Maybe you don’t believe blondes have more fun, but if you’re a brunette looking for a quick, easy, and natural-looking hair color update, blonde highlights might be the way to go.
Using a variety of techniques, colorists can lighten up strands exactly where the sun would hit and transform your color if you spent your afternoons outside, instead of at your desk, and it’s one of Hollywood’s most celebrated hair trends.
"The key to making it look natural for brunettes is strategic placement,” says celebrity colorist, George Papanikolas, who works with celebrities like Ana de Armas and Hannah Davis Jeter. "Unlike blondes who need a lot of highlights everywhere, brunettes need to focus a few highlights in three main areas—face frame, natural part, and ends.” As for celebrities that wear it well, he points to stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba.
Papanikolas, who prefers the look of balayage, says he likes to keep the highlights super delicate and spaced out at the root and crown and then adds stronger pieces through the mid-lengths and ends. "If brunettes go too strong with the highlights at the roots, it can look too harsh, streaky, and dated,” he warns. But his most important tip? To combat the stress you put on your hair after getting highlights, he recommends using a deep conditioning mask like Biolage R.A.W. Re-Hab Mask ($30; ulta.com) to rebuild and nourish strands.
Keep scrolling to see some of the prettiest celebrity examples to bring into the salon.
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Ana de Armas
Hannah Davis Jeter
Sarah Jessica Parker