As someone who was a natural blonde until adolescence, then a bottle blonde ever since, I feel I'm constantly on tenterhooks, waiting for the day when my dye job will go awry. If you're becoming a blondie, there are things that can go wrong when you go blonde, even if you've been doing it for years. Think of it as a beauty nightmare becoming reality.
Once upon a time, I saw a blonde dye job go wrong and it has haunted me ever since. My mom asked a friend — who was apparently "good" at coloring hair — to come over and dye her hair. At the time, my mom's hair was a deep, chocolate brown and looking back with wiser eyes, I now know it would have needed multiple lightening sessions to get to the color she desired; because unfortunately, going blonde is not usually a one stop shop. Of course, chaos ensued and my mom was left with brassy yellow locks with (if memory serves) patches of white, orange, and green. Needless to say, it did not look good and my mom needed professional help to get her hair back into a healthier shape.
To avoid a similar disaster happening to you, check out these things that can go wrong and advice from the experts on how to avoid them.
1. Pre-Existing Color Or Chemical Services Can Affect Your Final Look
“When going blonde lots of variables affect the final look" Miguel Angarita, Master Colorist at Mizu New York tells Bustle. "If you have pre-existing color/chemical service (like tint, color, glaze, toner, low-lights, keratin, relaxers, perms etc.) approach it with caution, understanding what lightener or bleach to use when going blonde.”
It's important to remember not to dive into the world of blonde wearing a metaphorical blindfold. Instead, test out the waters with the help of a pro who can make sure you don't end up drowning in a bad dye job.
“There may have to be multiple visits to the salon for the final blonde to be achieved," Angarita adds. “Please go have a consultation with a professional who understands the laws of color and can analyze your current possibilities.”
2. You End Up With Brassy Hair
“Going blonde can be plagued by so many major problems that I need to first say go to a professional colorist to help you reach the perfect blonde shade for your complexion," Honey Artist Hairstylist, Tyler Colton explains to Bustle. “The most common problem that happens when going blonde is ending up with gold, yellow, or brassy color. Most often this is a result of not choosing the right color or not leaving the product on the hair long enough."
So, what kind of color should you shoot for? "For most people going blonde they are going to want to use a natural ash to very ash toned color. This will help eliminate unwanted warm tones as they lift up from natural to lighter blonde," Colton says.
3. Hair Breakage From Too Many Treatments
Caron Brown, hair stylist at Haven Spa, explains what not to do after going blonde. "No relaxers or perms or the hair will break; avoid additional chemical services at least four weeks before and after any lightening,” she says.
4. Unrealistic Expectations
“I feel the biggest thing that can go wrong when going blonde is unrealistic expectations of how light to go, the maintenance, and the cost.” Lindsay Marie, Color Director at Antonio Prieto Salon tells Bustle over email. “Platinum blonde is not an in and out service nor does the commitment end when you leave the salon. This service can be so aggressive on your hair depending on what your natural level is and some results end up looking 'chicken fat yellow' along with compromised ends.“
Marie goes on to explain another trendy blonde style, she says, “Balayage is the highlight of choice right now but it's not for everyone. When Balayage is done right, it can look natural, creative, bold, soft, you name it. It's a service that can be tweaked to go more natural or more creative, however, when you have a naturally dark root and you want your ends to be white but want to have mermaid hair... unrealistic."
5. Shampooing Too Often Can Lead To Over-Drying
Brown tells me, “Avoid shampooing more than once a week — if you can stand it — to avoid over-drying your hair after dying your hair.” Start investing in some dry shampoo instead, to give yourself a freshen up in between washes.
6. General Damage
“Damage with lighteners and or bleaches can occur super fast, the key is knowing what type of texture, what's on the hair, and the right product to use." Says Angarita, "It takes [a] colorist like myself, years of practice to master the blonde world. Please don't think it's easy. Remember just because Kylie Jenner goes blonde overnight doesn’t mean you will too!”
However, it’s good news if you’ve never dyed your hair before. Angarita explains, “If you're a virgin, meaning nothing at all is in your hair, you're in luck! Virgins can get 80 to 100 percent target blonde desired... It all depends on how dark the natural level is.”
As a final parting piece of advice, Marie says, “In general, be bold and have fun with blonde! Just know that whatever tone or level or style you choose that it comes with some strings attached.”
If you're of the mindset that blondes really do have more fun, go for it! Just take heed of this expert advice to ensure your hair lightening experience is a positive one.