The Prettiest Blonde Highlight Ideas for Brown Hair
You know what they say: blondes have more fun. But it can be tricky to go all over blonde — especially if you have brunette hair. So if you're looking to have more fun and lighten up your hair color this summer, 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.
Colorist Chezney Schulz of Cutler Salon in NYC agrees that it's all about strategic placement. "One of my favorite techniques is 'teasy lights,'" she tells us. "This method is a combination of traditional foil highlights and balayage highlights. Since the hair is processed in a foil it allows it to get bright enough to get past any brassy tones."
Keep scrolling to see some of the prettiest celebrity examples to bring into the salon.
Of course Queen Bey has some legendary blonde highlights. The iconic Grammy-winning artist's highlights are strategically placed along her crown and in the front to frame her face. Her looks are less like a balayage with more highlights and lowlights reaching her roots.
Khloé Kardashian took the balayage route, with some color scattered around the crown and then lightening at the ends. She frames her face by keeping the front strands light as well.
Schulz says that multi hyphenate pulls off the look well — but really there aren't many looks she can't. Her hair starts dark at the roots but transitions into caramel strands to reveal light blonde ends, all while looking natural.
Taking a photo of Jen Aniston to your hairdresser is a tale as old as time. There's no shame — we've all done it, and for good reason. The actress has great hair and amazing hair color. "Jen probably gets baby lights all throughout her hair," says Schulz. "In the front hair line she gets some back to back foils for a bit of a more dramatic pop around the face."
But Schulz also stresses to remember that it may take some time to get to the desired color in a healthy manner. "Keep in mind that if her hair is your goal it, didn’t happen over night for her," Schulz tells us.
If you have dark, chocolatey-brown locks, look to singer an actress Selena Gomez for inspiration. Her deep roots naturally flow into more caramel and blonde tones towards the ends.
Ana de Armas
Ana de Armas is sporting a more dramatic and contrasting color look here. The Knives Out actress has some blonde strands framing her face, while the rest are scattered throughout the rest of her hair, more like a balayage. Papanikolas, who has worked with de Armas, 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.
If you have darker hair but want to lighten it up, going in with more subtle shades of blonde and brown will give you a naturally-looking lighter shade. Take Jasmine Tookes here — her dark glossy hair naturally flows to lighter ends that give her volume and shine.
"The color of your base can help you decide what kind of blonde to choose," says Schulz. "If you are looking for a subtle look going only a few shades lighter might be for you."
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker is another great example of a celebrity who wears this look well. Her color is placed strategically to lighten up her dark color while still looking natural.