There are only a couple of hair colors that can be described as universally flattering. To us, those are platinum blonde (surprising, we know) and honey-colored. For some reason, these two shades seem to fit every single person who wears them. Other colors, however, look better or worse depending on each person's unique skin tone.
When we say honey-colored hair, we mean honey blonde or honey brown—either variation that incorporates the creamy, golden hue of honey. "Honey brown hair is a warm golden brunette, which can be created in varying levels of brightness and depth, that add dimension and life to the hair," Christine Silverman at Ramirez Tran Salon says.
Honey is what gives the color warmth and richness, Ben Matat at Mure Salon says, and because of this, there will often be a red or orange undertone to the hair. "We have to make sure that the client understands that because when they go out in the sun, or when they see it in the light, they may see some red pigmentation or orange pigmentation or yellow pigmentation," he says. "So they have to make sure that they are okay with that."
Silverman is quick to advise that those with naturally light or blonde hair never go for anything darker as the upkeep will be grueling, but Matat says as long as you're emotionally ready for the change, and it works with your lifestyle, anything is possible as long as you're willing to go in for regular touch-ups.
It mostly depends on the tones you would like to end up with, as well as your target version of "honey" as everyone sees color differently, To get the look in general, Silverman says, "I paint highlights throughout the client's hair to add in dimension and overlay a shine-infusing gloss to meld the lighter and darker canvas, which creates my final global look."
Maybe it's because it looks bright and youthful or maybe it's because it brings natural-looking warmth to the hair. Either way, we're convinced that honey-colored hair is the most photogenic.
Yep, it's official. We called it. Keep scrolling to see all the proof you need.
Choosing a Shade: Silverman personally believes that warm tones look good on just about everyone, and "the level of warmth is what you would want to tweak in accordance with skin tone—some people can carry off more warmth than others depending on levels of red or pink undertones in the skin."
Maintenance Level: "If one practices proper at-home haircare, and gets regular in-salon glosses, this is a low maintenance color with highlights as minimal as 1-2 times yearly." Silverman says. Though, it does depend on your starting point. If you have grey hair, go in for a touch up every 4-6 weeks, Matat says. For naturally brown hair, go in every 3 months. If you have naturally light or blonde hair, go in every 6-8 weeks.
Goes Great With: Anything really. Try a glossy pink lip and a smokey eye for a makeup look that'll still pop against a warmer hair color.
Price: If you're blonde going honey brown, expect to pay at least $210 for priming and color. If you're brunette, it'll be around $105, though it depends on individual salon mandates.
Josephine Skriver's Waves
Victoria's Secret model Josephine Skriver is another celeb who immediately comes to mind when we think of honey-brown hair. She often wears her tresses in loose waves, which is right on-brand with her Victoria's Secret background.
Gigi Hadid's Bronzed Highlights
Gigi Hadid cycles between bright blonde and muted brunette. This photo, which was taken while she was traveling in Greece, shows her subtle honey highlights.
Getting and maintaining a hair color requires work from the colorist but also the client. Your colorist should tell you what type of maintenance you'll need, whether it be weekly moisturizing masks, a glossing treatment, or more frequent touch-up appointments.
Jessica Alba's Sleek Color
Jessica Alba's honey-brown hair is always sleek and shiny. We recommend using a product like Sachajuan Shine Serum ($33) for a similar result.
Sarah Hyland's Ombré
One of our favorite hair looks by Sarah Hyland is this one, in which she wore her seamless honey-brown ombré strands tied up in a soft half-up, half-down hairstyle.
Sarah Jessica Parker;s Iconic Gold
Sarah Jessica Parker's hair has been a similar golden shade since the days of Sex and the City. If it's good enough for Carrie Bradshaw then it's good enough for us.
Chrissy Teigen's Mixed Brunette
Chrissy Teigen's warm-toned locks bring out the golden tones in her skin, which makes her look bright and radiant. Silverman says, "She occasionally moves more to the blonde end of the spectrum, but consistently has beautiful warm golden tones in her brunette."
Olivia Palermo's Balayage
This iteration of Olivia Palermo's hair is darker than it's been in a while, but it still fits the honey-brown category thanks to super-subtle balayage highlights.
Try to avoid sulfates and frequent heat styling, Silverman says. Also, wear hats in the sunshine, and use proper professional products to maintain your color, hair health, and tone.
Beachy Waves like Shenae Grimes-Beech
She's now a deep brunette with streaks of pink, but if you scroll back a bit you'll find the actress offers the most perfect honey brown inspiration. Her beachy waves are to die for, which is achievable with a sea salt spray like Sachajuan’s Ocean Mist ($34).
Jourdan Dunn's Illuminated Bob
We have one word and one word only for Jourdan Dunn's monochromatic lob: illuminated. Her strands are so sleek and shiny that they look like they're lit from within.
Rashida Jones's Caramel Cut
Rashida Jones paired her famous bangs with sleek, shoulder-length strands at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Her bangs are dark, which emboldens the look of her hair's ombré color transition.
Tia Mowry's Balayage Highlights
Tia Mowry regularly experiments by painting golden highlights in her naturally dark hair. We're partial to this pretty balayage.
Vanessa Hudgens's Honey Lob
Vanessa Hudgens switches up her style like we do our daily makeup looks. This shoulder-length, honey-brown lob will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Alexa Chung's Effortless Waves
Chung's hair could easily be described as chestnut, but she also falls on the honey brown spectrum. There are these really gorgeous highlights woven throughout her effortless waves.
Retta's Amazing Curls
We highly recommend Good Girls (FYI Retta stars in it) not only for its comedic timing and highly-insane feminist plotline but for another glimpse at Retta's amazing honey brown curls. She's moved between a blonde and brunette look over the seasons, but this honey-hued tone is a winner all around.
This Honey Shag
Honey brown isn't just popular amongst celebs. Tabitha Dueñas at Nine Zero One Salon in LA created the most stunning blend and bright bronze shades.
Polished Highlights like Jessica Biel
We'll end the list with Jessica Biel and her perfectly polished honey-brown waves. Look closely and you'll see that her highlights are evenly dispersed across the top layer of her hair for a naturally sun-kissed effect.