From dark to light: How to go blonde the right way

Back in August of 2015, I made the decision that many women before me have made: I decided to go from dark brown hair to platinum blonde. It wasn’t an easy process, but thanks to my amazing hairdresser, some awesome products and a little bit of knowledge, I did it! Now, more than half a year later, I’m finally at that perfect platinum shade that I’d been chasing for all those months, all the while keeping my hair healthy. And I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it, so you can do the same.

Find the right hairdresser

If you don’t have a hairdresser that knows you, knows your hair and knows what he or she is doing, do NOT attempt such a drastic color change. If you walk into a salon with dark brown hair and someone tells you that you can go platinum in one shot, WALK OUT IMMEDIATELY. That is, unless you’re not all that attached to your hair, because you’ll be detached from it soon enough if you proceed. While there are ways to achieve such a change in a safe fashion (I’ll get to that momentarily), it’s not a quick process, especially if you want it done right and safely. I’ve been seeing master stylist Rose Huggett for years now. She’s familiar with the texture of my hair, how it reacts to being colored, and how to keep it healthy while achieving the results I’m looking for. At every color session she would monitor both my hair and me, ensuring my scalp was comfortable and my hair was processing safely. If you don’t have your own Rose, then make sure whoever you see comes highly recommended, and is clear and honest about the lightening process.

Do not rush the process

Between the end of last August and the end of May, my haircolor spanned many shades of blonde, starting out darker and more golden, hitting some ashy spots before landing on the white, iridescent platinum blonde that I’d been dreaming of.  The key to keeping my hair healthy was using a good lightener (Rose loves the Kevin Murphy Color Me powder lightener – it’s so gentle that I can barely feel the tell-tale burn that comes with bleaching your roots), and increasing toner levels gradually. I went from a level 9 to a level 12 over the course of those few months. Everyone is different, but the lesson is: good blonde comes to those who wait.

Kevin Murphy Color3

OLAPLEX

This salon exclusive treatment has been credited with helping Kim Kardashian go from jet black hair to blonde, and fast.  Hair is made up of disulfide bonds that are broken via chemical, thermal, and mechanical processes, such as color treatments or heat styling. Olaplex works by using Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate to link single sulfur hydrogen bonds back together to form disulfide bonds before, during and after services. As a result, Olaplex actually allows hair to be reach a higher level of lightness than can be achieved without it, hence Kim’s magical and seemingly overnight color transformation. Ideally, one would Olaplex before every color session so you can go lighter faster, but as I learned, you can Olaplex any time to feel its benefits. Olaplex comes as a three step process. Steps 1 and 2 are administered at a salon by a trained hairdresser, and 3 can be used as a home treatment to further the whole process’s benefits. I tried the treatment at Toronto’s Parlour salon, where it’s an add on to a blowout or a color treatment. My stylist Karissa was knowledgeable and thorough, explaining the process to me step by step (in between cracking jokes – she was a riot), and gave me an incredible blowout to wrap things up. I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my hair. Many blondes swear by this treatment, and I am now one of them.

Get regular trims

No matter how well you care for your hair during the coloring process, lightening it means it will sustain some damage. While shampoos, conditioners and treatments out there may claim to repair split ends, the only to actually do that is to cut them off. Getting your hair trimmed on the regular will ensure it looks and feels healthy, especially when you’re going blonder and blonder. So don’t hold onto those scraggly ends; bite the bullet, get that trim and reap the benefits of your sexy and fresh blonde ‘do.

Use the right products

Going blonde is also about staying blonde, and that means using the right products for your new hair color. Kevin Murphy’s Blonde Angel shampoo and conditioner contain blue pigment to offset the brassy tones that will inevitably try to sneak back into your hair between salon visits. I use Goldwell’s Kerasilk Control line in conjunction with a blue conditioner to kill the yellow. This system of shampoo, conditioner, deep treatment, oil and milk texture styling products is meant to enhance the benefits of the Kerasilk keratin smoothing treatment but have similar effects over time on their own; that is, they make hair sleeker and more manageable, lessening the need for frequent heat styling, which is a big plus for blonde hair. When you do heat style, use a heat protecting product (I layer Kerasilk Control oil and Got2be Guardian angel spray) to protect your hair from your styling tool’s intense heat as much as possible.

So there you have it, my tips and tricks to be a better blonde. Got any tips of your own? Be sure to tweet to us at @weraddicted and @thenadiae to share them!

Loving my post Olaplex hair!

Learn more about Olaplex on their website (www.olaplex.com) and head over to one of the two amazing Parlour locations in Toronto to treat your hair right (www.parloursalon.com). Reach out to Rose at her site (www.rosehuggett.com) and if you happen to be in the Sarnia area book an appointment with her at The Woods Salon (www.thewoodshairsalon.com/)

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly

Nadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet. Nadia has written for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada, and was a weekly columnist for Don't Believe a Word I Say. She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine. Nadia is the co-founder, Managing Editor and resident Music lover (and editor) for Addicted.
Nadia Elkharadly
Nadia Elkharadly

Latest posts by Nadia Elkharadly (see all)

1 comment

  1. MoniqueMichelle

    This is an amazing article. Being a “natural” not natural blond is hard work. The wet/dry brush is a god sent. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day night cap is also great, and if you are trying to grow out your hair a split end protector. Once you find the right hair person you had better get good dirt on her so she can never leave you. Because the only thing worse than a bad first date, is a bad first hair experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.