It seems like 2022 is the year of playing catch-up. We have so many rescheduled weddings to attend, more travel destinations to check off our bucket list, and long overdue dinners with friends. When all is said and done, keeping up with our salon blonde ends up falling by the wayside.
While a trip to the hairdresser is always a great way to recuperate and refresh, a full schedule means you’ll need a hue as low-maintenance as possible to avoid a harsh grow-out between salon sessions. Lucky for you, the latest summer hair color trend is the ultimate low-key look. We’re talking about undone blonde. If you’ve never heard of the hue before, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about this popular look and how to get it.
What is undone blonde hair color?
Usually, summer hair colors are all about bright blonde shades and colorful, vibrant hair colors. But many of us became more acquainted with our natural hair color, thanks to salon closings, limited capacities, and other restrictions over the past few years. Hard as it may have been to embrace the change of pace (and those roots), it resulted in many people looking for ways to make trendy summer colors easier to maintain. Enter: undone blonde.
Undone blonde is a darker-toned blonde hue with a more natural sun-kissed look than your typical platinum or ice blonde. To create this color, your colorist will give you a smoked-out root, paired with brighter blonde ends for an easier grow-out. The result? A low-maintenance summer look that won’t require frequent trips to the salon.
How to Care For Undone Blonde Hair
It’s important to note that while undone blonde isn’t as bright as platinum, your colorist will still need to use bleach to lift your base color. While bleach will always cause damage, your colorist can work with you to help maintain the look and feel of your strands. That said, adding a bond repairing treatment to your routine can also help keep blonde hair fortified and healthy. We love Redken Acidic Bonding Concentrate Intensive Treatment, a pre-shampoo treatment that leaves hair 90% more conditioned, 14 times smoother, and two times stronger after just one use.
To keep your color looking as fresh as it did when you left the salon, proper hair care is essential. Using the right shampoo and conditioner can make a huge difference in maintaining the health of your color-treated strands. We recommend using Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo + Conditioner Duo to cleanse, strengthen, and gently detangle color-treated hair. If you’re looking to uphold the brightness and tone of your blonde strands, swap out your regular shampoo and conditioner for a purple shampoo and conditioner a few times a week. We rely on the Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo + Conditioner Duo, which neutralizes brassy warmth, corrects yellow tones, and targets brittle and dry hair while adding a glossy shine.
Now that you know how to care for your undone blonde hair color, you’ll need some inspiration. Keep reading to find the 17 inspirations you can bring to your colorist ASAP.
The 17 Best Undone Blonde Hair Color Ideas to Try Now
If you crave bright blonde to brighten up your face but don’t want to commit to a full single-process color, ask your stylist for a money piece with shadow roots and babylights.
No matter what, color-treated hair can always use a little extra TLC—especially blonde hues. To keep your freshly dyed hair hydrated and healthy-looking, we recommend incorporating Biolage Professional Ultra Hydra Source Deep Treatment Pack into your hair care routine weekly. This color-safe hydrating mask conditions, softens, and restores parched hair, making it a perfect companion after a trip to the salon.
A balayage is one of the ultimate ways to cash in on the undone blonde movement. Whereas foil highlights leave wearers with demarcation lines where the streaks end and the root begins, hand-painted balayage blends your root in with your color for a no-fuss grow out. All said, you can go up to four months before returning to the salon.
We used to want as much brightness at the root as possible, but the high-maintenance color would send us straight to the salon chair for touch-ups what felt like every other week. Luckily, hair color trends have flipped the switch and realized just how stunning a darker dirty blonde with platinum ends could be.
If you like focusing your color saturation at the tips of your hair, invest in an anti-breakage system like Matrix Instacure Shampoo Anti-Breakage Shampoo, Conditioner, and Porosity Spray.
Are you going buttery and bright? Ask your stylist to shadow your roots, which means going over highlights or fresh color with a shade closer to your natural hair hue. This prevents that tell-tale line of regrowth, so you can spend more time living life instead of flipping through a magazine waiting for your foils to process.
Creamy Strawberry Blonde
Can’t get enough warmth? Ask your stylist to start with a strawberry blonde base with creamy lowlights throughout. Keeping the roots close to your natural color adds an extra dimension to the look, allowing for the easiest grow-out.
