Choosing a Shade of Blonde Hair Color
Image: Katie Holliday
If you've been planning to dye your hair blonde, you have plenty of different shades to choose from. It's not just about choosing your favorite shade though. There are so many factors to take into account, including the level of maintenance you're happy to accept, and the other features of your appearance like your skin tone and eye color.
Some shades of blonde hair color will suit your features more than others. If you don't match these qualities accordingly with the blonde color you choose, you might find yourself looking washed out or downright odd. It's easy to match your features with the right shades of blonde hair color, and you can find the perfect shade to change your look by following a few color rules.
Shades of blonde
The shades of blonde hair color available to you span all the way from the cool category of ash tones to the warmth of strawberry blonde. You can choose darker blondes that are closer to a brown shade, or go as pale as the icy cold platinum blonde. This assortment of tones include:
- Ash blonde
- Pearl blonde
- Natural blonde
- Beige blonde
- Golden blonde
- Caramel blonde
- Strawberry blonde
Image: Remy Hairweft
Matching blonde shade
Ash, pearl, natural
Ash, pearl, natural
Beige, Golden, caramel, strawberry
Beige, golden, caramel, strawberry
Image: Vanessa Hutd
You skin and eyes can either be cool or warm toned. Knowing the tone of your skin will help you choose a color that matches your skin so you don't end up looking odd or washed out. As a rule, those with cooler toned skin will suit cool tones of blonde like ash and pearl blondes, whilst if you have warm skin, you will look best with a warmer blonde.
If you look at the appearance of the veins under your skin, this is a fairly good indication of the predominant tones present in your complexion. If these veins are blue, your skin tone has a pink undertone and is classed as cool. Green veins however, suggest more gold tones present in your skin, which categorize it as warm.
Your eyes are easier to analyze and you can tell right from looking at them that if they are blue or green they are cool toned. Eyes that are hazel or brown are warm toned and will be accentuated best with warmer shades of hair color.
Once you know the tones of your skin and eyes, you are better equipped to choose from the different shades of blonde color without risking making a color mistake. When you dye your hair, for best results always match the tone of your hair color to the tone of your skin. Cool blonde shades will suit you best if you have cool-toned skin, and warm shades of blonde will look best against warm skin.
Image: Jennifer Coffey
Pearl / iridescent
Violet / gold
Gold / copper
Cool-toned shades of blonde hair color consist of ash blondes, pearl blondes, and to a lesser extent, natural blondes. These shades have blue or violet base tones which form the base tone of your hair color and complement cooler features. Ash blondes are the most intense shade and can look anything from a silver to gray blonde, whilst pearl blondes give you a platinum result. Natural blondes are a balanced neutral shade.
Blonde dyes in the cool tone family match well with blue or green eyes. Eyes that are this color will be accentuated and appear both more vibrant and colorful when matched with these shades of blonde hair. Pearl dyes are more forgiving in this regard however, and they can look good even when matched with brown or hazel eyes. If your eyes don't match, you can still wear cool tones, as long as your skin is cool-toned. This is the most important factor in choosing a hair color.
Image: Chema Hernández
Warm shades of blonde have a gold or copper base color. These shades will suit warm-toned skin and accentuate warmer eyes. Colors can range from beige blonde, which is a subtle golden blonde shade, all the way to strawberry blonde, which is predominantly copper.
If you have hazel or brown eyes, the warm shades of blonde hair color will make them appear much more vibrant and stunning. You aren't doing your eyes any favors if they're blue or green however, and in this case your eyes will look duller. If you have cool toned eyes, stay as close to cool shades as your skin tone will allow. Beige blonde will often work with fairer eyes yet still work with a warm skin tone.
Image: Steven Gripp
- How to dye hair blonde
Dyeing your hair blonde is a little more complicated than most colors, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you can achieve a beautiful and natural result.
- How to tone blonde hair
Blonde hair looks its best when it's properly toned. Find out how to tone blonde hair and maintain your look...
- How to dye your hair
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Shades of blonde hair color can be further defined by the depth of color present. This is called the level and tells you how dark the color is. It ranges from a level 6, which is a dark blonde, to a level 10, which is the lightest blonde.
When you're working with dye levels, darker levels will always suit best when you have a darker complexion. Darker shades can wash you out if you have a pale complexion, and pale shades just look plain weird when matched with dark skin. Choose a lighter shade if you're cool toned, or a darker shade if you're warm toned.
Choosing a blonde color that matches your skin is the best way to ensure your new color looks great. Many shades of blonde hair color can bring out the color of your eyes and even make your complexion look clearer when done right. The key is to take your features into account before you make a decision and work with what you have instead of against it.
Having trouble choosing a shade that matches your features? Leave a comment below for tailored advice.