So You Want to Go Blond?
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Blond Moment1 of 10
By Lisa Cohen Lee
Whether you were born blond or were just born to be blond, there's nothing standing in the way of you and your inner bombshell. "Anyone can go a shade of blond," says Rita Hazan, owner of Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. The trick is finding a color to complement your skin tone, and then taking care of your hair to keep it healthy. So go ahead and have more fun, starting now.
Platinum Blond2 of 10
Try it if: You're very fair, and had blond hair as a child.
Tint tips: This ultra-light hue (think Marilyn Monroe) looks striking, but the bleaching process can be the most damaging. Go to a pro, who will lighten your strands in phases to ensure the icy, soft tone. "The color should be the inside of a banana peel," says Dwayne Ross, a celebrity colorist at Verge Lounge in Los Angeles. "Because you're taking pigment out, it's a delicate balance to keep the hair from getting overprocessed and breaking," she adds.
Flaxen Blond3 of 10
Try it if: You have naturally dark, dark hair and are ready for a major change.
Tint tips: Similar to going platinum with naturally blond hair, you'll have to lighten hair in phases to avoid over-damaging it. You'll also want to make sure your stylist finishes the process with an ammonia-free toner—this will prevent bleach from oxidizing, which can leave hair a brassy shade of orange. After, skip blowdrying every day (the heat damages and roughs up the cuticle) and use an ultra-hydrating creamy mask post-shampoo, like Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask.
Beige Blond4 of 10
Try it if: You're a dirty blonde with a fair skin tone.
Tint tips: According to Rick Wellman, color director of Patrick Melville Salon in New York City, you may need to have your base lightened, with even lighter highlights then added for dimension. The double process can be drying to strands, so treat them with TLC. Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo, like Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo, which won't strip your hair of its natural oils.
Golden Blond5 of 10
Try it if: You've got yellow undertones in your skin and light brown strands—plus you love that beach babe look.
Tint tips: The trick to making a golden look gorgeous is zeroing in on the ends. "It tends to be a little bit darker than a light blond, but what makes it sparkle, is pumping the ends with a 14K hue," says Wellman. "If ends are too cool, they can look ashy and dirty," he adds. To maintain you color, wash with a shampoo that enhances the gold, like John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Shampoo.
Strawberry Blond6 of 10
Try it if: You're a redhead with fair skin and a smattering of freckles.
Tint tips: This hue has coppery undertones, so you're not going as light as a natural blond. It's best done with a glaze, that deposits more color on the strands, and allows the colorist to perfect that beautiful blond, auburn balance.
Champagne Blond7 of 10
Try it if: Your skin has pink or rosy undertones and your hair is more of an ashy blond.
Tint tips: To complement your natural coloring, look for a beige shade with a hint of rose to give your hair a softer, brighter glow. The pale red undertones counteract the green pigments that are typical in an ashy hue But make sure your colorist has a light touch. "You have to be careful, because red will enhance the pink. Keeping it balanced creates a contrast that shows off your features," says Alexis Antonellis, a colorist at Oscar Blandi Salon in New York City.
Honey Blond8 of 10
Try it if: Your skin is golden and your hair is naturally light brown.
Tint tips: Since this hue melts together dark and light shades, it's a safe bet for lightening up without a huge commitment. The base is a dark to medium blond, with honey and sunkissed highlights and lowlights (a slightly darker shade) that create depth. Besides looking A-list fab (this is Jennifer Aniston's shade), it's one of the lower-maintenance blonds—depending on how dark your hair is, you can probably limit your color appointments to once every six to eight weeks.
Caramel Blond9 of 10
Try it if: You have light to medium brown hair and dark or olive skin.
Tint tips: The key to this shade is making your overall hair color a light brown. If you go lighter, it's going to compete with your skin tone and make you look washed out. "Caramel is what I call a brown blond. It's breaking up the base with highlights that blend together. Because of the yellow in your skin, this shade looks beautiful against it," says Wellman. In between coloring, maintain brightness with an at-home gloss treatment. We like: Rita Hazan Foaming Gloss for Gold Tones.
Dark Caramel10 of 10
Try it if: You have medium to dark brown hair and olive or dark skin.
Tint tips: For women with darker hair, consider opting for ombre—this lets you add a caramel color to your strands, without the risk of damaging them from root to tip. The rich buttery hue will warm up your skin and add dimension to your hair. Ask your colorist to mix in a few different shades of caramel for a more subtle, natural effect. Post-color, practice damage control with a hair oil: Josie Maran Argan Hot Oil Treatment seals in nourishing Vitamin E and helps smooth strands.