Do blondes really have more fun? It’s a question that’s been highly debated among Hollywood’s most famous light-haired stars. But now that spring has sprung, the season of ladies looking to lighten their strands is in full force.
Natural brunettes including Katy Perry, Kristen Stewart and Allison Williams have been swapping out their darker locks for vibrant blonde hues we can’t stop talking about. But before taking a cue from these stars and taking the platinum plunge, it’s important to know what not to do first, in order to ensure your color looks natural and hair stays healthy. Celebrity colorist Lorri Goddard, who’s credited with maintaining Reese Witherspoon‘s golden strands, told PeopleStyle that dyeing your hair blonde comes with its challenges (it can start to fade and lose shininess as soon as a week after dyeing it).
Colorists hear all the myths and see all the mistakes women make when going over to the light side, and they’re here to set the record straight to help ensure your hair looks as spectacular as possible post-salon visit. Celebrity colorist AJ Lordet, who’s based in N.Y.C. at Pierre Michel Salon and is responsible for Christie Brinkley‘s hue, gave us seven easy pitfalls to avoid if you’re thinking about making the shade switch.
You’re not opening up to your colorist.
When you go to a salon to make the big change, make sure your colorist knows everything about your hair history. And when we say everything, we really mean everything. “When people dye their hair darker, they don’t realize that months and months later the color is actually still in their hair. So say in September, someone went brown and in May she wants to go blonde. Since you were darker in the fall, we’re going to be battling tons of orange and red tones from the [original] hair dye,” Lordet explained. “If you’ve already dyed your hair before, we definitely need to know that, because coloring virgin hair is different (and easier!).”
You’re not deepening the roots.
If you’re not going for pure platinum, you actually want to make sure your roots are darker than your ends so the color looks natural and grows out nicely. “I do double the amount of painting on the ends than at the roots,” Lordet told us. “The ends should [always] be a little lighter than the root area, otherwise the color can look too artificial.”
You’re buying the wrong box color.
If you’re daring enough to tackle the challenge of dyeing your hair blonde at home, choose the box color you want to go with very carefully – because what you see isn’t always what you get! “If you wanted a buttery blonde, sometimes you might have to buy the ashiest box in the store, which is the opposite of buttery!” Lordet said. The reason? “In order to negate the natural orange tones you may already have in your hair [as a brunette] and don’t even realize are in your hair, you need to do this. That’s why stylists in the salon consider everything, like how much gray you have, how dark your hair is and if it’s ever been color treated before.”
You’re heat styling your hair too often.
After you make a color change, give your hair a break! “What people don’t realize is hair that’s gone lighter generally is done with a little bit of bleach. And bleach plus heat with a blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron causes breakage,” Lordet said. “People go over the front sections over and over, so that’s always the area I find breakage happens.”
You’re not using a purple shampoo.
It may look scary to slather a purple product all over your strands, but trust us, it works.
“This helps neutralize yellow-orange brassy tones [which can occur from washing your hair, environmental stressors and naturally if you started as a brunette with reddish undertones],” Lordet said. “I recommend using a purple shampoo once a week to combat that undesirable look.”
But is there ever any chance of hair turning purple from it? It’s possible, but very rare. “On really light, white blonde hair and you’re trying to push the envelope, you could end up lilac,” she added. “But generally it’s a very temporary thing.”
You’re forgetting that colored hair is inevitably dry hair!
No matter what color you choose to dye your hair, after the process, the ends will inevitably end up dryer than before, but this is especially the case for blondes.
“People also underestimate how summertime activities, like swimming in the pool and ocean, can dry out your hair,” Lordet said. “I always recommend my clients use a deep conditioner or mask in place of their usual conditioner.”
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The colorist added, “It doesn’t have to be the heaviest thing in the world, and you don’t have to take 20 minutes out of your day to do it. Just put it in instead of your conditioner, even if it’s just for one or two minutes.”
You’re still a believer in the lemon juice trick.
Hate to break the news, but spritzing lemon juice or Sun-In in your hair won’t create the beachy highlights of your dreams. “They need to stay in the ’80s!” Lordet said. “The only people in my experience who come out looking normal [after trying Sun-In] are so naturally blonde to begin with that it just brightens [the color].” That’s why the colorist says brunettes should stay far, far away. “It just opens the hair’s cuticles and lets the natural pigments come out, so the darker you are the more red you have. You’re just going to come to me with orange hair or reddish-golden highlights!”