How To Pick The Right Blonde For You

Blonde has never seemed more approachable. We are at a very exciting time in the world of hair color, when rainbow hair is commonplace on the streets and in (some) office environments, and when going intentionally gray doesn't seem like a bad idea, according to much of Hollywood. All of a sudden, blond seems, well, reasonable.
There's a new wave of blonde ambition in town, heralded by stars like Taylor Swift, Miley, and Chrissy Teigen. Girls who weren't born fair-haired are now making it look, dare we say, even cooler than the iconic Hollywood blondes we've come to know and love (we're looking at you, Gwyneth and Reese). Above all, there's the feeling that this shade is totally attainable, no matter what Mother Nature gave us.
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Perhaps, everyone should go blond once in their lives, just to see what all the fuss is about. But, be warned — that means regular root touch-ups (every four to six weeks, depending on your look), and salon glazes in-between. Keep all that in mind before you decide to hit the bleach.
If you've been bitten by the blond bug, though, click through to get a little inspiration. We gathered insight from three in-demand colorists — Tracey Cunningham (who dyes Charlize Theron), Justin Anderson (none other than Miss Miley), and Rita Hazan (Queen Bey) — to break down the best blondes in Hollywood. Then, we sourced the products — both salon and at-home — you need in your arsenal. Prepare to become a total bleach babe — your dream shade awaits.
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
The Classic Blonde, À La Grace Kelly
“The mix of sandy and bright-blond tones makes this the most natural-looking hue of Old Hollywood. Because it can be a bit ashy, it’s best on fairer complexions, rather than tan or darker skin tones,” says Anderson.
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Photo: Stewart Cook/REX USA
The Modern-Icon Blonde, À La Charlize Theron
Charlize is also a warmer blonde, “but there are vibrant undertones,” Cunningham says. “This really enhances her skin tone.”
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Photo: PDN/REX USA.
The Socialite Blonde, À La Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth does the cool-blond thing, but she prefers it less lived-in. “This color reminds me of New York — and money!” Anderson says. “It’s a near-platinum shade that requires the most upkeep — even when your natural color is on the lighter side, like Gwyneth’s.”

“When your hair is one color, you never really see how light it is unless you have something lighter or darker next to it to make it pop,” explains Cunningham, the actress’ go-to colorist. “That’s why we add babylights to keep it multidimensional while creating luxurious depth.”
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Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
The Platinum Blonde, À La Miley Cyrus
“This is a high-maintenance shade,” Anderson says. (He should know — he frequently colors the star.) “Being this blond is obviously going to be the most damaging to the hair, so it works well with a shorter style. I think it goes nicely with pink skin tones, but it’s also great because it is such a statement that you will barely ever feel the need for makeup.”
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Photo: Tiffany Rose/Getty Images.
The Buttery Blonde, À La Reese Witherspoon
“This is the all-American shade,” Anderson says. “It’s buttery tones accented by an icy pop of bright-blond highlights — it works so well with her pink cheeks. This is consistently the most requested type of blond in Los Angeles.”

