Is Pantone Colour of 2020 a modern classic?

Every December Pantone Colour Institute announces their choice of colour of the year; a colour that will be adopted in fashion, interiors, makeup and hair. The colour chosen for 2019 was Living Coral, a warm pinky orange and for 2020 Pantone Classic Blue.

“Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits”

Pantone 2019

The Spoof Pantone Colour of 2020

A few months ago people believed that they had discovered the Pantone for 2020 earlier than normally released. A very pale blue emerged across the news called bleached coral. This was a spoof tone identified by design agency jack and Huei to highlight the devastation to our planet and an  obvious reaction to living coral and decidedly less optimistic.  People shared this colour across social media without fact checking, hten it went viral and started appearing on hair forums with stylists chuffed to have found a new colour trend. In fact, a former British hairdresser of the year even added the tone to his collection and presented it at Salon International in October 2019, without Irony and rather like a naked emperor, nobody challenged this.  

2020’s colour is in fact blue but a darker muted tone and this time signifies our need for security. PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, is straight forward and assertive. It’s an antidote to the uncertainty we feel and certainty we crave.

Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the choice of colour for 2020 contains reassuring qualities that highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into the new decade.

Pantone 2020
pantone classic blue hair
Classic Blue hair from the Vanity Collection. Formula 2/3 Blossom Blue Lagoon and 1/3 Riflessi Noir

Trends have been consumer lead take back the power.

Those of us living in the UK perhaps have felt this due to the dreaded Brexit and as I write this, all over the country people are voting for our next government. Don’t worry the blue is not politically charged in that respect. We need this strength as we roll into a new decade. The last decade of hair colour trends have been consumer-led and rooted in uncertainty. What do we mean? Well trends emerge for different reasons but economics play a part.  

We are living in a time that requires trust and faith,” says the executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute. ” It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by Pantone 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on.

Pantone 2020
Pantone classic blue hair
Denim Toner from the Oh My Blonde range. from left to right. Denim toner look by Linda O’reilly UK, Centre picture by Lela Salon, Albania and last picture Katia Pozzato from Italy

How Trends Take Hold

In 2008 we hit a recession and with that came ombre which then evolved into the trend for balayage. Women desired low maintenance, it didn’t matter if they hit their next hair appointment in six weeks or not. No need for certainty. If you had the coin to spend on balayage then great but if your circumstances changed and your roots appeared, then no matter, it’s all part of the look.

By 2015 we were doing reverse balayage and deliberately adding roots. This was coupled with a sun-kissed American aesthetic. 2008 also saw the rise of the bronzed Victoria Secrets angels. So, this Venn-diagram of low maintenance coupled with the aspirational meant that you could be hot and broke or hot and flush. Nobody was certain and it didn’t really matter.

Make Balayage the Opportunity

Balayage was simultaneously a threat and opportunity. High price to start but potentially less maintenance appointments booked. So, the smart salons manage the client expectation and make sure to book clients back in for treatments and toners.  It’s all about artistry and this is where it has come into its own. Our Oh My Blonde range is testament to this. Particularly Iconic Blonde which allows you to practically transform anyone into a blonde goddess (the proof is in the pudding or in this case the bleach bowl). The opportunity is there though to increase maintenance appointments and retail. In comes Oh My Blonde shampoo and conditioner and Procolorist Silver shampoo to retail.

blossom blue by ITely Brazil blue hair
Blossom Blue by It&LY Hair Fashion Brazil

A Balayage backlash ?

However, with all trends an opposite trend will emerge and what Classic Blue means for hair, is certainty. A balayage backlash if you will. Will you be retiring your balayage boards tomorrow? Of course not, but Classic Blue is definitely a colour for that client that is sure they want it. The trend for colour blocking has come in. Less blended and more deliberate. Oh My Blonde will come into its own with Classic Blue, as your base still needs to be clean blonde to achieve blue without a hint of yellow. Luckily our Blossom Blue lagoon covers beautifully and lasts really well. Denim toner from the Oh My Blonde range will also be a boon when creating this colour. A blue that fades out silver and not green and the denim blends with yellow hair to create a cool silver look.  You’ve got to love that!

How to get ahead of the curve with classic blue

Tag your blue pictures classicbluehair (at the time of writing this there are less than 100 pictures on Instagram) for #classicblue 27k #pantoneclassicblue 500 #pantone2020 28k. To get your picture noticed use a mixture of these hashtags. Those that are popular and those that are more niche.

Vivids Grow Up

Use classic blue is clever ways, for example, a panel of classic blue within a dark colour. Just like our model from the vanity collection. Classic blue is a lovely sophisticated tone and not just for the young clients in the salon. It’s daring for a hair colour but not whacky and once again can be given a sophisticated twist. Or use with other blue tones to create depth, use denim toner neat or mix with diamond to create lighter blues and greys.

Pantone 2020 classic blue
Denim and Diamond by Victoria from www.comb salon UK

Create a maintenance product for your client

How do you market your vivids service? Is it on the colour or what needs to happen to create the colour and keep the hair in great condition? Market your vivids service on the canvas you are creating when lightening the hair, keeping the integrity of the hair. Depending on your pricing structure, even bundle-in take home products to help with colour fade. Create your own bespoke colour conditioners with Blossom, Riflessi and Blossom Clear to keep classic blue….blue. To help your client get more value from their vivids look without cannibalising your service. They’ll need to return for the pre-lightening. This way you’re making vivids more appealing.

Use Your Down Time to Experiment with Pantone Classic Blue

With trends it’s a chicken and egg situation. If your clients don’t know you provide a service, they won’t ask for it. Many salons wait until a client walks in asking for a colour before they ever do it. However with social media you have the opportunity to attract more of the hair you’d like to do. If you’d like to do more vivids , why not find a model in the quieter month of January? Show off your blue trend, show your salon knows the new looks and you will attract the client that wants that look. Clients will be confident that your salon is the place to go.