The available shades and methods of coloring can make the novice blonde feel like a kid in a candy store. Between the different ways to go blonde hairstyles (semi-permanent, permanent, temporary) and highlighting, frosting and bleaching. And the hundreds of shades, it’s enough to make a girl’s hair turn, well, grey.
Being a blonde is a big responsibility. Academics have written books about blondes, with titles like Blonde Like Me: The Myth of the Blonde in Our Culture so the influence of fair hair extends way past the beauty salon. Blonde isn’t just a hair color, it’s an attitude.
A little research goes a long way before transitioning to blondeness. Whether you want to be a platinum blonde bombshell, sun-drenched surfer girl or chic society diva, the choices are overwhelming. The funny fact is you see more bottle blondes than natural blondes nowadays, so you’ll have plenty of company in the salon or the drugstore aisle.
Choosing a Blonde Hairstyle Shade: Bombshell, Surfer Girl or Diva
What your eyes want and what’s appropriate for you may be two diffent things, if you have very pale skin, platinum blonde may turn you into Casper the Ghost. Likewise, if you have a dark complexion, too-bright blonde hair can make you look more like a circus clown than a temptress. You’ll need to consider the whole hairstyle picture, not just your hair. How will it bring out your eye color, your complexion, and your clothes? Think about your hairstyle and color affect your appearance as a whole.
To determine the best blonde shade for your hair, analyze your skin tone. If you have a warm complexion, with yellow, red or peach tones, try shades like strawberry blonde or light golden blonde. Cool complexions have a bluish, pink or purple undertone to the skin, and look better with ash, platinum or neutral blonde hair. Avoid yellow-blonde if you have a cool complexion. It’s too bright and will look garish.
Your colorist or hair stylish will help you choose the shade that’s best for you. What looks good on your favorite celebrity may not look good on you, but a savvy hairdresser can adapt it to your face shape and complexion. Most salons have a color wheel or swatches to peruse during the selection process.
From Dark Blonde to Platinum-The Blonde Spectrum
Dark blonde works for most hair and skin types. And it’s appropriate for those wanting a gradual change. If you’re unsure how blonde you wanna be, try the darkest shades first and going lighter will be easier.
Women hairstyles with medium brown hair can try most blonde shades, especially those with gold in the name. You may need to bleach if you want to go really light blonde.
Ash/beige tones work best for dirty blonde, light brown or gray hair or for older women with dark or medium complexions, and offer a classier look for the boardroom or the boudoir.
Honey tones are perfect for women in their 20s or early 30s and women with medium or dark complexions. More surfer girl than blonde bombshell, it’s a playful, flirty tone.
Ravishing strawberry blonde hair, typified by Rita Hayworth in the film “Strawberry Blonde” works for warm complexions or already have red or medium blonde tones in their hair.
Platinum blonde hair brings out the best in if you have light brown or blonde hair. When done tastefully, platinum blonde hair can change a woman’s persona. Look at what it did for Ashlee Simpson. Any pale or neutral shade will give you a shiny, light blonde if you have dark brown or black hair and don’t want the hassle of bleaching. Try anything with light, extra light or neutral in the name.
If you let you hair go and get dark roots, that may not ruin your reputation but it will reflect badly on you in certain circles. Remember to visit the salon or do touchups regularly, or use the new Colorsilk or Nice ‘N’ Easy root touch-up kit when those dark roots grow out. Remember that “white” platinum or pale blonde hair makes your roots look black by contrast, so it can be a shock when you first see it grow out.
No matter which brand you buy, (Clairol, Revlon, Garnier, L’Oreal, etc.), the colors all look great on the box, but that’s not enough to determine what the color will look like on your head. So, you’ll need to do a strand test and a patch test before you start to mix the dye. This will let you know how the hair will look when done and also check for allergic reactions. All consumer brands have instruction sheet telling you how to do it. And you’ll need to repeat the tests before every time you color at home.
If you’ve permed or straightened your hair, wait a two or three weeks before going to the salon, and a week longer if you’re doing it yourself. Always better to have a friend help you, especially of you’re bleaching your hair for the first time. When reapplying, touch up the roots, not the whole head or you’ll end up with scarecrow hair. Try to keep the color consistent. If you’re doing it yourself, too much experimenting can do permanent damage to the hair. Whether you go to the salon or dye your hair at home, you’ll need to do the roots every four to six weeks depending on how fast your hair grows.
To The Extreme-Bleach & Toner
Bleaching strips your natural hair color, leaving it a “blank slate” to soak in the dye. Achieve extreme blonde shades with bleaching followed by a dye application. If you have very dark brown or blonde hair, bleaching is the quickest way to go blonde. Go to a reputable colorist if you want to go three or more shades lighter. Here’s how it works. The stylist applies bleach, rinses it out, conditions the hair, THEN applies color. A colorist may also apply toner or prelightner as part of the bleaching process to guard against a “brassy” look. This is called a double process. It can give you that super-bright, even-toned platinum hair-think Debbie Harry during the early days of Blondie, Marilyn Monroe or Gwen Stefani.
Other partial blonding methods, like frosting or highlights, might be the answer if you want a striking contrast instead of a full head of blonde locks.
To keep your locks shiny and beautiful between touch-ups, always condition your hair after you shampoo with products made specifically for blondes. Schwarzkopf’s Gliss Kur line, formulated with Vitamin E, nourishes both natural and dyed blonde hair. There’s Tigi Dumb Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner and Suave Professionals Vibrant Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. Using these products saves you time and money in the long run by preserving the intense blonde hair you had when you left the hair salon.