Glamour July 19, 2021



The Best Blonde Hair Colors For 2021 

From icy silver to honey blond. 

While the age-old question—do blondes really have more fun?—may never be answered, one thing’s for sure: There are more options for blonde hair colors than ever before. Classic blonde shades such as platinum and honey have been joined by tons of trending shades like champagne blush and sunny blonde, giving every skin tone and hair color an opportunity to lighten up.

Over the past year, lower-maintenance shades like undone blonde have soared in popularity thanks to their lived-in feel and minimal upkeep. But if you’re in the market for a brighter, bolder shade for a post-vax world, we’ve got you covered as well. Whatever your blonde ambition may be, we spoke to top colorists to find out what the most requested blonde hair colors are of the moment. Scroll on for their advice. 

Undone Blonde

Over the past year, lower-maintenance shades like undone blonde have soared in popularity. Think of undone blonde as more a mindset than a specific shade. For you, it may mean ditching platinum for a more natural honey blonde, trying subtle highlights instead of a full foil, or even going a slightly darker shade of blonde. Generally, though, the look consists of a golden blonde shade that’s easier to maintain with a darker root. Lauren Grummel, a hairstylist in New York City, loves leaving a bit of a root smudge to add dimension and make for a flexible grow-out. “I love it for its subtle contrast,” she says. “Ask for brighter ends, with dimension through the midlength and less blonde through the roots, and always brighter pieces around the face.” 

Bright Highlights 

If you have darker hair but want to ease into blonde, try highlights in a superbright blonde shade. “It will still grow out well since it’s close to the root around your hairline and mixed with your natural color throughout the rest of your hair,” says Stephanie Brown, master colorist at New York’s IGK Salon Soho. 

Pearl Blonde

“I love this look because it gives a slight tonal shift and iridescence on the platinum-blonde trend,” says Clairol color partner Jeremy Tardo, who recommends this shade for anyone who’s getting bored with true platinum but still loves a superlight shade. Ask your stylist for an extra-light blonde with pale yellow undertones, and make sure to stress you don’t want anything too gray-toned. 

Baby Blonde

Not ready for full-on platinum territory? Give baby blonde a try. Ask for a warm, pale base color with almost-white highlights. Brown loves this color because it’s universally flattering. “Since this is a mixture of warm and cool, it works well with all skin tones,” she says.

Champagne Blonde

Bored with blonde but not quite ready to plunge into pink? A pale champagne color is right in the middle and has almost an ethereal fairy-tale vibe. “Blush tones can be added to light blonde or used all over to give a twist to your signature look,” says Rex Jimieson, color educator and colorist at Maxine Salon. “It’s both warm and cool, so it looks good on any skin tone." 

True Platinum 

Even a few years after its debut, Zoë Kravitz’s platinum pixie is still inspiring, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down. “It’s so cutting-edge but still so chic,” says Nine Zero One Salon stylist Anthony Holguin. “When going platinum, be sure to go to someone who specializes in this, since it’s difficult to achieve this look.” He recommends asking for a pure-white platinum over an ashy-toned platinum, which can look too gray, and using Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 as well as a color-correcting purple shampoo—along with these hair-care picks beloved by those with platinum hair.

Greige Blonde

“For lower-maintenance blondes, look to Gigi Hadid and Amanda Seyfried with their flaxen color,” says Brown. “It’s almost a greige shade—think golden beige but also ashy.” Brown notes this shade has been popular with her blonde clients since it doesn’t take a lot of upkeep and complements most skin tones. To get the look, she says to ask for sandy tonal highlights.

Buttery Blonde

If you can’t commit to something high-maintenance, Brown likes a more rooted look with golden, buttery tones throughout. A darker root means less upkeep, but the golden hue still gives a nice brightness.

Cool Blonde

This icy shade is just about as close you can get to platinum without going all the way. Grummel loves this color for rosier complexions, since the coolness will help balance out any redness. She notes this hue is a little harder to achieve for natural brunettes, since you’ll need to lighten your base before going in with cooler highlights—something to keep in mind.

