09/04/2013 11:45 am ET Updated Nov 04, 2013

Beach-Bum Blonde

This summer we're loving bleached-out babes rocking '90s-inspired hair

Everything old is new again, and hair color is no exception. Even though ombré continues to persist, '90s-tinged blonde is making a serious comeback this summer. Whether Pam Anderson, Tori Spelling, Christina Applegate, Alicia Silverstone or even Kurt Cobain rocked your ideal grunge-era flaxen hue, it's time to let your hair do a little reminiscing and unleash that inner beach babe.

"Highlights lately have been sun-kissed with warmer tones such as golds and caramels on darker colors," says colorist and balayage expert Fabrice Henssens of Beverly Hills' Cristophe Salon. "Now we're seeing more extremely bright pieces with ash tones -- very light blonde, almost white highlights that are less subtle than what they've been [in the past few years]." The color guru is himself well versed in what makes for the most natural, beach-sourced highlights; he's a longtime surfer who's spent lots of time observing how the sun highlights hair oceanside.

This throwback to '90s color Henssens describes as "grungy blondes that are very bleached out." While today's updated, refined version works best on lighter hair and shorter cuts, the look is still achievable through hand-painted balayage, he says. "Balayage can be very subtle and sun-kissed, but it can also be applied more heavily to achieve very light, almost white highlights," says Henssens. "Styling can definitely give it more of a '90s vibe, but adding really light pieces that are very bleached out helps enhance the look too." To help preserve the color once you've achieved it, Henssens recommends "Chroma Riche by Kerastase to gently cleanse the hair and add moisture."

Even though two of our current favorite It girls Sky Ferreira and Rita Ora reference the grunge look with a more glam twist, the original edginess still remains. And they know how to style it right, with deep side parts and messy volume. The question is, how bold are you? "Women with this hair color are willing to be more daring than those with the subtle, less up-keep color that has been on trend lately," says Henssens. Simply put, "They're edgier."

This post was originally published on Beauty Bender.