Confession time: I never associated strawberry-blonde hair with, well, grown-ups. As a former strawberry-blonde child whose locks gradually turned dark brown as I got older, I always thought of strawberry-blonde as a "transition" hue—for toddlers or those whose hair colors haven't fully developed into their final form.
Well, I can admit when I'm wrong—and I'm pleased to announce that strawberry-blonde hair is officially all grown up. Whether you're a natural redhead, a blonde from birth, or none of the above, the below strawberry-blonde looks are anything but kid-like. (Yep—years later, and I'm suddenly inspired to return to the strawberry-blonde tresses of my youth). We asked the experts all about this hue and how to maintain its sweet color.
Meet the Expert
- George Papanikolas is a hairstylist, colorist, and Matrix Brand Ambassador.
- Monaé Everett is a celebrity hairstylist, author, and speaker with over 18 years of experience in the beauty industry. She is the creator of "The Monaé Life Academy" and the Texture Style Awards, the first hair competition of its kind, celebrating all four hair textures.
Below, find 30 strawberry-blonde hairstyles that'll make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about the hue.
Sexy Beach Waves
We're always suckers for tousled beach waves—especially where balayage is involved. This sunrise strawberry-blonde situation features extra-saturated ends for next-level coolness and a vibrant mix of red and orange hues throughout.
This multidimensional mane faintly blends light variations of blonde and strawberry blonde. With lighter, face-framing highlights contrasting against more vibrant, apricot throughout, this style is basically what our subtle strawberry-blonde dreams are made of.
Who invited Donna from That '70s Show? With Farrah Fawcett-esque, layered bangs, and an of-the-moment strawberry-blonde shade, this look is truly giving us life.
Light & Fresh
A lesson in subtlety: You might just miss the cool, red roots if you're not looking closely. This strawberry-blonde hue and lightweight cut are totally fresh.
Sexy & Tousled
The sexy bedhead of our dreams—with a side of strawberry-blonde. We're obsessed with these tousled curls and the cool, trendy color to match.
"Always remember to work with a healthy head of hair before lightening," says Everett. "Once you lighten your hair, you can never make the hair healthier than its starting (health) point."
A shiny, dreamy apricot shade feels fresh year-round. (Want your hair this shiny? Get our best DIY tips.
No upcoming vacation in the books? Get the second-best thing: hair that looks like you just made a trip to the beach. Bright, blonde highlights will make it look like you just spent hours in the sun.
Papanikolas says that strawberry blonde highlights can work with any shade, but ideally it "looks good on warmer hair colors to give it harmony."
"If your hair is naturally ashy, then lifting it one to two shades first will bring out the underlying warm and balance out the strawberry highlights," he says.
This sweet-as-a-peach strawberry-blonde color has us dreaming of summer beach days with a drink in our hand.
We always go gaga for chic layered bobs—and this style is no different. But TBH, what we love the most about this look is the bright, face-framing highlights accompanied by a warm, strawberry-blonde hue all over.
All the Volume
How gorgeous are these voluminous curls? The good news is you can take your natural, bouncy curls to the next level too—spiral perms are back, too—with multifaceted strawberry-blonde highlights throughout.
Looking to jazz up your usual braids? Switch things up with some strawberry-blonde strands. According to Papanikolas, if you are brunette or dark blonde, your colorist will lift you to the desired strawberry tone during the lightening process.
"This keeps the maintenance low. If they bleach past this tone, then you will require toners to maintain the strawberry hue—most toners last about 20 shampoos, so glosses will need to be refreshed about every four to six weeks," he says.
Long & Silky
Long, color-treated hair that actually looks healthy? Yes, it's possible—and we can't stop staring at these silky locks with a stunning strawberry-blonde base and highlights. Everett has her own formula for achieving this color:
"For strawberry blonde hair my go-to is a combination Biolage Color Balm in Clear and Biolage Color Balm in Saffron Red. I mix a 2/3 Clear and 1/3 Saffron Red, and it creates a gorgeous strawberry blonde," says Everett. "I love its conditioning properties and the fact that the color shampoos out over time."
Who knew creamsicle colors could look this chic? This strawberry-blonde blend is everything our bold, beauty risk-taking side could ask for.
Make those bright strawberry-blonde highlights pop with darker, shady lowlights throughout. (And those gorgeous, tousled, next-day waves? We've got a guide for that.)
Any hairstyle that requires fewer salon visits and touch-ups is a "yes" for this busy bee. Here, we learn gray roots against allover strawberry blonde is a surprisingly chic (and, presumably, cost-efficient) combination.
Shades of Copper
Make the chop with a blunt-end bob—and go for a warm copper tone with strawberry-blonde highlights if you're feeling even more daring.
Adding a wave to the hair helps show off dimension, and a texture spray like Matrix Miss Mess Dry Finishing Spray ($20) gives touchable, piecey texture.
Bangs are having a major moment right now, and we can't get enough of the trend. This blunt fringe is no exception, especially because strawberry-blonde highlights are involved.
Hair-color changes are always intimidating, but one thing's for sure: A fiery, saturated strawberry-blonde hue is ultra-cool and surprisingly flattering.
Lots of Lightness
Brighten things up with a strawberry-blonde base color featuring lots (and lots!) of light-blonde highlights throughout.
Bright & Fresh
Don't be afraid to go for the bold—aka, borderline neon. We're all about bright hair colors always, but there's something about this strawberry-blonde blend that's extra dreamy (and making us want to call our colorists right this second).
If you're suddenly feeling the urge to chop your hair off, you're not alone. This strawberry-blonde bob with tousled layers is goals.
If your natural color is feeling stale, freshen things up with a bold new hue. This all-over deep strawberry-blonde shade has lots of copper and auburn for a warm, flawless finished product.
These beautiful, bouncy curls are made even more gorgeous with subtly tinted strawberry blonde highlights throughout. According to Everett, when coloring your hair, you should expect to touch up the color every other month.
"When your hair has been lightened, it will begin to pick up yellow and orange (warmer tones) as time goes on. When your hair has been darkened, the tone will fade and lighten," she says. "Conditioning Color Balms are perfect for keeping the tone you desire."
Add a touch of spice with ginger-topped, bouncy curls. (Getting curl envy, too? Find our best tips for getting this kind of next-level volume).
According to Papanikolas, if your colorist lifts your highlights to the perfect strawberry color, then it's important to use conditioning products to keep the hair soft and strong after chemical lightening. "If your colorist needs to use a toner, then it’s important to even out the porosity so that your toner will not only last but also adhere evenly to the hair."
If you're feeling seriously daring, take things platinum. These bright, strawberry-blonde cornrows might just be the major hair moment you're looking for.
Rose gold, rosé, or strawberry blonde? Whatever you want to call it—soft pink highlights are always a blonde's best friend.
There's nothing like a good balayage—especially when the hair is this stunning to start with. This dark strawberry-blonde hue is simultaneously saturated and subtly natural-looking. (It's the best of both worlds).
Mimosas, anyone? This chic, choppy mane has hints of peach and champagne, too, for a final product with both warm and cool tones. The bottom line: Strawberry blondes definitely have more fun.