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Warm and Buttery Hair Color Trends Dominate 2024’s Best Looks

Warm and Buttery Hair Color Trends Dominate 2024's Best Looks
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From toasted-pecan red to porcini brown, these leading hues redefine the concept of being “good enough to eat.

For the upcoming year, our main resolution is to explore more hair color trends (and maybe finally understand the difference between a Roth IRA and 401k. But mostly focusing on the hair thing).

According to hairstylist and colorist Chaz Dean, the hair color trends for 2024 lean towards a more conservative and natural look. Highlights are blended more seamlessly, and hair colors tend to be more realistic. However, don’t mistake “natural” for “boring” because this year’s hair color trends are far from dull.

In 2024, bronde receives a mini makeover with baby balayage, while chunky highlights make way for warm caramel accents that blend gracefully around the mid-lengths.

Even popular shades like buttercream blonde and mushroom brown are being infused with warmth to keep them current and wearable for the new year. According to New York City colorist Sachi Kumagai, subtle dimension, warm tones, and high shine are the key elements for 2024.

Of course, achieving the perfect hair color requires inspiration, which is why we’ve consulted with top industry experts to gather insights on the best hair color trends for 2024 and how to achieve similar looks at the salon. This might just be the year we actually stick to our resolution.

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Y2K beauty trends took center stage in 2023, with a revival of bold, chunky highlights stealing the spotlight. However, in 2024, highlights are taking on a warmer and more blended approach, particularly among brunettes.

According to Dean, instead of sharp lines of contrast, these highlights are softer and more natural-looking. To achieve this melted effect, Dean advises keeping the bleach away from the roots. This blended shadow root technique allows for up to six months without needing a touch-up from your colorist.

It’s important to note that this caramelized look tends to complement warm skin tones best. Dean highlights that it can really enhance your complexion, especially when there’s a subtle pop of color around your face.

However, for those with cooler skin tones, O’Connor suggests discussing chestnut or golden highlights with your colorist. These shades incorporate a mix of warm and cool tones, making them suitable for all skin tones, as per O’Connor.

Buttercream blonde

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For those who aren’t fond of dairy, apologies, but buttercream blonde is becoming even richer and creamier for 2024, with a slightly warmer tone compared to the blanched version of 2023.

According to O’Connor, warm buttery tones are ideal for individuals who prefer a bright and glossy blonde, as the gold undertones help to reflect light.

However, this doesn’t mean we’re transitioning to Kerrygold territory, especially with the colder seasons ahead.

Richards explains that 2024’s buttercream blonde is a subdued version of the warm summer blonde, which also complements the rosy tones of winter cheeks.

For those with brunette hair who are hesitant about diving into full bleach, Richards suggests opting for subtle buttercream babylights instead.

This combination of brunette with buttercream blonde creates an overall ashy look that’s perfect for cooler weather.

Porcini brown

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In the past, mushroom brown hair color has been associated with cold, ashy, gray, and washed-out shades, which don’t quite capture the true bronzy tones of an actual mushroom.

According to Dean, mushroom hair initially emerged as a bold and dramatic trend, but it’s evolving into a more wearable option for 2024.

The trend is moving away from super-cold and smoky gray tones towards a softer and more natural mushroom brown shade. This hue resembles a neutral taupe with hints of golden tones.

Richards highlights the appeal and popularity of authentic mushroom brown, which draws inspiration from the range of natural brown tones found in our hair.

Because the shade balances between warm and cool tones, it can complement almost all skin tones and undertones, whether applied as a single-process color or as mushroom-brown highlights.

However, Richards warns that maintaining a true neutral bronde tone can be challenging during the summer months due to exposure to sunlight.

If you desire a long-lasting and realistic mushroom hue, it’s advisable to try this color during the early spring, fall, or winter seasons.

Toasted pecan red

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Richards predicts that red-browns will be popular for cooler weather, especially heading into 2024. While cherry-cola hair gained popularity last year, the trend for the upcoming year is expected to shift towards pecan-red hair – a deeply saturated, glossy auburn shade reminiscent of a hot and gooey pecan pie. According to Richards, this color complements pale skin tones and enhances the natural radiance of deeper skin tones.

Toasted pecan red serves as a good transition to the brighter and bolder red shades anticipated for 2024, thanks to its subtle tone.

Kumagai suggests trying a red-toned toner from your stylist if you have medium-brown hair, or experimenting with a similar look at home using a semi-permanent dye or temporary auburn color, such as Wella Color Fresh in Copper Glow or Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask in Bordeaux.

Amber glow

The ethereal amber glow sits between strawberry blonde and copper-orange hues. According to Richards, this beautiful amber shade is achieved by mixing a golden tone with copper, resulting in a color that complements any skin tone and eye color.

Unlike brassy tones, the bronzy color exudes warmth and richness, giving fine hair the appearance of depth and dimension. Kumagai adds that the warm tones of amber are perfect for damaged or dry hair, making it look rich and healthy.

To enhance the glow, both experts recommend asking your stylist for subtle highlights all over or along the hairline to brighten the face. Alternatively, you can opt for a single-process golden copper color for a monochromatic amber finish.

Baby balayage

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No, we’re not returning to 2016 (although we wouldn’t mind revisiting our cut-crease palettes), but our experts believe that we’ll witness a comeback of balayages – specifically, baby balayages with a more subdued approach.

In line with many of 2024’s hair color trends, “subtle” is the key word, so the next wave of balayages will be delicately hand-painted on the hair edges to achieve a natural-looking dimension, according to Kumagai. She suggests requesting a feathered balayage on just the hair ends to maintain a subtle effect.


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