Ashy hair colors will always have their place, but when it comes to hues that flatter every skin tone, there’s a strong contender in golden-toned hair colors. Blended with notes of honey, gold, and buttery tones, these hair colors can add shine, dimension, and brightness to any mane. If you’re keen on trying golden blonde hair, we reached out to Ryan Pearl, colorist and Redken brand ambassador, to outline everything you need to know before hitting up your own stylist.
What is golden blonde hair?
The hair color spectrum goes from cool to warm. On the cool side, you’ve got a lot of ash tones, blues, and violets. Think silver, platinum blonde, smoky brown, and black. On the opposite end—the warm hair colors—you’ve got shades infused with red, orange, and yellow.
“Golden blonde color is a warm-based color usually living at a deeper level of color,” explains Pearl. There are many shades of this hue, ranging from dark golden blonde hair to caramel golden blonde hair to ultra-light shades of buttery blonde. You can even try golden blonde hair with highlights to further lighten your mane or start with a darker base color and infused golden blonde highlights throughout. There’s really no limit, so get creative with your colorist!
How do you get golden blonde hair?
If you already have blonde hair, you have a headstart on transitioning into golden blonde. Your colorist will likely warm up your look with gilded highlights and lowlights rather than completely shifting your base color for a natural look with tons of dimension.
While lightening up dark tresses is no easy feat, a warm-toned, golden blonde is easier and less damaging to achieve than its cooler, ashier counterparts. Unfortunately, bleach will always cause an element of damage, but a seasoned colorist will do everything they can to ensure your strands look and feel their best. In some cases, be prepared to make a few trips to the salon to obtain your desired final look rather than over-lightening hair in one sitting. We promise it will be worth it!
No matter if you’re starting from light or dark, Pearl says a great way to reach your golden blonde dreams is to ask your colorist about Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside Golden Level 10s.
“[They] act as a beautiful reflective golden casting on the hair but still [leave] the hair translucent,” says Pearl. The stylist says they’re a game-changer since the formula tones and repairs hair simultaneously, bringing locks to a luxuriously healthy-looking state.
These high-level blonde shades deliver a soft, golden reflect and boost light reflectivity while adding strength to all hair types and textures. They’re formulated with Bonder Inside technology that provides all-in-one toner plus bonder, strength, intense shine, and conditioning without the guesswork or fear of damage. Plus, the formula also helps neutralize unwanted undertones that may have exposed during the lightening process, which is especially great news for those starting out with deeper-hued strands.
How To Care For Golden Blonde Hair
Even though the point of golden blonde hair is to embrace the warmth, you don't want your hair to turn too brassy or orange between touch ups.
To maintain that original beautiful shade from your golden blonde hair dye, incorporate a purple shampoo and conditioner into your regimen about once a week. For example, the Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo and Conditioner for Blonde Hair duo is a toning and strengthening system that prevents brass while softening strands.
Since dyeing your hair can also cause damage (especially when lightening your color), it’s also important to use a reparative treatment. L’Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Masque has a rich, buttery texture that leaves your hair fiber softer and shinier. When used with the L'Oréal Professionnel Absolut Repair Instant Resurfacing Shampoo and Conditioner, your strands will be left seven times shinier while reducing hair surface damage by 77 percent.
What is the difference between honey blonde and golden blonde?
They may seem similar, but honey blonde typically features more red and brown undertones than golden blonde. Honey blonde is beloved for creating rich-looking highlighted or ombré looks, but the shade tends to lean brassy when used on its own.
Is golden hair the same as blonde?
Not quite! Blonde hair equates to a more flaxen, pale-to-yellow-ish tint, while golden blonde is blonde spun with actual golden tones and pigments. In short, you can be a blonde without being a golden blonde, but the same cannot be said vice versa.
Should I go ash blonde or golden blonde?
In order to determine which shade of blonde is right for you, it’s important to take into account your skin’s undertones. In general, paler skin with cooler undertones (such as blue, pink, or red) are better suited for cool blondes, like ash and beige, while those with darker or more yellow undertones look best in honey, butter, golden, and caramel shades.
