Fun fact: It’s only a common misconception that “white blonde” is synonymous with “platinum.” (Of course, this is likely common knowledge to veteran hairstylists and colorists—but even as beauty writers, we had to ask experts Jaz España and Lorena M. Valdes for the answer. Information regarding the differences between the two is scant online.) “The difference is that platinum blonde typically shows hues of warmth,” says España. “While white blonde has far fewer signs of warmth, reflecting cooler tones and icy hues.”
Meet the Expert
Now that that's out of the way, it’s safe to say we'll be using the term “white blonde” more often—and you might be too, especially after you see the inspiration below. But remember: A color like this requires maintenance after you leave the salon chair, so read on before you dial up your colorist.
- Choosing a Shade: Full-on white blonde is the lightest and brightest shade of blonde. Although it can be statement-making, it can also be intimidating. If you want to soften this color, consider incorporating some warm and neutral tones or sprinkling in icy highlights on natural blonde hair.
- Maintenance Level: High. According to Valdes, "If the color was done as a bleach and tone, touch-ups would be 4-7 weeks apart to prevent banding or further damage. If the color was done with highlights or balayage for a dimensional version of white blonde hair, touch-ups start at 8-12 weeks."
- Goes Great With: "Like everything else hair is an accessory. Things will change to be able to complement it better, changes in foundation, blush, make-up, jewelry, and the color of your clothes will help adjust the look," Valdes tells us.
- Similar Shades: Platinum blonde, silver blonde, mushroom blonde
- Price: "A few hundred dollars for a starting cost not including maintenance care and time," says Valdes.
Ahead, 25 of our favorite ways to wear the white blonde hair trend.
Contrasting roots is one of the biggest hair trends, and the look can stay a bit more consistent if you find it harder to fit touch-up appointments into your schedule. Kim Kardashian's bright-white hue is finished off with smooth, blunt ends for a spectacular finished product. We approve.
Depending on your natural hair color, there’s a good chance you’ll be lightening by more than two shades. The best way to achieve the look is via double process. Of course, you should leave the coloring to the pros—but a chic, easy-to-style pixie à la Saweetie will make everyday styling a breeze.
We love the look of white blonde hair on a warmer skin tone, as seen here on Vanessa Hudgens. And if you’re worried about making your eyebrows match? Don’t. According to brow stylist Joey Healy, you might need to lighten your brows a shade or two, but overall, it’s recommended to leave your brows natural (even dyeing your brows lighter is a visual adjustment that can take some getting used to).
Sleek and Straight
If you’re going for an allover icy blonde, you might as well show it off like Sasha Luss. Nothing complements a bold new hue more than a sleek, straight style. (Just make sure you have a great hair straightener in your toolkit.)
Nervous about taking the plunge into full-on white blonde? Ease into the trend by trying an ombré style that’s slightly darker and ashier at the top and pure, icy perfection on the ends. This blend looks stunning on Jasmine Sanders's naturally curly hair, and as an added bonus, the shade variation works well for when your roots are showing in-between color appointments.
For a more natural-looking final product, ask your colorist for icy babylights, which are delicate highlights achieved with a fine color technique. With a darker base shade, you’ll see warmth while still getting in on the white-blonde trend. Win-win.
Eiza González wowed us all when she swapped out her signature dark tresses for this "expensive blonde." But before you go running to your colorist to replicate her hair transformation, Valdes says there are a few things you should know first: "If you’re naturally light brown or blonde you have a better chance of achieving this color—but not guaranteed. And medium to dark brown hair is a lot harder and may not be possible either."
You know you’re putting your hair through the wringer when you make a big color change—but that certainly doesn’t mean you should expect fried, damaged hair at the end. Even though white blonde hair like Mary J. Blige's can take several sessions with a colorist to perfect (including bleaching and toning), it's possible for the result to be so soft that you'd never be able to tell.
While your colorist should be using treatments to protect your hair during your appointment, you should also be maintaining the health of your locks post-color with frequent deep conditioning masks.
No, you’re not the only one getting major Marilyn Monroe vibes here. Rita Ora's curled, white-blonde bob will have you serving 1950s movie star realness, and what’s not to love about that?
Depending on your natural shade and texture, your colorist can use a few techniques to attain your perfect white-blonde shade. Katy Perry's piecey style can be achieved with the Air Touch technique—a way to distribute the color evenly using tension and a blow dryer. Pretty cool, right?
Technically this shade leans more platinum than light blonde, but we're including it because, well, it's too good not to. If you've been on a natural hair journey for a while and are looking to switch things up while keeping your texture, do like Solange and play with color (or lack thereof).
