Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Sign Up for Our

Daily Newsletter!

Byrdie's newsletter gives you the latest products, celebrity trends, and insider advice from beauty editors and experts.

How to Lighten Your Hair For Summer: A Guide for Every Shade

  • How to Lighten Your Hair For Summer: A Guide for Every Shade
    Start Slideshow
    16 slides
    Photo: Getty Images
  • black hair
    1 of 16
  • jamie chung hair
    2 of 16
    Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty
    Subtle Chocolate Highlights

    If your locks are naturally black like Jamie Chung’s, introduce some subtle dark brown highlights. They’ll brighten your complexion and give new life to your hair!

  • dark brown
    3 of 16
  • lucy hale dark brown
    4 of 16
    Photo: Jon Kopalaff/Getty
    Golden Sombré

    Ombré not your thing? You might want to consider sombré, like the one de Souza created for client Lucy Hale. A phrase coined by de Souza, sombré means “subtle ombré” and is a more natural color fade that’s perfect for summer. 

  • chocolate brown
    5 of 16
  • lily collins
    6 of 16
    Photo: Patrick McMullan
    Reddish Undertones

    Add warmth to your face by adding a hint of red to your chocolate brown locks, like de Souza did for his client Lily Collins. 

  • light brown
    7 of 16
  • jessica alba
    8 of 16
    Photo: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images
    Golden Balayage Highlights

    Channel your inner bronze goddess by requesting golden balayage highlights, like Jessica Alba does above—they’ll give your strands a naturally sun-kissed look.

  • red hair
    9 of 16
  • kate mara hair
    10 of 16
    Photo: Donato Sardella/Getty Images
    Rose Gold Ombré

    We’ve been tracking Kate Mara’s hair evolution very carefully, and we have to say that this sleek, rose gold ombré is one of our favorite looks on this natural redhead. “Kate had never colored her hair before going blonde,” de Souza reveals. “It gives her a certain edge!”

  • dirty blonde
    11 of 16
  • kate bosworth hair
    12 of 16
    Photo: JB Lacroix / Getty Images
    Lightening Your Ends

    The lighter version of sombré starts with dark blonde roots and ends with golden, light-reflecting ends.

  • light blonde
    13 of 16
  • gwyneth paltrow
    14 of 16
    Photo: Mike Marsland/Getty
    All-Over Lightening

    If you’re a golden-haired goddess like Stefani, try a lighter, shimmery all-around color update.

  • light blonde
    15 of 16
  • poppy delevingne hair
    Next Slideshow
    16 of 16
    Photo: Karwai Tang/Getty Images
    A Color Gloss

    There’s not much lighter you can go if you’re naturally light blonde. If going all-out platinum isn’t your thing, give your color an update with a sheer gloss instead!


    Thinking of dyeing your own locks at home? Read this first!

Lightening your hair color always results in one of two emotions—exultation or extreme remorse. To help you avoid feeling the latter, we’ve put together the ultimate lightening guide for every shade. So whether your locks are raven-hued or naturally sun-kissed, you can rest assured that your new, lighter ‘do is the most flattering one for you. Plus, we got input from Denis de Souza, Joico’s celeb colorist and It-girl favorite (he’s responsible for Kate Mara’s platinum color transformation), so you know you (and your locks) are in good hands.


Click through the slideshow above and see what new, lighter color you should consider rocking for summer!

Want More? Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter!



Today On: