Ahh, the fall. The time when we all dig our sweaters out of storage, swap our bright colors for moodier hues, and start listening to Taylor Swift again. It’s also time to start thinking about fall 2023 hair trends. Summer can be tough on hair — between the heat, the sun, and the chlorine or salt water — you may be left with depleted strands by the time the leaves start to change. That’s why fall is the perfect time for a hair refresh.
Now that it's a bit cooler (bangs and sweat never did get along) we can update our sun-bleached color or try new silhouettes that won’t just be thrown up into a ponytail to avoid heat flashes. Or — if you’re really ready for a reset — cut allnthat summer hair off and start over.
When it comes to fall 2023 hair trends, we’re transitioning into more low-maintenance and understated hues. What was once dolce vita blonde is now lived-in beach blonde. Rich auburn has turned into a more neutral muted chocolate. And we’re taking updo cues from style icons like Pamela Andersom and, yes, Barbie.
But just because we’re coveting easy styles and effortless color doesn’t mean we’re playing it safe. Those with bold proclivities are experimenting with antique blue and color-dipped pixie cuts.
Ready for a change? Here, you’ll find all the inspiration you need for fall 2023 hairstyles, colors, and cuts. Bust out that "Folklore" vinyl and start thinking autumn.
Fall Hair Colors
Smoked Chili Red
Instead of the soft pinks of summer, we’re upping the ante with a smoky chili red. (Hari Nef, here, illustrates how spicy it can be.) It’s like swapping palomas for a spicy mezcal cocktail. While colorist Aura Friedman says this is a single-process color (in salon, since finding a perfect spicy red for your skin tone takes expertise) it's anything but low maintenance. Expect to revisit for a touch-up in about four weeks.
Want to explore your darker alter ego? The one that stays up late, has croissants for dinner, and is wanted in four states for jaywalking? Then America Ferrara and Dove Cameron's deep brunette is a must. The sultry color toes the line between brown and black will look particularly striking on olive or tan skin tones, and more dramatic on lighter skin tones. For this sultry hue, you’ll want to go just past dark chocolate. Hairstylist Meg Schipani points out that root touch-ups and toner will be necessary to keep this shade looking glossy.
A red Ferrari is nice but have you ever seen a metallic red Ferrari? It doesn't scream, it whispers. The same goes for red hair: Metallic red is a more muted update on popular ginger shades. It’s just as cheeky, but has a sexier, more mysterious look. Case in point: Garcelle Beauvais. "This tone is best achieved by mixing a pure red and ash together with maybe a smidge of a neutral in your formula," says Schipani. Keep up with moisture treatments like Colorproof’s Moisture Masque or Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Mask to keep the color sports-car-glossy.
Lived-in blonde is as if you moved to an island with no colorists and let the sand and salt naturally wear away at your golden tone. What remains is a sexy, beachy, dirty blonde. "I think years of achieving these hard-to-maintain blondes have left clients with dry hair and the desire for something lower maintenance and better for the hair," says Schipani. A warm toned blonde like Emily Blunt’s is ideal for this look as it will blend nicely with grown-out roots.
"Recently, I’ve had more requests for earthy, natural-toned brunettes," says Schipani. If you want a set-it and forget-it color, Hailey Bieber’s neutral brown is a low-maintenance alternative to fussy highlights and deeper hues. "For this type of brunette, I like to formulate with a neutral brown and then add in any tones needed to mimic my client’s natural level."
Splash of Color
You contain multitudes, so why go all-in on blue or pink if you don’t know who you’ll want to be after the weekend? Take a cue from Saweetie. Just a splash of color should tie you over. While this could be an easy DIY with an at-home color like IGK Color Depositing Hair Mask, you might want to visit a stylist if you have textured hair. "When it comes to placing a pop of color in curly hair, more thought is required in terms of where to place it so that it really shows up," says Schipani.
Copper was hard to escape this spring and summer. For fall, colorist Lauren Mildice expects to help her clients transition that color into Priyanka Chopra’s moodier "bropper," a deep auburn shade made by mixing brown and copper dye.
Typically when you lighten your hair, you chase after the color as darker roots start to show. Instead, Schipani recommends flipping things on their head with light roots and a punchy color ombre, like Karol G has here. Of course, you’ll still be chasing roots as they grow out — but choosing a hue close to your natural color will help.
