There's no denying that blondes turn heads and have done for centuries - look at the success and sex appeal that Marilyn Monroe had when she went from brunette to platinum. If you've been thinking of taking the plunge, Sarah Simpson might just have the advice you need to do so with confidence.
Whether it's a subtle hint of lightness you are after or you're hungry for a big change, the biggest question that circulates around the idea of being blonde is, can anyone do it? Jennifer Morgan of Morgan and Morgan Urban Retreat salon on Auckland's North Shore is an expert when it comes to colour and believes anyone can be blonde as long as their locks are in good condition and the blonde is customised to them. Here's her expert advice:
So anyone can take the plunge?
Anyone with hair lighter than a natural dark blonde can pretty much wear any blonde result (from traditional foils to balayage, baby lights ombre etc). The main consideration is whether their natural colouring is warm or cool. For someone with a warm complexion (yellow undertones in their skin) they are going to suit a honey, caramel, strawberry, golden blonde. On the other hand, if the skin tone is cool (slightly blue/pink undertone) then a cooler pearly, ashen, iridescent reflect will be more flattering. If the natural hair level is light brown or darker, then blonde can still be a flattering possibility but as a colourist, I need to be more careful with colour placement and technique. The current trend towards ‘lived in’ looking colour is perfect for a darker client. When the hair is darker, the colour works better if it is not taken all the way to the root area, but blended into the natural hair. This not only flatters the skin but also helps to minimise the regrowth. Cool skin toned brunettes need to aim for as little warmth as possible (which can be tricky) - think smokey dark blonde. If the natural colouring is warmer then golds, caramels and light chestnuts are ideal.
What shades of blonde are the most popular at the moment?
Blonde is in three distinct camps right now - freehand colouring, strobing, balayage and baby lights are still very in-demand and a current look. We are still seeing demand for full-head lightened ‘platinum’ blondes, crisp clean and clear. Lastly, the pastel tones are still strong, lavender, peach, soft pastel pink are a great option for the more adventurous blonde.
What are the dos and don'ts when it comes to blondes?
Condition and maintenance are critical for blondes! No matter how beautiful the colour, if the hair doesn’t shine the result isn't flattering. Making sure you have regular treatments, use great products and have a maintenance program in place is vital. A top tip for blondes is, once you have the colour, keep in mind the time and budget it takes to keep it looking great. Platinum blonde requires a three to four week standing appointment, whereas baby lights and balayage can be left for as long as three months.
What is the best aftercare for blonde?
Olaplaex in the colour and at home maintenance is one of the most innovative new products for our blonde clients. It helps to ensure the lightening process is as gentle as possible and minimises the risk of damage and the take home keeps the hair strong
We love Redken Blonde Idol and Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum - both offer a gentle cleanser, protein based conditioner and heat protection, which is vital for lightened hair as the hair is more fragile. Fabulouso Pro also offer a range of customised conditioners that can be blended specifically for the colour to ensure the reflect stays perfect for the life of the colour.
How can you pull off platinum?
With attitude!! Full head bleached looks work best with shorter hair and stronger shapes. Not to say that you can’t be platinum with long hair but it's a fine line between being fashionable and ‘girls from the playboy mansion’ looking locks. With platinum the toner used is vital to ensure the colour is flattering. The same rules apply regarding skin tone so, icey-white blonde is great if your skin tone is cool but if your complexion is warmer then a very pale golden toner is softer and works better.