While the adage that blondes have more fun is highly debatable – in my experience all they’re guaranteed more of are split ends and swollen credit card bills – what isn’t debatable is the perpetual power of blonde itself. If its not the daily stream of celebrities trading in their dark locks for a ride on the light side (Lucy Hale, Kristen Stewart, Kylie Jenner and more in the past few months alone), it’s the designers turning top models platinum blonde hours before hitting the runway (Alexander Wang, anyone?)
Yet while the A-Lister’s make going from brunette to blonde look like a breeze, lightening up isn’t always easy. Leading hairstylist and unofficial brunette-to-blonde champion, Natalie-Anne, however is always up for the challenge, saying all it takes to join the blonde brigade is the proper prep, the right colourist and an unwavering commitment. But before you hit the bleach, consider Natalie-Anne’s top tips to being a better bottle blonde.
#1 Condition over colour
In order to lighten your hair it will need to be in a healthy state. Pre colour in salon treatments may help and at home salon hair care.
#2 Going blonde is easier if you haven’t ever dyed your hair before
It’s called ‘virgin hair’ in the business. “Even if it’s naturally quite dark, there should be no problem lightening it,” says Natalie-Anne.
#3 However if you have dyed your hair dark, that’s where things get tricky
“If the hair is artificially coloured dark, coloured with henna, or has had any chemical process such as chemical straightening, or perming, I would advise against lightening it.”
#4 YOUR BASE HAIR COLOUR WILL DETERMINE THE TONE OF BLONDE
“For example naturally darker hard tends to lift warmer.” says Natalie-Anne. “The shade of your hair should be determined based on your skin colour and what suits you best. An amazing colour choice can cool down unwanted pigments in your skin or in some cases warm up ashy skin tones.”
#5 Going blonde is a process
“Always make sure you colour technician can assess your hair and implement a healthy progress plan,” explains Natalie-Anne. “Stylists need to also bear in mind that developer strength will differ, as darker takes longer to lift. It is best done in stages, over a period of time. When in doubt, always do a colour test strand.”
#6 Be patient
“Although this does not apply to all, dark hair is often coarser and stronger, meaning it may take longer to lighten during the service,” warns Natalie-Anne. “Just remember to be patient, and enjoy the journey!”
#7 Every head of hair is different
“In my opinion, there is no set time frame on how long one can maintain light hair,” says Natalie-Anne. “The colour technician plays a large role in this, always assuring there is no overlapping of colour during services, and colour services are spaced out appropriately.”
#8 Going blonde is a commitment
“Lightened hair usually needs maintenance every six to eight weeks,” says Natalie-Anne, though for darker haired clients she says regular visits are non-negotiable. “If you have dark hair an unwanted tone may appear, so having a colour refresh every six weeks is key.
#9 Home care is essential
“You’re spending all the money and time lightening up your lengths, so don’t ruin it with the wrong shampoo. “You need to use the prescribed hair products from your salon; lightened hair is fragile and needs extra nourishment.”
#10 Blonde and heat don’t mix
“Try keeping heat styling to an absolute minimum. Always making sure your tools are set to a temperature lower than 180°.”