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Everything You Need to Know About Blonde Highlights, Plus 50 Looks

Ever wonder what the best blonde highlights for light hair, brunette hair or black hair are? We’ve gathered the facts about blonde highlights, along with 50 inspo photos to inspire your next salon visit.

Blonde makes everything better—at least, that’s what we like to believe. The happy shade brings summer into every room while simultaneously brightening the complexion. Although your friends might inquire, you did not get really toned, have a facial done, or start using a new moisturizer at night.

What you did do is get blonde highlights.

Do blonde highlights look good? Well, they’ll add a new swagger to your step, taking your hair color from barely there to full-on beautiful, whether they’re ash blonde or mushroom blonde—so trust us, these highlights are a smart, gorgeous move.

Whatever your shade, we’ve handpicked a blonde highlight hue that will work with what you’ve already got going on!

What type of blonde highlights should I get?

Blonde is a bubbly, versatile color with a range of techniques for creating highlights. This makes it perfect for complimenting a range of skin tones, hair colors and hair types. No matter what you look like, there’s a style that’ll bring out your best.

We’ll take you through 50—yes 50, different looks for blonde highlights and give you tips on what to ask your stylist for, plus what to consider in terms of maintaining your new look.

Full head of highlights

Pretty much what it says—color is applied to sections across your entire head. Traditionally this method uses foils to separate the sections being bleached, but there’s a few other new techniques a professional colorist might suggest.

Half head of highlights

These highlights are normally spread over the crown and side, and usually the top layer of hair. A half-head is usually recommended for those with shorter or finer hair.


Babylights are when the superfine strands of your hair are colored. This technique makes the hair appear multi-dimensional because the gentle wisps of color are so micro, they’ll have everyone thinking you were born with it.


A hugely popular look, balayage is where color is painted on with a brush and paddle board to create natural, sun-kissed looking highs and lows—giving the hair beautiful dimension.

Root stretch

Root stretching is a fun and easy style trick to give your look some extra texture and volume. This is done by painting on the color first as with normal root touch up, then weaving out sections of the hair to “stretch” the root color around a quarter, or even halfway down the hair.


The clue’s in the name—bronde is the perfect merge of blonde and brunette shades, ideal for dark-haired clients wanting to go lighter.


French for tortoiseshell, this is a more caramel, golden blonde highlight application where lighter colors are mixed with darker shades of honey, amber, and chocolate brown.

The Best Blonde Highlights for Light Hair

Good hair day by @jruby_lorealpro

Silver White

Silver is the extra-cool cousin of standard blonde, making every hairstyle seem a little more upscale. If you’re looking for a hair color that says high class without dropping the big bucks for it, silver’s the way to go.

Good hair day by @hairby.chas

Ice Blonde

If you’re looking for a way to elevate light blonde or brown-tinted tones, platinum is a great idea. Based on the beauty mistakes we made in the early ‘00s, however, be sure you’re asking your stylist to really blend the streaks evenly throughout the hair. Nobody wants to deal with accidental stripes. Don’t forget to invest in a good purple shampoo like Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo to keep locks looking bright!

Good hair day by @hairhousevasa

Ash Blonde

Frosty and ashy blondes often have trouble keeping their color from reading as one-note. It makes sense: Ash is matte and neutral by design. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no way to add nuance or dress it up.

Good hair day by @chelseahaircutters

Sunny Blonde

Sunny highlights might be calling your name. On ashy hair or dark blonde, sandy looks sophisticated and subtle. If you’re really looking to mix it up, try sandy hair as an ombre with dark chocolate or caramel hair—the look is flattering while still feeling very youthful.

Good hair day by @lorealpro

Natural Blonde

An unspoken truth of the hair coloring world is that not everyone is seeking the trendiest, most dramatic shade on the market. In a salon full of girls going neon purple, there are always a few who just want to look natural—their natural color, just better.

Good hair day by @nattytheestylist

Undone Blonde

Take the chance to embrace some darker, more natural shades, while still having fun as a sun-kissed blonde. The smoked-out root is paired with brighter blonde ends and makes for a much easier grow-out.

Good hair day by @tialambourn_hair

Dishwater Blonde

A relaxed, naturally cool-toned color that lets you go blonde without trying too hard. This compliments those who love beach waves or a loose bun.

Good hair day by @krazy4hair

Sandy Blonde

Perhaps it’s just the name, but sandy blonde always seems like the least beloved member of the blonde color family. The shade falls between bright blonde and light brown, adding a casually chic vibe to any hair color.

Good hair day by @_irinamukha_

Coconut Blonde

When it comes to coconut blonde highlights, we’re big fans of the way the color looks next to ashy shades. If you’re going for sandy or beige brown hair, toasted coconut hair is your new best friend. Ask your stylist to place your highlights throughout your ends.

Chic Vanilla Blonde

A creamy blend of cool and warm tones is a staple of this look, which allows the color to balance with your skin tone. While it’s a hair color anyone can pull off, your stylist should take into consideration your eye color as it helps decide the right shade of vanilla to best compliment your features.

