Pumpkin Spice Is the It Hair Color of Fall 2022

The seasonal go-to isn’t just for lattes.

Rear View Of Woman With Hair Buns Against Palm Tree
Photo: Adriana Duduleanu/Getty Images

Take a quick look inside the grocery store (or any store, really) these days and prepare to be overwhelmed by the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything. No longer reserved just for lattes, everything from popcorn to dog treats can be found in the ‘it’ flavor of the season. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the beauty industry takes a cue from this seasonal juggernaut as well. 

Case in point: Pumpkin spice hair color is a major trend for fall. Just like warmer, cozier, richer foods and fashions are all the rage as the seasons change, so too is a warmer, richer hair color, explains Kristen Fleming, color director at 3rd Coast Salon in Chicago. It’s inspired by all things fall: “Think rich, earthy tones such as amber, burnt orange, butterscotch, pumpkin orange, and soft golden hues, like the ones you’d see as leaves change,” she explains. To that point, pumpkin spice hair color is actually fairly versatile, and can take on many different iterations. 

We asked stylists exactly what it is, whether or not you should try it, and tips for maintaining this stunning seasonal shade. 

What is Pumpkin Spice Hair Color?

“The pumpkin spice hair color trend includes all warm, spicy tones of red and copper, and can include a range of light to dark shades,” says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan. It can be many of these warm tones fused together (think via highlights or lowlights), or even just one rich solid shade of red or orange, adds Fleming.

Aside from the fact that it’s a timely trend that ties in with all of the other pumpkin spice goodies out there, fall is generally a good time to embrace warmer tones in your hair color. Our skin starts to lose that summer glow, and warming up your hair color is a nice way to maintain that all the way throughout the fall and into the winter, says Hazan.

Who Does It Look Best On?

“Because this trend encompasses so many different warm shades, it can easily be tweaked and tailored for many different people,” says Fleming. (Top tip: If you gravitate toward warm red or orange colors in your makeup then you’ll likely love this color.) Still, it’s especially striking on individuals with fair or golden complexions and/or those who have green or hazel eyes. The only time you may want to veer away from it is if you have a lot of pink undertones in your skin, Fleming advises.

What Should You Ask Your Colorist For?

If your skin is fair to light, ask for copper tones, says Hazan. For those with olive undertones or have a darker or deeper complexion, honey and amber hues are a good choice. As a general rule of them, Fleming suggests using words like, ‘warm,’ and ‘rich’ to convey what you want. And both of the pros we spoke with underscore the importance of showing your colorist a variety of reference photos in order to make sure you’re both on the same page and are choosing the right color(s) for your particular skin tone and hair. 

What Are the Best Ways to Maintain Pumpkin Spice Hair Color At Home?

Red tones tend to fade faster than others, notes Hazan. (Credit the fact that the dye molecules are larger and more apt to easily slip out of the hair shaft.) Minimizing how often you wash, as well as always using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner when you do is imperative, she says. Using a clear gloss two to three times per week is another good way to help maintain the shine of the hair, she adds. We like John Frieda Luminous Color Glaze Clear Shine ($13; ulta.com).

Fleming is a fan of using color-depositing conditioners to maintain your new autumnal hue. Her pick? The Evo Hair Fabuloso Custom Conditioner, which your colorist can actually customize for you by adding tiny amounts of color to the formula. Used weekly, it essentially “stains” the surface of the hair, and helps maintain the vibrancy and overall effect of your overall color, Fleming explains. If your salon doesn’t carry it, there’s also an at-home version, Fabuloso Color-Boosting Treatment ($38; amazon.com); just ask your colorist which shade is best for you.

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