Fun fact: It’s only a common misconception that “white blonde” is synonymous with “platinum.” (Of course, this is likely common knowledge to veteran hairstylists and colorists—but even as a beauty writer, I had to ask an expert for the answer. Information regarding the differences between the two is scant online!)
“The difference is is that platinum blonde typically show hues of warmth,” says Jaz España, colorist & extension specialist at BlackStones Salon. “While white blonde has far fewer signs of warmth, reflecting cooler tones and icy hues.”
Now that that's out of the way, it’s safe to say we'll be using the term “white blonde” more often—and you might be too, especially after you see the inspiration below. But remember: A color like this requires maintenance after you leave the salon chair, so read on before you dial up your colorist. Ahead, 25 of our favorite ways to wear the white blonde hair trend.
Depending on your natural hair color, there’s a good chance you’ll be lightening by more than two shades. The best way to achieve the look is via double process (your colorist will bleach your hair first to neutralize your natural hues, then add pigment to give you the desired shade and dimension). Of course, you should leave the coloring to the pros—but a sleek, easy-to-style bob will make everyday styling a breeze.
Contrasting roots is one of the biggest hair trends for 2020, and this style adds an even cooler edge to the look with “money pieces” in the front (perfect for experimenting with if you’re big into ponytails and updos). The bright-white hue is finished off with smooth, blunt ends for a spectacular finished product. We approve.
We love the look of white-blonde hair on a warmer skin tone. And if you’re worried about making your eyebrows match? Don’t. According to brow stylist Joey Healy, you might need to lighten your brows a shade or two, but overall, it’s recommended to leave your brows natural (even dyeing your brows lighter is a visual adjustment that can take some getting used to).
Soft to the Touch
You know you’re putting your hair through the ringer when you make a big color change—but that certainly doesn’t mean you should expect fried, damaged hair at the end. Even though this style took several sessions with a colorist to perfect (including bleaching and toning), you’d never be able to tell by how soft it looks—your colorist should use treatments during the process (like hair professional-favorite Wella hair cream), and you can also maintain the health of your locks with frequent deep conditioning masks.
Sleek & Straight
If you’re going for an allover icy-blonde color, you might as well show it off. And nothing complements a bold new hue more than a sleek, straight style. (Just make sure you have a great hair straightener in your toolkit.)
Piecey Long Bob
Depending on your natural shade and texture, your colorist can use a few techniques to attain your perfect white-blonde shade. This gorgeous, piecey style was achieved with the AirTouch technique—aka, a way to distribute the color evenly using tension and a blow dryer. Pretty cool, right?
Again, bleaching or lightening your hair to an extent doesn’t necessarily equate to a death sentence for your strands. Keep your new locks soft, shiny, and healthy by regularly using deep-conditioning masks and other creamy smoothing formulas—especially when you’re using hot tools on the regular.
Add Some Bangs
If you’re a hair-dye novice, it can be easier to start with a shorter style like a sleek bob: It’s less maintenance, and we love the way the darker roots add contrast here. Of course, the middle-parted, face-framing bangs are major too.
No, you’re not the only one getting major Marilyn Monroe vibes here. A curled, white-blonde bob will have you serving 1950s-movie-star-realness. And what’s not to love about that?
Nervous about taking the plunge into full-on white-blonde? (We know, it’s a little intimidating.) Ease into the trend by trying an ombré style that’s slightly darker and ashier at the top and pure, icy perfection on the ends. (Find more blonde ombré inspo here.)
Tousled & Textured
If you’re looking for something slightly subtle and natural-looking, try a balayage style with major dimension. Bouncy, tousled waves will bring out the bright-white highlights and any other rich hues underneath.
If you have naturally blonde hair and you’re feeling bored, going white-blonde is a great way to get out of your comfort zone while staying true to your roots (no pun intended). Of course, anything lighter than your natural color will require maintenance and root touch-ups, but we love the dimension the darker roots add to her long, luxe tresses.
When the white is so bright it looks silvery and metallic, your colorist is a pro. For drastically color-treated blonde hair, the experts swear by Olaplex products—so you can make sure your locks stay as healthy and fresh as these ones.
For a more natural-looking final product, ask your colorist for icy babylights. (Babylights are delicate highlights achieved with a fine color technique.) With darker, rich undertones, you’ll see warmth while still getting in on the white-blonde trend. Win-win.
Lose the Length
If you’ve experienced damage (or emotional scarring) from previous bad dye jobs, it may be time for a fresh start. (Working with existing color on dry, dead ends is a tall order for even the most experienced colorists.) Move on from your old dye job by losing the length and growing out your natural color—then, hit the salon chair for your new white-blonde ‘do.
Love a dirty-blonde moment? Take the shade to the next level with snowy highlights throughout. And accessorize with a cute, on-trend barrette for bonus points.
Icy Beach Waves
Combining warmth with ice-cold highlights is the best of both worlds. And if you finish it off with soft, touchable waves, you’ll really feel like you’re at the beach—just make sure you have a good, non-stick beach spray for styling after you leave the salon.
Long Balayage Bob
Like we previously mentioned, white-blonde hair is defined by its cool, icy tones, rather than warm yellows found in platinum and other blonde shades. You can heat (and soften) it up with a side part and a long, tousled bob.
We totally understand if you’re a little intimidated to go full-on white-blond, which is why we love the idea of sprinkling in icy highlights on an otherwise natural blonde. An edgy, angular cut complements the coloring perfectly.
We know, we know, it’s a little unfair—there’s a lot of maintenance required for white-blonde hair. (It’s worth it, we promise!) But if you’re not into the idea of regular salon visits or root touch-ups, simply keep your roots dark and go icy on the ends. It’ll look intentional when it grows out.
Short & Chic
Yes, a color like white-blonde requires the right care and products, but your style doesn’t have to—especially if you have a naturally relaxed hair texture. If you’re worried about the work involved with your new hue, it’s a good idea to choose an easy, effortless cut that’s low-maintenance enough for your lifestyle—so you can focus your hair budget and energy on preserving your color instead.
The devil is in the details, and it’s all about dimension when you go for white-blonde hair. Ask your colorist for balayage and lowlights if you love the idea of something slightly warmer and more eye-catching than allover white.
Oh, how we love an icy-blonde bob moment. With soft, blunt ends and a rich allover color, you won’t be able to walk down the street without turning heads. (That’s a good thing.)
Tied With a Bow
A color that’s ultra-cool and bright deserves a perfect style to match. Add layers and bangs to soften it up—and you’ll love the way your favorite hair accessories (like cute-AF bows) pop against your white-hot hue.