This is set to be the hottest hair color trend for 2021 according to the experts

You're about to see this hair-color trend everywhere

hair-color trend
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(Image credit: Neil Mockford / Contributor/ Getty Images)

It's fair to say that 2020 hasn't gone as planned and hair color trends have taken a backseat over the past few months. 

But with a New Year on the horizon, it's time to tap into the 2021's obsession with 'dimensional hair'. Bangs are set to be the most requested hair cut but with Zoom meetings still a regular fixture, ringing more lightness around your face and jaw line is going to be a priority too.

For celebrity colourist Nicola Clarke, whose clients include Cate Blanchett and Madonna, achieving a soft halo of light around the face "involves adding skinny highlights around the forehead or under a fringe".

Lucky for us, one of the hottest new shades to do precisely that suits everyone and happens to require minimal effort. Say hello to caramel highlights. Brunettes look instantly sun-kissed and it's still bright enough for blondes to take the plunge and gradually fade from darker roots to caramel ends. 

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, arguably kickstarted the trend with her modern take on 90s-inspired caramel highlights. The tones were strategically placed throughout her softly layered hair to make more of a subtle transition rather than a harsh contrast. 

hair-color trend

(Image credit: Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meet schoolchildren and teachers at Holy Trinity Church of England First School in Berwick-Upon-Tweed, north-east England on December 7, 2020, on their first full day of engagements on her and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge's tour of the UK. - During their trip, their Royal Highnesses hope to pay tribute to individuals, organisations and initiatives across the country that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year. (Photo by Andy Commins / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDY COMMINS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images))

Margot Robbie, meanwhile, has switched from platinum blonde locks to a caramel ombre. Celebrity hair colourist and dpHUE co-founder Justin Anderson is the mastermind behind her new look and with a client roster that includes Jennifer Aniston and Miley Cyrus, it's no wonder Margot trusts him to take her a few shades darker.

Moving from platinum into warm blonde territory is tricky - one wrong move and hair can end up on the brassy side and skin can look grey.

But this seasonally appropriate mix of dark roots paired with honey/caramel shades makes Margot's skin sing and her blue eyes pop.

The switch to caramel is timely inspiration as salons have re-opened in the UK and in some states. So when you finally get an appointment this is the subtle hair transformation to request.

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years +  of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.