Longing for beachy blonde hair but unsure which shade you can pull off? The answer is: any! It all comes down to maintenance (which comes at a price) and confidence (which is free). If you can't decide which blonde you should be, it helps to choose a colour that complements the undertones of your skin. Here's a quick way to tell which is yours:
– Warm-toned skin often has yellow or golden undertones (the veins on your inner wrist usually show up as green and you’re able to get a healthy tan).
– Cool-toned skin often has pinkish or red undertones (veins usually show up as blue or purple and you’re careful not to get sunburned).
– Neutral-toned skin has a mix of golden and red undertones (any shade looks great on you, lucky).
If that sounds too technical, you could just look to the rich and famous for inspo. If your skin tone is closer to Zoë Kravitz, Solange or Jourdan Dunn, you have warm undertones. If you’re more akin to Chloë Sevigny, Kate Moss or Karlie Kloss, then you have cool-toned skin.
Honey hues are a classic choice for bringing warmth to fair skin, while an ashier blonde will balance the undertones of warm skin. Whether you're cool or warm-toned, it's best to stay away from blondes with strong yellow or red hues, as these will bring out (rather than balance) the undertones in your skin. To achieve a complementary blonde, go to your stylist with a photo of your ideal shade. Being flexible with your expectations is essential for maintaining strong, healthy hair, especially if your hair is darker, naturally curly or chemically relaxed.
For dark brown to black hair, it will likely take a few visits to your colourist to get the colour you want. Expert colourist Sam Burnett says: "It requires a lot of patience, time and upkeep. Maintaining a bright blonde with a dark base is a massive commitment that can be quite expensive so it’s best to have an in-depth consultation with your stylist [to see] if this is the right colour for you. A colour change of this nature requires a journey with your colour specialist."
For relaxed hair it’s best to stay away from bleaching because the mix of chemicals can cause severe damage to your hair. That doesn’t mean you can’t go lighter, though – just don’t expect a full-blown Marilyn Monroe.
Those with curly, kinky and coily textures should also be aware that bleaching could loosen your ringlets. Hair colour supremo Josh Wood advises: "With curly and textured hair, more care needs to be taken to neither dehydrate the hair nor make it brittle. Specific aftercare for colour-treated textured hair is a must." A major hair colour transformation will require lots of TLC, so be sure to invest in quality strengthening treatments and weekly hydrating masks. Purple shampoo and regular toning is also essential for keeping your blonde at its best.