Hair color maintenance doesn’t begin or end with those crazy-looking foils. Your strands should be strong and healthy enough to withstand dye in the first place and once you’ve made it through, a shift in cleansing and styling is key to making your new hue last. Blake Lively, a lifelong blondie, knows this all too well.
Although her signature hair looks mostly au naturel, there’s a laundry list of things she’s probably doing to maintain the “I woke up like this” vibe that inspire women to bring pictures of her mane to the hair salon. In a recent interview with People, her colorist Rona O’Connor spilled all the tea regarding their nearly 10-year working relationship, which began when she made Lively a “rosegold” blonde in 2009 for “Gossip Girl.”
For starters, the key to nailing that multi-layered dimension throughout Lively’s hair starts with finding the most appropriate base color.
“I lift her natural base color one to two shades lighter, to create either a natural beige or a golden beige base tone, depending on what her lifestyle or work requires,” O’Connor said. “This allows an easier outgrowth and less demarcation when her natural color grows in. One shade of lift gives the longest lasting results, and a low maintenance lived-in blonde look. I add slivers of golden highlights and low lights matching her base color to add dimension and sometimes slivers of golden apricot for a more blushed blonde result.”
And once she’s done touching up the color, O’Connor always finishes Lively and other blonde clients off with a clear or toned gloss to seal the hair cuticle, as well as smooth and add shine to each strand. From there, there are a few important cleansing tips she recommends for your routine, one of which is reversing the order of your shampoo and conditioner.
“Protect porous blonde hair from chlorine by conditioning before shampooing to fill the hair, so it won’t absorb as many minerals that can cause brassiness — especially if your home has brass pipes,” she says. We’d also suggest conditioning afterwards, too, since shampoos–especially clarifying ones–tend to leave the hair sticky.
And you can up the ante even more by purchasing a water filter for your shower head to prevent excess pipe minerals and calcium deposits from sitting on your scalp. Leave-ins are also recommended, since blonde hair in particular is prone to excess dryness after a bleaching.
Get more of O’Connor’s tips over at People.