Cool hair colours 2016: This year’s hottest shades to try now

From muted beige blonde and romantic rose gold, to more experimental two-tone pastel shades, we've rounded up 10 cool hair colours you should try this year.

Desperate to freshen up dull-looking locks? Well, adding a pop of colour is one way to go about it. The good news is, there’s a plethora of super cool hair colours to choose from. Whether it’s an update on your natural shade, or an entirely new look you’re after, we promise our guide to this year’s hottest hair dyeing trends has something in store for you. Ladies, get ready to wave goodbye to ombre, and say hi to strobing. Here’s our top 10 cool hair colours you should know about now.

Top 10 cool hair colours of 2016


silver grey hair colours for 2016
Silver grey hair. Credit:

1. Silver grey

The grey hair trend has been on the rise since 2015, but this year sees it taking a more striking turn. The exact shade we’re after? Think an icy, almost white tone with the subtlest metallic shimmer. And if you’re worried about the upkeep, don’t be! Distinct dark roots showing through just give it that extra cool edge (yes, really).

lived-in blonde hair
Live-in blonde. Credit:

2. Lived-in blonde

Pioneered by New York-based colour maestro Johnny Ramirez, this new “it” colour is a beautiful flamboyage (yep, that’s a combination of ombre and balayage) of beachy and dirtier blonde shades that creates a sort of lived-in effect (quite literally). Great for those who love that effortless “no-of-course-this-is-my-natural-colour!” look, this cool new hair dyeing trend makes the perfect pairing to casually tousled, beachy waves, too.

Rose gold hair. Credit:

3. Rose gold

Not quite blonde, not quite pink, this pretty new shade that’s currently breaking ground in the hair world couldn’t be any more covetable. The best thing about it is that it’s super versatile, meaning that you can go as intense (think Katy Perry) or as subtle (think Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) as you like. Or mix in platinum blonde balayage and messy waves (à la Sienna Miller) for an ultra-modern, boho look.

Tortoiseshell. Credit:

4. Tortoiseshell

Being a brunette just got a whole lot better. We know, the sound of tortoiseshell hair isn’t exactly appealing, but the effect of carefully blending rich chestnut and chocolate tones with honey and toffee highlights really does look as delicious as it sounds. Classy and elegant, with just a hint of summery romance, it’s a bonus that this increasingly popular highlighting technique looks great on just about every skin tone.

Two-tone hair. Credit:

5. Two-tone

Rainbow hair was everywhere in 2015, but things have calmed down a little bit since then. This year’s all about the neater – but every bit as striking – split dye technique. Think less black and white à la Cruella de Vil; but sweeter summery pastels, and split down the middle with a modern centre part. We won’t lie: it’s not going to be a joy to maintain, but when it looks this cute, who cares? Credit: @hair_by_annabellla

cool hair colours denim
Denim hair. Credit:

6. Denim

Denim has played a big part on the ready-to-wear runways for the past few seasons, so it was only a matter of time before the trend filtered down into hair. From darker indigos to true blues and lighter, faded washes, the possibilities are endless. And actually, it’s not as scary as it seems. Well, we mean, it can’t be that different to wearing jeans everyday, right?

Tip: To help maintain your denim hair’s vibrancy, opt for a shampoo and conditioner duo that has been specially formulated for coloured hair, like the TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Shampoo and Conditioner (500ml, £3.69 each*).

Reverse ombre. Credit:

7. Reverse ombre

Tested out by trendsetters Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow a few years back, the reverse ombre has now officially hit the mainstream – and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Think of it as a backwards version of ombre, so the gradation starts from light at the roots, down to darker shades at the tips. Though not as low-maintenance or natural-looking in effect as ombre or sombre, this cool hair colour certainly makes for a head-turning change. Credit: @hairstylesbyleslie

Lavender locks. Credit:

8. Lavender locks

Pretty and feminine, with an underlying tone of punk rock cool, no wonder lilac’s been crowned the pastel hue of 2016. Take a leaf from model Jourdan Dunn’s book and pair your lavender locks with Coachella-worthy mermaid curls, a leather biker and a fierce attitude for an ultra-modern look that doesn’t feel sickly sweet.

Beige blonde. Credit:

9. Beige blonde

“Thought we were talking cool hair colours!”: we hear you cry. Trust us, although it may not sound like the most exciting colour in the world, it is. Well, if it’s been approved by the likes of Taylor Swift, Cara Delevingne and Jennifer Aniston, we think it qualifies – don’t you? Think a muted, classier take on the more brazen blonde shades we’ve been seeing as of late; beige is for the girl who oozes cool elegance but doesn’t need to shout about it. Sold yet? We thought you might be.

strobing hair colours for 2016
Natural-looking highlights from strobing. Credit:

10. Strobing

Similar to the contouring technique in makeup, hair strobing is essentially a highlighting technique whereby lighter, sun-kissed colours are applied to areas where light would normally hit the hair and face. The big idea here is that it can help brighten and accentuate your best features. Does it work? Well, nothing’s been 100% proven, but what we do know is that it’s a perfect way to add dimension and really bring your natural colour to life. So, yes: we’re in!

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

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