Adding blonde highlights to brown hair is a quick and easy way for brunettes to try a fresh look. “Brown hair looks perfect with highlights and one can achieve results very quickly,” Tracey Cunningham, Redken celebrity colorist and author of True Color, tells Bustle. She’s given a pop of blonde to her brunette clients Lily Aldridge, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, and Jessica Biel.
Frédéric Fekkai, celebrity hairstylist and founder of FEKKAI, says that the balayage technique is the way to go for natural-looking blonde highlights. “I recommend the balayage technique to really personalize the color placement, focusing on the hairline and the tips of the hair,” he tells Bustle. “It’s a bespoke combination of color.”
Once your locks are lightened, upkeep is key. “When you have blonde highlights in brown hair, using products that maintain the color is key,” Fekkai says. “I’d recommend using a brightening purple shampoo or the FEKKAI Apple Cider Detox Shampoo and Apple Cider Detox Rinse to keep the highlights fresh.” Cunningham suggests a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. An in-salon treatment like the Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss can refresh color between appointments, making strands look silky.
If you want to avoid walking away from the salon dissatisfied, it’s important to provide your colorist with visual references. “I can never stress this enough,” Cunningham shares. “Please bring in a photo when you are about to take the plunge into going blonde or any change of color. Find the color and/or tone you desire from social media or in a magazine, and bring the pic into your professional colorist. This helps immensely.”
From ash to honey, here are eight gorgeous shades of blonde highlights on stars with brown hair. Feel free to take screenshots for your next salon appointment.