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going, going blonde

Queen Bey just went blonde. Kylie debuted long, platinum locks at her 21st birthday party. Kim did it earlier this summer. Clearly, going lighter is a trend that is here to stay. The question is, how can YOU do it?! Not everyone has the resources of the aforementioned powerhouses. That’s why we are here to help!

Blondes might have more fun, but blonde is also a lot of work. Achieving and maintaining a healthy, beautiful blonde is an endeavor all on its own. Here are some tips from our stylists to help you on your journey to the light side.

1. LEAVE IT TO THE PRO’S. We’ve all seen, heard, or even worse, experienced bad hair color. Whether it didn’t turn out as expected or it left us totally damaged and broken, DIY blonding tends to always go wrong. 

2. CONSULT WITH YOUR STYLIST. There are 10 million shades of blonde. This is the most detrimental part of going lighter—determining the shade that will work best with you, your skin tone, eye color, etc. Just a simple turn of your wrist can give you an idea of which shade is best. Global BLONDME Ambassador for Schwarzkopf Professional and celebrity stylist Kim Vo explains: “If your veins are blue, warm tones are for you. If your veins are more green, golden and caramel tones will compliment you. If your veins are blue/green, then warm and cool tones can be added seamlessly.” Just because Jennifer Lawrence can literally pull off every shade of blonde, doesn’t mean we all can!

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Providing pictures helps guarantee everyone is on the same page when it comes to achieving your desired result. When looking for inspiration, search for colors/tones similar to what is attainable for you using the guideline above. Also, when searching, find people who have a similar skin tone as you so you can give yourself a realistic idea of what your hair will look like. It helps to have pictures of what you don’t like as well! 

4. NO BLONDES ARE CREATED EQUAL. Even if all signs point to an icy-hued platinum as your best fit, it might not be an attainable shade for you. We know your best friend went from box color black to blonde it in a day, but the chemistry of your best friends’ hair is totally different from that of yours. Sometimes we can do all the footwork, but the hair is simply too stubborn or resistant. Each blonde is uniquely different and beautiful.

5. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. Blonde doesn’t always happen in one visit. It is important to take it slowly to ensure the integrity of your hair is maintained. Sure, going blonde is fun and all but not when it leaves your hair feeling like straw. See Khloe’s journey to blonde below. 

6. PREPARE YOUR HAIR. If you haven’t been the kindest to your hair, it a good idea to start taking better care of it prior to starting the blonding process. Through a process called oxidation, lighteners (better known as bleach) penetrate the hair shaft and break down the pigment, or melanin. When it breaks down the melanin, it also breaks down the hairs’ natural proteins and over-processing can leave the cuticle of the hair open. Giving yourself deep conditioning treatments before the service will help keep damage to a minimum. 

7. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY. It is so important to let your stylist know EVERYTHING you have ever put on your hair. Other chemicals and products leave residues on the hair, even if you cannot physically see it. If you want that Pinterest-perfect blonde, be upfront with your stylist about your current and past hair care routine. Let them know what shampoos, conditioners and styling aids you’re using, if you use a hot tool and any past coloring you may have done (yes, that includes that temporary color for Halloween two years ago!) Ask them to be honest with you, too! Be sure to find out from your stylist how many sessions they think it will take so you can give yourself a realistic timeline or if your desired blonde goal is even attainable.

8. MAINTAIN THAT MANE. Let’s face it. Even if you prepared for months before going lighter, there will still be some damage done. What you do to your hair after your service is just as important. Your 3 new best friends will be a sulfate-free shampoo, a deep conditioner, or mask, and a thermal protectant. Sulfates are an aggressive surfactant that disrupt your natural proteins and oils. Eliminating this ingredient helps keeps your newly colored hair shiny and healthy. Deep conditioners add protein back to the hair and equalize the porosity (your hair’s ability to retain moisture). If your hair is fine, make sure to keep on the ends only so it won’t weigh down the rest of the hair but you will still replenish the nutrients are lacking. Finally, protect it from the heat! Before any hot tools (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc.) protect your hair with a thermal protectant to coat the hair and lessen the damage done by hot tools. Even if you’re the air-dry type, the sun isn’t too kind either. Try a lightweight leave-in like to protect your hair from environmental stressors. 

9. TURN THE IRON DOWN. You are not baking cake, you do not need to use your iron at 450°. Now that you are blonde, you are much more delicate. Studies show “as these devices [hot tools] operate at temperatures over 200°C [392°F] they can cause significant damage to hair keratin.” The finer the hair, the lower the temperature needs to be. Most hair can be styled at 350 or lower.

10. WORK IT GIRL. You know you’re feelin’ yourself with those blonde locks. Strut it, snap it, share it—we want to see you, bombshell! #salonjaylee to share your blonde transformations with us and check out some from our talented team of stylists below!