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How To Brighten Up Your Mane With Honey Blonde Highlights

We’re sweet on honey hair color—we bet you’ll love it, too.
  • Emily Orofino
May 10, 2024

Getting highlights is a fantastic way to upgrade your look—but when deciding which hair color to try, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of ideas out there. We’re here to make a case for honey blonde highlights, a hair color trend you’ve likely seen while scrolling through your Pinterest and Instagram feeds.

While there’s plenty of merit to cool blonde hues like beige blonde, silver blonde, and ash blonde, the rich, warm tones of honey hair colors are special. Honey blonde hair is nuanced and incorporates red, brown, and blonde hues into one dimensional shade. Plus, the unique color adds a sun-kissed radiance that’ll make your hair appear fresh and healthy no matter what month it is. Read on to get inspired by 18 honey blonde highlight ideas—you’re bound to find at least a few styles that you’ll want to take to the salon to show your colorist (or recreate at home!).

1. Light Brown Hair with Honey Highlights

If you’re looking to lighten up your strands a touch without creating a strong contrast, you’ll love the look of honey blonde highlights on light brown hair. The deep, warm blonde will blend beautifully with your existing hue for a natural-looking brightness with plenty of dimension. You can use L’Oréal Paris Colorista At-Home Hair Bleach & Lightener to create natural-looking highlights from the comfort of your own home.

2. Copper Hair with Honey Blonde Highlights

In case you haven’t heard, copper hair is seriously on-trend. But if you want to brighten up your red, consider having your stylist weave honey blonde highlights throughout. The syrupy blonde hue pairs perfectly with earthier tones like copper and auburn.

3. Light Blonde Hair with Honey Highlights

Add depth to your natural blonde mane with warm honey highlights woven throughout. The combo of a pale blonde and a rich honey blonde makes for an irresistible pairing—especially on those with fairer warm-toned skin. To really extend the life of your color and fight fade, treat yourself to an occasional glossing treatment using L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Honey Blonde.

4. Dark Brown Hair with Caramel Honey Highlights

You may be under the impression that blonde highlights are too light for dark brown hair, but that’s not always the case. If you’re a deeper brunette, we suggest skipping the ultra-light blonde shades and instead opting for a richer blonde hue, like caramel. The decadent shade will give your hair depth and dimension without creating too stark of a contrast with your natural strands.

5. Burgundy Hair with Honey Blonde Highlights

If, on the other hand, contrast is what you’re after, consider pairing a burgundy hair color with honey blonde highlights. While there are plenty of highlighting techniques that are worth trying with this unexpected combo, we love the look of honey ribbon highlights and balayage on burgundy hair, which melt the shades into one another for a seamless transition that still pops.

6. Auburn Hair with Honey Highlights

Just as they do on copper hair, honey highlights will add extra warmth to an auburn base. This is a great option for natural redheads who want to switch up their mane without giving up their gorgeous (and coveted!) natural hair color.

7. Dark Blonde Hair with Honey Blonde Highlights

For a subtle touch of dimension, add honey blonde highlights to dark blonde hair. By incorporating the deeper hue of honey highlights into your existing color, you’ll get depth without having to commit to a drastic change.

8. Honey Highlights on Black Hair

You already know that brown hair with honey highlights looks gorgeous—but the versatile color works on black hair, too. You can take the opportunity to warm up the entirety of your dark base, or you can simply add threads of honey blonde highlights throughout your hair to add a bit of flair. Just remember that if you’re going from black or very dark brown to blonde hair, you’ll want to take extra precautions to keep your hair healthy. Nourishing your hair with a regular deep treatment like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm Rinse-Out Mask can go a long way toward ensuring your hair looks and feels its best.

9. Honey Blonde Babylights

Sometimes, you just want a “your hair but better” color—one that will make people think you look refreshed, but they’re not exactly sure why or how. If a beach vacation isn’t in the cards, let the secret to your new spark be honey blonde babylights. Babylights are understated, and using this method to achieve honey hair color will let your natural beauty shine.

