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At-home hair color can be a quick and easy solution, but of all the colors out there, blonde can be the trickiest to DIY. Generally speaking, if your natural hue is super dark, and/or you’re looking to achieve a super light (think platinum) end result, it’s best to save the blonding process for the pros. That being said, if you want to brighten or tweak your existing blonde, or aren’t making a crazy color transition, go ahead and take matters into your own hands.
The secret to success? Seek out products that come in a variety of hues so that you can find the most flattering shade for you; as any blonde will tell you, not all blondes are created equal. Warmer tones (think golden, honey, even butterscotch hues) are choice for warmer complexions, while cooler shader (ash, wheat) are particularly pretty on those with cooler complexions. Also important: Finding formulas with nourishing and hydrating ingredients built-in, since coloring your hair, and lightening it in particular, can be drying and damaging.
Ahead, the best blonde hair dyes that check all of our boxes. Try them out and see for yourself if blondes really do have more fun.
Best Overall: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Permanent Hair Color Crème
No matter whether you want to conceal tell-tale dark roots, blend in some grays, or score an entirely new color, this guy can do it all. It comes in 45 shades, including a nice mix of five blonde options, and is also packed with moisturizing ingredients. Namely, avocado, olive, and shea oils, as well as separate ampoule of grapeseed oil and an ultra-hydrating conditioner to use immediately post-coloring. Soft, shiny, blonde hair here you come.
Best Permanent Color: Madison Reed Permanent Hair Color
With 11 blonde shades to choose from, there’s something to fit every preference here, no matter whether you want a light and icy blonde, a medium beige blonde, or a rich caramel blonde. Each of the shades is multi-tonal and dimensional (read: appears completely natural) and is ammonia- and PPD-free. We also appreciate that the brand has a money-back guarantee; if for some reason you don’t love your color, they’ll refund you completely.
Best Semi-Permanent Color: Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color
If you’re not exactly sure of which shade of blonde you’re going for, or just don’t like to commit to color, a semi-permanent option is the way to go. Unlike permanent color, these formulas fade out gradually every time you shampoo. Our go-to in this category lasts up to 28 washes and works in just 10 minutes. Not to mention that it’s also made with 80% naturally-derived ingredients, including good-for-your strands coconut and aloe.
Best for Highlights: dpHue Blonding Brush
Highlights are a very tricky technique to master (read: you probably should leave it up to the pros), but you can easily score a similar effect with this mistake-proof solution. Lemon juice plus hydrogen peroxide in the formula work to slightly lighten your strands, while the brush tip makes it easy to apply on targeted spots to create that highlight effect. (It’s also infused with purple pigments to counteract brassiness and keep your blonde bright.) Work it onto either damp or dry hair; it’s heat-activated, so you can either hit it with a blow-dryer or let it do its thing naturally once you go out in the sun. Just FYI, this is meant for those who are already blonde, so don’t try it if you’re a brunette.
Best Drugstore: L’Oréal Fade-Defying Shine Permanent Color
Despite the fact that this product has been around since 1973, it remains an at-home hair color staple, particularly for blondes. There are, wait for it, 17 different blonde tones to choose from, ranging from pale platinum to strawberry blonde to even a trendy lilac blonde. It also comes with a conditioner meets shine serum hybrid that imparts mirror-like shine from root to tip. Plus, the color is fade-resistant, so it stays exactly the same for up to eight weeks.
Best for Damaged Hair: Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color
If years of coloring have taken a toll on your hair, it’s more important than ever to make sure that every time you do color, it’s with a gentle, nourishing product. Enter this newbie. It earns big points for being ammonia-, alcohol-, and silicone-free; it also doesn’t contain PPD, a common ingredient in many permanent hair color formulas that can cause some seriously problematic allergic reactions. What it does contain is a plethora of good-for-your hair ingredients. We’re talking strengthening oat milk and soy protein, as well as mega-moisturizing argan oil.
Best Custom Color: L’Oréal Color & Co
Like we said, going blonde can be tricky, and finding the most flattering shade for you can make all the difference. Enter the beauty of this personalized option, which combines in-salon expertise with the ease of at-home coloring. How it works: You start with a live video consult, where you’ll chat with a pro about your color goals. That colorist then blends up a color completely customized just for you that’s sent directly to your door, along with personalized application instructions. Also nice: The brand has both permanent and demi-permanent formulas.
Best for Gray Coverage: Revlon Total Color
So yes, grays may not necessarily be as noticeable on blondes as they are on brunettes, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never want to hide some silver strands. For that purpose, this recent addition to the hair color scene (which comes in five blonde variations) is choice. It boasts 100% gray coverage, even on super stubborn grays, lasts up to six weeks, and also has the added benefit of being ammonia-free to minimize damage.
Best Shampoo: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo
Both DIY hair color beginners and those just looking for a super subtle change will appreciate this lightening shampoo. It works gradually, brightening and lightening your base color to make it look naturally sun-kissed each time you suds up. Credit citrus and chamomile extracts; the formula is free of both ammonia and peroxide, making it very gentle. Plus, it works on all shades of natural, color-treated, and highlighted blonde.
Best Bleaching Kit: Good Dye Young Hair Lightening Kit
If you’re trying to achieve a super light blonde or are trying to go blonde so that you can then add in a rainbow-inspired color (think trendy pinks and purples), you’re going to need some heavy lifting and lightening. For that, you need a dedicated hair bleaching product. We like that this one is not only super effective but is also packed with ingredients to minimize the damage that inevitably comes with this kind of intense lightening. Namely, conditioning coconut oil and strengthening soy proteins mixed into the formula.
Best for Sensitive Scalps: Cristophe Robin Temporary Color Gel
Hair color can be a real issue for those with easily-irritated scalps. Happily, this offers a great solution. It’s free of the most common irritants (ammonia, peroxide, PPD), and was even dermatologically-tested on people with sensitive scalps and caused no issues. While it won’t actually lighten your hair, the two blonde shades work great to touch-up roots or blend away grays on an already blonde base.
Best for Maintenance: Amika Blonde Maintenance Bust Your Brass Starter Kit
Once you’ve scored your coveted hue, maintaining it is super important. Blonde hair can require a bit more TLC and upkeep, which is why we appreciate that this kit makes that potentially annoying process easier than ever. You get a purple-based shampoo and conditioner combo, choice for counteracting those unwanted, yellow-y, orange tones that can make blonde look dull and dingy, along with a dry shampoo and shine cream. The products are also packed with strengthening, smoothing, and shine-enhancing ingredients, all meant to maintain the integrity of both your color and the health of your hair.