Do blondes have more fun, and do gentlemen prefer them? While we may never know the answers to these questions, one thing we do know for sure is that blonde hair comes with its own set of rules on how to care for it.
“Blonde hair has a finer shaft in terms of diameter,” says Alain Larivée, owner of CAJH Maîtres Coiffeurs and Canadian creative consultant for John Frieda. “Hair has three layers, the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle and in naturally blonde hair there is no medulla.” This makes blonde hair finer, more fragile and more susceptible to dryness.
And when it comes to
colouring blonde hair, you have to pay attention to hair health, texture and density, says Stacey Staley, owner of Blonde, a salon in Toronto. “Existing blondes can be more porous, delicate and dry, especially if they have been trying to find the right colour and stylist for them. And you cannot sacrifice health for colour,” she says.
And here’s some interesting findings: the folks at Garnier Nutrisse conducted research and found that the preferred shade of blonde differs around the world. Here in Canada, we tend to prefer a blonde that’s not too yellow or brassy or ashy, something that’s more beige blonde. Whereas in the United States, golden blonde is the most popular tone and in Europe, ash blonde is the hottest shade.
Whatever your blonde, here are some tips and tricks from the pros on achieving, caring and repairing your best blonde hair ever.
Problem: Blonde hair whether natural or coloured has a tendency to yellow.
Solution: Using a tone restoring shampoo and conditioner with neutralizing elements will help, says Alain. Also, stick to products that won’t create that undesired yellow tone, he adds.
Try: L’Oreal Paris Color Radiance Protecting Mask with UV Filter.
Problem: Your tresses are
dry and fragile.
Solution: Natural blonde hair does tend to be fragile and if you’ve overworked it, it needs some TLC ASAP.
Try: Kerastase Ciment Thermique. “This is my favourite miracle repair product,” says Stacey. “It’s lightweight, protects against heat damage and does a mini treatment every time you blow dry or iron it in the hair.”
Problem: Fading colour that lacks luminosity.
Solution: Tone restoring products are essential, says Alain. Also, add a shine boosting product to restore lustre.
Try: Schwarzkopf Professional Blonde Me Supreme Blonde Shine Magnifying Spray. To boost colour that’s darkening, try John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray.
Solution: If you live in cottage country, or anywhere else there’s hard water, that’s bad news for your blonde hair. “Hard water is your enemy,” says Alain. Invest in a water filter for your showerhead to help save your hair colour and make sure to use products with a violet pigment—“this kills of the brassy off-tones,” says Alain.
Try: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Mousse.
Problem: You want to go very blonde, but are wary of the money, time and effort it would involve.
Solution: “Be the
best blonde you can be,” says Stacey. “If you can’t budget time or money to be über blonde, don’t. A colourist can help find a colour for you that will grow out gracefully—nothing looks worse than unintentional ombre colour.”
Try: If you’re opting to DIY, Clairol Natural Instincts Vibrant comes with a ColorFresh Revitalizer to be used two weeks after colouring to give the shade a boost.
Problem: You like to go blonder for summer, but don’t want it to be a dramatic change.
Solution: “What you want to do is imitate what nature creates,” says Alain. In the summer, with the sun, your hair naturally goes lighter. What Alain does for many of his blonde clients is keep the base in the spring, while incorporating iridescent highlights through the mass, adding more as it gets closer and closer to summer. “Then in July and August, I decrease the lightness of the base colour.” Come fall, he starts incorporating lowlights.
Problem: You’re not sure where to start in terms of finding the right blonde colour for you.
Solution: Stacey recommends starting but looking at your skin tone. “If you don’t wear a lot of makeup, don’t go for a look that requires red lips and liquid liner to look striking,” she says. Think Gwen Stefani. You’ll want to opt more for a toned down blonde that will add colour to your face à la Kate Winslet and Reese Witherspoon. Take a cue from your colouring, too—it makes sense that if you’ve always tended to be suited to warm tones, you should stick to warm blonde tones and vice versa for cool tones, says Stacey. “No amount of makeup will make a hair colour look believable when you go against your natural colouring.”
Try: Garnier Nutrisse Radiant Blondes—permanent hair colour in an ammonia-free formula.
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