Soft Money Pieces
It’s all about "stealth wealth" these days, so instead of stark money pieces, we’re coveting something a little more suggestive. Beyonce’s golden pieces in the front look expensive, "but by diffusing it to the back we achieve a natural look with power in the front," says Mildice. It’s like swapping a Louis Vuitton monogram for a handcrafted leather bag you bought from an artisan in Milan — still beautiful, but more subtle.
Light Caramel Blonde
Color tends to get deeper and richer in the fall, so look for blondes to caramelize into a rich honey hue. "It’s a soulful color that has dimension, depth, and warmth," says colorist Mauricio Bermudez. This particular shade looks stunning on warmer skin tones and allows curlier textures, like Candace Maxwell’s mane, to catch more dazzling light.
If "natural" is not in your vocabulary (Tina Leung also does not speak this language), an antiqued blue has the same muted vibe as other popular fall colors while still being, you know, blue. "The key is bringing it ever so slightly from a high-impact, saturated sky blue into a dusky and dusted mid-tone," says Bermudez.
Classic highlights are a nice transition from sun-kissed hair into the darker, richer hues of fall. Starting with your natural color, find a color two or three shades lighter for whisper-fine highlights, says colorist Rex Jimieson. For Emma Watson, that’s a few honey gold highlights on her natural caramel brown mane. "A few lowlights could also be used if you have growth that needs blending," he adds.
If the standard autumnal earthy neutrals feel like a snooze, Friedman recommends Ava Max’s vibrant fruit punch red for fall. It keeps you in the trendy red category, while giving you the look of a party guest that might "accidentally" dump a bottle of rum into the punch bowl. A color-depositing conditioner like Overtone can help with upkeep since red tends to fade quickly.
The shags and wolf cuts from early 2023 have grown out and are even…shaggier and wolfier. Instead of trimming back, J.Lo says embrace it (and who are we to disagree with J.Lo?). Hairstylist Leigh Hardges recommends this look for fine to medium-fine hair (too thick, and things might get a little too hard to tame). Bangs need trims every three to four weeks, but the tousled look can be easily achieved with a spritz of texturizer like Rahua Freestyle Texturizer.
Some of us still earmark September as "the beginning of the year" thanks to decades of school planners. If fall feels like your moment for a fresh start, a buzz cut like Cynthia Erivo’s could be just the ticket (and great if you need to lob off damaged hair and regrow healthier strands). But remember, "even buzzed hair needs to be treated," says Schipani, who recommends a leave-in moisture treatment like Amika Hydro Rush Intense Moisture Leave-In Conditioner to keep growth strong and healthy.
Hardges says Laura Harrier’s happy medium "long bob" isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. "Anything from super straight to kinky textures can rock this," she says. It’s also a great cut for thicker hair, as the length helps to weigh the volume down a bit.
Sliced Jawline Bob
"Tomboy bob cuts that accentuate the jawline will be everywhere this fall," says hairstylist Howard Reyes. "Whether it falls right above or right below the jaw, it’s all about that bold sharpness." Angular cuts like Ella Rattigan’s do need regular trims to maintain their sharp-as-a-knife edge, but if you skip a salon visit or two, it will still grow out beautifully.
Bangs are a classic way to update your style for fall (especially now that you don’t have to worry about forehead sweat). Hairstylist Frederic Fekkai recommends Jenna Ortega’s shapely bottleneck Birkin bangs that perfectly frame the face and can be pushed aside as a curtain bang on lower-effort days.
An Italian bob is like a French bob but with a plate of bucatini and a Vespa. Instead of carefree and tousled, an Italian bob has a cheeky, 60s-inspired flip at the end. Less laissez faire, more sass. And the best news? "It is extremely versatile and easy to maintain," says hairstylist Jenna Spino, who adds that while blowing it out for those voluminous ends looks best (like Simona Tobasco has done here) — the cut is still super flattering on wash-and-wear days.
When the glory days of your buzzcut have passed, it may be time to transition into a punky pixie (if you’re feeling bold and are starting with long hair, buzz it down to a three or four length with your clippers). "After the cut, choose a custom shade to paint on and make it extra personal," says Reyes, like the fiery tangerine hue of Florence Pugh’s cut.
Curly Long Layers
"Long, curly layers give shape and body while showcasing the natural curl or wave," says hairstylist Raven Hurtado, pointing to Rita Ora’s golden cascade of curls. When styling at home, use a defining product (something like Pattern’s Curl Mousse) for hold and use a diffuser attachment on your blow dryer to add definition, she adds.
