Have you been thinking about going blonde? Or, perhaps, you are considering a new look for the coming season, and the captivating “blonde glow” on the social media of your favorite influencer and celebrity seems to be calling your name?
Whether you have naturally blonde hair, go from brunette to blonde, or simply need an uplifting transformation, here are a few valuable tips from a professional with 10+ years in the beauty industry you may want to consider before taking the big leap into dyeing hair blonde.
#1: Should You Go Blonde at All?
Take a look at your hair. No, it is not necessarily a matter of how thin or thick your hair is, or what your natural color is, or even what the color of your skin is. It’s 2021, and if going for an exotic look is your jam, then go for it! There are more shades of blonde than 50 shades of gray, and – given the right hair colorist – you might only have to think about what type of blonde best compliments your skin tone (be it cool, warm, or neutral).
Yet, with so much more to be considered, your main concern should be the porosity of your hair. It is the condition or the health of your hair, and 100% of your homework. Lifting hair color is damaging, so you can only start with healthy locks and the readiness to nurture them further.
#2: You Need to Prep for Blonde Hair
Now, let’s say you haven’t gone to the salon yet. You are still searching for the right stylist via referrals, Instagram, etc. In conjunction with your search, your main goal is getting your hair as healthy as possible, and here’s how!
Start by doing 20-minute hair mask treatments once or twice per week. Let your hair grab the nutrients it will need to support and sustain bleaching. The last thing you want is to get to your appointment when your hair is not in the condition to be lightened. What you do want is getting the best results out of your appointment and walking out with exactly what you had in mind if not better, with the confidence of an IG “Baddie”.
#3: Different Styles and Maintenance
Today, there are many coloring techniques,such as traditional highlights, balayage, foilayage, bleaching, toning, etc. Depending on your base color, blonde hair goal, and the maintenance you can commit to, you may choose among these ways to dye hair blonde:
- Traditional & Babylight Highlighting (2-3 month upkeep): These are usually processed in foils and work for most hair types and tones.
- Balayage (3-6 month upkeep): Balayage is a hand-painted technique that is delivering a natural sun-kissed look to dimensional brightened ends. It is best for natural blondes to light brown hair.
- Foilayage (2-4 month upkeep): Consider this a hybrid of the balayage technique, except using foils. This allows for more control and higher-contrast color corrections, which is why it is best for dark brunettes going blonde.
- Bleach and tone (6-8 weeks upkeep): This technique presupposes an application of bleach and toner straight from the root of the hair to ends for an all-over blonde finish. It is best for those seeking a platinum look.
#4: Find the Right Hairstylist
In the New World of social media, finding a stylist on Instagram has been made very simple – pictures! Look at the stylist’s work. Is what is important to them important to you? Don’t be fooled with Photoshop and pretty faces, or thousands of followers. I’ve come across great stylists who are not as up to date on social media but are amazing and have lots of years of experience. This is why referrals are ultimately also great. Everyone loves getting a “great hair” compliment, so do not hesitate to make it (and also ask about the stylist) when you see someone whose hair you love.
Most importantly, observe what are the stylists’ strengths and ask if they offer free in-salon consultations prior to the service date. Personally, I allow myself the time for thorough 20-minute consultations for any new client, for I want to make sure my clients are getting their exact blonde desire, or at least are on the right path to it.
#5: Plan Your Day
A common mistake is thinking that your first-time bleaching process will take within 2 or 3 hours. Although this can be true for women, for those with long, thick hair, the coloring session will take a lot longer. A rule of thumb – don’t make any other important commitments within a 5hr time span.
Make sure you take everything you need with you and come ALONE. The last thing the hairstylist needs is distractions from their art and getting you processed as fast as possible! Also, come with freshly washed hair, or remember to reserve additional time and a tip for washing and drying your locks to get them ready for the going blonde session.
#6: Work with Your Expectations
Be realistic, the stylists can only work with what you are giving them to work with. Consider your hair type, texture, and manageability. It is a good idea to find inspiration pictures from Instagram or Pinterest that would feature similar natural hair type, length, and thickness as yours.
Also, be informed that you might need more than one appointment. Share what your ultimate goal is but do not expect to reach it in one session: the stylist will guide you into what is possible for you and will set the timeline for your hair transformation.
#7: Mind the Price
Don’t fall under the bargain of a price. Know that if you are going blonde, you are committing. Not only to maintain it but also to use the products to support the health and color of your new hair. Remember the phrase “you get what you pay for”? Sometimes, you might risk spending money on a service that doesn’t get you what you wanted or have to pay double to get it fixed.
This also applies to the quality of products being used – that is what is going to determine the health of your hair. If price is a determining factor for you, ask your stylist what style will be high, average or low maintenance, so you have a good understanding of your new investment.
#8: Leave It to Professionals
Wondering how to color your own hair blonde? PLEASE, just don’t. Bleach is a harsh chemical that should be left to professional use only. Have you had any box dye in your hair recently? Any hairdresser will fear asking this question and, still, we need to know what the history of your hair is. Box-dye will a lot of the time lift blotchy or worst cause reactions.
When we highlight your hair, the goal is for it to highlight evenly into the blonde that is desired, aka a nice pale yellow, for best results. If you had a previous bleaching history or even left the dye on for only 5 min, a color correction or chemical reaction may follow. This is a situation neither you nor your stylist wants to fall into unplanned, so honesty will help the stylist take the precautions he or she needs to prepare for it.
#9: At Home Care
Be ready to treat your blonde with lots of TLC for it can dry and damage more easily, and damaged hair is not pretty hair. Before you leave the salon, ask your stylist what they recommend. Every client and every hair is different. What you see on social media isn’t always right for you, and I’m mostly sure your stylist won’t steer you wrong – you are their walking billboard, they want you to keep your hair looking as beautiful and healthy as possible.
Here are 3 must-have products for every blonde:
- Blonde Protective Shampoo & Conditioner: Redken All Soft, Blonde Idol, Pureology Strength cure, B3 Color Care Shampoo will all work great;
- Salon Quality Hair Mask: Olaplex No. 3 or 8, Blondeme Keratin Restore Mask, L’oreal Professional Absolute Repair will make great choices;
- Leave-in Conditioner: Living proof frizz, Monat Restore Leave-In, RandCo Sun Catcher, or Waterfall are great to try.
Remember, proper hair care will help you maintain the color of your hair longer, and this relies 100% on you.
#10: Follow Up
Follow-up appointments are crucial with blonde hair! Although you might not need to lighten hair every time, a toner or gloss will help you maintain that fresh hair vibrancy. Or, you might get a treatment to keep your color and ends in good health.
Even if you decide to go back darker, a stylist will offer a number of flattering solution without the need to bear an awkward regrowth.
I hope sharing my knowledge and experience on how to go blonde will help you get a stunning look and enjoy your new hair color! I love sharing simple tips and recommendations on my IG @haircontour that features different hair types, highlight styles, tone processes, and hair color ideas.