Believe it or not, it’s pretty rare for adults to have naturally blonde hair. Sure, baby picture albums may be full of this light toned locks, but only around 2% of people in the world are natural blondes. Some countries have higher percentages of this natural hair colour. America, for example, sees around 1 blonde in every 20 people. But still, chances of being born with (and maintaining) this hair colour are relatively slim. So why do we see so many blondes around? Well, at any given time, one in every three women will dye their hair to be a shade light enough to be considered “blonde”. However, achieving this look isn’t as easy as it may seem. Just ask anyone who’s taken an over-the-counter box dye to their hair, only for it to become seriously damaged or turn a questionable shade of patchy orange. So, how should you go about getting the blonde tresses you’ve dreamed of the right way? Read on to find out!
How Going Blonde Works
When you go blonde, a hairstylist will add specialist bleach to your hair which reacts with the melanin in the hair shafts. It removes the colour present in an irreversible chemical reaction. So bear in mind that once you go blonde, you cannot get your natural hair back without fully growing it out and cutting off the bleached parts. Most bleached hair will be left with a yellow-ish tint, as this is the colour of keratin that is still present. This can be changed with toners if you prefer a more grey or blue tone.
Platinum is one of the most statement blondes. Think of Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stefani, and hosts of other celebrities who have made it their signature shade. However, as it is one of the most severe blondes, it’s also the shade that can do the most damage. Bleaching the hair regularly can cause serious damage. Especially if you pair the colour with regular heated styling (such as using straighteners or curlers on a daily basis). You can often lose a lot of length off your hair through styling, even if you never have your hair cut. This is due to the hair being more brittle and snapping more easily. You also have a lot of work ahead of you, as your roots will be a whole lot more noticeable, even if your natural shade is quite light. However, if you do things properly, this could be a stunning shade for you and worth every ounce of effort and cost involved. The most important thing to remember is that going platinum blonde will have to be a slow and steady process. You can’t expect to wake up with dark brown locks one day and go to sleep with almost white hair on the night. No good stylist will offer the change all in one, as the damage can prove irreparable. You’re likely to have to get highlights until all of your hair is blonde, then lighten the shade in stages. Have patience, it’ll be worth it.
Ombre and Balayage
Ombre and balayage are often used interchangeably, but they’re not actually the same thing. While ombre is the style (meaning “shadow” in French), “balayage” is the technique used to achieve the look. Ombre and balayage essentially allow you to get the best of both worlds between blonde and brunette. It’s generally easiest to achieve on natural brunettes. Bear in mind that it is a relatively high maintenance colour to opt for though, as you’ll need a professional to carry it out properly and regular professional touch ups too! Avoid colour blocking and ask for a more flowing and gradual change between colours. The change in tones should be sweeping and seemingly random, with darker spots and sun kissed spots mingling together.
“Rachel from Friends”
Ask any hairdressers and they will recount the amount of times that somebody has come in asking for hair like Rachel from Friends. Jennifer Aniston’s highlighted tones have become something that will seemingly always be en vogue. So how do you achieve the look? Well, this is pretty simple as pretty much any hairdresser will have recreated it time and time again. You will need a light brown base and then golden highlights distributed throughout. Light blonde can be added to the ends, but avoid a dipped-in-bleach look. It should be more graduated.
The most important thing to remember about going blonde is not to rush into anything. The change is irreversible in natural terms and rushing the process can result in profound damage to you hair. However, done properly, blonde locks can completely change your look and give you the hair you’ve always dreamed of!