Trend Tuesday: Muted Hair Colors

Want vivid hair, but still subtle and sophisticated? From soft pastels to understated neutrals, muted hair colors take a gentle approach to vibrant color, offering a more subdued and refined look with a faded, “washed-out” appearance. 

If you’re not ready to go super bright & bold, muted shades are a great way to play with vibrant color while still achieving a look that feels natural — even in corporate office environments! The key to achieving the perfect muted shade is understanding the three aspects of your hair color: light or dark, warm or cool, and muted or bright. 

The Difference Between Cool And Warm Tones

The hue of your hair determines how warm or cool your hair color is. Any color can appear warm or cool depending on the hue’s undertones. Colors with yellow undertones are warm colors, while colors with blue undertones are deemed cool colors.

Some examples of warm hair colors are golden blondes, vibrant red, strawberry, and orange. Meanwhile, some examples of cool hair colors are icy blonde or ashy brunette.

The Difference Between Light and Dark Hair

The “value” scale determines how light or dark a color is. The more black is added to a color, the darker it becomes. The more white is added to it, the lighter it becomes. Determining whether or not light or dark hair will suit you is not just connected to how light or dark your features are but rather how high the contrast between your features is.

What Are Muted Hair Colors?

Warm colors are inherently light, whereas cool colors are naturally dark. When you darken a warm color, it becomes more muted. When you lighten a cool color, it also becomes more muted. In general, the more gray is added to a pure color, the more muted it becomes.

What Are Some Examples Of Muted Hair Colors?

Soft ash blondes, muted rose golds, and dusty lavenders are primary examples of muted hair colors that are growing in popularity. We are currently loving muted seafoam green, which Fruits Lab Hair Stylist Alexa recommends creating using 5 parts Kowabunga and 2 parts Earthworm.

What Skin Tones Are Muted Hair Colors Most Flattering On?

Muted hair colors tend to flatter people with a perfect mixture of warm and cool features. Not too warm, not too cool, not too light, not too deep! Neutral skin tones, who often have this mixture of everything, are a match made in heaven with muted colors. Oversaturated colors can easily overpower neutral skin tones, while muted colors are soft enough to complement neutral tones naturally.

How do you mix a muted hair color?

Achieving the perfect muted hair color is all about balancing color contrasts. The more yellow you add to a color, the warmer it becomes. By this logic, adding yellow to a cool color will also make it more muted. In contrast, the more blue you add to a color, the cooler it gets. By this logic, adding blue to a warm color will make it more muted.