It doesn't take a blonde to know that there are endless shades of blonde out there. We're talking strawberry blonde, dirty blonde, bronde, platinum blonde, honey blonde, and even brown hair with blonde highlights. If you're thinking about going blonde or brightening up your natural color but find yourself feeling stressed about what shade to go for and how high maintenance it can be, we're here to lay it all out on the line. Below, find inspiration for all the various shades of blonde hair along with tips for ensuring a beautiful, healthy outcome.
Going for a more natural blonde hair vibe like Sveta Utkina? Opt for highlights instead of an all-over color, and ask your colorist to paint in a couple of different shades for added dimension.
Blonde Highlights and Lowlights
Hair that is just one color can be too monochromatic for those craving more dimension. Make like Polina Frantsena and mix in lowlights and highlights for natural-looking definition. And, consider the balayage technique, which is painted in, versus foiling (which requires actively sectioning off the hair and strategically placing color).
Highlighting Natural Blonde
When getting your hair colored, consider what base you're starting out with. Naturally blonde hair—even dirty blonde like Beth Ostrosky Stern's—is the perfect base for highlights. If you don't have naturally blonde hair, you may have to become blonde first. Those with dark hair may have to make two trips to the salon, once for bleaching and again for color.
The Beauty of Bronde
Jennifer Aniston's signature face-framing layers aren't the only thing we lust over—she consistently rocks varied shades of blonde even though she's a natural brunette. A term coined bronde (which means a hair color somewhere in between blonde and brunette) is the ideal option for light brown hair who crave some brightness.
Ombré Blonde and Brown
An ombré hair color is a go-to for brunettes who want to go lighter without going all-over blonde, like Whitney Port. Coined from the French word meaning "shaded like a gradient," ombre involves keeping the roots dark while the rest of the hair becomes lighter mid-shaft.
Tips for Going Blonde
- Consider the process. Between single-process, highlights, or single-process with added highlights, you have options. Single-process color tends to be more affordable than highlights but will appear much more monochromatic.
- Get regular touch-ups. Due to root growth, all-over coloring will need to be touched up every four to eight weeks. Highlights, on the other hand, can last up to two or three months, depending on what kind you get.
- Protect your blonde. As blonde hair is more susceptible to damage caused by chlorine and the sun, it's imperative that you protect your blonde hair color to keep it from from fading and getting brassy. Use a blonde-specific shampoo, keep it covered when in the sun, and be wary of heat styling.