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If golden blond hues never fail to draw your gaze, you may be ready to lighten and brighten your own tresses. If you have a warm skin tone -- think yellow or olive undertones, with veins that look green -- golden blond will match the natural warmth in your complexion. Cool-toned divas with rosy skin (blush much?) and blue veins may need an ash or neutral blond instead, but with the right highlights and lowlights, anyone can rock golden blond locks.
For All-Over Gold
When it comes to at-home hair coloring, too much gold can leave your hair with an orangey tint -- no matter how shiny and sunny that golden blond shade looks on the box. The good news? When you lighten your hair, it automatically warms up your look. To achieve a natural sunshine yellow (minus the brassy orange), mix a golden blond dye with a neutral blond shade. The boxes should say "warm" and "neutral" (versus "cool"), or "golden" and "natural" (versus "ash"). The neutral color will tone down the brass without nixing the shade's cozy warmth.
Beige doesn't just refer to the carpet. It's also a natural-looking hair color that oozes warmth -- and in the sun, it shines like gold. Lukaro salon co-owner Rona O'Conner dyes "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively's hair with soft honey beige, plus apricot and ivory. For an all-over color to start your journey to golden hair -- perhaps with a few highlights -- beige is a safe, neutral-colored base.
Once you have your blond base down, warm up your look with its sister color: honey. This blond tone adds a warmth and richness to hair -- just look at celebs like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen, who have mastered the honey hue. It looks most natural woven into other hair blond shades, so start with an all-over hair dye in cool ash blond or warm golden blond, whichever complements your complexion. Finish with a highlight kit in honey, toffee or caramel, to add that final dash of gold.
If you crave the dirty blond tresses of a true surfer chick, sandy blond hair is your ticket. Besides the beachy name, sandy shades are a sexy blend of blond and brunette strands -- and that makes them a smart choice for natural brunettes who want to play with a low-maintenance blond shade. Colorist Negin Zand, who dyes Jennifer Aniston's hair, recommends adding golden blond and baby blond highlights to darker hair, for a multi-tonal look. At the store, buy a highlighting kit; some even include all-over color to apply first. Even if you opt for ash blond hues to complement cool-toned skin, the result will be a warm golden blond that's totally beach chic.