Many of us have toyed with the idea of shaking things up by going blonde. Blonde locks can be sexy and fun, and it’s a great option when you’re trying for something bold and new. But successfully going blonde requires a lot of work from prep to finish. To help you achieve the best blonde results, we rounded up a few trusty tips you should try out and take into consideration before you making the hair color switch.
Consider Going Into the Salon on “Off” Days or Times:
Time is money, and the reality is that many hair stylists double book. This leads to excess time under dryers for clients in order to buy some time for the stylist who is working on another client while the first one processes. Many a mishap has occurred due to this, says celebrity hair stylist Billy Lowe. Over-processing can lead to disastrous results, especially with balayage treatments and painted on color, says Lowe. “Lightener dries out unless it’s in foil or wrapped. When it dries out, it loses its activity level so many hair stylists that use balayage techniques use very strong developers which really damage hair. I prefer foils and plastic wrap and lower strength developers,” says Lowe. By choosing less popular times or days to get your color done, you reduce the risk of being forgotten under the dryer—but always ask your stylist how long your color has to “cook” and pay close attention to the time.
Start with some golden highlights to warm up your color and see if you like the look. “Gradual is also better to avoid a sharp contrast when roots grow in. Platinum or very light shades will require more maintenance, too,” says Wendy Lewis of Beauty in the Bag.
Be Mindful of the Cost and Upkeep:
If you know you’ll want to keep your blonde around for a long time, be prepared to spend money on your hair. It’s high-maintenance because you will need a pro to keep your blonde strands looking healthy, natural, and shiny—and also to avoid damage. If your base color is dark, you may need to switch up to a double process, which is the base color and highlights combined. This will soften the contrast between your roots and blonde strands and extend the time between visits. You can switch off between a double process, followed by just base color, then another double process. Roots grow in at about four weeks, so plan on needing a touch up every six weeks tops, explains Lewis.
A lot of blondes aren’t taught how to take care of their new color. Over-the-counter products may not give you what you need to protect the color so always check with your salon professional, says Lowe. Avoid tightly-bound hair, especially ponytails that can tug the hair too much around the face-line. Too many people pull ponytails too taught so it causes damage at the gathered area as well as breakage at faceline.
Don’t Overdo Thermal Styling:
Especially if you already have a weaker hair type, says Lowe. Going blonde changes the integrity of the hair altogether, so just be careful.
Going blonde also requires conditioning to avoid a brassy look and a dried out texture, says Lewis. Go for frequent trims (every 6-8 weeks), and use a hair masque every 1-2 weeks, along with color-safe conditioners and sulfate-free shampoos that are gentler on colored hair.
If You Have Platinum Blonde Hair:
The most important thing to do with this color is maintenance, so be consistent with touch-ups. You must do your color every four weeks to avoid those unattractive golden bands, says celebrity hair stylist Umberto. Make sure you color the hair in neat, clean sections so you do not miss spots.
If You Have Golden Blonde Hair:
“An application tip is to use two different color blondes and section the hair out so to achieve a multidimensional color,” says Umberto. The key is to select a color that does not say gold or copper in the name to avoid giving hair a red tint.