I Tried It: Going ‘Bronde,’ the Latest Hair Color Trend

How this summer's color craze looks on a normal person.


Plain brunette vs. sun-kissed bronde. | Photo by Kori Livingston.

We fancy “bronde” to be the brunch of hair colors: that in-between sweet spot for when you can’t quite commit to either option (and simultaneously want to lead a fabulous, trendy lifestyle). Not quite blonde, definitely not plain brown  –  and no, it’s not just ombre with a different name  –  the bronde look is a sun-kissed middle ground that’s all the rage right now.

We agree, the name is a little ridiculous (still feel dumb saying it out loud), and the guidelines for what counts as bronde vs. brunette-with-highlights are a little fuzzy. Still, we were curious, so one week into my new position here at Philly Mag (by the way, hi, guys!), I decided to put this trend to the test.

I booked an appointment with Jessica Gonsalves at Architeqt Salon in Washington Square West to take the plunge. She’s one of just a handful of L’Oreal Professionnel National Artists who tours the country teaching balayage technique, so I knew I was in good hands.

Over the course of two hours, my hair was sectioned off, painted, plastic-wrapped, and dry cut to a new ‘do. The end result? My natural chestnut-brown locks now give way to a warm beige-blonde, most noticeably around my face.


My old, grown-out balayaged brown hair on the left vs. fresh, evenly distributed bronde. | Photo by Kori Livingston.

This combination color is achieved through balayage technique, which involves painting highlights into the hair using a sweeping motion. Foils and demarcation lines are swapped out for a freehanded overall lightening that a low-maintenance chick like me can definitely get into. With balayage technique, you don’t have to worry about embarrassing dark roots growing in, because your natural roots are purposely left untouched.

While I do love the new kick of sunshine in my hair, I’m heading back to Architeqt in four weeks to add a few even brighter tresses. According to Jess, going bronde (or eventually blonde) should be a gradual process for two reasons: It creates multidimensional, natural-looking color, and it’s healthier for your hair than bleaching, which strips the pigment altogether. (If you’re not convinced, check out Khloe Kardashian’s blonde evolution.)

And no, bronde is not just repurposed ombre. While both styles involve a gradual lightening of the hair, they are not created equal. See the difference; know the difference:

Bronde on the left; ombre on the right. | Images via Birchbox and Iberetta.

The Details: Architeqt Salon & Gallery, 265 South 10th Street, 215-567-5005.