A few weeks ago, my idea of ’blonde hair’ was to get some highlights on my face or a subtle caramel balayage throughout my hair. I would show up for dinner to show my friends my shocking (to me) new Blonde hair color, and they proceeded to tell me that while it looked good, it wasn’t that different. ‘You’re still a brunette, Victoria,’ they said.
Valid. I was. But then, I took the plunge, walked into the Bumble and Bumble salon in New York City with a picture of The Blonde Salad in hand, and I came out completely blonde. I think they have more fun, but not necessarily when it comes to taking care of their hair. My routine changed utterly. I had to relearn how to wash, condition, brush! I’ve finally gotten over the new regimen. Still, for anyone else struggling to take over a much lighter tint job, we chatted with a few professionals to find out exactly what you need to know and exactly what you need to do.
Wash less, much less.
This one was tough for me because I exercise every day in the morning, and the sweat that collects on my scalp causes my hair to get greasy and dirty very quickly. But cutting back on shampooing is one of the most important things to do after going blonde. ‘When we left hair, it tends to be on the drier side, so washing your hair too often can strip it even more of its natural oils,’ explains Rachel Bodt, Senior Colorist at Cutler SOHO. ‘I recommend shampooing your hair less after a coloring treatment so that the hair can regain its natural moisture.’ It says to wait two full days after your initial appointment to rub it off. On top of that, continuous washing can fade its color or bring bronze.
Buy shampoo wisely
Purple is your power move. While choosing a lilac shampoo is of the utmost importance to avoid discoloration and warping, Bumble and Bumble colorist Marcy Cline also suggests a purple conditioner and visiting her salon for regular highlights. It should keep your hard-won tone intact. We are looking for L’Oreal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo ($ 7; target.com), a sulfate-free option that you can find at the drugstore.
Your hair is going to be thirstier regularly. Use a deep conditioning mask, such as the Bumble and bumble Overnight Sleep Mask ($ 49; sephora.com), about once a week.
Take your color dates in stride
One of the significant mistakes colorists make when taking a brunette client to the blonde side is failing to educate them about the process. Sometimes you will have to visit the salon several times to get it right. ‘Because to get your hair that light in one go, it will damage it a lot, so you want to maintain the integrity of the hair, I recommend you take it a little slower. If you are a true brunette, start with highlights and visit your salon every four weeks for more.
Go sulfate-free and alcohol-free
Avoid products that contain alcohol, which could further dry out hair, in addition to using only a sulfate-free shampoo.
We’re not talking about that kind of protection, although you should too. “When people see breakage, they assume it must be because of the color, but most of the time, it is due to the use of high temperatures on freshly lightened hair,” says Bodt. You’ll probably want to make sure you use heat-protecting sprays before touching your strands with a wand. Also, be sure to lower the temperatures, so you don’t fry your hair in the curling process.
Request a Bonding Treatment
As the hair is colored, it often breaks too. That’s where a bonding treatment comes in. ‘I think the first step is to making sure your hair doesn’t get too dry. Ask your colorist to use a bonding treatment like Redken pH-Bonder, which is added directly to the color so that as the color enters the hair, treatment can help reattach broken hair bonds and prevent further damage,” explains Bodt. ‘Redken pH-Bonder also has an at-home component ($ 16; ulta.com) that you can use after your coloring service to protect hair further.’
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