Low Maintenance and Exciting Fall Hair Trends to Lift Your Mood

Tired of coping with hair that’s long overdue for a trip to the salon? Us too. Thankfully, fall and winter hair trends focus on low maintenance styling that delivers big impact at less cost. Highlights frame the face and grow out naturally, colors shift to darker and more natural shades, and the freshest cuts don’t need much upkeep.

Don’t think easy maintenance equals boring hair. Cut bangs and dye your new fringe pink for a pop of color. Experiment with exciting temporary hues and color-extending treatments. These are changes in the air that will lift your mood and add some seasonal fun to your hair routine.

Low-maintenance color

Color that’s low-maintenance costs less and requires fewer appointments for upkeep, hence fewer trips to the salon. Hair color experts predict that face-framing highlights will be the low-maintenance favorite throughout the fall and winter, followed closely by more affordable color-melting. Two highlight techniques that allow your hair to grow out naturally without strict maintenance are balayage and ombré. Balayage involves freehand painting colors or lighteners on the hair. Ombré is used to layer colors in a way that creates more of a gradient.


Color-melting results in highlights that look as if color starts mid-way down the hair strand and “melts” to the end. The perfectly harmonized color actually starts at the roots and extends to the ends for a seamless transition from a dark to light hue. The popularity of color-melting is growing as customers find the result can be very low-maintenance.

Color-extending treatments

A key player in supporting low-maintenance hair color is regular treatments that help extend the life of a client’s color. These treatments help strengthen and improve the elasticity of the hair to prevent damage. They also make hair color appear more vibrant and fresh. One of our favorite color-keeping treatments is IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond Building Dry Hair Mask ($34, click here), a dry treatment you don’t have to wash out until your next shower.

More natural, darker shades

Hair colors for fall 2020 will reflect the trend toward lower maintenance as well. Clients deprived of trips to the salon have grown to accept more natural shades and colorists want their clients to make the switch to richer, darker tones. Highlights will tend toward caramel and toffee, rather than the more summery platinum.

As a base color, look for espresso, dark reds, and chocolatey browns. Deep chocolate brown works well with lighter, neutral tones, while a dark espresso shade on the warmer side adds dimension. A spicy red shade can feel fresh for fall, while hints of onyx and auburn can add dimension to dusky crimson shades. An all-over caramel toffee shade delivers the kind of transitional hair color you can let grow out all season.

Temporary color

Temporary color is the very definition of low-maintenance. Experimenting with color that washes out quickly is perfect for those who don’t want to commit to (or spend the money on) permanent color. If you want to play around with temporary color, think colored conditioners, sprays, herbal colors, and inks. Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint ($12, click here) is an in-shower spray that creates a gorgeous temporary pink tone when applied to wet hair.

Low-maintenance cuts

This season, opt for a new haircut that will grow out gracefully and requires minimal styling.

A buzz cut is a cool-looking hairstyle without the worry of maintaining color and blowouts. A buzz focuses attention on the unique, natural structure of your face. If you are ready for a fresh start but not quite the dramatic change of a buzz, try a pixie cut. Stylists say they expect a big resurgence in demand for these super short cuts as people look for a fresh start.

Cutting bangs will update your look without major changes to your entire hairstyle. Trim bangs on the longer side and don’t chop too much off. You can always go back and snip a little more if the first pass is too long. Combining bangs with long layers makes a change much less dramatic than cutting down to a pixie. The medium, collarbone-grazing length of a blunt cut lob lessens the awkwardness of the grow-out process. Lobs are always trending.

The polar opposite of the buzz cut, but still on the low maintenance spectrum, is letting your hair grow out. Long flowing layers are easy to maintain, add texture, and frame the face.

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