Wondering what way to go with your hair color? We’ve been thinking the same thing. We’ve grown to love mousy, natural hair colors thanks to the fact that laid back shades feel relaxed and low-maintenance.
But we can’t deny that a drastic ice blonde offers up the sort of hair escapism and statement refresh that we’re craving.
It’s a tough one. Or it was, until we spotted a pretty highlighting technique that combines a little bit of both. Ribbon blonde, was originally coined by the experts at Los Pastel‘s dreamy salon (sadly based in Australia, but with a bunch of inspo on Insta). The trend takes delicate sections of hair and weaves ribbons of light blonde amongst darker sections to create a beautiful mix of tones that adds depth and dimension to hair.
If you’re bored of drab-feeling strands (aren’t we all, cheers lockdown), it’s a gorgeous middle-ground between natural, non-committal color and a brighter blonde that requires more upkeep.
It’s essentially a high-contrast form of balayage, with gleams of light expertly lifted to create a sleek balance between the darker and lighter shades.
You can sharpen or soften the contrast depending on how dark your natural base is and how statement you want to make the style. We love tonal ribbon blonde in a mix of buttery, sandy, champagne and platinum shades, which gives a subtle lift to dirty blondes. But we also love 90s ribbon blonde which creates a piecier, chunkier color clash between darker brunettes and bright blonde.
The best news? You can get that bright, light feeling with zero upkeep. Since balayage won’t create harsh lines at your roots, you can go for touch-ups as little or often as you like – depending on how fresh or lived-in you want it to look – either way, it will remain looking seamless and beautiful.
This story originally appeared on Glamour UK.