Ever looked at a gorgeous head of hair and found it hard to describe? Is it blonde, is it brunette, is it a shade no one's ever heard of before? More than likely, that hair color is described as "bronde." Popularized by supermodel Gisele Bündchen back in 2007, this versatile hair color is perfect year-round due to being both low-maintenance and perfect all year round. Mixing the two tones can only enhance one's natural hair color, creating depth and warmth in your hair color. But getting the perfect bronde can be a little difficult. To get there, we've enlisted the expertise of Amy Fish of the Larry King salon; Pureology Artistic Director Jamie Wiley, as well as Jafra Bryant, a freelance colorist.
Bronde is nearly the most universal shade out there—for brunettes who want to go brighter, blondes who want to look less summery, and first-timers who are a little skeptical about jumping in with both feet, it's a perfectly low-commitment color for anyone looking to switch things up. It's like bronzing the hair. Tempted? Keep scrolling for bronde hair inspiration.
Choosing a Shade: Try to keep your highlights on the warmer or neutral undertones end, as opposed to the super ashy end—warmer or more neutral shades tend to fade better and have better longevity and will fade warm.
Maintenance Level: Medium to low. "It tends to have more dimension of dark or brunette within the blonde highlighted piece, making for a less stark grown-out look that still works due to its heavier dimension of color aspect," Bryant explains.
Goes Great With: Soft, gentle makeup—keep your face looking as natural as your hair does.
Price: According to Bryant, "on average to best upkeep, a proper bronde regularly is around $225-$385 and let’s say that’s about every 8-10 weeks." Check with your stylist first.
There are various bronde techniques, including painting chunks of hair all around the head. Some colorists paint only the sections along the face to help brighten the face and make eyes pop.
The key to bronde is to add dimension and depth to your hair color, and the way to that is to add several shades of color. To get perfect, sun-kissed color, your stylist should use at least two different color lifting creams.
To care for your hair color, Fish recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo or, if you can't live without foaming agents, try a shampoo formulated for blonde hair color. We recommend Kerastase Reflection Bain Miroir.
"Don't overuse your silver shampoo," Fish says. "Bronde hair looks better with warmer tones."
While Pinterest shows bronde hair on long, flowing hair, Fish says anyone can pull off the look, no matter their hair length.
"It is best to color hair bronde with the movement of your natural hair texture, or the way you normally wear your hair. It can be worn straight and curly hair can be made bronde, too—you just need to let your colorist know how you usually style your hair during your consultation. Even pixie cuts can support a little piece of bronde."
Priyanka Chopra Jonas
While looking after bronde hair is pretty easy, Fish does recommend a moisturizing treatment to keep hair from becoming brittle.
"It's a low-maintenance hair color, so there's no commitment. I would, however, recommend a gloss shine treatment every six to eight weeks to keep your bronde hair looking the best it can be," she says.
But, if you grow tired of your color, bronde grows out beautifully without looking like you haven't been the salon in months.
"Bronde is most complementary when the tones chosen are similar to the natural tone of your hair," Wiley recommends. "By working with this naturally existing tone, it guarantees that your new bronde finish also complements your natural regrowth, eye and skin tone." The copper tones added along with the brown and blonde colors shown here on these stunning coils only enhance the bronde brilliance.
Depending on how extreme your blonde pieces are in your bronde hair, the most important thing to keep in mind when committing to bronde hair is caring for the highlighted or lightened areas. That requires a great blonde brightening shampoo or silver shampoo. Bryant recommends René Furterer Okara Color Protection Shampoo ($10), a sulfate-free shampoo that will both protect your brightest blonde hair and keep it vibrant and shiny.
With high-end, professional products, a little goes a long way, according to Bryant. "Professional products are highly concentrated, hence their smaller sizes and higher price points—start with a quarter size, then add dime or nickel sizes if needing more, in order to stretch the product and get the most bang for your buck."
Elizabeth's soft bronde ombré is perfect for those who love to let their hair grow out naturally. "Often brunettes struggle with blonding and bayalage services because their regrowth becomes very apparent as it begins to grow in," Wiley explains. "A bronde service can offer that guest the lighter pieces they desire without the maintenance."
The most appealing part of being bronde is that the shade can work on most natural hair colors, if not all of them. Ranging from super dark to brunette to dirty blondes (like seen here) and even redheads, Bronde is basically like trying to replicate what the sun does to your hair in extreme conditions, without having to deal with those extreme conditions.