We know, we know—we said undone blonde was a darker shade of blonde, but hear us out: Keeping the crown of your hair as close to your natural shade as possible can still give you the “undone” aspect of this coloring technique if you opt for a brighter blonde, like ice.
Neither platinum nor white, icy blonde is a showstopper with its subtle violet undertones. Those looking for a less bold look can indulge in the shade by pairing it with their natural roots and barely-there champagne lowlights.
While we have the bubbly beverage top of mind, you may want to consider champagne as your new shade if you’re starting with medium brown strands, which infuses golden-brown undertones to create a rich, shimmery hue that’s anything but average.
Curly girls will love the low-key clouding highlighting technique to brighten up their coils, which can create a dramatic all-over look, subtle highlights, or a saturated ombré. It involves your colorist applying hair dye using their hands to scrunch the formula onto your strands, meaning your roots remain untouched.
If you needed more proof that a new hue won’t mess with your curl pattern, here it is! Ask your colorist for golden blonde highlights if you want just a touch of gilded color throughout your mane, which meshes particularly well with natural brunette hair.
For frizz-free, defined curls, work in a bit of Mizani 25 Miracle Leave-In Cream, which also protects against UV rays that can otherwise fade color-treated hair.
Undone Blonde with Auburn
Hair color trends don’t have to be so rigid! Case in point: This undone honey blonde is spun with warm tones of golden auburn for gorgeous dimension.
Thin Dark Blonde Ribbons
Like intertwining a ribbon through fabric, ribboning involves coloring larger sections of hair to create the appearance of ribbon-like highlights. The final look is a balayage with a stunning contrast between the lighter strands and a darker base color, creating more depth and movement within the hair.
Thick Sandy Blonde Ribbons
Thin ribbons are perfect for those seeking a more sunkissed and natural result, but thick sandy ribbons are the way to go if you want a dimensional brightening effect. Ultimately, both allow for an easy transition into new hair growth, which is exactly what we want.
A true sign of hair color innovation, purposefully overgrown roots are the ultimate rebellion against the notion that hair should always be perfect. It looks especially edgy when hair grows in dark enough to create a striking contrast against a single-process color like platinum. Considering how busy they are, it's no wonder celebrities, models, and influencers alike are obsessed with this undone look.
Since undone blonde is all about low-maintenance upkeep, pick up a brightening system to keep dullness at bay in between salon visits. When used together, The Redken Blondage High Bright Pre-Treatment, Shampoo, and Conditioner feature vitamin C to lighten up darkened, dulled, or mattified blonde hair after one use—no peroxide necessary!
Layering varying shades of light and dark colors into hair gives the illusion of depth and volume, so the hair appears thicker while maintaining that dark root. And an of-the-moment smoky beige blonde plays well with both warm and cool skin tones.
We know it’s hard to keep up with all of the coloring techniques these days (we’ve come a long way since being limited to the chunky highlights of the 90s), but fiolayage is one you should definitely keep on your radar. Foilayage creates the sunkissed, natural-looking effect of a balayage, but with added foils for a little more brilliance. You can expect hand-painted pieces to be wrapped in foils for brighter accents while seamlessly blending with your base shade. Basically, all you need to know is that it requires minimal upkeep as it grows out!
Balayage can still be applied on the mid part of strands as the ends are rolled into foils, allowing for a smooth lightening transition from the top to bottom of the hair.
Your search for the perfect middle point between blonde and brunette ends here because bronde has the potential to be your new favorite low-key hair color. Bronde, or “brown blonde,” is a blend of dark and light tones that result in a dimensional, oh-so low-maintenance hue.
Heavy Blonde Balayage on Medium Brown Hair
For brunettes who want to have the best of both hair colors, try this super saturated blonde balayage that toes the line of becoming a full-on ombré. Mainly focusing blonde on the ends of the hair while leaving the roots untouched allows medium-toned brunettes to go even longer between salon touch-ups.
Did one of these looks spark your interest? Head to Hair.com to find all the products professionals rely on to upkeep blonde hair.