From champagne to mushroom, it seems there’s always a new color trend expanding the possibilities for going blonde. Ahead of summer—and coinciding with other understated trends like quiet luxury and coastal grandmother style—”linen blonde” hair is on the rise, and it’s one of the most wearable shades out there. But what is it, exactly? We spoke to two colorists to get all the key info on this cool-toned, dimensional color trend, from what to ask for at the salon to the maintenance level you should expect. Keep reading to learn all about the linen blonde hair color—complete with 11 stunning examples—and decide whether the look is right for you.
What Is Linen Blonde Hair?
“Linen blonde hair is a sophisticated and versatile shade characterized by its cool, taupe, and beige undertones,” says celebrity colorist and L’Oréal Professionel global ambassador Min Kim. “It embodies an understated elegance, reminiscent of the light, cool hues found in the texture of linen fabric. Linen blonde offers a soft and natural aesthetic that complements a variety of skin tones.”
The beauty of linen blonde hair is that it’s dimensional, customizable, and works for a variety of undertones since it doesn’t skew in an extreme direction. “To me, it’s hair that’s a perfect mix between warm and cool—hair that’s neutral,” explains colorist and L’Oréal Professionel ambassador Adina Pignatare. Just as linen nails have countless variations, you and your stylist get to work together to decide which approach to linen blonde hair will work best for you.
About the Trend
Blonde shades are always popular during the warmer months, and this year, linen blonde hair coincides with trends that champion versatility, wearability, and a fresh, clean look. Coastal grandmother style is now in its second summer of making us crave easy-breezy seaside vibes, and the more recent rises of Barbiecore and the “vanilla girl” aesthetic have spiked interests in blonde hues across the board. “People want natural,” Pignatare says of why more and more are gravitating towards this shade. “An effortless look, but not [too] lived-in. I think super ashy blonde is out and people are seeking more neutral/natural tones.”
“Linen blonde hair has captured attention for several reasons,” Kim tells us. “Its universal appeal lies in its ability to [complement] both warm and cool undertones. This versatility, combined with its refined and modern twist on traditional blondes, has made it a sought-after trend. Linen blonde exudes effortless chic and provides a low-maintenance option for those seeking a sophisticated summery look.”
Unlike cool blondes like platinum and ash or warmer golden and strawberry blondes, linen blonde’s primarily neutral beige palette may pique the interest of anyone who wants an understated, lower-maintenance color. “Linen blonde distinguishes itself with its cooler, taupe, and beige undertones, setting it apart from other blonde variations,” Kim explains. “Its muted tones offer a more sophisticated and understated look compared to brighter blondes. Linen blonde requires less frequent touch-ups, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a low-maintenance color without compromising style and elegance.”
How to Get the Look
Since linen blonde describes a variety of shades involving beige and taupe tones, a cool neutral finish, and dimensional lowlights, it’s important to talk to your stylist to decide on a version that fits your vision, undertones, and desired maintenance level. “When requesting linen blonde hair at the salon, communication with your colorist is essential,” Kim says. “Ask for a blend of cool, taupe, and beige tones that complement your skin’s undertones. Aim for a multidimensional effect with a seamless transition between shades to achieve a natural-looking result. Providing reference images and/or videos can assist in conveying your desired linen blonde look.”
Pignatare agrees, and offers her advice for how to prepare for your consultation: “I suggest showing pictures,” she says. “It can even be pictures that you don’t like so you and your stylist are on the same page. Without a picture, I would suggest saying a neutral, beige, or champagne-toned blonde.”
As for the process of getting linen blonde hair, it varies depending on where you’re starting from as well as the look that you and your stylist decide on. Pignatare says that elements you might expect to achieve the tone and dimensionality include lowlights, highlights, and/or a custom toner. Kim agrees, adding: “Your colorist will determine the best approach, which may involve lighting techniques such as foiling, balayage, or babylights. These techniques create depth and dimension. Subsequently, cool and beige toners are applied to achieve the desired linen blonde shade.”
Linen blonde hair’s maintenance level can vary, but upkeep is generally easier than if you were going for a bright or icy shade. “I would consider this low-maintenance,” Pignatare says. “However, you can go to the salon for a toner between appointments if you feel the tone has faded.” During your consultation, you and your colorist can discuss what result works best for your desired maintenance level—for example, neutral tones and subtle balayage are easier to maintain than a cooler, more dramatic version of linen blonde.
