Screenshot these looks for future use.

By Erin Lukas
May 11, 2020 @ 10:07 am
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In a time where the names of hair color trends can easily be mistaken for popular beverages and desserts, brown hair with blonde highlights is a combo that doesn't have an expiry date.

The hair color combo remains a classic for a few reasons: it's universal for any shade of brunette, easy to maintain, and looks amazing year-round. Whether your brunette base is a deep chocolate brown or rich auburn, there's a shade of blonde out there that'll warm up and add dimension to your color.

When deciding how blonde your highlights should be, Dilek Onur-Taylor, a stylist for The Salon by InStyle Inside JCPenney, says it never hurts to come prepared to your appointment with a colorist. You can collect images of hair colors you like, and don't be afraid to ask questions before taking the plunge.

"Some things to take into consideration include how much time you want to commit to the upkeep of blonde highlights, your lifestyle, and your at-home maintenance regimen," Onur-Taylor says. "An experienced colorist will analyze your hair, your skin tone, and eye color to determine the most complimentary colors, technique, and whether you should go lighter or brighter with your blonde locks."

Onur-Taylor says if you are looking for a subtle change, you should consider, "almost there, lit-from-within highlights of blonde." A dramatic change might include bold, face-framing pops of blonde to "bring out your best features."

"There is a perfect shade of blonde for everyone out there," the expert says.

There are a ton of ways to add highlights to brown hair, but the colorist recommends following a less-is-more approach to get the most realistic look. For instance, balayage and baby lights are a way to mimic natural, sun-kissed pieces that would occur from, as Onur-Taylor puts it, "a summer well spent in the sun."

Even though highlights are less of a commitment than going full-on blonde, you should still take a little bit of extra care with your color to prevent any brassiness from coming through. Onur-Taylor suggests using a violet-based shampoo like Matrix Brass Off, which will help prevent brassiness. Follow it up with a hydrating conditioner and a weekly deep conditioning treatment. If you use heated styling tools, like a curling or flat iron, you'll also want to use styling products that contain a thermal protectant.

"A good at-home haircare regimen will keep your blonde highlights shiny, healthy, and add longevity to the vibrancy of your hair color," the stylist says.

As for what your brown hair with blonde highlights is going to look like, keep scrolling to see how 10 celebs wear the hair color.

Jennifer Lopez

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Next to her infamous glowy skin, J.Lo is known for her honey blonde highlights. These chunky '90s highlights demonstrate how to upgrade a signature look without completely going out of your comfort zone.

Olivia Wilde

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A bob and golden blonde ombré highlights? Yeah, Olivia Wilde's cut and color pairing is what summer hair dreams are made of.

Jasmine Tookes

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The model's warm babylights (superfine highlights) give her color an even more natural finish.

Dakota Johnson

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Messy beachy waves like Dakota Johnson's highlight the actress' hand-painted golden blonde balayage (get it?).

Priyanka Chopra

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Sometimes your hair just needs a little bit of an update. That's exactly what Priyanka Chopra did by adding subtle caramel highlights through the ends of her deep chocolate brown hair.

Halle Berry

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Halle Berry's light blonde highlights throughout her brown base are a textbook example of the look.

Shay Mitchell

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Not sold on super-warm highlights? Ask your colorist for a few cool-tone babylights added at your mid-lengths to ends.

 Kate Beckinsale

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Not quite brunette, not quite blonde, "bronde" falls in the middle of the two shades — and that's exactly how we'd describe Kate Beckinsale's color.

Selena Gomez

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Instead of full-on chunky highlights like Jennifer Lopez, channel the '90s color trend by adding a couple of honey blonde streaks to the ends of your brunette base as seen on Selena Gomez.

Olivia Munn

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Olivia Munn is proof that you don't need to dive headfirst into highlights. Her subtle balayage looks so unbelievably natural, it's hard to believe her hair wasn't naturally lightened by the sun.