Another way to figure out which shade of blonde is right for you is to consider how much contrast you’d like against your eye color. A soft, multi-dimensional shade like ash will flatter lighter eye colors, whereas rich, deep blondes like golden will complement a darker eye.
How To Style Golden Blonde Hair
The world is your oyster in regard to styling your golden blonde hair! You could try pairing your new hue with beach waves for the ultimate ocean-ready look, keep it out of your face via a low ponytail, or wear it in a chic updo for more formal events. Show off that gorgeous dimension by adding a bit of texture or crafting a braid.
Best Golden Blonde Hair Color Ideas
If you’re wondering what golden hair color is right for you, we’re here to help! Read on for 31 of the best golden blonde hair colors around.
All-Over Golden Blonde
Bright, shiny, and dimensional, golden blonde hair is an ideal shade if you’re looking for that perfect beachy glow. If you want your golden blonde hue to look as light and bright as possible, ask your colorist about Redken’s Shades EQ Level 10s. These demi-permanent, no-lift shades are the highest level of toner that helps you achieve super light blonde shades.
Subtle Golden Blonde
If low-maintenance hair care is your love language, make it a reality with subtle golden blonde. Starting with a dirty blonde base, your colorist will add streaks of gold throughout your hair using a balayage or traditional highlighting technique.
Golden Blonde Highlights
A full head of golden hair isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay! If you want just a touch of gold throughout your mane, ask our colorist for golden blonde highlights. This technique works particularly well for natural brunettes looking to add dimension and brightness to their hue.
Butter blonde is so rich and warm, it is the perfect complementary color to your summer tan. For a super low-maintenance look, ask your colorist for a butter blonde balayage.
Adding golden caramel to your hair is a lot like putting a caramel topping on any ice cream sundae—it’s an instant upgrade! Opt for golden caramel highlights to instantly brighten and add dimension to your base color.
If you’ve been trying to find the perfect balance between blonde and brunette for years, you’ll want to give bronde hair color a second look. If you’re lightening your naturally brown hair to achieve a golden hue, pick up a shampoo and conditioner system like Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo + Conditioner Duo. This blue toning system neutralizes brass in natural and highlighted brunettes.
Subtle Golden Blonde Highlights
Not ready to commit to a whole head of golden blonde hair color? Try ultra-subtle golden/caramel highlights in your brunette locks, instead.
Cream Soda Blonde
Go a bit lighter with a creamy pale blonde. This hue feels bright and fresh while still incorporating those flattering warm undertones.
You can infuse warmth and brightness to a naturally dark base via broad, amber highlights.
Golden Blonde Balayage
Create contrast by keeping your roots slightly darker and having your stylist paint on golden blonde a la balayage.
Light Pink to Golden Blonde Ombre
Here’s another way to try pink hair color while still getting your sweet honey fix. This ombre pairs the faintest warm pink hue with a buttery pale yellow.
Golden Highlights and Lowlights
For a truly multidimensional hue, ask your colorist for a fusion of warm lowlights and highlights. It’s a great way to transition your hair either lighter or darker while still making an impact.
Light Golden Blonde Hair
If you want your golden blonde hue to look as light and bright as possible, ask your colorist for light golden blonde hair. To maintain its vivid shade, enlist the help of a cleansing system like Redken Blondage High Bright Shampoo, Conditioner, and Pre-Treatment. The products’ vitamin C and Brightening Care Complex lifts impurities that darken or dull blonde hair.
Buttercream blonde is a softly sunkissed shade that promises dimension and warmth. Best of all, it’s incredibly flattering on everyone.
Spun Yellow Gold
This perfectly toned blonde hair looks exactly like spun yellow gold, and it’s proof you can take your locks from ultra-dark to a beautiful, ultra-light result.
Lean even further into warm territory by opting for dark golden blonde highlights across a tawny base.
