I’ve always wanted blonde hair and, since my natural hair color is a deep brown, my journey to sun-kissed tresses has not been without a few challenges. I have had my hair done both professionally and at home, and at the end of the day I find that achieving high gloss blonde hair at home is perfectly possible, but only if you are willing to spend significant time and effort getting the perfect blonde instead of a blotchy orange mess.
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So here is my hard earned advice if you want to go down the blonde route.
Choose Your Undertones Carefully
Lightening your hair away from your natural undertones (warm for golden blonde, cool for ashy blondes) means you can end up having to do a lot of color correction to fix it. For example, you will need specialist shampoos to remove yellow hair after bleaching. You will also need to apply toners to prevent unwanted brassiness while keeping the golden tones you are after.
Generally speaking, ashy blondes require more maintenance, as most of the pigment you’ll be removing from your hair has warm/orange undertones. Minerals and hair products also have a tendency to oxidize on your hair, creating brassiness.
If you are looking to achieve silver or white hair, you will need hair at level 10 or as close to it as possible, with no warm undertones. If your hair naturally pulls warm, this can be a struggle and require constant maintenance.
Keep Your Hair Healthy
If you decide to go blonde at home it’s important to give your hair all the extra TLC you can, and then some. Bleaching and lightening opens up the cuticle and removes protein from your hair, which may end up looking and feeling like straw.
Before you go blonde, stock up on nourishing oil treatments and deep conditioning masques suitable for blonde hair. To keep damage to a minimum it’s important to avoid overlapping bleach when covering regrowth, so make sure to apply the lightening mixture carefully only on hair that is not your desired level yet. Anything beyond two levels above your natural hair color will involve heavier maintenance.
Can You Go Platinum At Home?
In all fairness, going full platinum with at-home bleaching can be a bit of a risk for somebody who is not a professional hairdresser or has been practicing for years. This is because in order to reach level 10 hair you will need to remove all pigment from your hair. You will then have to apply the right blonde toner to achieve the desired end color.
If your hair is naturally dark that means removing a lot of pigment in order to neutralize the naturally occurring orange and brassy undertones. Doing this at home means usually having to bleach your hair several times because otherwise the damage would be too great.
Hairdressers have products such as Olaplex or L’Oreal Smartbond, which minimize the damage and so allow for more intensive lightening. So I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you are very experienced with bleach, have hair that is in really good health and aren’t adverse to risk.
If you are dying your hair more than 6 levels above your natural hair color (going from dark brown to light blonde, for example), be careful. Unless your hair is in amazing health before you start, the damage can be too great and you risk giving yourself an unflattering chemical haircut.
Most people who do this sort of drastic hair transformations wear their hair in a lob or bob, above their shoulder. This is for a reason, keeping healthy long bleached hair is incredibly difficult. Natural looking blonde hair often requires more complex techniques such as balayage to add depth and texture to the hair.
The upkeep for blonde hair is significant, but on the bright side bleach will make your hair texture look thicker and more interesting, and your hair will become your best accessory. I think everybody should go blonde at least once in their lifetime and try it.