Going blonde is a daunting task. The fear of breakage, the initial cost and the seemingly endless amount of upkeep scares many dark-haired women away from even entertaining the idea of joining the blonde hair society. There is also the fear that it will just look plain scary if you don’t find the right shade for your colouring.
Colourist Erinn Deluca, who specializes in blonde hair, believes that there is a shade out there for everyone. “There are so many different variations of blonde in different tones,” says the Schwarzkopf Professional Technical Advisor. “Caramel, platinum, champagne, gold—it’s all about finding what works for you.”
Below, see six expert tips on how to find your own unique shade and care for it properly.
1. Consult the pros.
“You should always book a consultation with your stylist before going blonde. They are going to give you ideas of what’s possible and help manage your expectations in terms of how much money it is going to cost, how much time you are going to have to invest in it, and what kind of maintenance it will take. I ask my clients, how often do you want to come into the salon? Is it once every 4-6 weeks or once every 10-12? If it is closer to 10-12, then I will persuade them to go for a more rooted look or maybe balayage.”
2. Be clear about what you don’t like.
“At your consultation, make sure to bring in both photos of what you like, as well as photos of what you don’t like. There are so many different variations and sometimes stylists and clients can perceive different colours in different ways.”
3. Accept that not everyone can be an ashy blonde.
“I like to work off of three basic filters to find a unique shade of blonde for all of my clients. The first is skin tone. Ask yourself if your skin tone is warm, neutral or cool. The best way to check is to look at the inside of your forearm. Also consider the tonality of your eyes and natural hair colour. If the majority of these indicators are cool, then go with an icy blonde. If the majority are warm, than go with a golden shade. If your colouring is neutral, select a neutral blonde. So many people want to dye their hair an ashy blonde, but it won’t work for everyone.”
4. Repair any existing damaged hair.
“After I have a consultation with a client and we have decided on their colour, I usually send them home to prep their hair and get it to a healthy state before the bleach application. I usually get them on a plan for a couple of weeks to build up proteins and the strength of the hair, and then have them come in for the service. I like to send them home with the Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Keratin Restore Bonding Mask to re-build and strengthen the bonds in the hair. Using this mask will reduce the risk of breakage or damage to the hair when you bleach it.”
5. Be high maintenance with your hair care.
“Invest in products and use them correctly. Blonde is the Mercedes of hair colour. You wouldn’t buy a Mercedes and put regular gas in it, right? If you are investing in the colour, you need to take care of it correctly.”
6. Be smart in the sun.
“We are so careful about SPF on our bodies when we go to the pool or the beach, but we don’t think about the damaging effects the sun has on our hair. Every time you re-apply your sunscreen you should re-apply a product to act as a barrier between your colour and the sun. I love using a leave-in conditioner; the Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Tone Enhancing Conditioning Spray for Cool Blondes is great. It will protect your hair against the sun and combat brassiness.”
Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Tone Enhancing Conditioning Spray for Cool Blondes ($16.95), at chatters.ca.