Melted Pecan 

Another fun way to brighten up darker blondes or brunettes is with some subtle swirls of highlights. “It’s tastefully natural, with minimal highlights, creating a perfect summer glow,” says Karissa Schaudt, a colorist at Maxine Salon. She says this shade is ideal for low-maintenance clients, since there’s no obvious grow-out. “Ask for a two-dimensional color,” says Schaudt. “Keep the base color close to your natural, while adding the babylights through the hairline, mids, and ends.”

Soft Blonde 

“Soft blonde, like I did for Anya Taylor-Joy, is great for summer and works so well for people with light skin tones,” says celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham. “It’s so blonde that it’s almost platinum, but it still feels very warm and looks amazingly healthy.” To get the shade, she says to ask for a warm platinum blonde, and be sure to specify that you don’t want to look washed out. She also recommends using a bond-building treatment mask like Olaplex Bond Intense Moisture Mask at least once a week to keep your hair healthy and strong after lightening it.

Tuscan Sun 

If you have curls, consider going a little brighter this summer to make your texture really pop. Schaudt loves this unique golden hue and says to ask for a full balayage. “Keep the pieces on the chunky side so they don’t get lost in the curls.”

Coconut Candy 

Last year’s face-framing highlights aren’t going anywhere; they are just getting a little softer. There’s still tons of brightness around the face, but it’s not quite as stark a contrast. Schaudt says to ask your colorist to foil your hairline for that blonde intensity around your face and have them balayage the rest, keeping a little bit of contrast. 

Classic Bronde 

“In between blonde and brown—bronde—is always beautiful for people who are naturally dark to medium brown,” says Grummel. “Those with darker hair naturally pull warm because of underlying pigment in the hair, so to achieve a beautiful bronde, some warmth is necessary.” She adds that this shade is great for those who don’t want to commit to tons of touch-ups and is perfect for brunettes wanting to try blonde for the first time.

Lived-In Blonde 

If you’ve adapted a lower-maintenance attitude during the pandemic, this shade is for you. “There is something so beautiful and casual about a lived-in blonde,” says Mark DeBolt, celebrity colorist and co-owner of New York’s Mark Ryan Salon. “The shadow at the root makes the color feel natural and childlike. The golden plays of light throughout the hair adds a skin-brightening glow with beachy pops of brightness throughout the ends.” He says to plan to head to the salon every three months or so for refreshes.

Honey Blonde 

“This look is fun and head-turning without being too drastic of a change from deeper tones,” says Dark and Lovely celebrity stylist Derick Monroe. If you’re going to go lighter, Monroe stresses the importance of keeping your hair healthy enough to handle color. “The last thing you want to do is a chemical process on already damaged hair,” he says. “A pro tip is to have a maintenance program to keep your hair healthy, shiny, and moisturized. That could be as simple as a deep-conditioning treatment at home.”

Old Hollywood Blonde 

The newest take on bright blonde is a little warmer than the true platinum that’s been dominating for the past few years. “Love this look—it’s so raw and youthful,” says DeBolt. “The hair has more of a champagne tone, which feels very Old Hollywood. This look works best on finer hair types and collarbone-skimming lengths and shorter.” He recommends bringing photos of the exact shade you want and being very clear that you don’t want any gray or silver tones. “This look is all about balanced warmth—think butter or champagne.”

High-Definition Warmth 

If you have naturally dark hair, Jimieson says a shade like this is a perfect choice for the summer because the warm tones won’t fade in the sun. “Shift your base a shade or two lighter with bright buttery gold highlights,” he says. “The contrast and dimension keep this look warm without being brassy.”

Caramel Blonde

A blonde on the caramel side is perfect for brunettes looking to go lighter because it won’t take too much effort. It looks great as highlights or as allover color.

Rooted Blonde

Darker roots give platinum an easy, lived-in feel. Plus, it means less bleach near your scalp. A win-win.

