The Blonde Hair Dictionary: Defining Every Gilded Shade Under the Sun

From the same author that brought you "How to Have More Fun 101."

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Design by Morgan McMullen

Google "blonde hair," and you'll see millions and millions of hair photos, none of which look at all the same. And that's because "blonde" is a very broad term that's applied to virtually any hue that's lighter than brown, making for a very confusing conversation with your colorist. To de-mystify the lingo, we broke down virtually every gilded hue across the vast blonde spectrum, so you know exactly what to ask for at your next hair appointment.

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Vanilla Blonde

Zoë Kravitz has been on a hair journey of late—first, she shaved her hair into a buzzcut, then bleached it blonde, before softening the brassy hue to this creamy vanilla shade.

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Peach-y Blonde

Emma Stone swapped her signature red hair for this pale-blonde hue that's ever so slightly peach-tinged (peep those subtle blush lowlights).

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Chestnut Blonde

Think of this warm blonde as The Dress of colors—some will swear it's light brown, others will claim it's dark blonde, and yet a third group will tell you to stop critiquing Beyoncé altogether, because it's Beyoncé.

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Light Brown-Blonde

Amber Heard's three-inches of brown roots are made purposeful, not forgetful, thanks to itty-bitty, hand-painted blonde highlights that start at her hairline and snake their way back.

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Practically-Strawberry Blonde

In an ultra-cool, French-girl fashion, Clémence Poésy takes the concept of strawberry blonde and cranks it up to a billion.

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Blush Blonde

To keep light-blonde shades from washing you out, add in some blush undertones, as seen in Julia Roberts' waves, to give a natural warmth to your face.

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Gradient Blonde

If you look past the Flock of Seagulls hairdo and focus only on the color, you'll see that Margot Robbie's hair has a perfectly smooth gradient of blonde, from honey at the roots to butter at the ends.

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Icy Blonde

One of the coolest new hues of the season is Cara Delevingne's take on white-blonde: a platinum white and silver shade that immediately illuminates her face.

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Golden Platinum

Gwen Stefani's signature bright shade, with definitively warm, almost bronze-y undertones, is the epitome of Old Hollywood glam.

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Caramel Blonde

Ciara's mix of butterscotch- and caramel-colored highlights gives new meaning to the phrase "good enough to eat."

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Champagne Blonde

A subdued, creamy blonde that's also infused with platinum and golden accents? That's cause for a champagne celebration.

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Opalescent Blonde

Alright, technically this iridescent pearl color walks the "white" line, but it still falls into the blonde category thanks to its mix of platinum blonde, light blue, and purple highlights.

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Cream Soda Blonde

This gorgeous hue is the result of blending ash-blonde tones with golden-blonde shades, making it flattering on all skin tones.

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Spotlight Blonde

See Poppy Delevingne's bright-blonde hair? See how it looks like she's standing in a perpetual spotlight? That's the result of clean, mega-white dye, with pale-blonde toner.

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Frosted Blonde

Usually reserved for boy bands of the early aughts, frosted highlights are made cool again when paired with dark roots and choppy layers, à la Scarlett Johansson.

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Buttercream Blonde

Carey Mulligan's flaxen lowlights with creamy highlights help add even more texture to her cropped hairstyle.

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Golden Blonde

Charlize Theron's muted take on golden blonde gleams against her porcelain skin.

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Silver Blonde

Ellie Goulding gives blonde a heavy-metal twist with this sterling wash.

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Bright Golden Blonde

Blonde shades can go brassy fast, so make like Kate Hudson and ask for a dye with cool undertones, rather than warm, for a non-orange finish.

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Root-y Blonde

There's nothing wrong with skipping a color appointment when those dark roots make your blonde look that much better.

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Sandy Blonde

Sunny highlights illuminate Reese Witherspoon's sandy base shade.

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Baby Blonde

The platinum micro-highlights framing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's face give her a fresh, youthful look.

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Beach Blonde

Blake Lively's sun-kissed highlights are just dark enough to trick you into thinking they're real.

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Chestnut Blonde

This dirty blend of light brown and blonde complements Gigi Hadid's rosy, summer glow.

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Neutral Blonde

Neutral colors create a blend between warm and cool shades. This nude blonde color mimics Seyfried's natural tones, as if she hadn't dyed her hair at all.

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Brushed-On Bright Blonde

Ashley Olsen's colorist deserves a medal! Her chunky, painterly highlights are striking, yet natural looking.

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Golden Dirty Blonde

January Jones upgrades her dirty blonde mane with slashes of golden highlights.

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Rose Gold Blonde

Color chameleon Katy Perry goes for a subtler shade of rose gold that's a combination of pastel pink and blonde. The more platinum the base is, the more iridescent the resulting hue will be.

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Blorange

Sienna Miller walks a chic line between blonde, pink, and orange without it feeling (can't believe we're saying this) too unnatural.

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Gingery Blonde

Blonde has always been Rachel McAdam's go-to color, but our favorite iteration is this version with a warm ginger tint.

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