10. Honey Blonde Hair with Shadow Roots

Hair color commitment-phobes, this is the way to try honey blonde highlights. (It’s also a great way to test honey highlights on brown hair.) When using a shadow root or root smudge technique, your colorist will create a natural transition between your darker, natural hair color and the honey blonde highlights about an inch or so from your roots. Not only does this make for a more low-maintenance color, but it also allows you to get a sense of whether or not honey highlights are for you ahead of a more intensive salon appointment.

11. Honey Blonde Ombré

Like the shadow root method, blonde ombré hair color involves blending your dark blonde or brown hair with honey highlights, but the transition is even more gradual (which means upkeep is even easier). Ombré is one of the easiest types of hair color to maintain, so if you’re not someone who wants to spend a lot of time at the salon touching, consider giving this low-key look a go.

12: Honey blonde balayage

The balayage hair color technique pairs perfectly with honey blonde highlights because it creates a natural, multi-dimensional effect that enhances the luminosity of honey hair color. Though it’s admittedly not quite as simple as experimenting with single-process color, you can DIY balayage at home using the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Balayage At-Home Highlighting Kit, which features a unique applicator for precision color placement to create that hand-painted look.

13. Face-Framing Honey Blonde Highlights

Also known as a money piece or halo highlights, face-framing highlights are an ideal placement for honey hair color. Whether you go bold or opt for a subtler effect, honey blonde highlights around the face can help warm up and brighten up a dull or tired complexion.

14. Honey Blonde Highlights with Ashy Undertones

It may sound counterintuitive to rock honey blonde highlights on cool brown hair, but the unexpected contrast looks gorgeous. The pairing of warm honey highlights and cool ashy brown hair creates a harmonious balance, especially if you have a cool skin tone. This is also a clever way to update cooler hair hues as you transition from winter to summer with less effort than a full-head dye job.

15. Golden Blonde Hair with Honey Highlights

Golden blonde and honey blonde hair color may seem similar, but they’re not the same. Though they’re both warm blonde shades, honey-color hair has a bit more warmth courtesy of subtle red and brown tones. That said, honey blonde highlights complement golden blonde hair beautifully by creating subtle and flattering dimension throughout your strands.

16. Honey Bronde Hair

Honey blonde hair is just one step lighter than caramel brown color, with the latter having slightly more depth. Adding a touch of brightness to this darker hue with honey highlights will create a “bronde” sun-kissed effect that will look quite natural, especially if you opt for balayage.

17. Metallic Honey Highlights

If you want a fun and flirty new look, try metallic honey highlights. You can get this effect by weaving various tones of warm blonde throughout your mane—the ultra-subtle contrast will create a dimensional effect that looks like polished metal in direct lighting.

18. Chunky Honey Blonde Highlights

Soft, barely-there highlights are flattering, but sometimes, you just want to go bold. When that happens, update your look with chunky honey blonde highlights. The thicker highlighting technique will create plenty of contrast with your base shade for a hue that pops. To minimize touch-ups, pair chunky highlights with a root smudge—it’ll make the grow-out process much lower-maintenance.

How To Care For Honey Blonde Highlights

As gorgeous as they are, honey blonde highlights can leave your hair feeling a bit damaged, especially if you have to undergo more than one bleaching session to achieve your desired hue. To help keep your hair feeling strong and healthy, swap out your usual shampoo and conditioner for L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair Shampoo with Citric Acid and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Bond Repair Conditioner with Citric Acid. The color-safe system helps rebuild damaged hair bonds, leaving the hair feeling stronger and smoother in a single use.

Brassiness, too, can become an issue, especially since honey blonde highlights are already pretty warm. Once a week—or whenever you notice your strands verging on the brassy side—reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner. The violet-tinted duo helps offset unwanted orange tones for a bright, vibrant blonde.

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