Your guide to getting blonde highlights

Tempted by sunny highlights to match warm weather season? Discover our tips on what to know before you get them.

Thinking of lightening your hair? Blonde highlights are a great way of adding a touch of sunkissed shimmer to your tresses. Done right, a few brightening streaks can go a long way to frame your face and enhance your features – so read on for some great tips to help you get the blonde highlights you’re looking for.

Blonde highlights your complete guide


Subtle blonde highlights.

Work with the seasons

Blonde highlights are perfect for exuding that summery, sunshine-filled vibe – and might just be the next best thing to spending a week lounging on a gorgeous beach. To get the best out of your highlights, aim to work with your natural colouring and the light around you. You can afford to go a little brighter during the summer, as the warm glow of sunshine will complement your lighter tones naturally. But when it gets cooler and you start to lose that sunkissed look (sob!) go for deeper, more golden-toned highlights to add some depth to your natural colour.

natural looking blonde highlights
Not all blonde highlights were created equal. Credit: Indigital

Frame your face

Not all blonde highlights were created equal – and where you place them makes all the difference. Think about the way the sun naturally hits your complexion to give your crown a soft glow; a good highlights job should mimic the same effect. Keep the lightest, widest highlights around the cheekbones and jawline – to help brighten and accentuate your features – and going a touch darker and subtler at the roots and tips to add dimension. Just ask your colourist about how the strobing technique and how it might work on you.

Don’t forget to add a base

To keep your highlights looking natural, add in a mix of shades for extra depth. The subtle variations in tone will make all the difference to the overall look. Add a base colour – in a shade a level or two darker than your main highlights, to promote structure and dimension. You could also incorporate lowlights to keep the transition looking subtle, and add a little radiance to your look. Don’t overdo the colours though: three’s the perfect number when it comes to highlights to avoid that streaky end effect.

blonde highlights hair
Tip: work with your colouring. Credit: Dvora

Consider your skin tone

We often think about how blonde highlights can work to enhance our natural hair colours, but don’t forget that it should complement your skin tone, too. For example, if you have a paler complexion with pink undertones, variations on the ever-fashionable platinum shade should work well, while if you have yellow or more neutral undertones, golden shades can really help add warmth. If you have medium or olive skin, and your natural base is closer to the brown end of the spectrum, go for richer honey blonde shades, mixed in with more subtle gold streaks (the balayage technique will be your go-to here) for a more exotic, natural-looking effect.

Treat yourself to some TLC

You’re going to be blowing kisses at yourself in every reflective surface with your newly-tinted blonde highlights – so take care of them to make them last! Treat them with a little extra TLC, by using a shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for coloured or blonde hair, like the Toni&Guy Cleanse Shampoo For Blonde Hair (£6.49*) and the Toni&Guy Cleanse Conditioner For Blonde Hair (£6.49*). It’ll also help to not to over-wash your tresses; reach for a dry shampoo, like the TRESemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo (£3.99*), if you’re tempted on those in-between days. When heading out into the sun, make sure to keep your hair protected as much as is feasible (with the help of accessories like hats and scarves), to help prevent your blonde highlights from fading.

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