The Salons Have Spoken: Barbie Blonde Is Out, Old Money Blonde Is In

By Charlie Colville

1 month ago

Loud luxury is the latest hair trend


Luxury’s visual language is expanding – and the latest rendition takes the old money aesthetic head-on with a warm, natural take on blonde hair. Here’s how to get the look, according to professional stylists.

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What Is Old Money Blonde?

‘Old money blonde is a seamless, natural, effortless-looking shade of blonde,’ explains Ami King, the Signature Hair Colourist at Gielly Green. ‘Think a more natural blonde balayage, with softer, warmer notes – but still a little lighter than the natural shade.’

So, this is a richer (pun fully intended) shade of blonde – but what exactly makes it stand out from other blondes? ‘Old money blonde essentially looks like you’ve got naturally fantastic hair,’ highlights Zoe Irwin, Creative Director at John Frieda Salons. ‘This is a style of blonde that is more seamless in its application – rather than streaky or chunky – with the colours melted and blended into one another. The tone tends to be a mix of warm, beige and ash tones – not applied in prominent streaks, but more of a delicate highlight. When you have darker hair, these tones could be one or two shades up from the base colour, just a little bit lighter so you wouldn’t get anything that was too piece-y.’

@dasha__shamarinaY or N?✨♬ original sound – leilaa

The internet’s fascination with the ‘old money aesthetic’ has only skyrocketed over the last few months. Defined by an emphasis of classic and understated style, it’s a lifestyle trend that has swept its way through the interiors (think Saltburn vibes), travel (weekenders to Paris dressed like Audrey Hepburn), fashion (quiet luxury is the staple look here) and beauty spaces. When it comes to the latter sphere, we’ve already had a taste of what the trend can bring to the table in the form of the chic old money bob – which we admittedly loved. The addition of a warm, syrupy blonde to this aesthetic only make us all the more excited to give it a whirl.

And it seems the rest of the internet is in agreement. On TikTok, views for the search terms #oldmoneyblonde and #oldmoneyblondehair have hit over 83 million and 50 million views respectively, with content creators flocking to the app to showcase their hair transformations in the salon for the new season.

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In celebrity circles, meanwhile, the colour has had a long-standing popularity amongst the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Sophia Richie Grainge. But other celebrities have also been spotted trying out old money blonde in recent months; Margot Robbie was papped on the set for A Big, Bold, Beautiful Journey wearing a slightly darker take on the trend, while Zendaya has been sporting a summery, golden hue during promotions for her upcoming film Challengers.

Who Suits This Hair Colour?

Since this is more of a darker, warm-toned blonde, our stylists assure us that this is a colour that can be adapted to lots of skin tones. ‘As it’s done softly, it will suit most skin tones,’ says Ami. ‘Old money blonde can be demonstrated on most natural hair colours whether it’s a soft caramel blonde on a brunette base or a lighter honey blonde.’

‘I think the colour is more of a process,’ adds Zoe, who explains that the trend is probably more suited to those who prefer more minimalist, muted aesthetics. ‘I think old money blonde can be matched at different skin tones, but I’d also say it might not be the right shade if you want something that’s going to really perk you up or make you feel a little bit brighter. This is a colour that’s all about subtleness, so I think that it’s more suited for the type of client that opts for a classic aesthetic – a lot of caramel, beigy or oatmeal tones.

‘I would say that it definitely goes with the kind of quiet luxury – a more simple, refined palette,’ she continues. ‘I wouldn’t put this so much to someone who wears a lot of florals or patterns.’

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How To Ask For Old Money Blonde Hair At The Salon (& What To Expect)

Before heading to your appointment, it’s worth preparing plenty of reference photos so that your stylist has an idea of what direction you want to take with your hair colour. As for what to ask for, Ami suggests you request ‘a gentle balayage application to give a seamless blend for a low maintenance, pretty blonde.’

And once sat in the chair, your stylist will get to work. ‘The colour is in finer pieces – what we call a “global colour” – where we would probably do some pretty fine highlights, but with an all over colour that was very glossy. So expect a process that’s like adding a gloss on top of a natural base, with a slight amount of warmth.’

How To Style Old Money Blonde Hair

When it comes to styling old money blonde hair at home, Zoe recommends leaning into the aesthetic as much as possible to really hit that classic look. ‘It is really key to have the styling be simple,’ she says. ‘I would use a bristle brush in order to polish the hair, in combination with grooming creams and something that would keep the hydration within the hair. Think classical waves rather than something too beachy. You’ll want a very soft blow dry that lends a similar softness to the hair.

‘When you take the colour application and make it much more simplistic in this way it becomes more seamless, less of a statement – which is what old money is really about,’ she continues. ‘It’s when you’ve got a knackered Volvo on your driveway, but also £3 million in the bank from your grandfather – so it isn’t showy, and the styling shouldn’t be showy. It’s not the time to have a big voluminous blow dry; if you put that with this hair colour it takes on a sort of frumpiness. Simplicity, smoothness and naturalness is what works really well.’

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How To Maintain Blonde Hair

Compared to other shades of blonde, old money is considered fairly low maintenance (thankfully). ‘Old money blonde is much lower in maintenance than bright bleach blonde,’ agrees Ami. ‘The colour could last anywhere between six months to a year without needing much work, which makes it a very liveable colour.’

For our guide to maintaining blonde hair throughout the seasons, click here.

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Featured image: Warner Bros.