Looking to change up your hair color? Here, celebrity hairstylists share the 11 best blonde hair colors to try, and how to get them.
As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, it's nearly impossible not to dream of days spent outside, soaking up the sunshine and partaking in all the fun activities to come. But of course before the season officially arrives, you may be looking for ways to switch up your look, too. And if you're like us, few things are as satisfying as adopting a bright new hair color.
Where fall and winter are known to encourage darker manes, spring and summer are all about embracing lighter, brighter hair color ideas. With that in mind, we chatted with celebrity colorists to determine the 11 best blonde hair color ideas. Check them out, below.
Over recent years, A-listers like Beyoncé and Khloé Kardashian have made money pieces popular. "[It's] an easy and fun way to add a little extra spice to your hair," says master colorist Sharon Dorram of Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger. "It involves taking the front, face-framing pieces of hair and dying them a different color than the rest of the head."
According to the hair pro, the most popular money pieces now are platinum blonde, though bright and unexpected hues, such as neon pink, are becoming more common.
"To get this look, ask your stylist to dye the contrasting face-framing strands a different color," Dorram says. One more thing: Celebrity hair colorist and L'Oréal Paris ambassador Jonathan Colombini points out that money pieces look best with high contrast. So, when choosing your color, make sure it's at least a few shades off from the rest of your hair.
A forever favorite, platinum blonde is the lightest shade on the blonde spectrum. To achieve it, celebrity hair colorist Rita Hazan says that bleach and patience are key.
"To be this light, you must bleach your natural hair," she says. "Any texture and hair type can bleach their hair, but over time, it is very damaging." The reason is that bleach removes your hair's natural pigment, which is how it transforms it into a near-white shade.
"[After bleaching,] use a toner to get the exact tone you want — from super white to beige," Hazan says, adding that it may take a few sessions to get the perfect color. Once it's there, celebrity colorist and Color Wow brand ambassador Bradley Leake reminds us that platinum blonde is a high-maintenance hair color that requires frequent touch-ups. "It often pairs best with a dirty root to create a transition between your skin and hair," he shares, noting that opting for a darker root will help stretch the time between appointments.
Similar to platinum blonde, vanilla blonde is a very light and bright hue with a neutral richness to it. "It's always a chic choice, and all textures can experience this tone depending of course on the suitability with their skin tone and complexion," says Richy Kandasamy, a colorist and R+Co Collective Member.
Before booking an appointment, Kandasamy recommends having a thorough consultation with your colorist to determine if your goal hair color is complementary to your skin tone, complexion, and eye level.
Think: Classic beach babe blonde. "A sun-kissed beach blonde will always be a go-to summer color inspiration in my book," says celebrity colorist and dpHue co-founder Justin Anderson. "Just a hint of a natural root and bright locks to the ends." As with platinum and lighter blonde shades, however, it's not always a one-and-done dye job and may take a second session to achieve.
To tailor the color to yourself, Leake says to bring a picture of Barbie blonde and ask your stylist to customize it to blend with your hair texture and skin tone. "Be sure to tell your stylist that you're aiming to look luminous, and sun-kissed," he adds.
Buttercream blonde is less about dimension and more about a bright, creamy all-over hair color. "It's a great shade for those with a slightly darker natural hair color because you don't need to lighten your hair to absolute platinum to get this look," says celebrity colorist Alex Brownsell, who is the co-founder and creative director of Bleach London.
The key to nailing this warm, bright shade is to have your colorist tone it to perfection. "If you're heading to the salon, ask your stylist for a neutral blonde with warm undertones — this will make it look super creamy and natural without any brassiness," she says.
A bit softer than buttercream blonde, soft blonde is characterized by a bright white base with a hint of cream, Garnier celebrity hair colorist Nikki Lee, of Nine Zero One Salon, says.
To recreate the look, Lee says to ask your colorist for a "heavy high lite, tipped solid blonde ends, and a base break to keep root blended with highlights." However, since all colorists have a slightly different idea of what that may mean, she recommends bringing pictures for backup.
Also known as strawberry blonde or peachy blonde, copper blonde is a high-ranking hue for a several colorists InStyle spoke with.
Dorram says this peachy blonde is a warm blonde with reddish-orange hues blended in. Best of all, it can be tailored based on your skin tone and hair type, so it's a blonde hair color idea that works for anyone. "Even if you are starting with a brunette base, the hair doesn't have to be toned to an icier blonde to get the correct color," Dorram adds. "Since it's on the warmer side, those with more yellow or golden tones can achieve this color."
As for how to achieve it, Brownsell, who is also a big fan of the copper-tinted blonde hair color, says to ask your stylist for "a warm, balanced blonde with a dash of copper color."
No, it's not a typo.
If you're not ready to go full blonde but want to get in on the sun-kissed hair trend, Leake recommends this perfect 'in between' for blonde and brunette. Anderson agrees, noting that "It's an effortless, but dimensional look that can suit so many complexions."
Best of all, it's low-maintenance. That said, Dorram says it works best on brunettes looking to go blonder. "While I love this color on all hair types, this color works best for those that are natural brunettes since their darker roots can easily blend in," she explains. "If you're a natural blonde, you'll have to add in some brunette highlights to deepen the color."
Either way, she says the best way to achieve the blonde hair color idea is to ask your colorist for a balayage with a mix of brunette and blonde shades, along with a shadow root.
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Also referred to as honey blonde, golden blonde exudes warmth without being as light and bright as buttercream. "This is a really good pick for anyone with naturally darker hair to start transitioning to blonde," Brownsell says.
To score the look, she says to ask your stylist for an all-over golden blonde. "Or try a soft, hand-painted balayage — they're calling it frosting now," she suggests. However, if you want to gradually ease into this blonde, ask for face-framing highlights in this shade.
Almost iridescent, pearl blonde looks straight out of a fairytale. "With shimmering pinky-purple undertones that look stunning when they catch the light, this is a unique twist on silvery blonde," Brownsell says. "It's perfect for anyone who wants a blonde shade that's hard to pin down: Is it pink? Is it silver? Is it blonde? It's pearl!"
Like platinum, though, your hair will have to be very, very light to achieve the look. "Be prepared to have your hair lightened to a very pale yellow for this one," Brownsell says. "If your stylist says that's possible for you, ask them for an even, icy blonde base — no yellows — finished with a sheen of iridescent pearl."
If you like the idea of super blonde hair, but aren't looking for an iridescent finish or to go full platinum, Colombini recommends opting for an icy blonde. "This shade reminds me of that surfer girl who lives and breathes the beach, or doesn't, but wants the look of it," he says. "It gives you cooler tones and neutral tones and looks best on fine to medium texture hair with natural wave or completely straight."
That said, Brownsell says it looks great on extremely close-cropped hairstyles, too. To get the look, she suggests starting with a consultation. "You need an incredibly light blonde base for this icy look, so if your stylist says that's achievable for your hair, ask them for a bright, white blonde without any hints of warmth left over," she says.