Behind the chair a stylist sees the change of seasons in a different way. The overwhelming majority of clients are ready for a refreshing new ‘do and that usually includes blonde for spring. Often ladies have let their styles and colors go to seed over the winter months, and that has a profound effect on expectations: the longer it’s been the more you’re expecting from the update to your color and style. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone deserves the color that they want and to feel great about their hair — all the time, but especially when the sun starts shining again. I posted awhile back a guide on how to choose a stylist and how to get the cut you want, but here’s an update for spring so you can be sure your blonde is what you want, too.
Getting Your Blonde Back isn’t as simple as sitting down and asking for highlights. There are a multitude of options as far as lightening your hair goes, so do some research before you head to your appointment. That way you know what it is you’re going for, and you’re more likely to be able to communicate that effectively to your stylist. Here are a few examples of the ways blonding your hair can go:
Balayage. People confuse balayage with ombré all the time. Balayage is simply the application of lightener to the hair directly, without the use of foils. It’s usually done with a stiffly mixed formulation so it doesn’t get messy, and it’s the style of highlighting you see most often on people like Miley Cyrus, Gisele Bundchen, and Kristen Bell. It makes for a more “chunky” look with a lot of depth, but it’s not an easy process for a stylist to master, so make sure you find someone who specializes in balayage if this is the look you want.
Double-Blonde. While some ladies like their natural color with some gentle enhancement, sometime that base color is just too dark to support blonde highlights without looking two-tone. If you have darker or mousier hair than you want as your base color for blonde highlights, perhaps double-blonde is the right choice for you. This is a process in which a high0lift color is placed on the scalp first to bring the base color of your hair to a blonder tone, usually a shade of gold. After it processes and is shampooed out, the stylist will then highlight the pre-lifted hair. It’s a much gentler formula of bleach in the second application than would be used in a straight-forward highlight, so don’t fret too much about extra damage. However, this is a more high-upkeep hair color and will definitely need very routine maintenance.
Updated Ombre. Some of us just want ombre to die, but it doesn’t always have to look like Drew Barrymore’s blonde-dipped ends. Ombre can be accomplished by highlighting all of the hair except the very top on long layered hair. When the top layer falls over the rest, you have the illusion of a very gentle fade from natural to light and the best part: extremely low-maintenance. I’ll clarify: it’s like a partial but backwards. So your stylist would set aside the area where your hair parts, and highlight more heavily at the bottom, perhaps mixing in a mid-tone color in the middle quadrant of your hair, and let the top fall down naturally. It looks a lot better than if you just let your highlights grow out, but: if you have let your highlights grow out, just tell your stylist to tone the top section of your hair back to your natural color and enjoy the benefits of your gold-dipped ends without further maintenance. Easy, right?
Even if you’re just going in for foils, make sure you specify with your stylist: How much of a change you want to see, where you want to see it, and what your upkeep commitment is. For example, if you’re only getting your hair done when you go home for a holiday from college, don’t get something that has to be touched up ever six weeks. And definitely bring pictures. There’s no easier way to arrive at a cohesive idea with your stylist than to bring a photo of what you want. Make sure the pic is of someone who shares your coloring so you aren’t disappointed. Your stylist should be able to pick up the slack if you don’t bring a picture, but I always like to act on the safe side.
What seasonal changes do you usually go for with your hair? What are your favorite hair color trends for this season?