Good hair day by @sydneypaintshair

Selenite Blonde

A soft blonde that’s just a few steps away from platinum. This pale and creamy tone will make your hair look like it’s being bathed in the moonlight. Ask your stylist for a neutral to cool tone base with almost white highlights.

Good hair day by @adelencolorist

Golden Blonde

All that glitters isn’t gold—that is, unless it’s these stunning highlights. Warm blonde is officially back.

Good hair day by @uptownhairstudio

Pearl Blonde

Lighten up dishwater blonde locks with a hue that looks healthy and natural looking. The perfect solution if you want a change, but want to avoid a hair color that feels too outlandish. Baby steps.

Good hair day by @bohohair_bybelle

(H3) Honey Tan

Lighter streaks with a warm honey-blonde tone peeking through create a gorgeous mix of blonde highlights. Make this look shine by styling your hair in beach waves.

Good hair day by @hairbycarismendy

Gradient Blonde

This clever blend eliminates harsh lines and allows total freedom in letting it grow out. Enhance this look with a voluminous blowout.

Good hair day by @hannahjeanbeauty

Champagne Blonde

This popular shade of blonde hair consists of a golden blonde hue with a rosy undertone. This color palette suits women with pale skin the best, but is customisable for almost all skin tones.

Good hair day by @paulopequea

Frosted Blonde

Don’t confuse frosted hair with frosted tips, where the very ends of short hair lightened, as if the tips have been dipped into. Frosted hair is a scattering of contrasting highlights on longer locks, typically in cool blonde tones and sparkling hues, like ash blonde, platinum or beige.

Good hair day by @pirania_ya

Playboy Blonde

With a warmer tone, this is a welcome change from the icy, ashy blonde shades that tend to dominate the winter months. Think 90s bombshell. You’ve got it in you.

Cool Blonde

An icy shade that takes you just as close to platinum without going all the way. This shade compliments a rosier complexion by balancing out any skin redness. Keep in mind that this eye-catching color can be harder to achieve for natural brunettes, as you’ll need to lighten your base before adding cooler highlights.

Good hair day by @fredyhair

Balayage Highlights

Gorgeous, creamy balayage? Don't mind if we do.

Good hair day by @paisleypaintsatl


Going blonde doesn’t mean you have to lose the beauty of your curly hair. This trend celebrates your curls while adding fun, fresh blonde highlights. Best of both worlds.

The Best Blonde Highlights for Brunette Hair

Good hair day by @hairbyydani

Silver Blonde

Blinding and a little surprising, white blonde highlights are the unexpected power move of the hair world. Although we may see plenty of gray and pastel hair, we rarely see ladies commit to the full maintenance routine that goes with keeping white highlights pristine.

Good hair day by @mizzthuy

Mushroom Blonde

If you’re ash blonde and looking for a deeper way to work the cool, clean shade; enter mushroom blonde. It’s not quite blonde and it’s not quite brunette; just a flawless fusion of the two. A truly versatile style, as well as root-to-tip highlights and an all-over glow, you can switch up your lightening technique to create a variety of flattering effects.

Good hair day by @prettylittleombre

Warm Metallic Blonde

Achieve this look by keeping the root color dark and adding honey-blonde highlights. As the highlights start a little lighter at the top before getting darker towards the ends of the hair, it creates a trendy metallic look that shines healthily.

Buttery Blonde

An inviting shade that looks sunkissed even when you’re carrying an umbrella. The highlights create a dimension to your hair and is well complimented by a chic bob hairstyle.

Good hair day by @chanelstylez

Greige Blonde

Defined by a natural, balanced base with a “smoky meets beige” finish. This dimensional shade is the perfect balance of cool ash hues and warm gold tones, making this wearable blonde perfect for every season

Good hair day by @salon_caroline_le

Soft Blonde

Ask for soft blonde highlights on brown hair, being sure to request a super subtle application technique. Try babylights, an ultra-blended application that mimics the natural highlights of kids’ hair, or balayage, the process of hand-painting highlights into the hair.

Good hair day by @neeenaboo

Sunkissed Blonde

We swear we’re not that biased, but sunkissed blonde highlights really have a special place in our hearts. The blissful dark blonde mimics the look of naturally sun-lightened hair, adding a healthy, outdoorsy element to your look.

Good hair day by @haircolorkilla

Golden Blonde

Flattering and always in style, golden blonde is a shade guaranteed to flatter everyone. Its bright tones ensure the hair color never reads as dull or flat, adding a textured vibe to every head of hair. That wide-ranging beauty is precisely the reason gold works so well as a

highlight shade.

Good hair day by @luxe_blond_stilist

Caramel Blonde

To bring a little caramel into your own life, we recommend you start with a dark blonde, bronde, or medium brown shade. The color will provide depth and texture, helping you fake hair that’s thicker and more voluminous.

Chunky Highlights

Get in the throwback spirit with chunk highlights! Next thing you know, you’ll be wearing platform slides and watching video tapes.

