The 9 Sexiest Hair-Color Ideas for Blondes
If you want to go baby blonde like Michelle Williams, be prepared to make a similarly major commitment. Celebrity colorist Kim Vo recommends touching up roots every three weeks. Ask your colorist for a bright golden hue with pale highlights—and because bleaching the hair this often is damaging, consider keeping your hair short to prevent breakage.
Even women with very fair skin can pull off blonde hair without appearing washed out—just look at Emma Stone. The trick is choosing a hue that will add warmth to the cheeks, like this blush blonde. "She has strawberry blonde undertones with flecks of gold highlights all over," Vo says. To maintain it, ask for a strawberry toner to use between salon visits. This will fill in the gaps where color has faded and keep hair from looking brassy.
Blake Lively's warmed-up marigold shade is perfect for transitioning from summer to fall. Rona O'Connor, Lively's colorist, mixes golden, honey, and apricot hues to create the multidimensional color. She finishes with nearly ivory highlights around the front to brighten her face. Because the lowlights underneath are prone to fading, she recommends frequent conditioning masks, like Goldwell Dual Senses Rich Repair 60-Second Treatment (a favorite among her busy celebrity clients).
Blondes with brown or hazel eyes, like Carrie Underwood, need to build dimension from the roots. "Whatever color the lightest flecks of your eyes are, that should be your base," Vo says. Request a quick "base bump" to warm up the roots first, and consider caramel or honey lowlights to bring out your eyes. Otherwise, a color like this could wash you out, Vo says.
Highlights are a great way for brunettes to experiment with going blonde. Avon global colorist Lorri Goddard, who lightened Jennifer Lawrence's hair after The Hunger Games, recommends gently hand-painting on different shades of lightening cream without foil to mimic the effect of the sun. The technique, called balayage, requires skill, so make sure to find a colorist who specializes in it before booking your appointment.
The balance of golden and cool highlights on Rachel McAdams is the perfect way to add depth without losing the bright blonde you crave. "This is the most forgiving color at any age because you can warm up the skin and adjust it," says Vo. Ask for more golden highlights in the winter, when the skin tends to be paler (like McAdams's). Then, in the summer, add cool highlights to contrast with your warmer skin tone. And keep it slightly root-y by only touching up the color every four weeks. "At four weeks and one day, it can go from looking flirty to dirty," Vo says.
For women with darker skin tones, like Keri Hilson, blonde highlights can really brighten the face. Just don't go too light. If the contrast between the skin and the hair is too pronounced, it's unflattering, Vo says. If you have dark eyes, keep an inch to a half-inch of your natural color at the roots for balance, and ask for light to warm caramel highlights depending on your skin tone (the lighter your complexion, the lighter your hair can be).
Surprisingly, Gisele Bundchen's golden shade isn't the result of going brighter at the ends, but instead going darker at the roots. "This is great for women growing out their highlighted hair," says O'Connor. Tell your colorist to add four or five inches of false roots and blend it with your lighter ends. This will help mask the line of demarcation and is gentler on overprocessed and dry hair.