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Going from brunette to blonde with minimal damage to your hair

Many are those who dream of a platinum Marilyn Monroe blonde, Cameron Diaz surfer blonde, or a Kate Winslet golden mane. But before swapping your sensual brunette hair for sexy blonde locks, take these tips on-board to ensure the minimum damage to your hair.

From brunette to blonde: warning

Low-risk brown to blonde
© Thinkstock

Ladies, before storming off to the hairdresser's to demand the latest blonde look, ask yourself a few questions. Going blonde is not a minor transformation and means a psychological change, small as it may be. Your lighter hair colour will condition your look and the impact you have on the people around you will change too. People will most likely look at you more, suddenly consider you more sexy looking – and that’s without mentioning all the unavoidable clichés about blondes...

Then comes budget. As you can’t reasonably make this transformation at home (without ruining your hair and making it look like straw), you'll need to go to the salon... and that has a certain cost. If, after consideration, you nevertheless decide to go blonde, here are some guidelines given by Tom Marcireau, Hair Stylist Manager at Maison de Haute Beauté Carita in Paris.

Going blonde: the professional is always right

Before anything else, you need to get a diagnostic. Going blonde without (over) damaging your hair's fibre will take more time depending on your natural hair colour (brown, dark to light chestnut brown, dark blond). Be aware that the darker your hair, the more delicate the procedure. You need to clearly express what you want to your hair stylist, tell them everything.

They also need to know your hair history: dyes, highlights, streaks, henna... Even the most insignificant things done 6 months earlier as the process of going blonde will not be the same depending on your hair’s history.

Then, you just need to listen to this professional’s advice –  not all types of blonde suit everyone. Your complexion and original hair colour must also be taken into account. In general, nature has done its job pretty well; an ash blond will not suit a very dark brunette.

Once this first step covered, it is better that your natural hair colour is bleached out in several sessions so that it is not damaged and remains healthy.  What is more, as the procedure is often done with highlights (two or three, in particular for long hair) with an oil or colour finish. So spreading the sessions over several weeks helps you to get used to your new hair colour but also works in the blonde  gradually, enhancing the look.  A contrasted blond is prettier than one uniform tone, which can tend to make you look pallid. And there’s no need to dye your eyebrows to blonde, this can make your eyes look dull.

Blonde all the way: taking care of your colour

Being a beautiful blonde means maintenance. A lot of maintenance. Your hair needs to be oiled regularly, especially about twenty minutes before shampooing to sheathe the hair and smooth cuticles, helping to preserve their quality and shine. You should also to use several hair masks per week and systematically apply a conditioner after every shampoo.

The aim of all this is to avoid drying out your mane, a recurrent problem for dyed blondes. As are the infamous roots! Top up dyes to the roots need to be done every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on your hair, so that you don’t get those unattractive dark roots making zebra stripes on your head!

Taking the blonde plunge: final recommendations

Be patient! Don’t rush to the salon the day before an important event demanding a radical change from brunette to blonde. Unless they have no professional conscience or don’t mind ruining your hair, any decent hairdresser should refuse this type of request.

It’s also better to make an appointment during the week, rather than a busy Saturday, to get the best care and time necessary for your hair colour change. Count on about 3 ½ hours per session for application of the bleaching powder, dye time, rinsing and styling. And don’t be disappointed with the first results – something that occurs frequently – you can’t always the exact blond you want right from the first go!

Posted 07.03.2011

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