Autumn / Winter Hair Trend Predictions for 2023

Published 25th Aug 2023 by Josie Jackson

Team HJ recently sat down with Zoe Irwin, Matrix Editorial, Colour and Trend Ambassador, to discuss her hair colour trend predictions for A/W 2023. From elevated neutrals to bold pops of colour, here’s what she had to say…

Cherry Pop

What’s very interesting about the colour market now is that if you look at the macro trends for tone over the last decade, it’s been so ash dominated, and everyone got very used to that. So when you brought in a copper, in order to make it commercially viable, at the beginning, you bring in the ash. Now everyone is more used to copper, stylists are breaking free and upping the pigment.

This brings us to Cherry Pop. For many seasons now we’ve been focussing on orange-reds, coppers and fiery tones – but for a long time, we haven’t seen the level of red-violet that we’re going to be seeing this season. People are becoming so playful with hair colour and almost wanting something that’s super head-turning. Before people were playing it a lot safer, but now they want a real pop. We’ve been working on red-violet bases, blending different tones and thinking multidimensional to get some really pretty reflects. This can really add something to textured and curled hair, you can see through the colour.

What makes this trend have a little bit of attitude is the tease at the root; rather than taking the colour right to the root where it will often glow, the colour is being blended from about 4cm from the root all over the head.

Contrasting Colour

Thinking about Lady Gaga at the Oscars 2023, it got me thinking about contrasting colour. We also saw some of this at A/W Fashion Week, you see that everyobe is rolling with a little bit of a root, and it’s the root that changes the attitude. Although we have balayage as an overarching macro trend, this smaller, pop-up trend featuring this deep contrasting colour is becoming more widespread. Colourists are now colouring much more in sections; it’s more dramatic, we’re sort of learning our sectioning again. So where everything has been very freehand, I think it’s now going back to the blocking stuff. 

What’s In A Name? 

The way people view trends in continually changing. The Wolfcut is inspired by an original Trevor Sorbie cut, however the version of it now is not the same as it originally was. Because everyone’s lens is different, in order for it to be correct for today’s market, it cannot be exactly as it was before. Even though a hairdresser might be familiar with a style as one set thing, clients are viewing it from a different point now, no fashion is ever the same. We also have different products and tools, so what was used to create one thing, might not be used to create another.

I think where the magic happens in a salon business is people that cleverly mix the eyes of the youth with the knowledge of the past. If you’re not listening to the youth then you’re not relevant, and if you’re not relevant, you’re in trouble. 

Cobain Chic 

When I name things, one name is to counteract the other; Cobain in itself can be seen as very grungy, which it is, but if you mix it with chic then what you’re doing is you take your influence from 90s grunge, but you’re making it chicer for the market.

The influence is from Kurt Cobain, but the chicness is how I’ve elevated the colour trend to make it a bit more polished. I chose to do the sections in various teases, so one tease is about 4cm from the root, and then the section underneath is about 8cm; this is because I’m trying to create dimension. So with the longer tease I tended to use a lower developer, so I used 10vol, in the higher tease I used 20vol, and in some sections around the front edge, which I put in last, I used 30vol. This play with development is how I’m creating much more contour into the haircut – the contour reinforces the chicness.

What’s very interesting is when you take a look at the rise of bleaching and high-lifting in the hairdressing market, a lot of it is down to the bonding market. When bonding came along, it meant hairdressers had the ability to take hair up a lot lighter whilst maintaining the inner strength of it. This wasn’t possible a decade ago, our knowledge of bleaching as hairdressers has really changed, which has led to an increase in confidence when it comes to bleaching.

Bleach, or lighter, used to be seen as the end-result; what you take your client to is what they leave with. Now, for us it’s a starting point, it’s a passage to the canvas.

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 25th Aug 2023

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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