Mushroom Blonde

“It’s right in between light brown and dark blonde, like an ashier version of bronde,” says Brown of this season’s coolest blonde shade. Because it doesn’t really fall into either blonde or brunette, it’s a great shade for blondes looking to dip their toes into the dark side, or for brunettes wanting to go a little lighter. To get the color, Brown recommends asking your colorist for a subtle light brown or dark blonde ombré, with a variation of both light brown and dark blonde pieces. It’s important to ask for something ashy, or else you’ll be left with a more traditional bronde.

Golden Blonde

If you have more of a classic, boho vibe, Blake Lively’s warm blonde is worth a try. The golden hue warms up her complexion and isn’t too perfect for a more effortless look.

Bombshell Blonde

Blonde that sits somewhere in the middle—not too warm, not too cool, but still superbright—has a classic, Old Hollywood feel. Add red lipstick and voluminous curls like Rita Ora for a Marilyn-inspired look.

White Blonde

For maximum blonde, go with a white platinum. “A bright white double-process blonde can completely change the style of your hair,” says Grummel, who likes to keep roots darker for a little dimension. While this shade can add instant cool to your look, just be sure you’re prepared to commit to regular upkeep, as Grummel recommends coming in for a touch-up every six to eight weeks.


For a classic summer vibe, go golden. “The summer is the perfect time for golden, hand-painted locks,” says DeBolt, who recommends pairing piecey highlights with beach waves. “This tone of highlight looks so pretty set against golden skin and can look striking against brown eyes.” 

Selenite Blonde

Brown calls Chloë Sevigny’s soft blonde “a very pale, creamy blonde that reflects the moonlight.” It’s not quite as icy as platinum but is still very light and bright. Brown says to ask for a base with neutral to cool tones with almost white highlights to brighten it up.

Yellow Platinum

Platinum looks even edgier if it’s slightly on the yellow side, which it gives it a do-it-yourself feel. Braids like Solange’s amp up the cool factor even more.

Sunrise Blonde

“We are doing a lot of multifaceted blonde right now,” says Tardo. “These looks offer brightness as well as a soft, dimensional appearance to your hair color.” He says that variations of this can work on all colors and textures; just keep in mind that the darker your hair is naturally, the more processing (and upkeep) this will require. “Consult with your colorist to decide how light is ideal for your hair,” he says. “Have your colorist do sunny balayage or babylights, keeping enough of your natural color in the hair so that the appearance maintains a dimensional look.”

Pale Ash Blonde

Lucy Boynton’s creamy blonde color is basically a lesson in tones. “It works with all skin tones because of the subtle warm and cool reflects,” says Min Kim, senior colorist at Butterfly Studio Salon. “If you’re on the darker shade of blonde, ask for a beige version—which is deeper and just as complementary for all skin tones.”

Dimensional Blonde

For a really rich, layered blonde, have your stylist mix cool and warm tones like bright blonde and honey. For this color, Grummel lightened her base and went in with full highlights to keep the color from looking flat.

Blonde Ombré

Test the waters by starting with a blonde ombré, like what Serena Williams has here, before committing to your whole head.

Ashy Blonde

Ashy blonde doesn’t have to be superlight, as demonstrated by model Jasmine Sanders. The cooler shade looks amazing with her natural curls.

Tweed Hair

According to Jimieson, his clients have been moving away from the darker roots and lighter ends they’ve been loving in recent seasons. Instead they’ve been asking for a look that Jimieson dubbed tweed hair, essentially subtle highlights that are evenly distributed. “A contrast is still present, but not as ‘overachiever’ as seen in recent seasons,” he says. One of our favorite versions of the look? This ashy blonde with lighter balayage pieces from Simplicity Salon in south Florida.

Beach Blonde

Reese Witherspoon’s iconic blonde is bright without looking fake, as if she spent a day in the sun. The darkness at the roots gives it a more believable look.

Nordic White 

Take platinum even lighter with Nordic white hair, which is full-on icy white. If you dare to try this shade, make sure to do your research and choose a stylist you really trust, since it can be very damaging and take up to eight hours to get right. If you ask us, though, it’s worth the effort.