Insider tip: Buttery blond hues are having a big moment for 2017!
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Photo: James McCauley/REX USA.
The Blonde Ambition, À La Madonna
Madge has run the gamut from buttery to strawberry and just about everything in-between. She makes noticeable roots with a color edging on platinum look cool, showing that pale colors don't always require major upkeep.
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Photo: REX USA.
The Can’t-Be-Bothered Blonde, À La Kate Moss
Another roots advocate? “Kate Moss is the ultimate rock-'n'-roll blonde,” Hazan says. “The trick is not to go overly blond — allow contrast in the color, and leave a lot of time in-between root touch-ups at the salon,” adds Anderson.
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
The Party Blonde, À La Kate Hudson
“This is easily one of the most requested shades of blond in Hollywood,” Anderson says. “Unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest hues for girls to pull off. Kate is more of a yellow-blonde than most people realize, so to pull this off, you have to have the right coloring — and personality. I like it best with a natural-looking tan. Keeping up with the roots is also essential.”
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Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
The Golden Blonde, À La Shakira
“This is classic golden-blond with light, pale highlights,” Hazan explains. “This allows her to pull off the color convincingly. Plus, the contrast of gold and pale creates a youthful, beachy sort of blond.”
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
The Honey-Blonde With Depth, À La Beyoncé
“This is a shade of honey that has a variation of high- and lowlights, which gives Beyoncé the perfect balance for her medium skin tone,” Hazan says. “This gives the color dimension and contrast, but in a very subtle way.”
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Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
The Bombshell Blonde, À La Claudia Schiffer
“It’s the right amount of gold and honey tones,” Anderson says. Unlike Beyoncé, who has similar colors in her 'do, Claudia has a mane that's full of “dramatic pops of bright-blond highlights, making it perfect for bouncy, full, voluminous hair,” he says.
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Photo: David Fisher/REX USA.
The Faux Blonde, À La Jennifer Aniston
“We all know she’s not a natural, but Jennifer pulls her color off with such ease because the overall tone complements the olive tones in her skin,” Anderson says. “If you’re going blonder than Mother Nature intended, remember to keep a bit of contrast in the hair and also some warmth! Women are always afraid of gold, honey, or even red tones, but when your skin is naturally beige or tan, it’s the only way to go. Pale or ashy blonds don’t look as convincing when you’re closer to brunette.”
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Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
The Bronde, À La Chrissy Teigen
“Chrissy’s mom actually inspired me to take her this light ‘brond’ color,” Cunningham says. “She showed me a childhood photo of Chrissy, and I knew we had to go lighter. This perfectly enhanced her olive skin tone without being too much.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Olaplex.
Salon Quality
Olaplex is a single-ingredient molecule that was partially pioneered by Cunningham, and then became a salon sensation for in-the-know colorists. "It gives me superpowers," she says of the product, which is used to supplement bleach and dye concoctions at the mixing bowl. Olaplex claims to bond the hair that breaks during the lifting process, allowing your colorist to take you from deep-brown to platinum in just a day. "Every single client at my salon gets it," she says. Before you book your appointment, make sure your salon uses this. (It's a game-changer.)
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Photo: Courtesy of Sephora.
Shower Time
"I know it sounds awful, but rinsing your hair with cool water is key for both your hair and your skin," Anderson says. "Even though it may sound extravagant, an at-home shower filter is helpful to keep your bright pieces intact. Over time, chlorine and metals found in water build up on the hair, especially blond hair, which can leave them looking dull, flat, and sometimes brassy."

T3 Source Showerhead Filter, $130, available at Sephora.
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Clarifying Cleanser
A clarifying shampoo, like this one from Briogeo is great to help make sure your color stays its most vibrant.

Briogeo Be Gentle Be King Green Tea Clarifying Shampoo, $24, available at Briogeo.
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We also love this formula, which removes buildup while enhancing shine. (And smells amazing, to boot.)

Moroccanoil Clarifying Shampoo, $26, available at Moroccanoil.
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It's hard to justify high price tags for products you're going to use up in no time. Luckily, the drugstore has an array of clarifying options that won't leave your ends feeling stripped. This Pantene formula is safe enough to use weekly and leaves every strand replenished — no matter how many times you dye it.

Pantene Pro-V Weekly Deep Cleanse Purifying Shampoo, $4.79, available at Walgreens.
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Photo: Courtesy of Davines.
Color Shampoos
Most blondes adopt purple shampoos, but this is typically only good if you're a) prone to brassiness (dark hair to start out with) or, b) you've gone a very pale, cool shade. Always ask your colorist which is best, but our oft-bleached beauty department favors the Davines Alchemic range. "Always go for sulfate-free," Cunningham says.

Davines Alchemic Shampoo Silver, $24.50, available at Davines.
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Within three washes, any dulled color or brassy hues will be refreshed and brighter, according to John Frieda reps — Gigi Hadid even swears by it. Not bad for under $6...

