This Iconic Hair Color Is Back – Here's How To Nail The Look

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During quarantine, we witnessed some wild celeb hair color transformations, from rose gold to cobalt blue. However, now that we’re all coming out of our lockdown experimentation phase, the color that’s taking over is a much more iconic hue. Everyone from supermodel Kaia Gerber to bombshell Emily Ratajkowski is taking the plunge and going blonde.

If you too are considering a color shake-up, then going blonde is definitely one of those hair colors you need to put a little research into. From finding the perfect blonde hue to match your skin tone to understanding the weekly maintenance to keep your color fresh – going blonde requires care and consideration. This is why we brought one of London’s top colorists and Founder of Whair Directory, Tommy Drury, on board. Here are the golden rules for going blonde.

Rule #1: Find the Right Blonde Shade for Your Skin Tone

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Regardless of what hair color you’re experimenting with, you need to consider your skin’s undertone – it’s the cornerstone of a successful color change, and Tommy agrees. One shade does not fit all, especially when going blonde.

“Getting the tone right is important. Don’t assume you have to be an ash blonde, if it doesn’t suit your skin tone and eye color it could look cheap. As a general rule, paler, pinkier skin tones will suit cooler reflects and darker, more golden skin tones will suit warmer reflects,” says Tommy.

With that said, he does add, “Of course, not every skin tone fits into these two categories but it’s a great place to start. For example, Middle Eastern skin tones are often misinterpreted, in my experience, cooler colors (especially with blonde looks) work much more harmoniously than warmer colors. I use a lot of greens, champagnes, and olives to achieve this.”

Rule #2: Consider Your Hair History and Inform Your Stylist

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“Besides suitability and condition, your hair color history will no doubt affect the decisions made by your hair colorist. Every chemical process you have been through over the last few years must be considered,” insists Tommy.

Remember hair color is a science, so any previous color or pigment in your hair could affect the final result. Tommy explains, “You might have thought you got rid of last year’s balayage but unless it was all cut out, then the structural properties of these areas are technically different from your natural regrowth. Any colorants used to cover your pesky white hairs can prohibit the lightening process.” Adding; “This does not mean it’s impossible just that it must be considered.”

The same rules apply for curly or textured hair. Tommy explains, “There’s a lot of myths surrounding all aspects of coloring textured hair. Yes, it can be limiting, and your colorist is right to be cautious, but it is still possible. Hair that has been chemically relaxed (a similar process to perming) will be compromised and I would personally avoid lightening without a thorough and honest plan. Not all textured hair is the same, but fundamentally (like all curly hair types), the hair structure is different. It is generally more porous and has a higher elasticity. It also tends to be dryer, as the natural oils from the scalp struggle getting down the hair shaft.”

If you have coily or tight-textured hair, a great way to embrace the color trend without putting your hair through the stress of bleaching is opting for blonde braids like Amandla Stenberg. While Amandla chose to dye her natural hair before adding braids, ombre blonde braids look stunning and are perfect for summer!

Rule #3: Prepare Your Hair

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According to Tommy, “Very few clients are able to go dramatically lighter without compromising at least some of the hair’s integrity. This is one of the reasons why going blonde in stages is preferred by most color specialists.”

However, regardless of the extent of your color change, Tommy always suggests an Olaplex treatment before any color appointment; “I’ll always advise using Olaplex as a stand-alone treatment in the salon, maintained at home with their next stage products prior to dying.” Tommy also adds that “You may need a significant cut to achieve your dream shade.”

Rule #4: Be Patient

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When it comes to going blonde, patience is key: You may not be able to achieve your dream shade in one appointment unless you want to compromise your hair health.

Tommy, like so many other top colorists, believes that good color should evolve; “After building a foundation of blonde, whether you’re lucky to have had this done in one go or if it was achieved in stages, good color should always evolve. Each appointment is a chance to improve. This could mean introducing more of your natural color into the look (making it lower maintenance and more believable) or adjusting the placement of color to trick the eye to different parts of your hair.”

We asked him what he thought of the recent celeb trend and said that “Emily Ratajkowski’s is a hot topic amongst the general public and professional hair colorists alike. I think it’s a great example of how to balance tones and I’m looking forward to seeing it develop further.”

Rule #5 Get Ready for the Upkeep

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blonde :/

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To keep your color looking and feeling fresh, it requires a lot of upkeep. Regular masks and oils are important, however, purple shampoo is essential. Tommy explains, “Maintaining cool shades can be done with purple shampoos, just don’t overdo it! My go-to one would probably be L’Oréal’s EverPure Silver Shampoo, $9, it’s simple, generic, and works for the highest range of hair types.”

For more hair care tips, check out our ultimate guide to coloring your hair.