Our Editor Goes Blonde & Tells You How You Can Too… At Home!

The grass is always greener on the other side. As a brunette, I’ve always secretly been jealous of my blonde friends. Even though with at-home products, you can change your hair colour like you change your clothes, the thought of going lighter has always been a bit scary. But, I finally decided to take the plunge and lighten my locks for summer.

Before - Going Lighter for the Summer

What were my fears? Brassy, orange, bleached hair. It isn’t cute, and I wasn’t about to go there. But, with the help of my go-to hair colour expert, Luis Pacheco, the owner of Hair on the Avenue (112 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON), I learned how to achieve a lighter look without any brassiness or dullness. Luis opened HOTA seven years ago and, today, is Toronto’s most sought after colourist. With his expertise we came up with a simple way to get a salon quality look at home. Here’s what he told me:

1. Go ombre

If you have dark brown or black hair like I do, dyeing your hair to the roots will result in a lot of upkeep as your hair grows out. For a full tutorial on how to achieve the perfect ombre at home, read my article with a step-by-step instructions from Luis.

2. It is a two-step process

You’ll need to pick up two boxes of hair colour on your trip to the drugstore. The first is a blonding product like Clairol’s Born Blonde from Nice’n Easy. It can turn even the darkest hair blonde. Apply it using the ombre technique in tip #1, instead of the all-over instructions that you’ll find on the box.

Step two is toning your hair. While Born Blonde will definitely lighten your hair, it may not be the perfect shade for you. You’ll want to choose a semi-permanent colour to give you either a golden tone or cool tone, depending on what works best with your skin tone. Because I have an olive skin tone, Luis used Natural Instincts Cré¨me in #036 Honey Cré¨me Light Golden Brown. You can use this all over. It will tone the blonde and give a shine to your natural hair colour.

3. Maintenance

Maintaining the colour can sometimes be the hardest step. Because summer is coming, the sun and the elements can affect the way your lighter tresses look, causing them to fade. You can buy an extra box of semi-permanent to use a month or two after you first colour your hair, to keep it looking fresh and avoid any fading or dullness.

Using these three steps, Luis was able to achieve a lighter look on my hair that I love! The best part? It is something you can do at home.

Also see: “How To Go Blonde Without Ruining Your Hair“.


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  1. Avatar
    • Em
    • March 30, 2017

    I just got my hair done and my stylist gave me an ombre but with the brassy, orange, bleach-y look that I think looks really cheap! I’m thinking of going back to the salon or just dying it back to my original color at home. But at least someone understands the struggle of dying dark brown hair! This has happened to me before 🙁

  2. Avatar
    • Lo
    • January 23, 2016

    Awesome tips! How long do you need to wait before doing step 2?

  3. Avatar

    Great post, I always wanted to go blonde. I guess it’s time. 🙂

  4. Avatar
    • Cristina Aguiar
    • October 30, 2014
    how many minutes on step two? How many minites you have to stay with the product?

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