We often like to use seasonal changes as the perfect excuse to make a big hair change, especially one involving color. While the transition from summer to fall is usually characterized as the perfect time to try out that darker hair color that’s been on your mood board for the last few months (“black espresso,” anyone?), if you’re starting off with a blond base, perhaps you want something a little less dramatic. Enter: “blond on a dimmer,” the ideal hair color to turn to when you want to lighten up your hair (and your mood) without going too bold.

“High-contrast ashy blond and bold placement with the color, such as the ‘money piece’ highlight, have had their time for a while now,” Liz Burns, colorist, creative director, and lead stylist of Goldie x Bob Salon in Denver, told POPSUGAR. “I think more and more, blondes will be dimming down and softening their color with less contrast and revealing more natural-looking tones, adding a softness to the hair.”

The key to pulling off this “dimmer” blond hair color is to go with a more subtle hue that’s warm and similar to a honey blond. “Think: effortless honey, subtle sunflower, and whimsical wheat,” Burns said. “These tones look best on skin colors that have a bit of golden warmth to it. If you have pinky or rosy [undertones] in your skin, go with a tone that is closer to champagne, beige, sandy, or sandstone blond. Whatever tone works with your skin tone, the placement is natural and blended. An effortless, sexy blond.”

Read ahead to see a few of our favorite takes on the “blond on a dimmer” trend.

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