As any platinum or ash blonde girl will tell you, it’s rewarding AF to walk out of the salon with a bright, brass-free hue—but the monthly touch-ups and constant toning can become beyond exhausting. If you’re looking to live your best lazy-girl life while still keeping your hair on the lighter side, however, we have a solution for you: dirty blonde hair.
Dirty blonde hair is one of our favorite hues on the blonde hair color chart and for a good reason! The not-too-dark, not-too-light hue is the perfect happy medium and one of the most low-maintenance ways to go blonde.
Wondering if dirty blonde hair is right for you? Read on for everything you need to know about the shade plus 34 of the trendiest ways to try it for yourself.
Is dirty blonde hair brown or blonde?
Dirty blonde is unlike your typical squeaky clean blonde shades like platinum and champagne. The hue is a medium to dark blonde shade with wheaty, brown undertones (hence, the word dirt in the name). These hints of brunette make dirty blonde dimensional and low-maintenance—what more could you want?
Is dirty blonde a natural hair color?
If dirty blonde is your natural hair color, consider yourself lucky! While some people are blseed with naturally dirty blonde hair, it’s also one of the most highly requested dark blonde shades at the salon. For the bottle blondes out there, dirty blonde is one of the most natural-looking ways to go lighter—particularly if you’re looking for a subtle way to transition from brunette to blonde.
How do you make dirty blonde hair look good?
There’s no right or wrong way to wear dirty blonde hair. There are, however, ways to make sure you’re getting the best hue possible. If you’re starting with a blonde base, ask your colorist to give you face-framing highlights and lowlights throughout your hair for a look that’s dimensional and instantly brightens your complexion. For darker bases, opt for a balayage or well-placed highlights to create the most flattering dirty blonde hue.
Not sure of the best way to go dirty blonde? Be sure to book a consultation with your colorist prior to deciding.
Will purple shampoo lighten dirty blonde hair?
If you’re a veteran salon blonde, you already know the benefits of having a purple shampoo in your hair care routine. When it comes to dirty blonde hair, while purple shampoo can’t actually lighten your hair, it can brighten and tone your blonde to keep any brassy, orange undertones at bay.
How do you care for dirty blonde hair?
It’s true that blondes have more fun, but if you’re thinking of going dirty blonde, you’ll also need to amp up your hair care routine a bit. While dirty blonde hair is pretty low maintenance, your at-home routine is crucial to keeping your hue vibrant between touch-up appointments.
Start with swapping your regular shampoo and conditioner for a system formulated specifically for color-treated hair. We recommend Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. Featuring the brand’s exclusive Antifade Complex, this system quenches and cleanses hair while protecting color vibrancy.
Next up: purple shampoo and conditioner. Use a color toning system like Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner once a week to cleanse, restore, condition, and tone blonde color-treated hair.
If you’ve sat through a bleach session or two to achieve dirty blonde hair, you might be dealing with noticeable damage and dryness. That’s why we recommend adding a weekly hair mask like Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment to your routine. Formulated with coconut oil and avocado oil, this hair mask helps nourish and soften dry, color-treated hair.
Ready to try dirty blonde hair for yourself? Keep scrolling for 34 of our top favorite ways to wear the shade.
The Best Dirty Blonde Hair Ideas To Try Now
Photo Credit: @mzolotarev.
Dark Dirty Blonde
Photo Credit: @nikitahair.
Light Dirty Blonde
Summer is in full swing, and nothing will make your hair feel brighter and more summer-ready than a light dirty blonde.
Photo Credit: @pomme_salon.
Cool Dirty Blonde
Classic takes on dirty blonde usually opt for warmer tones, creating a sunny brown-blonde that highlights tans and makes everyone look just a little healthier. These days, however, we’re advocating for a very cool dirty blonde that hints at ice queen (the more bone-chilling, the better). You’ll love how fresh this take on dirty blonde feels, trust us.
Photo Credit: @cristenkelso.
Ash Dirty Blonde
Ashy shades are very trendy at the moment, which means your favorite Instagram supermodel has probably already tried them out.
Bronde is probably one of the most popular shades on this list. We love the way it blends brunette and blonde accents into one gorgeous hair color.
Photo Credit: @fatikulac.
Yet another shade in the pantheon of dirty blonde hues is dusty blonde, a tone that’s gained popularity thanks to the influencers who regularly wear it. This shade is creamy perfection.
Photo Credit: @hairequipe.
Smoky Dirty Blonde
Sultry girls deserve a hair color that’s just as moody as they are. In this case, it’s smoky dirty blonde. The chocolate-infused shade adds more drama to the standard dirty blonde look. For brunettes looking to shake up their hair color, smoky dirty blonde is a solid choice.
Photo Credit: @pekelariley.