Sunkissed Buttery Blonde
Keep things natural via a sunkissed buttery blonde hue—not too dark, not too light, and perfectly golden.
Golden Blonde with Colorful Highlights
Infuse a splash of color into your golden blonde base with fashion color highlights like red, pink, blue, purple, or green. You can even keep them hidden within the bottom layer of your hair for a gorgeous peekaboo look.
Vanilla Hazelnut Blonde
This light golden blonde hue almost blends shades of vanilla and hazelnut for the sweetest multidimensional hair color.
Golden Blonde and Chestnut
This honeyed brunette looks perfectly sunkissed thanks to a mixture of golden blonde and chestnut.
Brunettes craving a super bold look should consider true goldenrod highlights. They’ll definitely make a statement wherever you go. As this look requires lifting dark brown locks by several shades, keeping a good repair bundle on hand like Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate is of utmost importance. The brand’s Bonding Care complex is paired with an alpha-hydroxy acid known as citric acid, which work together to reinforce bleach-weakened bonds within strands to help rebuild their strength and resiliency.
Golden Blonde with Root Smudge
For a more natural look and grow-out phase, ask your stylist to add a darker root smudge to your golden blonde hair.
Honeyed Highlights On Brunette
Those with dark bases can try honeyed, caramel-esque highlights for a more natural blend that infuses lots of warmth.
Light Flaxen Hair
This golden blonde hair color is more of a neutral-warm shade. The single color (versus ombre, balayage, or highlights and lowlights) adds to the drama of it all. Since this hue requires a bit of higher lift, be sure to incorporate a nourishing, deep conditioning mask like Shu Uemura Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalization Hair Mask into your routine. This luxuriously rich, revitalizing hair mask deeply nourishes and provides the utmost levels of strength to prevent against future breakage.
Golden Blonde Money Piece
Whether you’ve got a coppery base or a darker brunette, a golden blonde money piece is an easy way to incorporate warmth and lightness to your mane.
Golden Brown Hair
Want to take your brown hair to the next level? You can’t go wrong with golden brown. This rich, warm-toned shade allows you to experiment with golden blonde tones without abandoning your brunette roots.
Who says chestnut hair is exclusive to fall and winter? If you’re searching for a darker golden toned shade to try this summer, opt for this chestnut brown with caramel highlights.
Edgy girls, we haven’t forgotten about you! If neutral hair color isn’t your vibe, try a vibrant golden-toned hue like golden orange. While it’s not exactly blonde, this shade offers the same brightness.
When it comes to golden hues that flatter every skin tone, copper is the clear winner—which is why we adore the shade so much! Add golden blonde highlights to add dimension and shine to the hue.
Burnt Sienna With Golden Blonde Highlights
Warm up and brighten any red hair color with golden blonde highlights. We particularly love them paired with burnt sienna hair.
Not for the faint of heart, these ultra-chunky stripes of gold, red, and auburn are sure to turn heads wherever you go.
Ash Gold Balayage
If you love ashy hair but want to dip into the golden trend, consider this ash gold balayage. A browner base root provides a neutral foundation for strands, while glimmering gold enhances hair’s vibrancy.
A golden, brown, and tan background makes for a warm, balanced blonde reflection. For this exact look, ask your colorist for Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside Golden Level 10’s in 010NW Iced Piña.
Sandy Lemon Blonde
Show your colorist a photo of this look and inquire if they can replicate it using Redken Shades EQ Bonder inside 010G Lemon Icing. Incorporating tan and yellow undertones around the crown of hair creates gorgeous contrast against soft, buttery blonde ends.
Weaving a gilded fusion of chicory, curry, and butterscotch pigments throughout hair elevates a deep brunette without being too high maintenance.
As seen here, Redken Shades EQ Bonder Inside 10WG Honey Gold produces a show-stopping honey-blonde end result that’s super-warm and never brassy.
Interested in trying golden blonde hair? Hair.com has all of the salon-grade products you need to keep the look bright and healthy.