Bob With Bangs
If you’re a hair-dye novice, it can be easier to start with a shorter style like Taylor Swift's tousled bob: It’s less maintenance, and we love the confident drama of changing your cut and style at the same time. Bangs that effortlessly swoop alongside your texture only add to the major moment.
Tousled and Textured
Karlie Kloss demonstrates how bouncy, tousled waves will bring out bright white highlights and any other rich hues underneath. Like what you see? Then just make sure you can handle the upkeep this color demands. "Consider the maintenance care and if it seems like too much I wouldn’t recommend it. It is one of the most expensive and time-consuming services to maintain," Valdes tells us.
If you have naturally blonde hair like Anya Taylor Joy and you’re feeling bored, going white blonde is a great way to get out of your comfort zone while staying true to your roots (no pun intended). Of course, anything lighter than your natural color will require maintenance and root touch-ups.
White blonde hair looks just as stunning on natural textures, and pairs particularly well with protective styles like the mini box braids seen here on Zoë Kravitz. This is a great option if you want to minimize damage to your hair, as you can skip the dye and achieve a dramatic change using extensions.
Icy Beach Waves
Combining warmth with ice-cold highlights is the best of both worlds, just look at Lady Gaga as proof. And if you finish it off with soft, touchable waves, you’ll really feel like you’re at the beach—just make sure you have a good, non-stick beach spray for styling after you leave the salon.
If you’ve experienced damage (or emotional scarring) from previous bad dye jobs, it may be time for a fresh start. (Working with existing color on dry, dead ends is a tall order for even the most experienced colorists.) Let Michelle Williams be your muse and move on from your old dye job by losing the length and growing out your natural color—then, hit the salon chair for your new white blonde ‘do.
As we previously mentioned, most white blonde hair is defined by its cool, icy tones, rather than the warm yellows found in platinum and other blonde shades. However, you can follow Rosé of Blackpink's lead and heat (and soften) it up a bit by letting your roots show and going for a color that mixes both warm and cool tones.
Yes, white blonde hair requires the right care and products, but your style doesn’t have to be complicated—especially if you have naturally relaxed hair texture. If you’re worried about the work involved with your new hue, it’s a good idea to choose an easy, effortless cut, such as Megan Thee Stallion's shoulder-length 'do, that’s low-maintenance enough for your lifestyle—so you can focus your hair budget and energy on preserving your color instead.
On the hunt for a bold cut to enhance your white blonde color? This modern mullet by celebrity stylist Anh Co Tran is it. Although those with fine tresses might be wary of heavily layered cuts, the shorter length and softer layering of this style will complement all hair types and textures.
The devil is in the details, and it’s all about dimension when you go for white blonde hair. Ask your colorist for balayage and lowlights if you love the idea of something slightly warmer and more eye-catching than all-over white.
Oh, how we love an icy blonde bob moment. With soft, blunt ends and cool-toned color, you won’t be able to walk down the street without turning heads. (That’s a good thing.)
If you're looking to add some dimension to your icy look, go (or stay) dark on the underside like Soo Joo Park for a two-toned finish that feels totally unique. Enjoy how your white blonde hair looks a bit different every way you style it, from subtle waves that let the darker color peek through to an edgier updo that highlights the contrast.
We know, we know, it’s a little unfair—there’s a lot of maintenance required for white-blonde hair. But if you’re not into the idea of regular salon visits or root touch-ups, opt for feed-in braids like Amandla Stenberg here. The contrast of dark roots and icy plaits with undone ends is intentional and effortlessly cool.
What does maintaining white blonde hair entail?
According to Valdes, maintaining white blonde hair requires a lot of at-home care to prevent excessive damage; meaning: "bond builders (Olaplex, B3, and K18) to keep the hair strong; mask once a week to keep hair hydrated and soft; haircuts/trims no more than three months apart to insure split ends are removed; sleeping with a bonnet or on a satin pillowcase to prevent breakage and tangling when you sleep; heat protectant when you use any heat- blow drier, flat iron, curling iron, blow-dry brush. This is extremely important to maintain hair in its best shape without breaking off."
Do you have to bleach your hair to get white blonde color?
While it is possible to lighten dark hair without bleach, to get the white blonde shade that this color requires, your colorist will need to bleach your hair first to remove pigment from the hair. Then, they will add pigment to give you the desired shade and dimension.
What hair color level is white blonde?
Base level 10+. Your colorist will also need to combine this with a toner to correct any brassiness and keep hair cool-toned.