Blonde makes everything better—at least, that’s what we like to believe. The happy color 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. They’ll add a new swagger to your step, taking your hair color from barely there to full-on beautiful. Whatever your shade, we’ve handpicked a highlight hue that will work with what you’ve already got going on—speaking on strand level, of course.
Platinum 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, platinum is the way to go.
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.
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.
To bring a little honey 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.
We swear we’re not that biased, but gold 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.
Ask for gold highlights on ash, beige, or light 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.
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.
If you happen to be working with rose gold or pastel pink, strawberry blonde 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.
Perhaps it’s just the name, but dirty blonde (sometimes called “dishwater 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.
When it comes to dirty 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, dirty blonde is your new best friend. Ask your stylist to place your highlights around the face, specifically.
Flattering and always in style, caramel 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 caramel works so well as a highlight shade.
If you’re a redhead, you’ll be delighted to learn that caramel is one of the few blonde shades that’s practically made to flatter you. For dark blondes, too, caramel is an ideal choice. Be sure to ask for balayage so that your highlights don’t become tiger stripes.
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.
Enter the beige highlight, which doesn’t usually get much attention. On ash and silver 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.
Blinding and a little surprising, white 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 hair pristine.
If you’re ready and willing to do the work (consult your stylist for full directions), we can’t get enough of the way white highlights look over the top of a dark gray, blonde, or brunette manes. It’s a dramatic move, but a beautiful one.
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.
If that’s you, sandy 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.
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 a loose 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 blond-pink hue may just provide inspiration for your next dye job.