Bright Blonde
Nicole Kidman's new look. Courtesy of Nicole Kidman

Bright blonde is being embraced by celebrities of all ages this season. Known for her signature strawberry red hair, Nicole Kidman revealed a decidedly shorter creamy-bleached blond hairdo on Instagram when posting behind-the-scenes images from a recent Balenciaga photoshoot. The actress donned an oversize black leather jacket punctuated with edgy rock 'n' roll hair. Her new look is a breath of fresh air in an increasingly homogenized fashion trend cycle.

Then there's rom-com actress Zoey Deutch who debuted a classic iteration of the hair color. Deutch sported a short bleached pixie on her social media accounts reminiscent of Mia Farrow in the 1968 film Rosemary's Baby.

Bleached blond hair has always been the go-to makeover trend during times of change and social upheaval. It began back in 1931 when film producer Howard Hughes popularized the hair of his young leading lady, Jean Harlow, in the film Platinum Blonde, which set off a wave of imitators. This inspired later public figures, including Marilyn Monroe, who opted to bleach and bob her hair to stand out from other Hollywood starlets. In the 60 years since her death, bleached blond hair has been popularized and reinvented countless times by those seeking to attract attention, subvert gender norms and emerge anew with a blank slate.

Sydney Sweeney Vanity Fair 2024
Sydney Sweeney reveals an old money bob at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Courtesy of Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Sydney Sweeney channeled old Hollywood glamor by trading in her bombshell waves for a sophisticated bleached bob. The Euphoria star's transformation signaled her entrance as a leading lady removed from her ensemble cast. Although this hair trend requires significantly more maintenance than the "recession brunette" hair that has been trending lately, proponents of bleached blond hair say it's a worthy investment for those seeking bold locks that turn heads. "Warm buttery tones are perfect for those who love a bright and shiny blonde since the gold helps reflect light," Meri Kate O'Connor, a colorist at Salon Benjamin in Los Angeles, tells Allure.

Fashion darling Zendaya put her spin on the flashy hair trend, stepping out with honeyed blond hair at the Sydney premiere of Challengers. Her longtime stylist Law Roach shared a video from the event on his Instagram.

Zendaya Challengers premiere
Zendya shows off blond hair at the premiere of Challengers. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

The look is reminiscent of the high-maintenance hair color looks of the 80s and early 90s (think musician Courtney Love), which feel current and far removed from the subtle natural hair color trends that have dominated TikTok and Instagram feeds in recent years.

So how can you achieve this look without veering into retro territory? Experts suggest borrowing grunge elements like unkempt dark roots to give hair a "lived-in" feel or styling it in unexpected ways like pairing it with bold eye makeup. No matter which hairstyle you ultimately choose, bright blond hair is giving all of us a welcome dopamine boost as we head into spring.

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