The Perfect Blonde Highlights for Your Hair Color

Color Tips

When you hear ‘blonde highlights’, what’s the first thing you think of? For us, visions of Blake Lively’s blushed blonde mane and Gisele Bündchen’s head of seriously sun-kissed strands instantly come to mind. Both rely on expert lightening to create their signature looks and, what’s more, their colorists have managed to tailor the shades to perfectly suit their individual features.

That’s not always easy. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all shade or placement for blonde highlights, it’s essential that undertones and techniques are carefully picked for the most flattering effect. If you’re looking for the easy way to achieve it, focus on your client’s existing base hair color, then choose blonde highlights that will lend a Gisele-like lift. Think, seamlessly blended and totally natural-looking.

Bright blonde highlights and tousled waves, created using Wella Professionals

1. Blonde Highlights for Fair Hair

Image Credit: @tialambourn_hair


The Hairspiration: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at her blondest and Gigi Hadid


Blondes can still reap the benefits of highlights. If the goal is to give light hair an extra lift, use Illumina Color to add shimmering ribbons of icy color that run from root to tip. Beachy warmth can be achieved with honeyed tones and hints of gold. Meanwhile, lowlights (yes, lowlights!) will enhance a natural blonde and create a sun-kissed contrast. Use a demi-permanent color, like Color Touch, to achieve this effect.


Warm blonde highlights through brown hair, created using Wella Professionals

2. Blonde Highlights for Light to Medium Brown Hair

Image Credit: @avagodec


The Hairspiration: Gisele Bündchen and Jennifer Aniston


Mousy brown or light-medium brunette hair pairs perfectly with honeyed highlights for warmth, or ashy tones if your client has fair skin. The trick is to begin with a high volume of very fine weaves – also known as babylights – through the hair, starting a few inches down from the root to get the full Gisele effect. Using a special freehand lightener, like Blondor Freelights, in between the babylights will give a soft, sun-kissed blend. To make it ultra-natural-looking, go for a lift no more than two shades brighter than the base. It’s this cardinal rule that keeps Jennifer Aniston’s blonde from looking streaky.

Blonde highlights through dark brunette hair, created using Wella Professionals

3. Blonde Highlights for Dark Hair

Image Credit: @ tst_with_refined


The Hairspiration: Beyoncé and Lily Aldridge


When choosing highlights for darker hair, keep in mind that the lighter you go, the stronger the contrast will be. This can sometimes result in a less natural-looking result. For a softer blend with low-maintenance regrowth, opt instead for amber or caramel tones with a balance of coolness and warmth, as going too warm can veer on the orange side. There are two ways to apply this: in a heavy, root-to-tip concentration à la Beyoncé, or painted free-hand with Blondor Freelights for a Lily Aldridge-like balayage finish. Whichever look you create, team the lightener with our bond-strengthening treatment, WellaPlex, which will maintain the integrity of the hair throughout the coloring process.

Blonde highlights through red hair, created using Wella Professionals

4. Blonde Highlights for Red Hair

Image Credit: @cassandra_foehr


The Hairspiration: Isla Fisher and Rachel McAdams when she went strawberry blonde


When adding blonde highlights to red hair, there are two key trends you should shoot for. If your client is a light redhead, they’ll suit strawberry blonde, and if they’re more auburn, try pumpkin spice. Follow the same color process you would use to create blonde highlights for dark hair (see above), then recommend your clients maintain the shade by mixing INVIGO Color Recharge Red Conditioner with INVIGO Color Recharge Warm Blonde Refreshing Conditioner as a weekly treat.