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Spring is right around the corner, and nothing indicates a change of seasons quite like a new hair color trend. It’s pretty standard to want to lighten things up when the warmer months roll around, but “expensive blonde” is putting a fresh spin on spring and summer hair colors. So, what exactly is this emerging color trend? Well, before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear: It has nothing to do with your bank account.

“Expensive blonde is about dimensional, rich-looking blondes that aren’t all the way platinum,” Shvonne Perkins, lead educator at Madison Reed, tells GLAM. “Typically this is hair that still has some natural depth left to it. The words that come to mind to describe these shades are beige, champagne, and golden — not to be confused with ‘yellow’.”

It makes total sense why this lust-worthy shade is becoming to popular. Perkins explains that because it maintains a bit of natural color, it complements the skin while looking youthful and effortless. “It warms up the complexion and has more sheen than a fully bleached out blonde, which makes your hair and skin look dewy,” she says. “It is reminiscent of how children’s hair lightens naturally in the sun, and has a less-efforted look to it.”

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What should you ask for at the salon?

When going for expensive blonde (or really, any shade of blonde), the process will differ depending on what your starting shade is. “If you’re already really light blonde, ask about weaving in some soft subtle low-lights of a very light brown or darker blonde,” says Perkins. “That will get you into some dimension. If you are looking to add more lightness, just ask for a deeper blonde or a dark blonde, with a beige tone instead of cool ash or icy tones.”

Of course, it’s always helpful to bring in photos of what you’re looking for (keep scrolling for inspo!), so you and your stylist can be on the same page. For reference, see Jessica Alba’s new color or think Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s signature shade. TikTok’s beauty sweetheart, Matilda Djerf, is another great example.

What kind of maintenance is required for expensive blonde?

To keep your expensive blonde in tip-top shape, Perkins recommends the Madison Reed Prosecco Gloss ($25; madison-reed.com) for at-home toning. “It gives a perfect mid-blonde, beige tone and balances gold and cool tones together,” she says. “Hair that has more depth and isn’t quite as bleached out also has more shine and radiance to it.

She also recommends using purple shampoo and conditioner or the Madison Reed Color Protecting Shampoo ($24; madison-reed.com) color-protecting shampoo. “Having [these shampoos] in the mix to use when your golden starts to steer a little too yellow is helpful, but use sparingly; maybe once a week,” she says.

Expensive blonde inspiration

According to Perkins, expensive blonde will be around for the long haul, and particualrly prevalent during the spring and summer months. “This trend will stay and only get more popular,” she says. “The softness of this shade plays nicely with the tinted moisturizer and glossed lips look of sunny months. When it comes to hair color, it’s natural-looking luxury.”

To help you narrow down your expensive blonde look, take a look through some of the best inspiration that IG has to offer:

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