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Color Renew Tone Restoring Shampoo, $5.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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For those that feel hesitant to tone at home, we offer this option. R+Co's blond shampoo has just a tinge of lavender, making it foolproof for beginners, but still helps to ease out brassy hues.

R+Co Sunset Blvd Blonde Shampoo, $29, available at R+Co.
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Quick Gloss
Hazan developed foaming glosses for at-home use, which are genius post-shampoo quick-fixes. There's a blond one, which will enhance golden highlights, but there's also this lovely lavender one, which pretty much instantly banishes brass. Let it sit for as long as you can.

Rita Hazan Ultimate Shine Gloss in Breaking Brass, $26, available at Sephora.
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Weekly Glaze
Those who are nervous to try a toning gloss (like the one on the previous slide) — or just want an added dose of shine — can look to a color glaze. Oribe's brand-new glaze takes the place of your conditioner, won't alter your color, and can be used weekly or as needed. The thick formula coats strands and leaves them softer and shinier. Smooth through just washed hair, leave on for three to five minutes, and rinse.

Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color, $58, available at Oribe.
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Photo: Courtesy of Redken.
Color Conditioner
"Redken's Blonde Idol range has a violet conditioner for cool blondes and a gold for warm blondes. It dispenses a conditioning pigment that either kills brassiness or enhances warmth," Cunningham says.

Redken Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Conditioner, available at salons.
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Photo: Courtesy of Shu Uemura.
Color Mask
But, you're inevitably going to miss that twice-monthly glaze, or you're going to go a little too long between root touch-ups. It happens. Luckily, Shu Uemura's Reviving Balm is basically like having a colorist mix you up something special, right in your shower. Apply it from roots to ends, and then trace through with a fine-toothed comb to make sure the application is even. Leave it in for 15 minutes while you go about your business, and then rinse it out — you've got a fresh new dye job.

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Shades Reviving Balm, $58, available at Wonderland Beauty Parlor.
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If you're looking to tone your platinum blonde, reach for Christophe Robin's cult-favorite mask. It creates a shimmering silver effect that's totally cool.

Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Nutritive Mask in Baby Blond, $51, available at Sephora.
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Pre-Shampoo Treatment
Hair becomes more susceptible to damage after being bleached — even when you're paying the highest levels of care and attention to it. Adding a pre-shampoo treatment is one of the easiest ways to bring back a soft, silky feeling to parched or damaged strands. You simply slap it on, let it sit for an hour or so (you can pull your hair into a bun or pop on a shower cap), then rinse before you shampoo and condition like you would normally.

Christophe Robin Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender, $47, available at Sephora.
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Leonor Greyl's treatment oil is a cult-favorite when it comes to pre-shampoo treatments. This sumptuous oil penetrates the hair shaft, protecting it from hard water and sun. Slather it on from roots to ends, let it sit for about a half hour, and then wash it out. Pro tip: The stuff goes solid at room temperature, so make sure to run it under some warm water to get the juices flowing.

Leonor Greyl L'Huile De Leonor Greyl, $59, available at Nordstrom.
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The Roots
Like we said earlier, roots can look badass — but it also has a lot to do with personal preference. If regrowth isn't your thing, you can temporarily blend the line of demarcation (where your color meets your natural hair color at the root) using a tinted, pressed powder. There are a few formulas out there, but we love John Frieda's because it comes with two shades. Simply brush it onto roots, just like you would apply eyeshadow. It won't totally cover your roots (it's powder, not magic), but it will softly lighten your regrowth and won't budge until you shampoo.

John Frieda Root Blur, $19.99, available at Ulta.
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Photo: Courtesy of Serge Normant.
"We're at a great place in time, when roots are sexy," Anderson says. "Unprocessed hair at the root can get quite oily and give hair a flat look. Use a dry shampoo — I always pick this one because of its scent."

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo, $25, available at Nordstrom.
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