Always read the instructions first.
Thinking about going blonde for summer? Like sausage sizzles and beer or bubbles and oysters, summer and beachy blonde tresses are a sweet pairing. It's flirty and fun, and nothing lifts you out of a funk and gives you a boost of confidence the way a new look does.
Perhaps spontaneity brought you here and you're feeling rebellious, maybe it's a breakup or have you been planning the move since you went dark for winter? Whatever the reason, find out what it takes to get your hair in tip-top condition before you dive in head first into a liberating transformation and how to keep it looking fresh and glossy after the deed is done - plus some valuable tips from our salon experts.
Whether you're highlighting, hair tanning or going in for a full bleach and tone, it's pretty much expected that the salon will be packed with blonde ambitions over the coming months so we're here to help you out!
Here's our guide to going blonde without f*cking your hair up.
Much like doing your makeup, the same rules apply to your hair. Do you suit cool tones or warm tones? For cool tones, ask for more ashy and icy tones whereas for warm tones you'll want to move into caramel or copper tones - but it really depends on what you want at the end of the day.
The best thing to do is book a consultation with your stylist and tell/show them what your goal is... that saved folder of blonde hair inspo on Instagram will come in handy. Your stylist will also let you know if your goal is achievable in one sitting or more of a gradual process (read: we don't want to f*ck your hair up) - we know it sucks leaving the salon with a colour you weren't expecting. So first things first, hit up your stylist and ask for their professional advice based on your hair type.
PREP YOUR HAIR
Ok, you're booked in! Now, you want to make sure your hair is as healthy as can be prior to going blonde. In the weeks leading up to your appointment, commit to treatments "once or twice a week that focus on strengthening and repairing the hair," Camilla from colleen says. "Such as K18 Molecular Repair Mask or Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, these are both ideal to continue using after your colour too".
YOU'RE GOING TO NEED NEW PRODUCTS
That's right, a new colour means a new haircare regimen - or at least some colour-safe products in the mix. In terms of being high maintenance, blonde hair is up there and upkeep is needed.
To maintain that fresh salon colour, use a gentle silver shampoo to tone unwanted brassiness, followed by a nourishing conditioner to restore brightness and shine and "add a restorative moisturising treatment" at least once a week advises Camila, "this will help to repair the hair and prevent further damage and brittle strands".
Always ask your stylist for product recommendations on your way out the door.
DON'T FORGET TO TONE
We mentioned upkeep, aside from visiting your stylist every 6-8 weeks for touch-ups and catch-ups, pigmented toning masks such as Christophe Robin Shade Variation Masks or Kevin Murphy Angels will become good friends in between salon services. They are a great way to ensure your colour stays bright while neutralizing brassiness and yellow tones.
As for the roots? If you want to conceal greys and regrowth, pick up a root spray before you head away, Oribe Airbrush Root Sprays will have you covered for those summer soirees. If you don't mind a bit of a Rootsy look, embrace it and live out your ultimate Debbie Harry / Courtney Love bad-girl fantasy. Check out our fave rootsy looks here.
It's summer, the sun's out and you're a the beach, getting wet. Like all hair types, blonde hair needs protection when you're out in the elements. "Remember to wear a hat, obviously for sun protection but after a bleach, your scalp tends to get a bit sensitive" explains Phillippa from colleen, for added UV protection use a leave-in-conditioner such as Evo Happy Campers or R+Co Sun Catcher, "this can also offer a barrier from damage caused by chlorine (that green hair) or saltwater".
Alternatively, a hair protector like Chloe Zara Glossifying Hair Mist will protect hair from the elements as well as add a major gloss moment.
If you really want to ramp it up, try Oribe Blonde Sun Lightening Mist, as well as offering UV protection, it will lighten blonde hair in the sun or by the heat of your hair dryer! Remember Sun In hair lightening spray? It's like that but even better.