Hair

Strawberry Delight: How to Get Perfect Strawberry Blonde Hair

Strawberry blonde hair mixes the light of blonde with the fierceness of red to create a great combination hair color, known as strawberry blonde.

The shade, like ginger and blonde more generally, is perfect for the summer and has a natural sun kissed look. It catches the light perfectly thanks to the mix of tones, and gives a great shine, but rather than one tone such as all-over blonde, it gives that interesting mix and is growing in popularity. Some people are born with it, but many more of us are opting for this color by the bottle.

The shade is fun and flirty and suits lots of people, of all ages and looks. Some people are born with natural blonde hair or red hair, and choose to mix up their look by adding the other color to create strawberry blonde, while other people will need to start the color from scratch.

Occasionally, when coloring your hair from dark to blonde, you can end up with a strawberry blonde tone as the ‘in-between’ color as well.

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If you can’t decide between the red or the blonde look – this shade is the perfect combination color and you end up with the best of both worlds, the softness of the blonde and the feisty and vibrancy of the red. It is a youthful look and one that will turn heads because it tends to be a rarer shade than, say, brunette or blonde.

1940s pin-up Rita Hayworth, a brunette originally, dyed her hair strawberry blonde and it elevated her career. So why not give it a go yourself?

Who does strawberry blonde hair suit best?

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Strawberry blonde is a versatile color. It looks fantastic on women with a light and rosy complexion, such as pinkness in the cheeks and a pale skin tone. Generally, people fall into two categories of skin complexion – warm tones and cool tones. Strawberry blonde hair (similar to honey blonde hair) is a rare hair color and works best on warmer skin tones.

What this means is people with hazel, green, green-blue or golden brown eyes (generally). The skin of warm-toned people tends to be pinky or flushed and often with freckles. However, these are not firm rules because strawberry blonde can vary in vibrancy and can suit lots of people.

Celeb inspiration

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Probably the best known strawberry blonde celebrity is Nicole Kidman, but there are many more with varieties of the color, including (at some stage) Lindsey Lohan, Scarlett Johansson or Amy Adam.

If you know the shade you’re after, simply cut out a picture of the celeb or model from a magazine or print off from the Internet and take it along to the salon with you. A picture paints a thousand words, and it is often easier to show somebody what you want rather than explain it.

What is the best shade for you?

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There are lots of variations of strawberry blonde to choose from, and the best place to start is with a search online for some hair inspiration. It is advisable to head to a salon for your first strawberry blonde color, as they will be able to advise you on which will best suit your skin tone, as well as show you a color chart.

Dark strawberry blonde is best for tanned girls and people with dark eyes. Honey strawberry blonde adds more subtle and warm tones to the look. A light strawberry blonde can be flattering for very pale and light skin tones and this looks great with strawberry tones by the roots fading to a pale blonde by the ends (think Nicole Kidman for this one).

Strawberries and cream is the name for a strawberry blonde base with lots of extra creamy blonde streaks highlighted throughout (bordering more on blonde than the typical strawberry blonde which tends to be more red than blonde). Other colors include the opposites of the strawberry blonde scale – nearly red and nearly blonde.

How to get from your current color to strawberry blonde hair

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The best base color to start with for achieving strawberry blonde is an all-over blonde color or ginger/red. These simply mean adding the other tone (blonde or red), usually in foils and highlights. Any very light hair works easily with this look. If your hair is dark to start with, you will require a trip or two to the salon first to get it to a lighter base.

This can often involve bleaching or lifting the dark hair color and can be quite harsh on your hair. The darker your starting point, the less intense and more subtle the end results will be. If you want the best results, you will need to get to a light starting point, but be sure to do this gradually with lots of space between coloring appointments to give your hair a chance to repair.

What make-up colors match strawberry blonde hair?

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The best thing about getting your hair dyed a brand new color, is that you can justify a bit of retail therapy and stock up on some new clothes, accessories and make-up shades. The good news is, if you are a bit strapped for cash, this shopping spree is not absolutely necessary because all colors match strawberry blonde hair, from red to pink and colors like green.

Nude colors can make your hair really stand out when it comes to make-up shades – so think pale pinks, nudes and light bronze. Natural is often best. Alternatively, you can go for smoky eye make-up and bold colors that will work equally as well with your new hair color. It is a great hair color to dress up or dress down.

Salon trip or DIY?

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Once you have decided on the right shade and your shade inspiration, as well as picked out some new make-up tones to match, the choice is whether to visit a salon or do it yourself. The advice, generally, is to head to a salon for the first time, but there are lots of hair dyes available in a variety of tones that are easy enough to try out yourself.

You can even try some natural hair dyes to lighten your hair tone, including chamomile tea in your hair rinse (subtle but good for your hair). If you do decide to DIY, enlist the help of a friend the first time around and be prepared for the color to vary somewhat from the picture on the packet to your actual finished hair shade (unless you have consulted a hairdressers advice first).

It is sometimes a case of trial and error – but the good news is that strawberry blonde is not an exact science, and you can mix it up.

Care and attention

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Some hair shades are ‘needier’ than others. Red-blondes are one of those colors. Red fades faster than any other color, so you’ll need to invest in a few touch-up appointments or get a few hair dye packs in your bathroom cupboard on standby.

If you choose colors close to your original hair color, the strawberry blonde will fade quite naturally and not be very noticeable but if you have dark hair, the regrowth can be quite obvious and not very attractive (black roots against strawberry is a no no).

To avoid the color fading quickly, invest in some good quality color shampoo and conditioner, as well as some conditioning treatments for blonde hair.

As with any dye color, the chemicals can strip the natural oils in your hair and cause damage. It is important, especially with bleaching (blonde), that your hair is in great condition prior to coloring it. This means having kept it well trimmed, away from heat and chemicals as much as possible and conditioned.

Other ways to look after the condition of your hair include looking after your overall health – getting plenty of good quality sleep, eating nutritious food, drinking lots of water to keep hydrated and taking vitamins and mineral supplements. If your hair is strong, it is in a much better condition to withstand the dye as well as the touch-up appointments.

Strawberry blonde hair is a great choice to mix up your current hair color and add some variation. Variety is the spice of life, so they say! With lots of celebs opting for this color and more and more people braving the uniqueness of the shades and experimenting with different tones, it is a great choice for all skin tones and personalities.

If you start to get bored, add foils of a different shade, and you can create a whole new look quite simply and cheaply. What’s more, you can darken the shade for winter and lighten it for the summer, making it a versatile choice all year round.

Have you got strawberry blonde hair? What do you love about your hair color and what colors do you like to match your hair with when it comes to make-up? As ever, your comments are really useful, so do share your experience, tips and advice to our readers and join in!

About the author

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Rachel A.

Welsh Journalism graduate and full-time writer Rachel has a love of words! A workaholic with champagne desire on a lemonade budget, Rachel is most at home with her laptop on her knee and a cup of tea close by.

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  • I have a question…my hair is naturally strawberry blonde (I was born with it). My hair right now is a dark red. I want my hair back to my natural strawberry blonde. How could I do that without damaging my hair?