Good hair day by @ahhhbellahair_bymikayla

Lit Caramel

A style with large-scale appeal because it frames and softly contours the face. Brunettes only really need to highlight every three to six months since the overall foundation of the hair is still dark. The warmth that cooler blondes tend to battle against in the grow-out phase is also an advantage for caramel highlights.

Good hair day by @camileghorayebhairdoctor

Melted Pecan Blonde

Another fun way to brighten up darker blondes or brunettes is with some subtle swirls of highlights. This shade is ideal for those looking for a low-maintenance style since there’s no obvious grow-out.

Good hair day by @haircolorkilla

Cherry Blonde

If you’ve tried rose gold, pastel pink, or even blonde orange, you know that washed out color looks fantastic for a day. After that, though, you start to lose a little pigment every day, and the shade falls flat.

Instead of mourning your unicorn hair, add life to it with pinkish blonde highlights. The lighter shade will add depth to the look without sacrificing any dynamic color. Better yet, the blonde-pink hue may just provide inspiration for your next dye job.

Good hair day by @jenghair

Honey Blonde

Just the way honey sweetens whatever treat you’ve drizzled it over, this opulent color does the same for the hair on your head. The gold tones and brown notes of honey highlights make them incredibly easy to wear on a range of brown hair colors.

Good hair day by @elita_stylist

Rose Gold

If you’re ready and willing to do the work (consult your stylist for full directions), we can’t get enough of the way rose gold highlights look over the top of brunette manes. It’s a dramatic move, but a beautiful one.

Beige Blonde

Enter the beige highlight, which doesn’t usually get much attention. On dark hair, however, it’s a real game changer. The light sections add life to the color, creating a multi-tonal look that’s really striking. Everyone will be asking where you got your hair done, and you can thank us later.

Good hair day by @robindeltoro

Strawberry Blonde

Strawberry blonde is not quite red, not quite white gold. Somehow, it manages to incorporate the best parts of both shades. If we already love the way strawberry blonde looks as a hair color, imagine how excited we are by the possibilities of strawberry blonde highlights.

Good hair day by @manuelnovohair

Blonde Ombre

If you’ve already tried partial highlights, commit to a full head! With an ombre, you won’t have to worry about your roots starting to grow out.

Good hair day by

Blended Bronde

For those who want to transition their hair color between seasons or simply can’t decide between blonde and brunette—bronde is the perfect in-between color that blends subtle high and lows into soft dimension. Plus, these non-committal shades allow for a more low-maintenance color routine and looks good on basically every skin tone.

Good hair day by @_merakiforhair

Playground Highlights

This look is defined by using a slightly lighter shade of hair color to produce highlights that flow in natural-looking strokes throughout the hair. Natural-looking, sun-kissed color meets shine and vibrance. For extra shine and vibrancy in between salon visits, try using Pureology’s Color Fanatic Top Coat + Purple Tone.

Good hair day by @colorbymarina

Face-Framing Highlights

Show off your best feature with simple yet stunning face-framing highlights.

The Best Blonde Highlights for Red Hair

Good hair day by @Krazy4hair

White Blonde

If you’re a redhead, you’ll be delighted to learn that white blonde is one of the few shades that’s practically made to flatter you. Be sure to ask for balayage so that your highlights don’t become tiger stripes. Ask your hair stylist about Redken Flash Lift Power 9 to achieve these white hot streaks in less time and with less damage than traditional bleaching formulas.

Good hair day by @bombshellblondee

Pale Ginger

If you happen to be working with rose gold or copper, pale ginger is a flattering way to add dimension without pushing too far away from the color scheme you already have going on. The shade also looks lovely on light brown and copper hair.

The Best Blonde Highlights for Dark Hair

Blonde Panel Highlight

This high-contrast look makes a bold statement while requiring a relatively little amount of maintenance. This style is also perfect for those who want to change their hair color drastically without potentially damaging their hair through full head lightening.

Good hair day by @suetyrrellstylist

Blonde Tips

If you’re after something eye-catching then consider this dramatic ombre look. It may take a few visits to achieve extreme lightening on the ends of your very dark hair, but the edginess makes it worth the effort. We recommend using an intensely moisturizing leave-in treatment like Redken’s All Soft Moisture Restore Leave-In Treatment which is formulated with hyaluronic acid to keep ends conditioned.

Good hair day by @savannahjo_hairstylist

Rooted Platinum

Go brilliant blonde without sacrificing your dark roots. This look is a little edgier and will spare your roots some of the damage caused by lightening.

Good hair day by @laurenelise.studios

Copper Blonde

Add a subtle pop of color to dark tresses with blonde-copper highlights.

Good hair day by @beautybyrowan

Auburn Blonde

The perfect way to spice up black hair; if you have a pale to neutral complexion this will compliment your hair hue.

Good hair day by @joeharrishair

Platinum Blonde

Want to try an icy look without losing the darkness of your hair? Designed for the bold, platinum highlights on black hair is the ultimate contrast. Cool blonde tones may take time and dedication to achieve, but ashy blonde hues will blend seamlessly for a stunning result.

Interested in trying blonde highlights? has all the salon-quality products you need to maintain your color-treated strands.

Header photo credit: @colorbymarina and @hairbysarayah

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