What to Expect When Going Dark to Blonde | Phase 2

September 17, 2021
Vox Editor

When coloring hair, there is always some uncertainty about what the end result will be. Several things come into play, such as the integrity of the hair, its natural tone, the remaining pigment left in the hair when it’s lifted, if there is hair color previously on the hair, and so on. In the previous post, What To Expect When You’re Going Blonde : Part 1, I mentioned that a big color transformation requires patience and a lot of trust in the stylist. Understanding how the process works from start to finish can make going blonde a lot less scary and stressful for you and relieve your worries.

A common challenge for clients is they feel their hair is not light enough, or they feel it is “too brassy” after a highlight appointment. As I mentioned in Part One, hair can only lighten so much in one sitting. Additionally, naturally brunette hair is more often than not warm-toned underneath. The challenge of combating warmth is a necessary step in the process of going blonde for most clients. When we lift darker, richer color, we can expect to see some warmth left behind. Toners or glosses are usually required to neutralize the warmth or change the tone of the hair due to the remaining pigment in the hair. This is how stylists are able to get an exact match to your desired color. Whether the goal is to add warmth or remove it, using a toner or gloss is how the stylist is able to cancel any unwanted undertones.

Breaking through warmth is one of the hardest parts about going from rich black to dark brown to light blonde. Even though most peoples eventual goal is to have minimal red undertones, knowing from your consultation with your stylist should tell you, lightening your hair too much in an attempt to get rid of the warmth right away would result in irreversible damage. This is where being patient comes into play. I encourage most clients to wait a minimum of two weeks in between each appointment during their transition. Each time, you should be able to go lighter. I also recommend to protect your hair from breakage by adding Olaplex or Botanical Repair into the color/ lightener itself, or adding a treatment as another service. Although, the most critical step in maintaining the integrity of your hair during this process is your homecare regimen. There is only so much we can do at the salon, but it is up to you to care for your hair and maintain the condition of your beautiful locks. Finding the right daily products for your hair is very important when it comes to keeping it healthy.

Toner/ gloss, although a great way to get your ideal shade, is not permanent hair color. Some clients may find that their toner fades before their next color appointment. Gordon Salon offers an interim “Tonal Refresher” in the salon which is really just a fancy way of saying it’s a semi-permanent color gloss that will revive your tone and get you through to your next full color appointment”. If there is no time to head to the salon for this quick treatment there are also ways in which you can maintain your color at home. Aveda has several homecare products that can help maintain the tone of your hair and also repair damage. These daily products help keep your desired tone from fading. For example, either the Blonde Revival and/ or the Blue Malva shampoo and conditioner is a great option for blondes who are looking to combat brassiness. Using either one of these shampoos regularly has made a huge difference for me when it comes to fighting warmth at home. (I have a whole separate blog post about Blonde Revival if you are curious to learn more about the products and how cool they are for your hair!)

Lightening agents unfortunately leave hair vulnerable to dryness and breakage due to the penetration of the hair shaft. For at home maintenance, a few products are recommended to maintain the condition and integrity of your hair. Stylist’s always recommend a heat protectant, like Aveda’s Brilliant Damage Control (which is also great when trying to comb out tangled hair post-shower). Aveda has intensive masques that you can take home to use weekly, such as the Botanical Repair and Damage Remedy Intensive Treatment Masques to combat these respective issues. Aveda has a range of several different amazing lines that are great for clients who are looking to take care of their hair after going lighter, it just depends what you are looking for. I recommend asking your stylist for their opinions on what you should use at home. A personal favorite of mine is the Nutri-Plenish Leave-In Conditioning Spray that works wonders on all hair types. This is a leave-in daily treatment that helps to repair, but also protect against future damage from heat styling. I love this product because I can put this in my hair after towel drying, and let it air dry or style with heat and it will protect while also repairing some damage.

If you are frequently coloring, lightening or using hot tools on your hair, be sure to ask your Gordon stylist about an Olaplex and/or Botanical Repair treatment to repair the bonds that become broken when doing these things. Remember to use a heat protectant daily and deep conditioner at least once a week to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy. If you are concerned about maintaining the tone, tonal refreshers inbetween services are a great solution. Aveda has a line of products specifically designed to target these issues, like the Clove, Camomile, Blue Malva as well as the Blonde Revival line. If you’re planning on making a color change, make sure you ask about these additional services and at-home-care products next time you stop into Gordon Salon, so that every day is a perfect hair day.