Going blonde is no easy feat. Bleaching your hair can be extremely damaging, and the upkeep is basically a full-time commitment. Plus, people tend to underestimate blondes (although according to science blondes are anything but dumb). Blonde doesn't really describe a color; it's a category filled with an infinite number of shades. We love them all, and thanks to the celebs on the runways and red carpets this season we’ve got plenty of inspiration. From platinum and shades of honey, tweed and mahogany, blonde hair colors are trending hard in 2022. Ahead, the prettiest blondes for your complexion and preference, plus everything you need to know about your ideal tone, to find your perfect match.
Call it dark blonde or dirty blonde, this color trend is one of the prettiest shades of the season. Not quite platinum, honey or brunette, dirty blonde has elements of three. In fact, it's a mix of several different colors and tones, so there’s a variation that works for every skin tone.
This grown out blonde trend is a healthier option for your hair if you want to go easy on the bleach. It’s extra low-maintenance and features a darker root for a more intentional grow-out. You can go six months between touch-ups — it’s a carefree color for people who don't have the time or inclination to spend hours on their hair. The undone blond trend makes a nice update for warm blondes that have gone brassy. Ask your colorist to smudge your roots with an ashy, light brown with buttery pieces weaved throughout.
Another trendy hue we’re obsessed with this season is honey blonde. This shade mixes golden yellow with amber-brown tones, and is intentionally warm — this is the opposite of unintentional warmth, or brassiness. Intentional warmth pulls just the right amount of gold. Ask your colorist for dark brown roots that transition to a rich golden honey about halfway down the length.
Icy white hair is still going strong in 2022. If you’re ready to go really light, a pale platinum is so cutting-edge and chic. But keep in mind when going platinum you need to do it the right way, especially if you’re starting with dark hair. Go to someone who specializes in platinum and be prepared to commit to regular upkeep. Ask for a platinum-to-vanilla blonde with controlled warmth.
Another trend our colorists are loving right now are buttery shades of yellow blonde. A lighter blonde though not as white as platinum, yellow blonde is more gold with warmer tones. Ask your colorist for a dark brown base with golden, hand-painted highlights, as keeping darker roots keeps you from looking washed out.
Ashy tones have been having a moment with celebs and the trend shows no signs of going anywhere. Somewhere between bronde and gray, mushroom blonde works with all skin tones because it's a mix of both warm and cool tones. With hints of gray, beige and even lilac, it’s the perfect transitional shade in between brunette and blonde.
One of the hottest shades of the season is flooding runways and Instagram feeds alike. Technically in the copper family, but very close to blonde, is mahogany blonde. This red-blonde hybrid is a neutral shade that’s universally flattering (which is probably why it’s popping up everywhere). Mahogany blonde is a wearable hair color idea with shades of copper, gold and rose.
If you’re tired of the darker root/lighter end trend, try tweed blonde. The coolest new take on balayage, the tweed hair trend was all over the runways for fall. Tweed highlights start all the way to the roots, and are painted on in a pattern that mimics, you guessed it, tweed fabric. Tweed blonde highlights are a fun way to refresh your color if you’re used to a darker root smudge.
This golden light blonde is a versatile and fresh color with lots of warmth. Sunrise blonde is a multifaceted shade that’s bright and golden with tons of dimension. It has an undone darker root and warm tone. Ask your colorist for a sunny balayage, keeping your natural color exposed at the root for a dimensional blonde hair look.
Buttercream blonde highlights are painted directly onto the hair — not onto foils — leaving adjacent, darker strands untouched. The result is a high contrast, salt and pepper effect and we love this trendy blonde look. Ask your hairdresser to paint darker shades around your face to frame it, and blonder tones in the lengths.
The most important factor to consider when choosing the best blonde for you is your skin tone, followed by your eye color, time of year, and lifestyle. If you have pale skin and light eyes, go natural with lighter shades of blonde. Darker blonde shades work better on dark skin tones and eyes. Cool skin tones should avoid having too much warmth in their blonde hair, as it can make your skin look ruddy. Instead opt for cool tones like ash and dirty blondes. If you have an olive skin tone, choose golden blondes to bring warmth to your complexion and make it appear less green. Try buttery, honey, or mahogany blondes. If your skin tone is neutral (meaning no noticeably pink or green undertones) both warm and cool blonde hues work for you. Look at pictures of blonde celeb hair colors you like, and those you don't, then book a consultation with a colorist to help decide on the right blonde for you.
Whether you’ve opted for subtle blonde highlights or a whole new lighter hair color, maintaining your blonde hair can be tricky. You want your blonde bright and vibrant in between salon visits, but bleaching your strands will inevitably leave them dry and brittle. These tips will keep your blonde shade looking fresh all season long.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor