Trends come and go, yes (and at All Things Hair HQ, we’d be absolutely remiss to not try every single one, of course), but there’s something unshakeable about a classic. Blonde hair is one of those things that goes through several iterations too, depending on what’s in vogue at the moment: During the 1950s, coiffed platinum locks took the stage, as bombshell screen sirens sported the hue, while grown-out, sunnier golden blondes became the look during the hippie, free-loving ’70s. In the Early Aughts, stripey blonde highlights (inexplicably) became the hottest thing ever, which gave way to more natural blonde hair shades like balayage and ombré during late 2010s.
Even though there’s something about every shade of blonde out there, its this latter natural blonde hair color that’s been quietly doing its job since day 1. We pay homage to this wear-anywhere, wear-anytime, universally flattering hue (we credit its neutral ashy tones) in the following looks below. Scroll on to find your new classic and get inspired:
1. Café Au Lait Curls
Cream in your coffee never looked so chic, especially when rendered as a clean, ashy single-process shade—and finished off with on-trend curls.
2. Flaxen Sombré Waves, Long
Creamy, cool-toned perfection that really makes pink undertones glow.
3. Golden Balayage
This bright, sunny blonde, with its natural sun-streaky highlights, also works well with a bit of a dark root.
4. Ash Brown with Bleached Ends
Blink and you’ll miss it: This super natural blonde hair color popular on surfer girls everywhere features an ash brown base that’s been lightened at the ends (by too many days out by the breakers, perhaps?)
5. Dusty Flaxen Blonde
Ask your stylist to smudge your highlights (typically by backcombing as they’re being foiled) to get rid of any telltale edges, as above.
6. Bright Champagne
This beige blonde doesn’t quite read as strawberry but retains a definite pink tone that registers really well on peach and neutral complexions.
7. Sandy Lowlights
Ash brown lowlights provide more dimension to a baby blonde base.
Bottle blondes can join in on the fun too, provided the shade is on the cooler side (it’ll brass up naturally anyway, virtue of your shower) and is given a bit of dimension with a few lowlights.bombshell look.
9. Smudgy Root
Brunettes that want a natural—but still super bright—blonde look can opt for a smudgy root, with features the color starting lower on the strand (bonus: easier touchups too). Create this just-rolled-out-of-bed rumple by working Nexxus Between Washes Beach Waves Tousled Texture Sea Salt Spray through your strands.
10. Natural Highlights
Thin foil highlights are a more wearable and grown-up version of the streaks of yesteryear.
11. Creamy Ash
A single-process ash blonde finds a gorgeous, gleamy finish with a glossing treatment after the fact. Give your hair some at-home shine by misting your final look with Bed Head by TIGI Headrush Shine Hair Spray.
12. Skinny Highlights
The ultimate (and upscale) Cali-girl look features paper-crisp highlights on a sandy base. A tan also helps!
13. Bleached Blonde with Messy Waves
If there were ever an iconic surf-to-turf shade, this would be it.
14. Beige and Textured
Who said beige was boring? Rendered with a modern-day texture, it loses all its stuffy references. Create this look by first sopping up any excess grease with a dry shampoo (we love Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo), then giving locks a bit of a tousle.
15. Angel Blonde
Young kids typically have natural blonde streaks that are scattered all throughout hair, depending on sun exposure. Mimic this cherubic vibe by asking your stylist for a baby blonde balayage starting on the mid-lengths and ends.