Would it be a bronde round-up if we didn't feature Khloé? Of course not—after years as a solid brunette, the Good American founder has embraced lighter hues, including this natural-looking bronde with subtle dark roots and gentle blonde highlights. It might be our favorite look yet.
Seen here on Sofia Vergara, it's proof that bronde is a perfect fit for every skin tone. Bryant shares: "As colorists, we have the ability to manipulate the highlights afterward with glosses to create the most flattering tones for the clients' undertones and or preferences." Bronde is what you make it.
Bryant especially recommends bronde colors for curly and wavy-haired folk: "The placement allows the darker shades and balayage blonde pieces to be more equally visible, and work with the rounds and turns of how curls sit as a whole, meaning you will see more all over dimension with this technique."
Ciara has never shied away from any hair color trend, and she's been rocking differing versions of bronde hair forever. Here, her locs have a dark root melting gently into a gorgeous coppery blonde. "If you're starting fresh and have minimal hair color, regardless of how dark, light or curly your hair is, a good place to start on your journey to Bronde is starting just around the face and some through to ends to start a more sunkissed look and to not over-bleach if you're starting from a place with previous color or previous highlights," explains Bryant.
Jamie Chung's white blonde highlights blend beautifully with her dark brown roots. Maintaining a color like this can be tricky, but a shampoo that helps to control warmth not only on the lightest blonde but also on brunettes who struggle with unwanted warmth. Pureology's Strength Cure Blonde will extend your bronde longer than you could imagine.
"If your hair is lighter, your stylist will deepen the root area and sections of your hair to create darker dimension," Wiley describes in regards to naturally blonde Delevingne's deeply blonde bronde shade. In the other direction, if your hair is already dark, subtle dimension can be added to the hair by lightening pieces.
Typically, brondes like Teigen's are predominantly achieved by getting highlights, specifically balayage, so it can be customized to your greatest desire. We love Chrissy's coppery bronde, which feels just as hot and gorgeous as the ashiest of brondes.
Worried about the pricing? "A more subtle bronde highlighting session or keeping to around the face and some ends can get you started in the right direction, it's a little more forgiving financially since it won't have a harsh grow-out line and keeps things from feeling chunky, yet still has a good amount of contrast for visual change," Bryant explains.
Because it works with your naturally existing tones, bronde hair and the application truly is a technique for everyone. Bronde is particularly beneficial for naturally darker tones, as it creates a much more subtle regrowth than a traditional bayalage technique, which can require heavy maintenance.
If you've got stick-straight hair, Bryant has words of advice for you: "If your hair is mostly straight and you don't style it curly/wavy, the highlights could look too spaced out or possibly chunky, depending on the colorist and how they place them." She suggests telling your stylist you're looking for a more spaced out balayage highlight intended to look very beachy, like very sun-kissed surfer hair.
Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin's daughter, Amelia Gray's bronde is beautiful and chic. Make sure you're treating your hair with a nourishing mask full of ingredients that will boost your hair—Christophe Robin's Shade Variation Mask ($53) in Baby Blonde is a purple-tinted treatment mask full of shea butter and sweet almond oil that will have your highlights popping.
Bryant has a piece of advice for anyone looking to jump into a bronde lifestyle: "Depending on how fast your hair grows, it can double your wait time in between highlights—just make sure to keep an open conversation with your colorist for a customized Bronde color that fits your lifestyle and timeline of how often you can or want to come in." Because a bronde hair color is so highly customizable it's key to be open to your stylist's recommendations. There are many ways to achieve a beautiful bronde color, and a good conversation and photos are always a great start.
The brilliant part of bronde hair is that the brunette or darker shades in between the blonde highlighted pieces can share the stage, like this stunning braided look on TV anchor/host Alex Holley. As far as how light to go, suggest that your stylist tries to stick with 1 to 3 levels lighter than where you currently are and keeping the highlight pieces soft to avoid that chunky look. A hand-painted or Balayage approach is a good first introduction. When we talk about "dimensions" in hair, we're talking about this goal-worthy look.
Done in with an ombré effect, this color is a great example of how balayage and foils can pay off immensely. Being that Bronde has so many definitions and can be achieved in multiple ways, this technique really can be tailored to fit each individual hair case to look completely custom to the person while still reading as Bronde. This balayage looks natural, fluid, and effortless.