15 Flattering Hair Colors That Prove Balayage Is Perfect for Fall

Pumpkin Spice Balayage
Photo: @hairbykatierose

When hair color stops being a fun outing and begins feeling like a chore, it might be time for a tweak—and there is no better time of year for new beginnings than autumn, a season of transition when we feel like shedding our skin and starting fresh before a new year. That's something a few strokes of apple cider blonde could cure, hm?

For those who dread the imminence of each root touch-up appointment and desire something more low maintenance, balayage makes a fabulous option. Balayage is the technique of applying hair color that involves hand-painting hair color sporadically throughout the hair to create a multi-dimensional look that grows out more seamlessly than traditional highlights.

Low maintenance is the name of the game, and balayage has a leg up on the competition—which is why we're swarming the salon to get a fall color fix now that will last us through the holidays. We've rounded up the best balayage hair colors for fall to update your look ahead of autumn, whether you're keen to try frosty blonde, caramel brunette, or even pumpkin spice red.

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Metallic Bronze Melt

Bronze Melt

A brunette base color can stay brightened up well past summer by adding a major dose of golden caramel balayage from roots to tips—just make sure to request a shadow root or color melt to keep things low maintenance.

A shadow root is a mid-length transition between roots and highlights, while color melting, which uses two to three colors, "blends highlights with your base color for a 'melted' effect where you can't tell where one color starts and the other ends," according to L'Oreal Paris' Beauty Magazine.

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Golden Hour Blonde

Golden Hour Blonde
@natalieannehair / Instagram

Adding a glow of sunlit color to any base color is an update that pays for itself in compliments, seen here with golden-tinged curls by stylist Natalie Anne.

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Cider Blonde Balayage

Rose Quartz Brunette

Just a touch of rosy blonde-red to brighten up a brunette ahead of apple cider season. Ask for rose gold or strawberry brown balayage throughout.

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Baby Platinum Balayage

Baby Stone Blonde
@los_pastel / Instagram

Beach blonde gets a year-round makeover in this warm-toned take on platinum blonde that feels sunny without going too light for the fall and winter seasons.

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Balayaged Money Piece

Balayaged Money Piece

When in doubt, lighten up that money piece, which is the closest strand of hair that frames your face. Pick a hair color that calls to you and ask your stylist for a subtle stroke of color around the face, seen here by colorist Katelin Ferrari.

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Pumpkin Spice Balayage

Pumpkin Spice Balayage

Did someone order a pumpkin spice latte? If you're looking for autumn in a hair color, look no further than this combination of mocha brown, burgundy red, ginger, and strawberry blonde.

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Iced Mocha Balayage

Iced Mocha

The darkest of brunette hair colors can always get along with a few strategically placed streaks of blonde balayage. Cue this baby golden blonde focused around the face.

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Marbled Blonde Balayage

Marbled Blonde Balayage

If you're hovering somewhere in between brunette and blonde, bigger strands of blonde balayage will keep blonde in your hair without having to commit to regular touch-ups at the salon.

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Toffee Color Melt

Chocolate Color Melt

For a wearable shade that takes you from autumn all the way into the new year, this caramel toffee balayage color is about as warm and flattering as it gets.

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Campfire Red Balayage

Campfire Red Balayage

Ginger, spice, and everything nice—that's what this fiery hair color has in store for any redhead (or wannabe) this fall.

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Balayaged Burgundy Brunette

Burgundy Brunette Mid-Length Cut

A touch of merlot for m'lady? Sweater weather calls for a robust hair color that stands out in the crowd, and this burgundy red color on top of dark brunette is certified dreamy.

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Frosted Blonde Balayage

Frosted Blonde Balayage

Go extra icy in anticipation of the colder weather, which just happens to pop on a super dark brunette base.

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Amber Color Melt

Amber Color Melt

For any naturally warm-toned brunette—like chocolate, chestnut, and auburn gals—it's oh-so tempting to go even warmer with amber and red-blonde balayage. Now that's the kind of temptation we can give into.

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Multi-Dimensional Mocha Balayage

Curly Shoulder Shag
@natalieannehair / Instagram

Minimalists don't even need to commit to statement-making color to take advantage of balayage. You can ask for one shade lighter and darker than your base to give extra dimension that will last for months.

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Bronde Balayage

Bronde Balayage

Anyone that prefers a more seamless approach to hair color, but still desires something more low maintenance than traditional highlights, balayage is still an option. Ask for a root smudge and balayaged babylights, which are ultra-fine or wispy, natural looking highlights, in a hair color that is no more than two or three hair colors lighter than your base.

"Smudged roots are just dark enough at your scalp to camouflage your regrowth, avoiding a harsh line and making it appear as if you only have two colors at once, for a chic, lived-in look," explains L'Oreal Paris' Beauty Magazine.

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