The world’s most famous blonde is probably Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. She brought the art of going blonde to the masses with her peroxide soaked tresses. The photos of her hair – sometimes complete with the dark roots showing – were focused on by millions of women keen to emulate her hair look…and so the blonde revolution began.
Thankfully the hair gurus at some of the world’s biggest hair colour brands have finetuned the science of turning our locks lighter. I’ve been blonde now for 20 plus years – it works for me but over these decades as my skin tone has changed with age I’ve had the blonde shade changed slightly too in order to compensate. My transformation and blonde journey saw me going from brunette to natural red to strawberry blonde and then golden blonde. Quality hair colour products now make it much easier to achieve longer lasting and vibrant blonde tones. No longer does blonde have to equate with brassy as specially formulated homecare products mean you can keep the salon look for longer, especially if you’re out in sunshine.
WHY YOU SHOULD TALK IN TONES?
It’s so important to balance any hair colour application with your skin tone. Achieving the right balance will lead natural looking results. How often do I see middle aged women with their hair dyed black. It’s not going work – black is not a natural hair colour – and it will end up with the person looking drained, their face tone overpowered by artificial looking hair. Overdo the blonde on your hair and that excess can impact on your skin tone too – and again result in a non-natural look. You need to talk toning with your colourist in order to get the optimum look. It’s not unusual for us to use several tones of blonde in a single session. That way we increase the natural factor.
HOW COOL CAN YOU GO?
When we talk about cool tones in the blonde spectrum we’re focusing on Scandi-blondes. How often do we see models from Sweden or Norway with ice-cold blonde looking hair that simply shouts Scandinavia? Schwarzkopf recently launched a brand new range of blonde colours which allow us – and with the client’s hair being in the right condition and existing colour – to achieve shades that are much blonder and whiter than ever before.
We love them. The clients love them. Determining just how cool you can do is all reliant on your colour status. Yes you can go extreme Scandi but it’s not always going to happen as the result of just one colour session. I’ve seen some clients needing up to three or four to achieve that perfect blonde look – only because their start point was significantly darker and they’d had lots of other dye applied over a long period.
Going platinum blonde – as global big-name Kim experienced, it isn’t always an instant fix. Image: INSTAGRAM
HOW CAN PLATINUM BE PERFECT?
When global star Kim Kardashian-West wears a new outrageous garment she gets huge attention online and in print. When she turned her hair platinum – see photo she posted on Instagram – the media went wild. But how easy is it to achieve that platinum blonde look? I have to say it can be difficult especially if you’re changing from many shades darker.
According to a Vogue article, Kim’s transformation took up to a week of work. I do get that but as I say it all depends on the client’s hair status. That platinum look is one we stylists call a ‘new and modern’ blonde. The process to get there can take several stages and these shouldn’t be rushed – otherwise the impact on your hair can be significantly negative.
WHY IS CONDITION KEY TO BLONDE SUCCESS?
Without question, the condition of your hair is of paramount importance in hair colouring but never truer in the blonde processing. Going blonde is often the biggest transformation your hair will undergo so it’s important that the condition is good. In a consultation your stylist should be able to assess your hair’s suitability for the blonde you desire.
CAN YOU GO BLONDE AT HOME?
Of course you could go DIY but there are big buts we’d always flag up. You buy a hair dye and on the box there’s a colour shade – will that result happen in every case? No. One size doesn’t fit all. Your own hair colour and condition will ultimately determine the outcome. A professional colourist will have the knowledge and expertise to prescribe the exact colour product to achieve your end goal in other words deliver a bespoke solution. We’re all about being brave and going blonde but too often we see clients coming into the salon and asking us to rescue their hair after a botched home dye session. We’re happy to help but they could have saved themselves a lot of stress by turning to the professionals first.
Anne Ferguson byline photo courtesy of Media Scotland