If you've got your heart set on going blonde for this spring and summer, but just can't seem to decide which shade you'll be able to pull off, let's make one thing clear: Provided you keep maintenance in mind (which comes at a price) and feel good about the look you've got going on (which is free), the answer is any.
But if you really have no idea where to start, try taking a cue from your skin's undertones. It's easy — just look at the veins on your inner wrist. If they have a greenish cast, you're probably warm-toned; if they're more on the purplish side, chances are you have cool undertones; and if they're just blue, that means you're neutral.
That said, going blonde isn't quite so easy as figuring out how blonde you want to go, grabbing a box of color off the drugstore shelf, and calling it a day. To achieve your best, most complementary blonde, you'll want to go to a stylist who can help get you there — and it's important to be flexible with your expectations.
If you don't want to find yourself back in the salon chair every three weeks, taking your natural hair color into consideration could make or break your blonde ambition. Lightening up can be a huge (and expensive) commitment, especially if your hair is darker, naturally curly, or chemically relaxed. "It requires a lot of patience, time, and upkeep," says expert colorist Sam Burnett, who always recommends an in-depth consultation with your stylist before taking the leap.
A major hair-color transformation will always 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. But once you've gotten the practical stuff out of the way, it's time for the fun part: actually being blonde.