Your lashes, but better. Your lips, but better. Your skin, but better. When it comes to certain beauty aesthetics (and promises made by skin, makeup, and hair formulas), you are your own muse. The idea is to emphasize what you naturally have going on, instead of altering it. Case in point: The “no color” hair color trend, which aims to be—you guessed it—a version of your own natural hair color, but better.
“‘No color’ color is about going richer and warmer, but keeping your hair color looking natural with a clean, modern shade,” says Rita Hazan, celebrity colorist and founder of her eponymous salon in New York City. “You’re enhancing your natural hue, giving your hair a break, and embracing ‘virgin’ color in a minimal way.”
While Hazan notes that it’s a great option for those wanting to transition from bold color or highlights to their natural tone, it’s also an easy way for those who are less experienced in the hair color realm to change up their look. After all, your own base color is the starting point—your colorist is just turning the saturation up a notch.
Here, we spoke to Hazan about what the trend entails, how you can transition your current hue to a “no color” finish, and what to consider before taking on the look. Keep reading to see how to pull off the trend yourself.
“No color” hair color is a warmer, richer take on your own natural tone. “It’s a completely low-maintenance style for those who are coloring their hair with the goal of looking natural, healthier, and shinier—almost as if you didn’t color your hair,” Hazan says. “The color is formulated using a range of neutral tones, so it will match any color from blonde to deep brunette, resulting in a one-size-fits-all color that’s sophisticated and chic.”
Your touch-up schedule will depend on the color you’re starting with—for example, if you previously lightened your strands—but in general, Hazan notes that upkeep is pretty low-key, especially since the color will eventually fade to your natural shade. If you’re visiting your colorist with the intent of transitioning out of highlights, you may need a touch-up or a toning session if the hue starts to fade back to the highlighted state, but in general, maintenance is pretty minimal, save for the occasional at-home gloss, and lathering up with a color-preserving shampoo and conditioner. “Overall, the process is not as costly, time-consuming, or intense as typical coloring sessions can be,” she adds.
When going for “no color” hair color at the salon, Hazan advises asking your stylist for a shade that is slightly warmer and darker than your own natural tone. “You can guide your stylist to achieve this look by explaining that you don’t want to change your natural shade by much, but simply go a few shades darker in an attempt to enhance your original color in a minimal way,” she says.
Another option? Using your childhood photos as inspiration. Follow in the lead of Hazan’s client (and icon) Jessica Simpson. “Jessica is a good example of this trend because even though she is very blonde, her hair color looks natural and soft, and is the same color she had when she was a young girl,” she says.
Inquiring ash blonde girlies want to know—is the warmer tone mandatory? According to Hazan, it helps with the overall “I didn’t color my hair, it’s naturally this rich and glossy” effect, while also giving your complexion a little warmth. “When your hair is a warmer shade, it typically looks healthier,” she says.
The Bottom Line
Consider the “no color” trend the hair color equivalent of a one-size-fits-all LBD—it’s guaranteed to look flattering on everyone, it’s easy to wear, and looks elegant no matter how it’s styled or the accessories you choose to pair it with.
If you’re sick of your highlights, platinum blonde, or creative color choices, it’s an easy, low-fuss way to transition back to your own natural hue with pretty minimal upkeep. While pre-lightened hair will require a few more touch-ups and at-home sessions with a color-depositing conditioner, the aftercare will generally be more low maintenance than shades on the rainbow end of the spectrum, and once it’s in a good place, salon visits ultimately won’t be as frequent.
Better yet, for those who aren’t as adventurous in the color realm, the “no color” hair color trend is an easy way to dabble in bolder tones while staying within your comfort zone, and close to the natural hue at your roots. Upkeep in the form of color-safe shampoos, conditioners, and the occasional gloss serve as an intro course to hair color maintenance, with the finished result being an enhanced, high-definition version of the color you were born with.