Although pop star Britney Spears has rocked all different hair color shades with ease, it’s safe to say that the "Piece Of Me"songstress will be most remembered for her glamorous blonde locks. And while it’s true that the Kentucky-born bombshell herself was not born with irresistible platinum strands, the Grammy Award-winning starlet will definitely follow suit with fellow blonde icons Marilyn Monroe and Madonna, and find herself as an immortal beauty inspiration loved by color enthusiasts everywhere.
To perfectly tap into the Brit beauty playbook and get that golden hue we can only dream of, I’ve taken all of my burning color questions to the experts to further understand the complicated blonding process. And although it may seem plausible to go blonde all in one shot like some celebs (sorry, Kim K), know that this coloring process takes a lot of time and money you may or may not have.
Before you venture into pop princess hair color territory, I'm weighing both the pros and the cons of this red carpet-ready look for you, so you don't have to do all the research yourself. Considering factors such bleaching, upkeep, and color cost, know that there’s a lot to consider before booking that salon appointment. Ready to try some Britney-approved color? Here’s everything you need to know about mastering that Britney shade of blonde.
1. Plan out your ideal color
To start your hair color journey, it’s best to prepare first for the whole blonding experience. Yes it may be tempting to pick up some boxed dye at your local beauty supply store, but it’s always wise to seek out salon professionals for this sort of dye job.
“Saving photos to a hair file on your phone or pinning pictures of celebs to show your colorist the blonde you love can help speak (and show!) volumes about what shade of blonde is comfortable for you,” says Celebrity Colorist Meaghan Frayne of Angelo David Salon. “Always look for images of women whose eye color and skin tone is close to yours.”
Aside from saving some photos, taking account of your skin tone is another good place to start. Plus, using using your natural base color is important too, as your natural shade of color will definitely impact the whole bleaching process. However, keep in mind that naturally darker hair involves a longer double step process, to avoid any brassy tones.
“If you are on the darker end of the color spectrum, then you must do a double process which involves bleaching the hair first, followed by a toner to get the yellow out,” explains Pierre Michel salon colorist Giselle.
On the other hand, if your base color already in the blonde color family, Giselle suggests that single process method provides enough lift to get to your ideal Britney shade.
“If you already have light to medium blonde, you can achieve the Britney look with a high lift single process color."
2. Going blonde means a lot of work
Once you’ve picked up your coloring method, it’s time to head out to the salon for product application. If you are a bleach blonde virgin, bleaching can feel a bit scary at first, but it’s important to still consult a professional for such a job, as the lifting processes may cause color overlap or damage to your scalp if you do it yourself.
“When going blonde you want to avoid color overlap as much as possible. explains John Sahag celebrity colorist Rick Wellman “To get that evenly applied finish, you should apply your color strategically by going to a professional salon.”
Another part of the dyeing process, comes toner, which helps cancel out unwanted tones in your hair post bleaching. Often at times, bleaching virgin hair can cause brassiness to your hair. To counteract any unwanted tones, toner is used to keep your hair cool and warm without icky orange hues. Just be sure to ask your colorist which toner to use, as both cool (platinum) or warm (honey blonde) based toners can be used to provide that desired finish.
3. Looking like Britney costs time and money
Depending on your initial color, the blonding process can take hours, so expect to be at your salon for long periods of time. However, if Britney blonde is a color that you truly want to keep, just keep in mind that all your salon visits may be just as time consuming.
“Much like seeing a personal trainer to help you attain your fitness goals, finding the best blonde hair color requires patience and commitment to both execute and maintain success,” suggests colorist Meaghan Frayne. “After all, going blonde can be structurally detrimental to the hair strands — particularly if you are far from natural blonde.”
In addition to time, you’ll definitely want to remember that your hair will totally be on the the dry and damaged side, so taking the time to keep your hair healthy is an important key point too. Regular trims and deep moisturizing treatments can cost you money you may or may not be willing to spend.
In addition to trims and treatments, comes costly root touch ups which will surely keep you in the salon. Coloring experts like Rick Wellman recommend booking appointments every four to six weeks to keep your hair in Britney Spears shape.
“Avoid walking around that extra week with unwanted roots by pre-booking your next blonde appointment for four to six weeks,” recommends Wellman.
4. Blonde upkeep definitely takes effort
After your color is properly applied, maintaining your color can be a challenge. However, if you plan out a solid regimen, you can prolong your color and your hair health with ease.
To salvage dried and dehydrated strands post-bleaching, it’s helpful to map out a hair care regimen that keeps your hair nourished, while keeping your color intact. To start your hair routine, expert colorist Meaghan Frayne recommends to think protein first, and moisture second.
“Blonde hair may feel dry and brittle, which leads most clients to use products that focus only on moisture,” says Frayne. “However, what’s really happening beneath the surface is that the delicate, all-important protein structure of the hair has been broken down in order to make it blonde.”
To focus on moisture, there are products out there to replenish lost protein. When shopping for products, Frayne recommends always looking for keywords such as repair or protein on your bottles.
“Luckily, there are incredible retail products out there to put back the lost protein. Pureology Strength Cure ($64) is one of the most remarkable,” states Frayne. “Both your shampoo, daily conditioner and post-shower leave-in treatment should say somewhere on the bottle: repair or protein.”
Another part of Britney blonde maintenance comes clarifying, which involves a special shampoo to remove your hair from deep-seated impurities. Be sure to clarify and deep treat your hair once a week for manageable strands, and dazzling color.
“Unless you want a dull, dingy, chicken-fat yellow shade of blonde, you have to deep clean your hair weekly, at minimum,” explains Frayne. “Once a week, shampoo twice with your clarifying shampoo of choice, leaving the second shampoo on for five to ten minutes to help really lift off the gunk. Then, rinse well, towel dry (I like to bring a hand towel into the shower) and apply a deep-conditioning masque with a balance of protein and moisture.”
Finally, it’s crucial to avoid heat and load up on the dry shampoo. Damage from heat styling tools anand hot water strip and quickly fade the delicate dye molecules, leaving your color brassy and hair really dry. To avoid this, try washing your hair only a few times a week. In between shampoos, brushing in some dry shampoo helps keeps locks feeling refreshed and oil-free.
"If you can, wash and heat-style your hair twice a week or less,” finds Frayne. “Also use Angelo David’s Couture Brush and a dry shampoo to absorb oil at your scalp on days in-between washing your hair. You’ll save yourself hours each week of unnecessary washing — as well as your blonde hair color!”
5. Britney's color isn't for everyone
Overall, getting that Britney shade of blonde is no easy task. Between the lengthy dye jobs and constant upkeep, it can be challenging (and costly) to keep your color bright and beautiful all the time. If you decide to follow the Britney path though, be aware that factors such as initial hair color and skin tone surely play a part in finding that perfect shade. However, with just the right amount of confidence, you can rock any color you choose.
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