Katie Holmes Shows Off Her Caramel Syrup Highlights on Curly and Straight Hair

Get ready to call your colorist.

Katie Holmes wearing curly highlights
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Katie Holmes holds a special place in countless style lovers' hearts for her iconic, expansive closet and mastery of effortless outfit changes. This week, her latest head-turning looks were as much about her easy, undone hair as her clothing. Attending back-to-back events, Holmes debuted subtle caramel highlights that looked incredible on both straight, flat-ironed hair and bouncy curls.

Holmes started demonstrating how chic her highlights looked regardless of hairstyle on Monday, June 10, in New York City. Attending a Chanel x Tribeca Film Festival dinner at The Odeon in a see-through lace set, she wore her hair in face-framing waves.

Holmes's curls appeared all the more defined with the slight color contrast of her honey-brown highlights. This especially goes for the blondest, bounciest strands that caught the light on the right side of her face. Her new coloring also added dimension to Holmes's signature brunette shade, epitomizing the beach-ready vibe that so many of us used to attempt with Sun In.

Katie Holmes posing with curly hair

Katie Holmes' highlights brought out the volume in her curly hair on Monday night.

(Image credit:  MEGA/GC Images)

The following afternoon, Holmes wore her hair pin-straight. It cascaded past the waist cutouts of her summer sweater dress, giving her a mermaid-like look. Her quick hairstyle brought out just how light Holmes's new highlights are in addition to showing off her hair's length.

Holmes worked with her longtime hair team, colorist Gina Gilbert and hairstylist DJ Quintero, on both looks. The latter shared a close-up of Holmes's bouncy curls for Chanel on Instagram. While he gave shout-outs to the rest of Holmes's glam and wardrobe team (including makeup artist Genevieve Herr and wardrobe stylist Brie Welch), he didn't reveal exactly which products Holmes uses to achieve her sun-kissed color.

Katie Holmes talking on the phone and walking

Katie Holmes looks summer-ready with long, sunkissed highlights.

(Image credit:  Gotham/GC Images)

While Holmes typically dances (and dresses) to her own beat, her new beauty look reflects the 2024 hair trends ruling Hollywood right now. Celebrity colorist Rita Hazan previously told Marie Claire warm, honey hues would be the dominant hair palette this year. "It’s natural and effortless with a happy, bright golden tone—just make sure to stay away from orange or brass tones," Hazan said. Rihanna and Beyoncé have already tried shades of blonde and light brown; Holmes's caramel highlights are the latest addition to the list.

Between her voluminous evening curls and daytime straight hair, Holmes assuaged the fear that so many of us have when test-driving a new haircut or color: that after we leave, we'll have to wear our hair exactly the same way it was styled at the salon to look good. If you were considering lightening your hair this summer, or if you're feeling anxious about switching up your signature look, take Holmes as inspiration to throw caution to the wind. Then, bring both photos of her caramel syrup highlights to your colorist.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art