Debating Going A Trendy Shade Of Blonde? Here’s What To Know

Read this before you bleach.

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dyeing your hair blonde

Regardless of the season, blonde is always a top hair color choice. But lately, it seems like everyone is going lighter at the salon. Just one month ago, Rihanna had the internet in a frenzy when she debuted a new honey shade. Then there’s the Kardashian’s revolving door of golden hair colors, which include Kourtney’s icy bob and the long bronde style Kim sported at this year’s GQ Men of the Year party. Even Beyoncé went platinum for the November premiere of her Renaissance film. With the growing number of celebrities embracing the color, you may be contemplating trying it, too. But there is a lot to consider before dyeing your hair blonde.

Coloring your hair always requires some level of maintenance. Whether you dye it at home or at a salon, it’s important to consider the level of upkeep before making a major change. However, when it comes to shades of blonde, Justin Anderson, celebrity colorist and co-founder of dpHUE, notes that upkeep should be a top priority. “Transitioning to blonde can be a bit more demanding and usually requires a few extra steps to help prolong its lifespan,” he says. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your blonde ambitions. With the right pre- and post-dye session routines, you can have a beautiful color that lasts.

Below, TZR chatted with three colorists for their advice on everything to know before going blonde. Whether you want a soft natural shade or are taking the leap to icy platinum, their tips will ensure your color (and hair) remain intact.

How To Prep Your Hair Before Going Blonde

Dirty Hair Is Best

Unlike other services, color often starts with dirty hair. “Most colorists prefer you not to wash your hair before your appointment,” says Dave Stanwell, celebrity hairstylist and House of Frieda expert. He explains that cleansing your strands removes the natural oils that are good for the coloring process and especially helpful when going lighter. Think of them as a natural barrier, protecting your scalp from any irritation caused by the dye.

If you absolutely must clean your hair, Anderson recommends doing so two to three days before going to the salon. “This will give the colorist a cleaner canvas to work with but also allows enough time for the oils to build up,” he says. Dry shampoo or powder treatments, like dpHUE’s Brightening Powder, are another option that can give you fresh hair while keeping your scalp nice and greasy. “Powders are great because they work like a magnet to help remove metals, chlorine, minerals, and product residue that gets stuck to your strands daily,” he says.

Prioritize Strengthening Treatments For Textured Hair

Instead of cleansing your curls and coils, the weeks leading up to your appointment should be about strengthening them. Taking the time ahead of your service to condition your strands can help preserve their health. Michael Black, colorist and Aveda global artistic director, tells TZR that a bond-building hair mask can have long-term benefits. He explains that this step is even more essential if you have textured hair. “Sometimes blonding can start to relax the natural curl pattern — a result no colorist wants to happen,” he says. Knowing your stylist is key, as they will know the right pace to process the hair. “If you have a coily texture, make sure your colorist is taking the low and slow approach. It may take longer, but it will be gentler and ensure your curls stay unharmed,” he says.

Deep conditioners also have their advantages before dying. Anderson suggests rotating in a weekly restorative mask a few weeks before your service.” Look for products incorporating proteins as they will target the most damaged areas to strengthen deep within the strands,” he says.

What To Know If You’re Transitioning To Blonde

Going from brunette to blonde offers a completely different look. That said, you should be realistic about your expectations and how much time you want to invest in upkeep. “Start gradually and don’t dry to achieve dramatic results if it’s the first time,” says Stanwell. Instead, he suggests doing a few rounds to get to a drastic shade. “You don’t want to inflict too much damage, taking it step by step will help ensure that,” he says. Anderson echos this point, noting that it’s not worth going blonde in one session just to see your strands break during the process.

Depending on the type of color, red hair can be harder to lighten. For natural redheads, Stanwell recommends using blonde as a highlight shade instead of dyeing the whole head. “If your hair is colored red, it’s best to let it grow out as much as you can before shifting to blonde,” he says.

How To Adjust Your Hair Care Routine After Going Blonde

Avoid Frequent Washing

Ok, you’re strolling out of the salon looking (and feeling) brand new. The last thing you want is to have your color fade a mere few days later. That said, decreasing how often you wash it is essential. “Shampooing too often after your service is the number one cause of fading,” says Anderson. Instead, give your hair a little break and rotate in a substitute like a hair rinsing treatment that won’t strip your new investment.

Embrace A Longer Routine

By default, you’ll need to change up your standard routine. “Don’t fall into the trap of doing whatever you did wash-wise before dyeing your hair,” says Black. Even if you have products that need to be drained, he advises investing in a lineup designed to maintain the vibrancy of your new hue and your hair’s health. “Make sure you have the right items and follow a regimen that will give you the maximum benefit,” he says. Along with shampoos and conditioners, Black notes that your styling products may need to change. “Adding leave-in stylers and heat protectants can help strengthen your strands,” he says.

Use Color-Safe Products

Maintaining a fresh look is possible when you have the necessary products. Blonde often requires more hydration than other hair colors. “Incorporating a moisture mask treatment, such as John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Toning Mask, once or twice a week will help minimize dryness,” says Stanwell. This will nourish your hair and help prevent future damage and breakage. For vibrancy, Anderson notes that toning shampoos are the most important. “These are great for days when your strands are feeling a bit bassy and dull,” he says.

The blonding process can be high-maintenance, but consulting with your colorists can ensure you get the color you desire and leave with a healthy head of hair. To sum it up, Black has a simple rule of thumb to keep in mind ahead of your service: “Don’t push your hair too far. Trust your colorists and be realistic. After all, healthy hair is better than having no hair at all.”

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