How to Gracefully Transition Blonde Hair Into Fall: A Street Style Guide

Eunice Lucero | 16 September 2016

Toe the line with some forgiving roots.

Whether you’re doing it on purpose or were just too caught up in your summer #YOLO to make that salon trip, you’re in luck: Rooty blonde hair is still a thing. And what a fun, edgy thing it is: A few parts dishwater, a few parts ombré, blonde hair with grown-out roots is a cool, offhand way to wear this light-ish shade while still giving a nod to the colder new season ahead.

Rooty blonde hair can be a graceful, transitional look while you’re cusping between seasons—not to mention that damage-wise, it’s also way gentler on your strands than having your hair literally change overnight. Smudging out a lighter shade is like saying “okay, I get it, but let me just play with this a little bit more,” and it comes with a certain rough-around-the-edges feel that’s actually quite chic. Yes, some may think it’s the version of a snooze button for your hair color, but we think it’s a majorly cool, thoughtful look in and of itself. Read on for a few style-savvy inspirations of how to wear the rooty blonde hair trend:

The Best Grown-In Blonde Hair Looks Spotted At NYFW

rooty blonde hair platinum lob streetstyle nyfw
Want to edge up your chunky platinum lob even more? Ash up those roots. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

1. Ashy Blonde Roots

It’s all about that gritty/pretty balance when it comes to platinum blonde hair that has a bit of a black root creeping in. Many fans of this notoriously high-maintenance blonde hair color have found a way to enjoy it longer without going crazy with upkeep: Embrace the contrast—highlight it, even, with more rockstar details such as a totally on-trend matte texture and chunky layers. Ed’s tip: Unless you’re a natural blonde, you will get noticeable regrowth in the blink of an eye (or, fine, maybe a week), so to stretch out your ~lewk~, master the perfectly diffused side part, as above.

rooty blonde hair soft waves
Taper off gently with a bronde base. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

2. Bronde Base

A medium brown or brown-blonde base does wonders in freshening up that summer-weary color. It’s also a cleaner, more natural-looking way to wear your darker roots, which you may (or may not) end up growing out. If you’re ever in the market for a classic transitional look, the search is over: There’s no telltale color line to tell where the blonde stops and the brown begins with this ‘do, making it the perfect Missing Link of hair color. Plus, points for styling it in waves, which democratically hide any telltale demarcations.

rooty blonde hair brown caramel
Keep it in the family: Warm-toned browns and blondes result in a more cohesive lightening. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

3. Same-Tone Ombré

A brown-to-blonde ombré still looks crisp when kept in the same undertone family. Confused? Just keep it simple… and very, very sweet: Match those sugary dessert colors such as warm-toned browns, like chocolate and mocha, to blondes like caramel, toffee and honey. The high-contrast results also get more street cred when worn higher on the head, right at the golden point of ombrés as seen here: Carefully diffused starting at ear level, with the ends just a tone lighter than the mid-lengths.

rooty blonde hair platinum pixie
Loosen up that ice-queen blonde pixie with some visible roots. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

4. Loose Blonde Pixie

Short, cropped pixie hairstyles already offer a lot of punctuation to your overall look. Rendering them in a white blonde or platinum color can make this abbreviated hairstyle even more stunning. They can also however be maddening to maintain, and in some cases, make the wearer look washed out especially near the hairline and brow area. Letting the hairline grow out a millimeter or two can help give a looser, more relaxed feel to your blonde hair (not to mention give your scalp a break from the bleach). Wearing it with a rounded, blown-out side part adds to this look’s classy-with-an-edge appeal.

Thinner highlights can stretch out your ash blonde hair a bit longer than normal. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

5. Skinny Highlights

Here’s where it pays to pre-plan: If you’re more of a low-maintenance bottle blonde and want more leeway between color sessions, ask your stylist to give you a thinner, more democratic balayage right from the start. The effect is more of a soft-focus blonde that, as above, can go to either extreme when the mood strikes. Regrowth also comes in more naturally and you can easily style around the roots with some lazy waves, as well having them diffused enough for a middle part.


rooty blonde hair pink ends
Grunge it up with a pink wash. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

6. Pink Tints

A faint pink ombré accentuates the alterna-cool aspect of this grown-out blonde—as in, it’s meant to look different. Maintaining the pink as a light and dainty hue, instead of loud, keeps things looking pretty and fresh. A medium-brown base also warms it up and complements the pink shade better than dusty black roots. This style is best worn on healthy-looking strands with a nice, bouncy length such as in a lob haircut.

rooty blonde hair strawberry balayage
Reddish highlights warm up your features for fall. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

7. Strawberry Balayage

Ribbon out some warmth by rocking some strawberry blonde highlights. Not quite red and not quite yellow either, these quiet, coppery streaks are still light enough to give you that blonde-ish feeling while echoing some of the color depth we get in the fall season. New to the hue? Stick to a subtle balayage on your mid-lengths, and style with some easy waves—the flashes of red on your bends will help you slowly get used to having some warmth around your face.

rooty blonde hair natural curls
Honey-colored highlights break up an allover dark base. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

8. Lightened Curls

Curly or natural-textured hair achieves more dimension and depth with the addition of some blonde highlights. Thick curls tend to get lost in the fray, which is where an artfully grown-out honey blonde ombré steps in: It defines the ringlets without overwhelming your overall base with a shocking hue. A root with around two to three inches of traction before lightening up offers a good balance.

rooty blonde hair lazy waves
An airy texture ties all the elements of the look together. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

9. Punky Ombré

A starkly contrasted brown-to-pink-to-blonde (!) ombré quiets down when rendered with some breezy texture and an easy-wear length. The medium brown half of the hair gets a reprieve from looking too top heavy, as its tapered off by a touch of bubblegum pink at the middle. Update a similar growing-out bob by dusting off the ends and asking for some cheekbone-grazing layers. Bonus: An off-center part ties in with the relaxed, indie vibe.

rooty blonde hair dip-dye brunette
Never say die or a deliberate dip-dye? Equally fun either way. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

10. Dip-Dye Blonde Hair

A longer ombré hairstyle, as above, has a dip-dyed bleachy effect that can otherwise seem jarring on other color combos. Here however, the same ashy blonde hue on the ends is mirrored in subtle highlights around the face, giving it a more put-together feel. This blonde hair look wears really well with some staticky texture throughout the lengths—the modern, tousled finish adds to its appeal.

rooty blonde hair tight ringlets long
Natural baby blondes can also achieve some edge with an ashier base. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

11. Natural Blonde Dimension

Lighter-haired ladies can also play with the dishwater trick by lightening their ends to a baby blonde hue, or simply letting their natural ash blonde grow out to a reasonable length. Maintenance is fairly simple: just the occasional glossing treatment to keep brassiness at bay, and a few scrunches with a leave-in to keep those ringlets shiny and frizz-free.

Want more hair color ideas? Check out other hair trends that are hot for Fall.