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

So you can find the exact hue for you.

blonde hair
(Image credit: Getty Images)

No two shades of blonde are quite the same. Blonde comes in dozens of iterations, from strawberry blonde and honey blonde to caramel blonde and buttercream blonde—and many, many other shades that don't sound quite as delicious (but still look gorgeous). It's not just a light-to-dark spectrum, either: Blonde hair can veer towards white, yellow, red, brown, orange and rose gold tones, and manages to look completely different every time. It's easily the most versatile hair color (if you can even call it a single color), because it lends itself beautifully to so many different tones and textures. 

The ambition of going blonde seems to be a state of hair being that almost everyone goes through once in their life. Of course you could always bleach your own hair at home, but the results may not be exactly what you wanted. So put the box dye down and go see a hair colorist. Whether want to achieve the buttery blonde of Marilyn Monroe or a more natural ombré blonde, there's a style and shade for you. Maybe you're not ready to fully lean into a completely blonde look—that's fine; there's highlight and lowlight styles for all. We took the liberty of naming every single freaking shade of blonde out there, along with photos, so you can easily share with your stylist.

Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.