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‘Expensive Blonde’ is the Latest Hair Trend — But at What Cost?

woman with styled wavy blonde hair from behind

We love a trending hair moment as much as the next person (hair can, after all, serve everything from fun to beauty to empowering self expression), but this season’s latest hair trend — “expensive blonde” — is worth a closer look. 

What is the “expensive blonde” hair trend?

As outlined in Glamour UK, expensive blonde, a lighter-hued take on the multi-dimensional “expensive brunette” look that ruled in salons in the winter of 2021, is looking like it’s going to be one of the biggest hair trends for the season to come. While the hairstyle — which requires an expert blend of blonde tones for a luxe, dimensional effect — is undeniably gorgeous, it is also, as the name implies, expensive

Related: 10 style and fashion trends to watch for in 2022.

What does being expensive blonde cost in the currency of beauty?

So what, if any, is the issue with luxe, light locks being the “it” look of the season? While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to have any hairstyle you like, it is also worth considering the broader context of certain looks reigning supreme, and what they may mean for women who can’t afford or achieve them.

Successfully dyeing your hair blonde requires a few prerequisites: time, money and hair that can be realistically lightened enough to look blonde. The reality is that not everyone has that time, money or genetic ability to maintain being a so-called expensive blonde. If looking a certain way is the most straight-forward route to staying on trend, should we consider what this means for people who appreciate the look, but simply won’t be able to embrace the power that this look carries.

There is a currency to beauty — especially for women in the workplace — that cannot be ignored. Women who cannot abide by certain beauty standards, which are set by those with the most wealth and power, often suffer from discrimination and even an income gap. While hair is just one piece of a complex puzzle, trends that are targeted towards certain people — and which effectively exclude others — warrant contemplation. 

While it is refreshing to see a trend that favours people with certain bank balances being upfront about it what it is (it told you it was expensive from the start, after all), we hope to see other options rise on the trending lists this season, too. 


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