Bronde Hair: The Brunette Balayage Hair Colour Trend To Know About

Bronde balayage hair is a winter favourite again. Keen to get involved? Here's what to know ahead of your next colour appointment.

Lily Collins Bronde Hair Colour

by Grazia Contributor |
Updated on

When blonde meets brunette, we get 'bronde': an in-betweener of a hair colour often achieved through balayage that flatters a wide range of skin tones and has become an increasingly popular hair colour choice amongst the A-list circuit. Emily in Paris star Lily Collins, for example, has been giving us serious bronde balayage hair envy for a while dow and Hailey Bieber has taken her trademark balayage blonde hair colour shade to the bronde side too.

If you're looking to take the bronde plunge - screenshot her Instagram pictures and click the 'save' tag, pronto. It never hurts to have visual references to hand at your hair appointment. Need even more examples of bronde balayage done right? Look to royalty. Even the Duchess of Cambridge made the colour switch to bronde recently, lightening up her previously darker strands in her 2021 hair refresh. The Made in Chelsea girls are big fans too.

Kate Middleton The Duchess of Cambridge Hair Colour

Everything you need to know about going bronde

Combining the beachy glow of balayage blonde highlights with the warmth of mid-brunette hues, a bronde hair colour is a great way to go if you have ever umm-ed and ahh-ed over the blonde vs brunette conundrum. It's no surprise really that stars such as Chrissy Teigen, Kaia Gerber and Kylie Jenner have all made the colour switch, donning warm, honey bronde balayage tones, it's the perfect middle ground.

What exactly is bronde hair?

Neither fully blonde or brunette, bronde is a multidimensional tone that perfectly compliments a tan and gives hair a beachy, lived-in feel. Early bronde hair colour adopters include Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Lily James, Gisele, Alessandra Ambrosio and Miranda Kerr - which is pretty good company to be in, no? When it comes to achieving the perfect bronde look, most hair colourists use the balayage hair colour technique.

Sophia Karayiannis, Assisant Manager at Crouch Hill Blue Tit says: 'It’s when a sandy brown and a blonde tone combine and make a beautiful natural looking bronde. Bronde is the hair version of having your cake and eating it as you can get the look that you want without having the upkeep of roots every 6 weeks like traditional highlights.'

And that upkeep is just one reason it's such a practical trend, that everyone is jumping on: 'It has all the sass and elegance mixed into one,' adds Sophia. 'It’s practical because it’s the ultimate no-fuss look and can be warn all year round, especially in the coming colder month of winter. One of the top benefits of this colour is that it suits most skin tones and outfits, which girls we all know can be hard.'

Kate Middleton Bronde Hair
©Kensington Royal

Why is bronde such a big winter trend?

With bronde everywhere you look, we asked Blue Tit's Sophia why everyone is opting for bronde this winter: 'It’s becoming a winter trend as people are starting to see and realise you can achieve that perfect colour and blend without having the more harsh growing out brighter colours of summer,' she says. 'Most people tend to make the jump from blonde to brunette in winter, therefore it’s always a struggle when the warmer months come back and they want to go lighter again and have this dark barrier, so why not combine both tones which works perfectly together so you get best of the worlds whilst still being able to play around with your look.'

What happens at a bronde hair colour appointment? How does the balayage colouring technique come into play?

We opted to try out going bronde at Blue Tit's salon in Portobello. Sophia said: 'You mix blonde and brunette together, whether it’s blonde tones such as your caramels, strawberry blondes and ash blondes or brown tones such as your chestnuts, golds, and ashy browns. Mixing any of these tones will blend effortlessly to give the perfect colour for the individual's skin tone.'

The colourist, Stefania transformed our tired hair into a textured, multi-dimensional look that feels full of winter tone, but with a little bit of sunshine - we're a big fan...

Bronde fuses sun-kissed blonde highlights with brunette lengths and is best achieved through the now well-known balayage technique, which involves free-painting highlights onto the hair, rather than using traditional foils. The result is a more natural, sun-kissed look that, because the roots are left alone, doesn't require the frequent salon visits for maintenance that you generally associate with getting regular highlights. You'll be left with graduated highlights melting from brown to blonde. The key point to note here? If you're set on going bronde, opt for a hair colourist who is well versed in balayage.

