Winter Hair Color Guide: How-Tos for Cooler Weather Hues

When temperatures drop and we’re facing the elements under overcast skies, sometimes a new hair color is exactly what you need to help your look—and locks—shine. Read on to learn how to prep, select, and protect your strands for the cooler months ahead.


First things first: Prepare your hair

Break up with breakage

Summer’s sun, heat and humidity can do a number on your hair. By the time fall arrives, your hair is usually fraught with frizz and flyaways, so it’s important to remove any damage. Give split ends the split with a quick, routine trim or, better yet, try something new! Browse Instagram and Pinterest for a trendy new style and screenshot a photo to show to your stylist.


Treat your strands

Though trimming is the quickest and most effective way to clean up hair damage, to truly start with a clean slate, you’ll need to remove buildup as well. Chlorine, mineral, and salt water deposits build harmful layers that change texture, dull color, and ultimately harm your hair. Consider a Malibu treatment to gently strip your locks of buildup, restore moisture, and uncover your hair’s natural shine.

Hair model with scarf
Coffee-inspired shades are perfect for warming up winter hair.

Now for the fun part: Selecting your color.

Coffee-colored highlights

‘Tis the season for hot brews and hotter colors—best if combined. Match your highlights with your winter coffee order. Redheads can spice things up with creamy streaks of nutmeg and pumpkin; brunettes can warm their look with shades of mocha. Even jet-black locks can try the trend with a dark-roasted balayage or streaks of espresso—a subtle change that yields lots of dimension.


Hot, festive reds

Though the weather outside is frightful, these fiery hues are so delightful. Redheads, warm up your mane with shades of copper, crimson, and cranberry to light your look aflame. Then finish with a gloss service for extra sparkle and shine.


Ice-cold blondes

On another note, we’re seeing cooler hues coming up hot on the horizon. Blondes of all shades should consider ‘toning’ down the temperature with a tone-altering service to get that striking, icy look we love this season. No offense to Goldilocks, but this ultra-clean, edgy take on blonde is this season’s new ‘it’ color and will likely stick around well into the new year. Plus, it’s flattering on all skin tones, so it can be worn year-round. Pro tip: to fight off brassiness and stay looking cool, take home a purple product like Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo.


Love your new hue? Make it last.


To lengthen the life of your color, at-home maintenance is a must. For best results, wash with cold water every other day with a professional color-protecting duo like Redken Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner.



Color treatments can strip your strands of moisture, so it’s important to replenish and protect with nourishing products like Biolage Keratindose Renewal Spray.


Feeling inspired? Get started today! Our professional stylists will guide you to a winter color you’ll love and the products you need to make it shine. Check in at your favorite SmartStyle salon today.

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