How to Tell Which Shade of Blonde is Best For You

From strawberry to platinum and everything in between

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Most adult women with blonde hair are actually not naturally blonde. As we age, our hair tends to darken to at least a dishwater — or dirty — blonde. The main exception, of course, are some Scandinavian blondes, who start out super blonde as kids and stay some true version of blond until old age.

Yet blonde hair remains the most popular hair color in America. The good news is everyone can look good as a blonde. Find out which shade of blonde would suit you best. 

Myth: Only Blonde Kids Make Gorgeous Adult Blondes 

For years, the beauty rule of thumb to follow when it came to blonde hair was "if you had blonde hair as a kid, you'll likely look good with blonde hair as an adult."

While it's true that adults who were blonde as kids would look natural as blonde adults, pretty much everyone can look wear blonde hair. That's right. You heard it here first. No matter your skin color or hair color, you can go blonde. The secret lies in finding the perfect shade of blonde.

Your Skin & Eye Color Matters

While most women will look good in some shade of blond, not every woman will look like a natural blonde. Kim Kardashian, for example, has gone blonde a few times, but you'd never wonder to yourself, "Is she naturally blond?"

If you have fair skin that burns easily, and blue or green eyes, you'll look like a natural blonde with blonde hair. If your skin has yellow undertones, you may look jaundiced or washed out with hair that's too light. If you are brunette, we suggest consulting with a stylist before deciding on a shade.

The Jewelry Trick

So, how to find that right shade for your skin color? According to NYC colorist Marie Robinson, everyone should try to go blonde "at least once." She tells the website You Beauty that the best way to determine your correct shade is to consider the jewelry you wear:

"If cool tones or silver jewelry work on your skin then keep tones cool. If you wear yellow gold and warmer colors that are autumnal, stick to warmer blondes. If you have dark or olive skin, very light hair can be sexy and dramatic. However, leave your natural root or have a colorist create the natural root in your hair to keep your skin looking good."

Try on a Wig

One way to tell what shade of blonde works best on you is to go to a wig shop and try on several blonde ones. 

Is Your Hair in Decent Shape?

Going from dark to blond is no small feat. In fact, it may take several trips to the salon to perfect considering first you have to bleach out the dark hair before coloring the hair blonde.

Double processing can be damaging to hair. If your hair has already been colored or straightened, you risk damaging your hair even further by going blonde. You may actually have to cut off your colored hair and start from scratch, says Meg Sanchez Hartigan, who colors Marie Robinson's hair.

Hartigan tells You Beauty, "Bleaching out your hair can be a damaging process; the texture of it will permanently change until your natural grows out. It is A LOT of maintenance, but if you're dedicated to taking care of it, it will be a head-turner."

Are You Willing to Invest the Time to Maintain Your Blonde Color?

If you have naturally dark hair, keep in mind that blonde hair will be high maintenance for you.

Women with dark hair may have to endure a few visits to the salon before their hair turns the perfect shade of blonde. Because hair must endure bleach and toner, going blonde when you're a true brunette is a multi-step process that may take a couple of visits to the salon.

"If you go too light, too fast, your hair can get dry and damaged, which isn't pretty regardless of your hair color," says colorist Eric Muroski in Glamour Magazine. "You may need several visits to the salon to get the shade you're looking for. So be patient, heed your colorist's advice, and move at the pace they recommend."

And once you go blonde, your roots will grow in dark, which could look tacky next to your blonde hair, so make sure you're committed to the hair color before you make the plunge to blonde. 

Should You Do It Yourself?

At-home hair coloring is for people who simply want to go a couple shades lighter or darker or to cover gray. Anything more complicated than that should be handled by a pro. So if you're a dirty blonde, you can probably do it yourself. If you're a brunette, we suggest otherwise.