I’ve noticed warm blonde making a comeback—here’s what a celebrity hairstylist thinks

Warm blondes have more fun

Woman with a warm blonde bob, wearing sunglasses
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I call myself a hair-colour chameleon. What I mean by this is: I am simply quite incapable of sticking to one hair colour for more than six months. I once fried all of my hair off and then had to spend a painstakingly slow year growing it out before dying it again and, spoiler alert, I hated the wait. Call it my love for creative expression, call it a foolish chasing of ever-evolving trends, but there’s something about hair dye that just calls to me. 

I’ve been black, brunette, pink, green, grey and—my personal favourite—an ashy blonde that I absolutely adored. After all, ashy blonde hair (the original linen blonde, just with more grey tones to it) was the trend du jour of the 2010s. Now it seems the tide has turned—if the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hailey Bieber, Kate Beckinsale and Gwyneth Paltrow are to be believed, warm blonde is officially back in favour. Even content creator and author Victoria Magrath (famously known online as InTheFrow), whose name became synonymous with ashy, silver-blonde hair erring on the side of purple, has hopped over to the warm side.

I suspect this trend comes from TikTok: the 'quiet luxury' trend and 'lazy hot girl hair' reigned supreme during summer 2023, giving way to a newfound adoration for low-maintenance shades and styles that scream effortlessness and give off a sense of natural beauty. Intrigued? Here’s everything you need to know about the it-colour of the moment, which is sure to continue dominating our feeds into 2024 and beyond…

What is warm blonde?

When searching for the perfect answer to this question, I figured who better to ask than the Adam Reed? The Arkive Founder and Editorial Ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel describes warm blonde as a “warm tone blonde that isn’t gold". He says, "The warmth is delivered with a beige, biscuity base colour with quite a lot of depth to it, so you get lovely framing around the face. You have this warmth that glows through, almost hazelnut-like in its tone, with a cool end that can look pastely. In the winter this is really lovely because you don’t want anything overly cool. At this time of year most [of us] don’t have warmth in the skin, so you want to avoid all-over coolness around the face and restore some balance with hair colour placement.”

I also spoke to Limoz Logli, founder of his namesake salon set in Chelsea and by far my favourite hairdresser in London (it’s actually Limoz I have to thank for my current warm colour). “I’m seeing more people request warm blonde,” he tells me. “It’s a honey-golden blonde and can be very complimentary during cold weather. It gives off a lovely shine and makes blondes look less damaged and more healthy. I’m seeing more demand for this natural-looking approach; clients are moving away from more dramatic colours like platinum blonde and are requesting deep, nourishing treatments instead. People are asking for glosses and requesting to move closer to their natural base colours with warmer, golden tones and lowlights or root drags. Hair health has never been more important to our clients.” 

How do you achieve warm blonde?

“You actually want to ask for a blend of cool tones that aren’t ashy and warm tones that aren’t gold, so essentially a really considered application of colour. Most people can wear this as it’s equal parts cool and warm, so it’s really flattering and universal. If you have a lot of natural warmth in your hair you’d go in with a slightly cooler base and vice versa—if your base is cool, you might want to warm up with a toner so you have that balance, which is what really makes this colour stand out and so attractive,” says Reed.

However, Logli’s technique is slightly different. “Warm blonde [can be] achieved by lifting the natural base to a nice clean blonde, and then you tone it with a warm, semi-permanent gloss. This way you can avoid orange undertones.”

Both experts agree that asking for highlights is the best way to achieve this look. They also note that it’s the least damaging way to achieve it. Logli explains, “More bleach and you’ll ruin the integrity of the hair.”

I also spoke to Dimitris Giannetos, a celebrity hair stylist who counts the likes of Amal Clooney, Gigi Hadid, the Kardashians and Joey King as clients. He too opts for highlights to achieve this look: “It depends on what the client wants, but usually I prefer some dimension. I like highlights instead of full bleach, which is healthier for the hair as a full bleach makes it very easy to overlap chemicals and cause breakage.”

Highlights are also lower maintenance and more natural-looking. Giannetos says you want to avoid over-toning the hair to prevent a dull finish. Instead, ask for more sandy and buttery tones.

What’s so great about this trend is that, unlike with trends that have more obscure names, you can literally just ask your hairdresser for 'warm blonde' and they’ll understand the look you’re going for.

How to care for warm blonde hair

The reason warm blonde hair is so enticing is because it’s so low maintenance. You can really lean into any brassiness that comes through between salon appointments. Logli says you only need to visit a salon 2-3 times a year for a refresh. He likes using Redken demi-permanent glosses when working on clients to “keep cuticles closed and keep the hair naturally shiny”.

Outside of the salon, as with all bleached hair, you want to treat your strands to some TLC in the form of intense nourishment and hydration. “You can use Olaplex or K18 to protect your hair from the bleaching,” says Giannetos. 

Reed suggests you opt for the L'Oréal Professionnel Metal Detox: “It ‘cleans up’ hair really nicely; drawing out any brassiness from copper build-up from washing and our water systems. The Metal Detox system from L’Oréal Professionnel is also available in salons as a pre-treatment to colouring and this ensures colour delivery is true to expectations. It keeps hair healthy as well as looking bright and refreshed with every wash."

Shop the best products for warm blonde maintenance below…

The best warm blonde hair looks

1. Victoria Magrath

Victoria is my hair hero. Next time I head to a salon, I’m taking this pic with me.

2. Rita Ora

Rita naturally has very dark brown hair, proving that even those with naturally darker hues can pull off this look with ease.

3. Joey King

Is there any colour that Joey can’t sport? She switched to warm blonde for her wedding—a wise choice, as this sophisticated hair trend is sure to stand the test of time.

4. Halle Berry

Halle was well-known for her icy-blonde side-swept cut, but I think this is my favourite look on her so far.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Multiple hair stylists mentioned Rosie when describing the warm blonde trend to me—she encapsulates it perfectly.

Freya Allan

Freya shows us exactly how to lean into any underlying brassy tones that might peek through a few months after visiting the salon. 

Nicole Richie

Warm blonde looks magical on curls too, and you can ask for microlights if you fancy something subtle, or show this picture to your stylist if you’re ready to take it further.

Julia Roberts

If I could look like Julia during the winter instead of a human version of pass-the-parcel thanks to my many, many layers, that would be great. Her hair colour lifts her face and gives a warm glow to contrast the season.

Blake Lively

Blake’s root smudge is a lesson in low-maintenance; it looks super natural and she can probably go months between salon visits.

Humeara Mohamed
Beauty Contributor

Humeara Mohamed is a freelance beauty editor and Marie Claire UK contributor. With nearly a decade of experience, you can find her work in Vogue, Refinery29, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, AnOther Magazine and Dazed. She’s also worked as a copywriter and consultant across brands like Cult Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Estée Lauder and more. Though she writes about all things beauty, she's particularly obsessed with makeup – she simply cannot resist the allure of a new highlighter or green eyeshadow.