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 Each year Pantone unveils their pick for the Color of the Year, which sparks a great deal of inspiration and motivation for the design community. This year, Illuminating and Ultimate Gray became the picks for 2021 Pantone Color of the Year — shades we’ve already seen making waves within the beauty community and surely will continue to enhance trends this season. 

The Shades:

  • Illuminating — a bright “sunshine” yellow color meant to lift the spirits and invoke inspiration. 
  • Ultimate Gray — a steel mid-tone gray color that portrays “strength, stability, and realness”. 

How They Translate To Hair Color:

We’ve seen gray hair — both natural and stylist-created — reach new levels this year and with the release of Ultimate Gray, we’re sure to see even more. 2020 left many clients with split decisions about their hair, many opting for more low-maintenance options while others we’re looking for new, bold ways to make a statement. Whether enhancing your natural tone or creating a bespoke gray shade, there are a few ways to ensure your color truly shines. 

Natural Gray: If you’ve opted to grow out your grays, you might notice a bit of discoloration or dullness. Like any color, gray hair also needs a helping hand when it comes to enhancing the tone. At your next appointment, chat with your stylist about adding a violet toned gloss to your service to cut down on yellowing and enhance shine. 

Stylist-Created Gray: From deep brunettes to platinum blondes, if you’re looking for the ultimate cool-tone this season, gray can be a welcomed change. Although best created on pre-lightened hair, the depth of gray can be altered based on your level and individual style. 

Illuminating: Going lighter has obviously been a huge trend lately, but within this, we’re seeing many opt for gold or iridescent tones throughout blonde and brunette highlights, which is exactly where the influence from Illuminating comes in. 


There are so many ways to illuminate hair color and one of our favorites is with Illumina Color! Illumina Color is a permanent color that can lighten, darken, and enhance natural color with sheer brilliance and a natural-looking result. From glossing to gray and white coverage, this range is intermixable for endless options. *Stay tuned this season for the latest product innovation, techniques and shades from Illumina!