Growing up with dark hair my entire life, I’ve never known what it’s like to have light, beachy blonde hair - my hair is as black as black gets. To be honest, I’ve always been curious to know what my hair would look like bleached, but was too afraid of the drastic change. I never even dabbled with the idea too much because it seemed pretty far fetched to be able to get my hair from what it is now to the perfect light blonde - it’s always just been like a distant dream. I’ve seen a countless number of other people have their hair bleached blonde before, but I never quite knew what all of that entailed until recently, when I followed my boss Ashli along for her hair appointment at Butterfly Studio Salon in NYC with her hairstylist and blonde hair guru, Tamara DeFelice (@blondebytam)- boy, did I learn a lot. And in case you were wondering, I didn’t leave the studio blonde like Ashli did.
Tamara’s an expert with blonde hair and has mastered this art, so I think it’s safe to say that she knows her stuff. After sitting in on Ashli’s appointment with her for just a couple of hours, I learned quite a bit of what there is to know about bleaching your hair blonde.
First things first, if you want bleached blonde hair, you’re definitely going to need to find a professional you can trust who understands your hair and your look. Sure - anyone can dye your hair blonde, but half of the art is targeting the right tone that is flattering to your look. Tamara suggests going into the salon with a certain look you want to achieve in mind, while still remaining open to the ideas of your hair stylist who may suggest otherwise. Jennifer Lawrence may look great in all shades of blonde, but there’s no guarantee you will. Target the right tone for you.
The next big thing you have to consider is the maintenance that bleached blonde hair requires. Tamara suggests to come into the salon every 2 months for a touch up once you get your hair bleached, which is definitely something to consider in terms of time and money. Luckily for anyone contemplating going through this process, darker roots have recently become more trendy so you may be good to even come in just once every 3 months (but definitely no less often than that).
Not only is a touch up once every few months very necessary, but the day to day hair care is also a must, and that means using products that help to maintain the color and keep your hair looking healthy. Perhaps you’ve heard of every (bleach) blonde girl’s best friend: purple shampoo. For those who don’t know, using purple shampoo when you have bleach blonde hair can help prevent the color changing into an unwanted brassy tone - it keeps the color looking cool and true to its intended color. One thing that Tamara notes, however, is that purple shampoo should be used on average just once every third shower - there’s a huge misconception that suggests using purple shampoo much more than you actually should, when in fact, using purple shampoo too often can actually cause your beautifully bleached hair to look less bright. Because bleached hair is very porous, it’s more prone to taking in more of the pigment in the purple shampoo which, in turn, can cause your hair to look more dull. Looking for a good purple shampoo? Try one of Tamara’s favorites: Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo for Beautiful Color.
Before sitting in on Ashli’s appointment, I already knew that blonde hair care had to be no joke, especially for girls like me who rely on very very low maintenance hair. But Tamara laid it out quite simply for me: hair care should be just like skincare - your hair needs a moisturizer, nourisher, serum, etc. the same way your skin does. She recommends using products like Shu Uemura’s Ultimate Reset Serum and Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil along with the entire collection of products offered by phyto hair to help strengthen your hair when it’s feeling dry and damaged. This type of routine and attention to your hair is pretty essential for everyone looking to keep their locks looking and feeling their best, but it’s especially important if you’re bleaching it. If your hair isn’t healthy, it just won’t look that good - it’s that simple.
So with all that new insight into blonde hair care, will I be walking out of a salon with a golden mane anytime soon? Probably not. But I only say that because I know how lazy I can get with my hair. Bleach blonde hair ain’t no joke, people! It’s important to understand how high maintenance the look can be, but I guess it’s true - beauty is pain.
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