There’s no denying the appeal of classic beauty looks. Whether it’s a bob or a bold red lip, they have stood the test of time for a reason. The same rings true for staple hair colors. Season after season, blonde continues to be a favorable choice because there are countless shades to try. While icy platinum has remained on top as ultimate cool-girl look for the past few years, the trends are shifting to a simpler approach in 2024. “Natural blonde hair is having a moment,” says Richy Kandasamy, colorist, VP of R+COLOR Development and R+Co collective member. Think soft, earthy undertones blended with golden highlights.
Unlike dyeing the entire head of hair, these shades use highlighting techniques to achieve a natural color. The result is a low-maintenance shade that’s easy to preserve at home. “Most people are looking for an easy-going style that requires less time at the salon and remains prominent between visits,” says Chase Kusero, colorist and co-founder of IGK Hair Care. But that doesn’t mean it has to be one-note. According to Kandasamy, natural blondes are versatile and customizable to suit any complexion.
Ahead, the two colorist share their top natural blonde hair colors and tips for finding your perfect shade.
Maybe you’re not ready to make a long-term commitment. Instead, why not try refreshing your current color? This wheat-toned blonde is the perfect option that will enhance your natural shade with little risk. To get the best result, opt for highlights that are delicately placed throughout your hair. Not only will the lighter streaks add dimension, but they will keep your overall look from appearing flat and lifeless.
Face-framing highlights is another technique that’s currently having a renaissance. But this time around, the method is more subtle. It’s still about using brighter shades — however, now the streaks are strategically placed to add depth. “Starting at the temporal area and using soft golds instead of bleach-blonde is much more approachable,” says Kandasamy. While the technique can be applied to a range of colors, honey blonde feels timely in this minimalist era.
When it comes to flawlessly blended blonde, nothing beats Balayage. The French technique has been at the center of some of the most popular celebrity hair colors. It continues to be a staple for creating natural blonde looks because it doesn’t overwhelm the underlying tones. “It’s all about protecting the integrity of your hair,” says Kandasamy. “This is how you preserve the shade and keep the color looking its best.”
Cold Butter Blonde
If you prefer cool-toned colors, this icy, butter blonde is a good choice. From the root, it seamlessly blends straw tones that cascade into a soft light yellow. “Right now, everyone’s loving a style that’s classic and effortlessly chic,” says Kusero. Think quite luxury and upscale old money. But the pro notes it’s not just about a luxe look. “By blending the blonde with your natural hair color, the stylist can create a hue that’s easy for you to maintain at home,” he says. To prolong the intensity of the shade, he suggests using IGK’s color-depositing mask. Not only will it extend the life of your color, but the nourishing formula ensures your hair remains healthy.
Blonde highlights have a reputation for being loud and over the top. But with babylights, you can create a softened look. Unlike the chunky style that ruled the early 2000s, this technique has a delicate approach. Instead of bleaching large sections at a time, Kandasamy explains the method involves smaller amounts of hair and a very fine amount of color. “The goal here is to create a hue that feels organic, sort of like you were born with it,” he says. Though the sections are smaller, it allows the stylists to add the micro highlights all over and create a natural blend.
Natural shades tend to evoke a timeless classic beauty. Though this look incorporates bright highlights, the dark roots give it a lived-in feel. “Root shadowing is a good way to create this particular style,” says Kandasamy. He explains that keeping the roots dark allows the stylist to form a custom color that will evolve as the hair grows out.
Sun-kissed blonde is as easy-going as a summer day. According to Kandasamy, the style has remained popular because it instantly brightens your face and gives you a youthful glow. However, mimicking sun-streaked strands requires a precise eye and technique. “The main focus of this look is the softer appearance, so you’ll need to seamlessly blend warm, cool, and neutral undertones to create the perfect combination,” he says. In that vein, he notes getting a proper consultation and assessing the current state of your hair will ensure you get the best results.
The beauty of this color trend is that it’s suitable for everyone. The key, however, is working with your innate shade and using it to ground your new hue. “Choosing a blonde that complements your original color will give you the most natural look,” says Kandasamy. In the case of redheads, this means selecting a hue that’s lifted and not overly processed. “Going too far from your base might require more upkeep and might not look as natural,” adds Kandasamy.
Maintaining vibrancy with strawberry blonde can be a bit more demanding, but it’s not impossible. In between salon visits, he recommends investing in a conditioning hair mask, like R+Co BLEU’s Blonded Brightening Masque, that will neutralize undertones and counteract fading.
Golden Hour Blonde
Creating a seamless look isn’t always about adding dimensional tones throughout the hair. Instead, Kandasamy tells TZR that a technique called ‘root melt’ can deliver an equally alluring effect. As he explains, the method involves using darker roots to give the final style depth and dimension. Coincidently, this also allows the color to grow out naturally and lessens the need for salon appointments.
A sandy shade can be a good option for those whose hair is on the darker end of the blonde spectrum. However, if you choose this route, the right toner will be essential to nail the look. To find the appropriate one, Kandasamy suggests using your complexion as a starting point. “You can tone your hair with an ashy or neutral shade, but you want to make sure you’re creating a balance between your hair color and your face.
This article was originally published on