As someone that has spent the best part of five years trying to transition my naturally brunette strands into a full head of luscious blonde, trust me when I say I understand the perils of bleach appointments. I have tried full-head highlights, half-head highlights, ombré, balayage and babylights in an attempt to get the effortlessly blonde hair of my dreams, but alas, I still haven't quite got there.
However, I have every faith that 2022 will be the year that my blonde hair dreams will come true. You see, the thing I have struggled with the most is knowing exactly what to ask for at the salon. With prices usually quotes by technique, it doesn't make it easy for those of us that don't know what technique is needed. What we do know, is that we want blonde that isn't blocky, is 3-dimensional and requires minimal fuss. But now there's a new trend on the rise, and it might just answer my hair prayers.
"Curated blonde is where you customise the final look by using many different techniques for the end result, rather than one set technique. It could be a combination of balayage underneath to give a large panel of colour for texture with fine micro lights at the front to make the front look seamless," explains Jo McKay, Aveda’s Global Colour Educator. That's right, colour appointments are set to go bespoke, and it's a long overdue move.
My top tip? Have a picture as a reference point so that your stylist can decode the sorts of techniques they might have to combine in order to get your bespoke curated blonde finish. "The colourist can recommend how to take care of the colour for condition and shine and can speak with the stylist doing the cut," says McKay. (FYI, I really recommend Aveda Blonde Revival Shampoo (£23) and Virtue Restorative Treatment Mask (£30) as a health promoting power dup for blonde strands.)
Not sure where to start looking for inspiration? Keep scrolling for the best curated blonde hairstyles around.
Halle Berry is no doubt the undisputed queen of beachy balayage.
We've got highlights, babylights, a root smudge and more going on here, and the result is absolute perfection.
These chunky face framers are giving me all of the inspiration for my next appointment.
This combination of cool blonde and honey tones is total perfection.
As someone with very long (but thin) hair, this blonde style with glimpses of natural brunette is serving hair goals.
Cool-toned highlights with a bit of natural root on show looks seriously chic on curly styles.
The fringe is set to make a major comeback in 2022, and this highlighted, blocky style is magnificient.
Rachel Stevens has been giving us all of the blonde highlight inspiration since the late nineties, and her current balayaged, mid-length cut is bang on trend.
Ciara's chunky, balayaged caramel highlights are going front and centre on my summer hair inspo board.
Rosie has been championing a curated blonde style for years (the luxuries of having access to the top colourists in the game, hey?), and it ties classic blonde with modern techniques beautifully.
For a low-maintenance style, keep the roots of your hair free from bleach and ask the colourist to smudge in your colour—this way you can avoid excessive colour appointments.
This caramel-toned balayage is the perfect way to lighten up dark hair while keeping things looking a bit more natural.
Because blonde doesn't have to results in buttery creams and yellows. These red-tinted blonde face-framers are *chefs kiss*.
Opting for lighter, ashier shades at the front of your hair and darker, less intense colour at the back helps brighten up the overall appearance without all of the hard work that comes with a whole head of bleach upkeep.
While platinum tones with a blocky fringe can risk looking heavy, a lighter feathery fringe helps soften the colour beautifully.
A mix of balayage and ombre in one? I'm sold.
A fringed bob with curated blonde couldn't be more on trend for 2022.
Jodie Comer will forever be one of my biggest blonde hair heroes thanks to the 3-dimensional tones and perfectly blended roots.
Beyoncé was way ahead of the curated blonde trend when she mixed chunky highlights, face-framing, babylights and balayage to get her now iconic caramel waves.
If I hadn't spent the past ten years growing my hair to my waist, this cropped curated blonde bob would be the first inspiration picture I took to the salon.
Margot's ombré blends her natural root with a dirty blonde before transforming into a classic buttery tone at the ends. And it's the face-framing babylights that tie it altogether.