Dirty Blonde Texture
There are plenty of photos featuring dirty blonde hair floating around the internet, but not nearly enough with vivacious curls. Don’t worry! Dirty blonde works on every hair type.
Photo Credit: @cristenkelso.
We regularly gush over honey blonde hair, which seems to be the softest and healthiest blonde shade of them all. If you’re angling for a super natural hair color that really isn’t natural at all, this is a shade that should have all your attention. Paired with blonde babylights, the color is a stunner.
Photo Credit: @ramontgarcia.
Like honey, wheat blonde is one of those magical hair colors that makes every woman look a little more put together. This shade suits tanned or medium complexions, and plays will with ultra-blonde highlights.
Photo Credit: @briannagabrielaa.
When it comes to going blonde, you might as well commit to the identity. There’s no better way of going full Malibu than giving golden blonde a shot.
Photo Credit: @hairhunter.
When it’s done well, sandy blonde is a cool, ashy shade that flatters fair and medium complexions.
Photo Credit: @alishaloachhair.
Luxe, buttery blonde is one of the most beautiful hair colors available in salons.
Photo Credit: @beautybyjacqs.
There’s no rule saying dirty blonde hair has to remain within the confines of shades that grow naturally from the scalp. Throw in some pink highlights to keep your hue fresh.
Photo Credit: @alex_haircraft.
If you’re more of a white wine drinker than a rosé obsessive, don’t panic. White blonde plays nicely with its dirty counterpart, creating a dreamy swirl of icy color that’s practically begging for Instagram. Be sure your colorist keeps the white blonde highlights as fine as possible to ensure you achieve the best results.
Dirty Strawberry Blonde
Current or wannabe redheads shouldn’t feel left out of the dirty blonde world. Instead, they can try a dirty strawberry blonde that combines a subtle red shade with notes of ashy blonde.
Grown Out Roots
Like purposefully distressed jeans and crop tops, grown out roots are one of those trends you mom probably won’t ever get behind. That doesn't mean it’s not incredibly stylish, however.
Photo Credit: @bobbie.smith.hair.
Dirty Blonde With Lowlights
While we’re discussing ways to add brunette accents to dirty blonde hair, we’d be remiss to leave out a mention of lowlights.
Photo Credit: @illumine.
Dirty Blonde Balayage
Photo Credit: @tamiramae.
Dirty Blonde Lob
This bright color enhances the look of any natural texture in your hair, creating a sense of movement that’s often missing in short hairstyles.
This creamy, rich shade benefits from subtle brunette lowlights that add in a touch of “dirt.”
Photo Credit: @michellehair.
If it’s your first time going dirty, a dark shade like burgundy blonde is the right place to start.
Photo Credit: @southmarksouth.
The matte color is just a touch darker than standard dirty blonde, adding honey notes to a dark beige base.
Photo Credit: @andrea.prisco.
Dirty Blonde Waves
The beachier the texture, the better this style looks!
Photo Credit: @marleen_parkma.
It only makes sense that you’d want to add a touch of champagne to your dirty blonde mane. This shade is all about creating that effortless beach babe illusion.
Dirty Blonde With Highlights
These artfully placed streaks add the illusion of depth to your hair, resulting in strands that look thicker and more textured. More hair is always a good thing, if you ask us.
Photo Credit: @stylizedbyalli.
Dirty Blonde Ombre
You can’t go wrong with a gradient! When in doubt, opt for a dirty blonde ombre.
Photo Credit: @madebyceylan.
In this look, the stark contrast between your dark brunette roots and dirty blonde strands is a little punk rock.
Photo Credit: @constancerobbins.
Sometimes the best shades of red hair aren’t the loudest, so take your look subtle with auburn blonde. You’ll be impressed with life as a low-key redhead.
Photo Credit: @beeblondor.
Dirty Blonde Ringlets
Feeling like adding a little something extra? Use a curling iron or wand to add dramatic, beautiful ringlets to your hair.
Photo Credit: @rebecakinghair.
Shadow roots mean tons of depth, creating the illusion of thicker, healthier hair. Who wouldn’t want to look like she just woke up like this every day?
Photo Credit: @dailiperez.
For a touch of sexiness, work with your colorist to figure out the placement of several bronze highlights. We’d recommend focusing them around your newly-brightened face.
Photo Credit: @dailiperez.
Dirty Blonde Bun
Toss your dirty blonde ‘do up into a bun for brunch or even date night out. The striking separation between your root and bun color will be a real eye-catcher. Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray, a medium control dry texture finishing spray, can be the styling aid you need.
Photo Credit: @dailiperez.
To live life like you’re ruling social media, talk to your colorist about a beige hue that looks (and feels) totally low maintenance. In 2020, beige is anything but boring.