To Blonde or not to Blonde? That is the question over 70% of women with cosmetically coloured hair have asked themselves.
Our Hairdressers at Material can create endless amounts of bespoke blondes to suit each and every clients unique character, personal preferences, skin tone and lifestyle. Whether that’s a cool blonde, sun-kissed golden blonde or a statement platinum white, there is a blonde out there for everyone. The question is: What is the right blonde for me and how do I care for it and prevent it from going brassy (yellow)?
There are so many different ways to create blondes, which technique is right for me?
Classic Foil Highlighting
For working with more than one colour, for specific placement or where you still want some natural hair colour showing through.
Full head Lightener
For a bold, full coverage platinum blonde.
Balayage & Ombre
For a softer more natural look that is darker at the root and blended through the ends.
A specific, bespoke colour and placement system for your face shape based on the same techniques used in make up contouring. This technique is used to high light and low light facial features.
How do I know which tone of blonde will suit me?
Skin tone and eye colour play an important part in deciding what kind of blonde will suit you.
People generally fall into two categories with skin tone: Warm or Cool. A few of us are a mix, known as Neutral.
A good way to find your natural skin tone is to look at the jewellery you wear or that suits you best. Is it often more gold (warm tone) or silver (cool tone)? You can also use gold and silver card to determine your skin tone. Hold each card in turn under your chin, the one that makes you look more alert, your eyes clearer and sparkly and your skin appear fresher (you may even notice less wrinkles and look slimmer) is the one that complements your skin tone and will tell you whether you are warm or cool.
Eye colour also helps when looking at complementary colours. Generally speaking if your eyes are green or blue you will have a cool skin tone and hazel or brown eyes will have a warm skin tone. BEWARE of this though as sometimes you get blue eyes with warm skin tones, think naturally copper or strawberry blonde hair with cool blue eyes.
Another test is your veins, believe it or not! Roll up your sleeves, are your veins blue (cool) or green (warm)? Your veins aren’t different coloured, it’s the effect of blue seen through a yellow skin tone that shows green.
Warm skin tones suit golden, copper, sandy blondes and rose gold.
Cool skin tones suit ash, grey, silver and platinum blondes.
Neutral skin tones can dabble in both categories but probably lean towards one side. Think about your clothes and make-up: warm hair with cool make-up might not work, unless you happen to be a colour specialist!
I like the sound of all this but can I lighten my hair without using bleach?
Blonde doesn’t always have to mean bleached/peroxide white. A good colourist can use lots of different types of “blonde” and different products and placement tricks to achieve the look you’re after.
When discussing how light you want to go with your colourist, your hair’s natural depth (how light or dark you are naturally) needs to be considered to choose the correct colour product for you.
You can lift natural hair colour up to 3 shades with Permanent Colour, up to 4 shades with a High Lift, and up to 7 shades with Bleach. Bleach will always be a last resort when only the brightest, lightest, whitest will do; however, many people do not need bleach to lighten natural hair. For example, using mid blondes with pieces of bright blonde contouring around the face can give you a very light look without reaching for the bleach.
So what about looking after by new beautiful blonde look?
“I know you’re going to recommend me a bag of tricks before I leave the salon!”
No matter which lightening effect is achieved it is massively important to stay on top of your hair’s condition using the correct products and treatments. We’re savvy about using skin care products so why not for our hair too?
Generally with blondes, a silver shampoo (purple shampoo) is THE ‘go to’ product. The purple pigments within the shampoo help to neutralise yellow tones and rescue us from that trashy, brassy, and certainly not classy, finish we all dread. Cosmetic blondes classically lose shine and dull over time so you have to be on top of that.
Philip Kingsley’s Pure Silver Shampoo is perfect for toning brassy blondes and their Pure Silver Conditioner includes optical brighteners to add shine and lustre.
As well as using the correct shampoo & conditioner it is vital to treat the hair at least once a week. Elasticizer is the world’s first pre-shampoo treatment that delivers a rush of moisture to the hair cuticle. Used frequently it will create stronger, healthier looking hair and less breakage.
Think of your new blonde as an investment: the right products will extend the life, look and quality of that investment. A bit like your boyf/hubby – you’ve invested time and effort to bring him up to scratch but he’ll need the odd bit of help to stop him returning back to how you found him!
Will my hair go green in the pool?
You need to look after you hair when on holiday, especially when using swimming pools. The chlorine in swimming pools is similar in make up to bleach so chlorinated pools will lighten your hair and dry it out. However, it’s not chlorine that turns your hair green; it’s the copper compound used in pools to prevent algae that gives blonde hair a green tinge.
The most effective way of protecting your hair is to wear a plastic swimming cap but, for most of us, our vanity won’t allow this! The next best thing is to create a barrier using a waterproof hair protection product. The best we found is Swimcap by Philip Kingsley.
At the very least, please, please, remember to cleanse and condition your hair after using the pool!!
Why do highlights go golden/yellow?
For a number of reasons:
The main reason will be that the toner used after lightening will have faded. Most toners will be Semi/Quasi permanent which means they have a short life span; mostly around 24-36 washes. So if you wash your hair every day your toner will effectively last about a month.
On top of this, your hair’s condition can affect the toners life span and cause it to fade more quickly than normally expected. When your hair isn’t in the greatest condition it can be very porous and not strong enough to hold the toner for long.
Another reason colours sometimes go golden is environmental factors such as pollution, sunlight and general weather.
If you experience any of the above scenarios you can buy Toners to top up and revive your colour at home. Alternatively come and see your colourist at Material for a Colour Fresh service with a Blow-Dry or Cut & Finish in-between your colour appointments – this is especially recommended when the hair has been high lifted and is very light.
There’s lots of UV protection and colour care products on the market these days. We’d recommend having one of these in your arsenal if your hair is regularly exposed to the sun and environmental factors.
Got all that?
Whatever blonde you’re looking to achieve, come and see our colour technicians here at Material. We will consult, advise, recommend and help you realise your Blonde Ambition. (Apologies had to get that one in there!)