Once you decide to go blonde you face a slew of decisions you didn’t even know existed. One of which is which shade of blonde to choose. Deciding between warm blonde vs cool blonde is much easier when you know the major differences between the two.
In this article, we’ll provide a detailed comparison of warm and cool shades of blonde. In the end, we recommend the ideal blonde type based on skin tones and hair undertones.
What Is Warm Blonde Shade?
Warm blonde shades have golden, red, or orange undertones. Some of the shades that fall under the warm blonde spectrum include strawberry blonde, honey blonde, dirty blonde, buttery blonde, and golden blonde.
Here are some popular warm blonde shades:
Honey Blonde: This warm and rich shade is reminiscent of the natural sweetness of honey with its golden tones.
Golden Blonde: This classic warm shade is characterized by its luminous, golden hues.
Strawberry Blonde: A warm reddish-blonde hue that’s typically found naturally in some redheads.
Caramel Blonde: This rich, warm shade falls somewhere between blonde and light brown.
Butterscotch Blonde: This shade is a light, buttery tone with hints of golden and beige undertones.
Amber Blonde: A darker warm blonde color that has a reddish-golden undertone.
Bronde: A term coined for a shade that falls between brown and blonde, typically characterized by a mix of blonde highlights and brown lowlights.
Champagne Blonde: A blend of cool and warm shades with a golden peachy tone.
What Is Cool Blonde Shade?
Cool blonde shades refer to hair with ashy, light tones, ranging from icy platinum to sandy blonde. It lacks warm or golden undertones, featuring silver, platinum, or champagne hues instead. This shade suits various skin tones, especially those with cool undertones.
Here are some popular cool blonde shades:
Platinum Blonde: This is the lightest cool blonde shade, almost white, and often requires bleaching to achieve.
Ash Blonde: This cool shade has gray undertones and tends to be a darker blonde.
Silver Blonde: This is a trendy shade with a metallic sheen that looks almost silver.
Ice Blonde: This shade is a very light, almost white, cool-toned blonde.
Sandy Blonde: This shade is a neutral-cool variant that falls between ash blonde and champagne blonde.
Pearl Blonde: This shade has an iridescent, cool tone that resembles the color of a pearl.
What Does Warm Blonde and Cool Blonde Hair Look Like?
Cool and warm blondes look very different. Warm blondes appear bright in natural light. Their red, orange, and yellow undertones reflect light, resulting in a vibrant appearance.
Cool blondes, in contrast, appear darker. This dark appearance can be confusing, especially when looking at a lighter shade like platinum blonde. However, the blue and violet undertones absorb natural light instead of reflecting it.
Differences Between Warm and Cool Blonde
Understanding the difference between warm blonde hair and cool blonde hair is key to choosing a color that works well for your skin tone and undertones.
Both warm and cool blondes occur on a color spectrum based on the undertones. Cool blondes have blue or violet undertones, resulting in platinum, ash, pearl, and natural blondes. Ash blondes can vary from silver to gray.
Whereas warm blonde has copper, red or golden undertones giving a vibrant tone to the hair color.
You can differentiate warmer blondes from cooler blondes based on their behavior in natural light. Warmer blondes appear lighter, while cool blondes appear darker.
Warm blondes work well for people with warm undertones, while cool blondes work well if you have cool undertones. You can determine your undertones from the color of your veins.
Those with warmer undertones have greenish veins, while those with cooler undertones have veins that appear bluish or purplish. You can also test your undertones using silver and gold jewelry. Gold jewelry looks good on warm shades, while silver looks better for cooler undertones.
Both warm and cool blondes are beautiful. However, when placed against a skin tone, they may not be the best for different people. Cool blondes work well with cool skin tones, while warm blondes work well for warm skin tones.
When choosing a blonde color based on your skin tone, you should consider the makeup you wear. If you prefer warmer makeup, go for a warmer blonde, and vice versa.
Fair-skinned and medium-toned women can pull off a variety of warm and cool blondes. However, warm blondes work best with olive skin tones.