“Linen blonde hair is coveted for its low-maintenance nature,” Kim tells us. “However, proper care is still necessary to preserve the trend’s beauty and your overall hair health.” Here, she breaks down key steps to keeping your linen blonde color looking its best:
- Use color-safe products: With colored strands, you’ll want to opt for products that help maintain hair health, vibrancy, and integrity. Kim recommends L’Oréal Professionnel’s Metal Detox Shampoo ($35) and Conditioning Mask ($48).
- Regular deep conditioning treatments: As with any hair color, linen blonde hair can lead to dryness and damage, so you’ll want to pay extra attention to keeping your strands nourished. Adding a deep conditioner to your routine for weekly use (or however often is directed) can make a major difference.
- Be wary of heat: Since colored strands are more fragile, be sure to use a good heat protectant before styling. “Using low heat settings on all hot tools is recommended to keep the hair nourished and healthy,” Kim adds.
- Make regular color appointments: “Salon appointment frequency may vary, but a salon visit every six to eight weeks is generally advised to maintain the desired shade,” Kim tells us. Your colorist will be able to advise further on what upkeep looks like for your version of linen blonde.
Who Should Get Linen Blonde Hair?
Given its versatility, there’s a version of linen blonde hair for almost anyone, though your ideal shade depends on your natural color, skin tone, and commitment to upkeep. “For a natural level 6 and above, this tone will be easy and look natural,” Pignatare says. “For a darker base, I would suggest [going] a tad bit warmer.”
“Linen blonde can be achieved on various hair colors, but the approach may differ based on the starting base,” Kim advises. “Lighter hair colors may require minimal lightening before applying the cool toning, while darker hair likely requires more extensive lightening. Variations such as ‘shadowed linen blonde’ or ‘dark root linen blonde’ offer alternatives for a seamless grow-out or when incorporating deeper roots.” No matter what, both experts emphasize speaking with your colorist to get the best, most personalized recommendations.
The Best Linen Blonde Hair Color Ideas
Matilda Djerf is the queen of understated Scandinavian chic, so it makes perfect sense that the Swedish creator and entrepreneur has a shade of linen blonde that will pair perfectly with all your favorite vanilla beauty trends. Her beige-toned strands achieve subtle dimension with balayage that blends seamlessly into her darker blonde roots.
If your natural hair color is fairly dark, lean into the dramatic change like Amandla Stenberg by going for a bright, beige-toned linen blonde color. We love how the shade stands out here in a braided style against the actor’s bedazzled, chained top.
Lili Reinhart’s hair skews lighter blonde, and this linen take on her signature color balances sunny highlights with taupe roots and lowlights. This is a great option if you want a bright blonde for summer that’s easier to grow out later on.
Radiant Linen Bronde
Here, Kim transforms a client’s hair from golden bronde to a linen shade, using a gloss to achieve the cooler neutral tone. “This quick but essential step helps extend the lifetime, maintains shine, and [enhances the] linen tones,” she says.
Taupe Linen Bronde
For the 2023 Grammys, Chris Appleton created a stunning linen bronde blowout style on Jennifer Lopez that beautifully complements her golden J.Lo glow. The stunning result proves that taupe tones are great to integrate for anyone with a darker base shade and/or warm undertones.
Dimensional Linen Blonde
Seen here on Byrdie’s own editor-in-chief Hallie Gould, a dimensional shade of linen blonde is sure to catch the light in all the right ways. Ask your colorist about using subtle highlights and/or lowlights to achieve a similar depth.
For a low-maintenance style on a darker base, keep the linen blonde shade to subtle highlights, as seen here on Lesley Buckle of @freshlengths. We love how this technique adds a pop of extra definition to the creator’s natural curls.
Margot Robbie’s Barbie movie hair might be ultra-bright, but off-duty, she’s often known to rock a beige shade that transitions seamlessly into darker roots. Achieving a neutral tone that’s not too warm or cool is key here, as is balayage for easy grow-out.
If Barbie blonde is exactly what you want, you can take the shade into linen blonde territory by opting for a subtle mix of cool and warm shades to create a neutral, beige-toned finish. Here, Mary J. Blige leans into the glamour factor with radiant makeup and oversized jewelry.
Serena Williams’s stunning, subtly golden shade is a prime example of how leaning slightly warmer can help linen blonde to look more seamless against darker roots. We love how this color and subtle dimension looks on the tennis icon’s voluminous curls.
Linen Gradient Balayage
Sofia Richie has been on the world’s minds lately thanks to her breathtaking French Riviera wedding and effortless everyday luxury style, and it’s no wonder that the star has a beautifully crafted linen blonde hair color to match. Her shade features lots of balayage, with brighter pieces towards the front and plenty of darker dimension for seamless grow-out potential.