Strawberry blonde hair is like abstract art — everyone sees it differently. The shade isn’t quite red or blonde and you might even tilt your head thinking, What exactly is that hair color? when you see it in the wild.

Simply put, strawberry blonde is a light reddish copper that’s close to a golden blonde. Lilybeth Vargas, the founder of Dúo Hair and an extension specialist, has a more dynamic definition of the color: It’s made up of “tones that mimic the warm hues of the sun, the flames of a fire, or the oranges and yellows of a sunset,” she says. “It has a glow and a softness.”

It’s undoubtedly gorgeous, but it can also be pretty high-maintenance if it’s not your natural shade. Tiffanie Richards, a master/celebrity colorist at Louise O’Connor Salon in New York City, says that in order to achieve it your hair needs to be lifted to a light-medium golden blonde before a strawberry color is deposited into it. “You typically cannot achieve the color with just a single process unless you are naturally within the blonde family,” she adds.

If you’re thinking of trying the look, Richards recommends showing photos of the hue you’re aiming for to your stylist. “There are so many types of strawberry blonde and this is a color that people tend to be extremely picky with,” she says. Not sure what iteration of strawberry blonde you want? Read on for 19 examples of our favorite inspiration.

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