Dark-skinned women can pull off cool and warm blondes, provided they match them with their undertones. If you have warmer undertones, go for warm blondes. Go for cool blondes if you have cool undertones.
Hairstylists classify hair into ten levels, with one being the darkest black and ten the lightest blonde. Stylists prefer to lift a maximum of four levels per session to prevent damaging your hair.
Warm blonde colors are easier to achieve than cool blondes like platinum or gray. These blondes are easier to achieve as hair often has an orange or yellow tone.
Going to cool blonde, however, often requires bleaching your hair white, then coloring it the desired shade.
Due to the intense process involved in going blonde, getting professional help with your hair is recommended. If you have previously colored hair, go to a colorist who has worked with hair like yours.
Since they have different undertones, the products required to maintain blonde hair color differ. At the salon, your colorist will add toner to warm blondes to enhance their color and shine.
Warmer blondes fade into a light yellow or deep orange shade. You can restore the previous warm color by using a golden toner shampoo.
Cool blondes fade faster than warmer blondes. When they fade, they may look dull and lifeless. These blondes are also more likely to develop a brassy undertone.
Therefore, you should use purple shampoo on cool blonde hair to maintain its color for longer. Purple shampoo neutralizes any bronzy or yellow hues in your hair.
Whether you choose a warm or cool blonde, you must care for your hair to keep it healthy. You’ll need to use color-safe products and keep your hair moisturized so it can hold on to color longer.
You’ll also need regular conditioning treatments to repair your hair from the damage it undergoes during the coloring process.
Sun bleaching is also a concern when wearing warm or cool blonde hair. To counteract its effects, use UV-protectant hair-styling products.
Blonde hair is high maintenance, whether it’s warm or cool. Going blonde requires a lot of product, especially with darker hair. It can also take several appointments spread over months to lighten your hair enough without damaging it too much.
On average, going blonde will cost you between $180 and $250, depending on your hair color and the amount and length of your hair. It can be expensive to go from black dyed to black virgin hair if you have darker hair.
You’ll need regular touch-ups to your roots every four to six weeks to cover the new growth. Keep in mind that maintenance costs for blonde hair increase during summer due to exposure to chlorine and sunlight.
Color to Match
Whether you go for a warm blonde vs. cool blonde, the color will determine the best match for a balayage or highlights. Warm blondes work well with brown colors, while cool blondes work well with red and orange highlights.
Your hair color (dyed or natural) determines whether to get a warm or cool blonde. Light yellow base colors work well with warm blondes.
If your hair is naturally warm, it is much easier to go to a warmer blonde, as the warm tones will be highlighted. In contrast, cool blondes work well with darker base colors.
Here is a brief overview of warm blonde vs cool blonde hair color:
|Characteristic||Warm Blonde||Cool Blonde|
|Undertone||It has golden, copper, reddish undertones||It has bluish or purple undertones|
|Skin Tone||Best for warm undertones, tanned skin, and olive-colored skin||Best for porcelain skin and cool undertones|
|Process||Faster to achieve||It takes longer to achieve|
|Maintenance||Golden toner shampoo||Purple shampoo|
|Cost||From $180||From $180|
|Color to Match||Brown highlights||Orange or red highlights|
So, Cool or Warm Blonde: Which One Should You Choose?
Ultimately, the choice between warm blonde or cool blonde hair depends on your skin tone and undertones. Choose warm blondes for warm undertones and a cool blonde if you have cooler undertones. You could also rock warm or cool blondes if you have a neutral undertone.
No. Some warm blondes, such as light golden, are lighter, while dark ashy blondes are cool blondes. The undertones in blonde hair will determine whether it is warm or cool, despite its lightness.
Yes. You can lighten your hair to remove the yellow, orange, or red undertones which add warmth to your hair. Then, you’ll tone your hair with a blue or violet gloss to give your hair cool blonde undertones.
Baby blue is a neutral shade with both warm and cool undertones. It is the perfect shade for those who want a natural blonde look.