls that make this hair color look extra glam. To get a similar look, ask your hairstylist for lots of babylights throughout.
7. Warm Brown
For brunettes who don’t want to add lightness but are looking for a change for summer, you can’t go wrong with adding a touch of warmth to a chocolate brown shade. This looks like your hair just got a natural boost from being in the sunshine, and it’ll pair beautifully with all the bright summer clothes in your wardrobe (per Selena Gomez’s bright green above).
And what’s even better, you might be able to get this at home with an at-home toner or hair gloss to save a little money.
8. Y2K Highlights
For the early adopters, this trend is about to blow up in a major way, so now’s the time to prepare yourself. The early aughts are in everything beauty, fashion, and pop culture (hi, Bennifer!), so it was only time we started nodding in that direction for hair color. If you’re worried this will make you look like you’re 13 again, trust us: hair colorists in 2022 aren’t about making you look like you just stepped out of a middle school dance. Instead, they’ll add bigger highlights all throughout your hair all the way up to the root. Think of it like you dumped a whole bottle of Sun-In on your hair—that’s the vibe.