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Thomas Hills Looks at What the 2021 Pantone Colours Will Mean for Salon Clients

Monday, 14 December 2020 12:08

The new PANTONE colours for 2021 – Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (see gallery below) – offer a welcome lift, especially when it comes to colour clients in the salon. Last year at his TH1 Hair salon in Oxted, Thomas Hill s saw an influx of clients opting for various hues of blue in line with PANTONES Classic Blue.

Billed by PANTONE as “practical and rock solid, but at the same time warming and optimistic", the union of Ultimate Gray with Illuminating is one of strength and positivity. It is a story of colour that encapsulates deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the promise of something sunny and friendly.”

 Here’s how I believe this message of happiness can be conveyed into hair for the forthcoming season.


 PANTONE Illuminating (13-0647) is a bright and cheerful warming yellow. Imbued with solar power it encapsulates everything colour clients will be looking for in 2021, offering a vibrant spectrum of colour creativity with art world vibes. I personally love otherworldly shades like these – part flouro, part cartoon-y with a hint of highlighter, what defines and unites these shades is that they simply can’t be created by nature – they’re intentionally artificial-looking, with an almost supernatural subtext. Worn bold in single tones, they’re a far cry from the wishy-washy whimsical peaches and muted multi-tonal pastels of seasons past. Far from muted, illuminating requires serious colour commitment – yet, as we saw a few seasons back, when clients opted for seriously high-maintenance platinum, this probably won’t be a barrier to their commerciality and popularity amongst trend followers. This canary yellow style (pictured left), full of superficial-looking colour and artificial-looking shine, is from my Wink collection, and when it comes to illuminating hair colour next season, I predict a (colour) riot!


I have always championed silver hair, and will be doing so more than ever next season, as PANTONE 17-5104 – Ultimate Gray – will see one of my favourite hues take centre stage. This spirited and emboldened shade will really help to satisfy our clients’ quest for vitality next year. Billed by PANTONE as having “solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation,” the natural and neutral tones will offer clients a feeling of resilience. While grey and its many incarnations never go out of style, metallic silver is, for me, the next level of chic, and can really help to bring a haircut to life. I particularly love creating a multi-dimensional metallic tone, and this image from my Craft colour collection pulls together this trend perfectly – beautifully bold metallic silver, worn – as it should be – in sharp, strong cuts for a serious statement and a colour that screams confidence with an icy-cool appeal. While I opted for more of a matte finish and texture in this look, the beautiful thing about metallic tones, is the high-shine that can that can be achieved. Avoid yellow undertones and opt for purple ones instead – this brings the desired warmth to the hair and helps create the perfect metallic hue. If your client has a warmer skin tone then a peachy silver tone will be perfect, while blue hues should be the order of the day for your cooler skinned clients. Grey days never looked so good!

  • Hair: Thomas Hills + Lauren Killick, TH1 Hair, Oxted

  • Hair: Thomas Hills, Director, TH1 Hair, Oxted


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