Whether you go for a full platinum hue or a few subtle honey highlights, getting blonde hair right can be tricky. And let’s face it, for many women, blonde is a full-time lifestyle choice. But, when blonde goes wrong, it really goes wrong. Brassiness, overbleaching, and lifeless colour are often the unfortunate trademarks of the women who apparently have more fun. We talked to Teca Gillespie, P&G beauty scientist for Clairol, and Clairol Consulting Colourist Luis Pacheco, to find out how to avoid these blonde pitfalls.
According to Gillespie, hair dye molecules are very sensitive and react easily to changes in the environment. When the molecule changes, even slightly, the shade turns to a brassy colour, she says. If you’re a DIY hair colourist, she suggests trying the new Nice ˜n Easy Colour-Blend Technology, which has a yellow dye molecule specifically designed not to change its tone. If you’re already stuck with an orangey hue, Pacheco recommends asking your colourist for an ashy, neutral shade to help counteract red tones. Straying too far from your natural colour may also cause brassiness, says Pacheco, so if you want a drastic change, you should seek the advice of a pro.
Bottled blonde devotees often get carried away in a never-ending quest to go lighter. The key is restraint. Pacheco suggests waiting at least four weeks between colourings, and refreshing your shade with an at-home demi-permanent formula (like Natural Instincts) in the meantime, which contains fewer harsh ingredients. You can also avoid over-colouring your hair by using a root touch-up product every second colouring. If you’re already blonde but want to get blonder, try highlights instead of re-bleaching all of your hair, which could lead to breakage and that tell-tale fried look.
Unfortunately, blonde hair is always going to reflect less light than its brunette counterpart. Blonde hair appears less shiny due to the lack of contrasting colour from the light bouncing off of it. When light bounces off a dark colour, you easily see the contrast, explains Gillespie. Instead, you can score healthy-looking shine by making sure that your blonde has some dimension “ the new Nice ˜n Easy Colour-Blend Technology will give you more of a multi-tonal, natural look. Take true blonde hair as your inspiration “ it’s never actually the same colour all over. The experts also recommend investing in a shampoo and conditioner tailored to your hair colour, which will keep your shade fresh.