If you can’t decide between blunt fringe and cheek-bone grazing fringe, do as the jellyfish (and Natasha Lyonne) do and rock both. Hairstylist Devin Toth recommends using a flatiron to really separate chunky pieces around the face and enhance that multi-step angular look.
Mariah and J.Lo were queens of the butterfly cut in the early aughts, and the layered, bouncy style is back in 2023 (Sydney Sweeney now presides over the throne). "This cut looks great on hair that’s below the shoulders and is best styled with a round brush or hot air brush," says Toth. "Keep the face-framing swoop lasting all day with a light mist of hairspray."
Kitchen Scissor Bangs
Piecey, Kristen Stewart-esque bangs that look like they’ve been chopped with kitchen scissors (possibly after a beer or two) are a punky update to a short cut. "These styles look great on brunettes because choppy ends can appear extremely damaged when cut into bleached hair," notes Toth. Just don't actually use your kitchen scissors or drink and snip. Leave it to the pros.
Part bob and part pixie, the bixie is a sexy 1920s-inspired hybrid that feels very modern. Like Daisy Buchanan with an iPhone. Despite its length, Halle Berry’s signature style has a lot of versatility, says Fekkai. Give it a deep part and hit it with a curling iron (try the T3 Curl ID Smart Curling Iron) for an elevated look or tousle it with texturizer for something more casual.
Fall Hairstyles Barbie Ponytail
In a post-Barbie movie world, one thing remains: the Barbie ponytail. Just ask Issa Rae and Kendall Jenner. You’ll need long hair for this look, but extensions are a great way to add length and volume if you don’t have Barbie’s signature oomph in your hair. Pull hair taught at the crown of your head, wrap a piece around the hair tie to hide it, and hit the ponytail with an Oribe Medium Round Brush and hairdryer to give it a playful bounce.
This Pamela Anderson-insp updo is a great way to try a ‘90s trend without buying a crimper and butterfly clips (but you could do that too). To get the look, section out the front pieces first, pull the rest of the hair into a twist or bun on the crown of the head and pull pieces out to give it a messier, more voluminous look, like Kim Kardashian has here.
Bed Head Braids
A loose bed head braid is very "welcome to my gorgeously renovated Vermont farmhouse, where I wake up this beautifully undone every morning at 5 a.m. sharp to bake multigrain muffins." Reyes recommends braiding quickly and tying it off imperfectly, leaving out face-framing wisps like Kiernan Shipka has here.
As the academics return to the classroom this fall, we’re following suit with our hair. Ribbons and bows have an "Upper East Side prep" vibe, says Reyes, who likes them in lace, micro satin, or a moody velvet. Tie one large bow at the top of a ponytail Skai Jackson, or wear multiple tiny baby bows throughout your style.
Don’t want to deal? A chunky claw clip can help keep your tresses back on blustery days but still give you effortless off-duty model hair. Use it to hold back long front layers in a half-up style or to fasten a messy twist into place.
In the era of OG supermodels like Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell, a twisted, wispy updo was as ubiquitous as chokers and slip dresses. Now that the '90s are trending, this classic style is making a comeback on superstars like Margot Robbie. "Using your fingers, sweep your hair up into a twist, piling loose ends on top and pin," says hairstylist Amy Abramite. "Allow finer pieces of the fringe to fall out around the face."
Friedman expects to see buns of all types this season — single top knots, bantu knots, and low-key chignons. We like the Y2K vibe of Vanessa Hudgens' twisted space buns, perched sleekly on top of her head (but wouldn't say no to a few more).
If someone can’t check their makeup in your hair, is it shiny enough? For fall 2023, the answer is no. Until you have shiny, glossy, glass hair — you need up your reflective powers. Dua Lipa’s look is most effective on long, straight hair, but with a flat iron, you achieve the same sleek look on wavy textures. Start with a gloss treatment at your salon and use hair oil (we like Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil) when styling to maintain shine.
The humidity isn’t great for a blowout, so consider the cooler weather the ideal moment to get back to big, fluffy blowouts, says Hurtado. Arm yourself with a big barrel round brush, a hair dryer, and your favorite volumizing mousse (try Best of Beauty-winning Designme PUFF.ME Hair Volumizing Mousse) to get shampoo commercial bounce that lasts for days (doesn’t H.E.R. just look like she’s having 75% more fun with this hairstyle?)