'The key to the perfect bronde is to lighten hair by painting pieces freehand through the hair, making sure that the lighter colour is softer near the mid-section and thicker towards the ends. Just make sure you don’t have too much of a contrast between the roots and the highlighted ends or you’ll end up looking like you’ve had a dip-dye,' advised Despina Sianou, the Colour Director at Neville and balayage expert.

What is the best way to choose the right bronde tones for you?

‘This style is all about subtlety. Make sure your colourist takes the time to find the right tones – the correct hair tones should be only two, or at most, three shades lighter than your natural shade,' advises hair colour supremo, Christophe Robin.

The correct tones should only be two, or a t most, three shades lighter than your natural shade

Kathy Wimshurst, Senior Technician at Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, adds 'Bronde balayage is really versatile – it can be adapted to suit any skin tone so it's a great way to go a bit lighter if you're worried that blonde wouldn't suit your colouring. The trick is to get your colourist to create a personalised, bespoke colour just for you.'

Is going bronde better for your hair than going blonde?

'Bronde balayage is a great low-commitment colour that is perfect for those wanting to look after the condition of their hair, as you don't have to use bleach all over. Bronde is perfect keeping longer lengths healthy and ultra shiny. The glossing colours will smooth the cuticle, conditioning and strengthening, whilst giving high shine,' says Siobhan Jones, Colour Ambassador at Headmasters.

What is the difference between bronde and balayage?

Confused by yet more new beauty terminology? Don't be. Balayage is a colouring technique rather than actual colour or shade, which can be used to achieve a variety of different looks on a whole spectrum of hair colours from dark to light. Bronde, meanwhile, is a shade which sits between blonde and brown, which is best achieved using the balayage colour technique. Got it?

How easy it to go bronde if you have dark brown hair?

Good news: it's actually easiest for brunettes to make the transition from dark to bronde than for blondes. Ask for a variation of blonde and brunette shades to add warmth, movement and definition, and choose warmer hues rather than, say, opting for cooler platinum shades, for a seamless finish. Think soft caramels and honey tones painted in - via the balayage technique - towards the ends of your hair.

What is the best bronde hair dye to use at home?

If you want to give it a go at home try a DIY kit opt for L’Oréal Paris Préférence Glam Bronde Kit, £7.49, which comes with a pro-designed colouring brush to place the scattered, honeyed streaks right where you want them. Proceed with caution though. Most pros emphasise that lightening your hair colour should only be done in the salon and balayage is a very tricky technique to master if you're not a fully trained professional. Our advice? Book in with your favourite hairdresser.

Scroll For Bronde Hair Inspiration

The likes of Chrissy Teigen, Beyonce, Kylie Jenner, Miranda Kerr and now Kate Middleton have all experimented with bronde balayage hair. Check out the gallery below to see our favourite A-list bronde hairstyles...


Grazia Bronde Hair

Lily Collins bronde hair1 of 8

Lily Collins

Lily Collins was once famed for her deep brunette shade of hair colour but these days she's lightened things up with a few caramel hues. Whether these are natural or come via a bottle remains to be seen, whatever the case we want her bronde look!

Kate Middleton Bronde Hair2 of 8
CREDIT: Kensington Royal

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton's latest hair refresh combines a bouncy, soft style with warm, honey highlights that looks ultra elegant.

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Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner recently made the colour switch to bronde and we're so into it. Warm honey tones offset with rich brown looks perennially chic.

Beyonce hair4 of 8


Queen B has experimented with both blonde and brunette over the years but bronde is her most recent colour way.

rose byrne balayage5 of 8
CREDIT: Getty Images

Rose Byrne

A long bob and balayage highlights is a failsafe hair formula for Bridesmaids star Rose Byrne

miranda kerr bronde hair6 of 8
CREDIT: Getty Images

Miranda Kerr

Another star who adds dimension and volume to a long bob with a subtle mix of blonde and brown tones is supermodel Miranda Kerr

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen

Can we trade hair styles with you please, Chrissy Teigen? Thanks!

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CREDIT: Getty Images

Lily James

It's certainly a departure from her Cinderella blonde, but we can't get enough of Lily James' glossy bronde balayage 'do

READ MORE: 8 Easy Steps To DIY Balayage Highlights At Home

READ MORE: Salons Are Back! From Kylie Jenner to Kaia Gerber, We Chart The Best Post-Lockdown Celebrity Hair Transformations

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