I have been dying my hair blonde since the 7th grade. I am naturally a brunette, (shocking, I know), and one day I decided to dump a whole bottle of “Sun In” in my hair while at the pool and my whole head turned orange.
…and not the pretty, redhead kind of orange.
My mom cried.
Needless to say, I have been blonde ever since.
So with that being said, I have been coloring my hair for a long time and I have been going to QUITE a few hairstylists. I’ll be blunt and say I really don’t trust a lot of people with my hair. Actually I trust like maybe two people. And one of them is my saint of a hair stylist in Los Angeles, Bree Weinhold.
Here’s a before and after photo of my hair after going to Bree.
She is a colorist at Butterfly Loft Salon and really has mastered the art of the perfect blonde. Seriously, go creep on her Instagram.
Every time I go in, I show her a picture of what I want and she somehow manages to nail it. Like I wanted my hair chopped into a lob like pre-redhead Julianne Hough and boom, it was done.
Last time I went in for a touch-up and I asked her a question a TON of us, myself included, always wonder.
How do you achieve and maintain the perfect blonde?
You know, a color that isn’t too orange, but isn’t too white. A color that stays fresh and doesn’t fade over time. A color that doesn’t completely wreck and fry your hair. A COLOR WE ARE ALL DYING TO HAVE!
Here’s what she told me-
Do’s at the salon:
1) Balayage instead of traditional highlights/bleach & tone
Bleach & tone blonde, (no foils, just lightener applied directly on scalp), and traditional highlights, (foiled highlights from roots to ends), leave a harsher line of demarcation when the natural roots grow out. It may look good as soon at you leave the salon but it will only take a couple weeks to start seeing your darker roots and you’ll need to retouch them every 6-8 weeks. To have a longer lasting gorgeous blonde, ask for a balayage.
The balayage technique basically looks like grown out highlights, but since it done on purpose, it looks soft and natural as it grows out and requires minimal maintenance.
Toner adds the pretty tones into the hair after it’s been lightened. Since toner is a deposited color, it will fade over time. Even though you probably won’t need to add highlights to your balayage for a few months, the tone of the lightened hair will most likely need to be refreshed every 6-8 weeks in order to keep it looking fresh, shiny and gorgeous.
Luckily, a refreshing toner is quick and not overly pricey to maintain.
3) Conditioning treatments
Because lightener literally strips your hair by creating porosity in the hair strand, going blonde can be taxing on the integrity on the hair. If your hair feels dry, ask for a deep conditioning treatment.
The deep conditioner temporarily seals the porous parts of the hair, keeping it stronger/shinier and preventing brittleness/breakage.
Don’ts at the salon:
1) Don’t be afraid of warmth
Everyone has natural warm undertones that show through during the lightening process. If toner is unable to cancel these tones or cancels them but never seems to stay cool toned for a few weeks, it’s either time for another lightening session to try to remove the warm tones or just embrace the warmth. “Warm” doesn’t have to mean “brassy”. You can tone your hair to a caramel, honey, beige, rose gold etc. Warm toned blondes are gorgeous!
2) Don’t be afraid to trim your hair!
A trim doesn’t have to mean cutting inches off your length. If you trim regularly, you can just have the very ends “dusted” off. The longer you wait for a trim, the more you’ll need to cut off. Help your hair grow by dusting off this split ends before they split higher and higher up the hair shaft and either break off or require a 5-inch haircut! Plus, what’s the point of long hair if the ends are stringy and split/broken? Be patient in the growing process and dust those ends off regularly. The payoff of long healthy hair will be worth it.
3) Don’t expect to be super bright blonde in one session
The best blondes get there gradually overtime and maintain regularly. If it’s your first time going blonde, or if you let your roots grow out for months and months, you can’t expect it all to happen in one sitting.
Do’s at home:
1) Get a water filter
If you have an issue with your hair always feeling brittle and looking dingy in color, it could mean that the hard water is creating mineral deposits in your hair and you need to get a water filter for your shower. (Less expensive way is to get one for your showerhead). Also, ask your stylist if they would recommend doing a Malibu Hard Water treatment to remove the minerals from the hair.
2) Use purple shampoo
If your cool toner has begun to fade and your blonde is starting to look warm and/or brassy, use purple shampoo to prolong the time between toning sessions! Go to a beauty supply store and ask for purple shampoo. When you’re choosing one, look for one that is really dark/pigmented. Unite and Schwarzkopf are two brands that have great purple shampoos. The best way to use purple shampoo is to put a big glob of it in your hand and literally just lay it on the blonde hair without emulsifying. Wait 3-10 minutes, (depending on directions for the timing of a specific shampoo), and then emulsify the shampoo all over the hair and rinse. Do not use purple shampoo daily, as it can be very drying. Only use it once or twice a week as needed.
3) Wash your hair with color-protecting moisturizing shampoo in order for the toner to last longer and to prevent dryness
After your shower, add even more moisture to your hair and reduce breakage by using a leave-in conditioner like Its-a-10 or Unite 7 seconds leave-in and some type of serum like Moroccan oil, Argan oil or Alterna’s Kendi Oil.
Don’ts at home:
1) Don’t use hot water on your hair. Hot water dries your hair out and fades the toner faster
2) Do not use box color and don’t ever color your hair black if you are going to want to go lighter in the future
Black is extremely hard on your hair to remove and box color, no matter what the shade, typically has a very hard time lifting out as well. Always see a professional whether going light or dark to make sure it’s done right with colors that shift out of the hair easily for the ability to change your look down the line.
3) Don’t try to lighten your hair at home
There are many steps to the lightening process that the box color instructions and YouTube cannot teach and the potential risk of seriously ruining your hair is very high.
There you go my blonde babies! Follow these tips and before you know it, your locks will be on Blake Lively’s level (girls can dream, okay).
Have any other questions? Drop me a comment!