New York vs. L.A.: Who Has the Best Summer Blonde Hair?

Eunice Lucero | 01 May 2017
nyc summer blonde hair with matte undertones

Hint: One love!

People have written rap songs about it (and even died for the cause). We’ve gone head to head about the year-round weather, which place has the best tacos and makeup styles. And now, yes, the East Coast vs. West Coast debate has extended to hair as well. Particularly, which place produces the sultries, the sexiest, the most covetable summer blonde hair color to end all blonde colors imaginable.

At least, that’s what I’ve been observing from where we stand, curiously and eagerly trend-watching to see what blows up next. Nowadays (and quite fittingly so as we are ~finally~ in legit Spring/Summer weather), it’s the perfect bright and super light blonde, ideal for reflecting canopy shadows of the trees in Central Park or mimicking the sandy dunes of the OC.

summer blonde hair neutral
One blonde to rule them all: the neutral blonde. Photo credit:

Unlike the hyper-trendy millennial waves of mermaid hair, unicorn hair or all ombré everything, summer blonde hair will always remain a staple in the stable of any colorist worth his/her salt. It’s a look that has an ageless, undeniably eye-catching appeal and one that’s—even by name alone—evocative of literal brighter days ahead.

Summer Blonde Hair Color, from Coast to Coast

Keeping it classy, NYC

summer blonde hair in nyc
Cool and subtly highlighted, the New York blonde has light ashy tones. Photo credit:

So what shade is the penultimate blonde? If you’ve kept an eagle eye on savvy New Yorkers, it’s hands down a matte, ashy hue. The chic, cosmopolitan shade also deftly complements the rest of our four-season climate, as it’s easily taken a few shades darker or lighter depending on preference (and time period). It’s also a wildly flattering hue that goes well with a variety of diverse skin tones. Delicate, pastel-undertoned blondes are also a popular ask from the city’s top salons.

nyc summer blonde hair with matte undertones
A matte blonde reigns supreme on the style-savvy. Photo credit:

West Coast is the Best Coast?

LA summer blonde hair with bangs
Even with a bit of a warmer lowlight, West Coast blondes are still crisper and cleaner than previous years’ shades. Photo credit:

Not surprisingly, the West Coast blonde of the summer is one with a bright, buttery tone, a.k.a. the better to tan with, my dears. But before you think this summer blonde hair color is just another riff on those of seasons past, think again: Its roots are tighter and neater, and highlights are nowhere near as brassy as you’d think they’d be for a “warmer” blonde. In fact, a subtle balayage is the hottest highlight trend to accompany this blonde shade, as we’ve seen out on the streets; gone are the days of scratchy, stripey blondes and German Shepherd realness.

warmer lowlights on LA summer blonde hair
A slightly sandier ash characterizes the L.A. blonde look. Photo credit:

All in all, the overarching theme is one of classy understatedness. It’s actually pretty refreshing, particularly these days when we’re all but spammed with all things extra. Subtle yet luxurious-looking highlights and a crisp, well-maintained blonde (with just a bit of smudging at the root at best) is the Great Equalizer, no matter which coast you call home.

TL;DR? No more East vs. West: Coast to coast, sexy, clean blondes are in, with a hint of cool tones and neater, tighter highlights. Now if we could just find a haircut for world peace…

Want more trend insight? Check out the best highlighted looks we’ve spotted this season.

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