First Time Blonde

Blonde woman

If you haven’t yet noticed, blond is the hair color right now. From Kimmy K and Kylie Jenner to Miley Cyrus and Miranda Kerr, and even leading ladies of the silver screen such as Anne Hathaway and Emma Roberts have been spotted with lighter colored locks. Often times, we see these celebs with drastic hair color changes and assume that they went from chocolate brown to platinum during their lunch break, but this isn’t the case. Any colorist will tell you that going blonde is a process, and they’re not just pulling your leg. Depending on the natural color and type of hair you have, it can take anywhere from two to four salon visits to achieve the desired color. We’re not telling you this to discourage you, rather hoping that by reading this article you will be prepared for the blond transformation. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect and keep in mind during your first time going blonde.

Good Things Take Time
We talked about this briefly above, but we can’t stress enough that achieving blonde status doesn’t happen overnight. The main reason for this is to save your hair from detrimental damage. The darker hair you have to start, the greater amount of bleach is needed to get you to blonde. If your stylist left bleach on your locks for an extended period of time, you would leave the salon with a burning scalp and severe breakage – not to mention, it’s still unlikely that your locks would be the color you were hoping for. The take-home point of this is to have patience when it comes to achieving the color you want and keeping your hair healthy.

This isn’t a DIY Transition
Let’s be honest, dying your hair at home is risky business. Now, bleaching your hair at home, that’s asking for trouble. Chances are your hair will not turn out the color of your dreams, but it’s likely to turn various shades of orange, yellow, or even green. On top of that, often times the product in boxed color is much harder to alter or reverse in the event that you do try to lighten your own hair, only to realize that you need a stylist’s help.

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Because going blonde is a major commitment, it takes time, effort, and dedication to keep your tresses looking their best. A general rule of thumb is that the greater contrast between your natural hair color and the blonde hair, the less amount of time between root touch ups.

TLC is a Must
Regardless of how blonde you go, you’ll need to carve out some time in your beauty routine for regular blonde hair TLC. Since it’s not your natural color, you’ll want to use a purple or tonight shampoo to keep your hair from turning too yellow. Additionally, it’s important to keep your hair hydrated and protected from the heat to keep it looking its best. Thinks like SPF-fortified hair products and hydrating masks should be in your arsenal at all times.

Removing Brassy Hair Tones

Any woman who’s ever colored or highlighted her hair blonde knows that the fresh-from-the-salon color doesn’t stay along for all that long. All it takes is a week’s worth of showers before your light and ashy strands start to lose their luster. Only a few short days-to-weeks later (depending on your lifestyle and environment) your highlights that were once as blonde as Brittany Spears’ are now yellow and brassy. Some women are okay with the brassier tinted shades, specifically those who go with a darker or caramel shade of blonde because the shifting of shades isn’t as noticeable. However, those who prefer a beachy bleach blonde shade, or even silver shade, will notice the color change almost immediately. Although the yellow hue is annoying, it’s almost guaranteed to happen. Luckily, it’s also easily to fix and prevent! Read on to find out what causes brassy hair tones and how to remove them!

Woman with brassy hair.

From Ashy to Brassy
Even though we use the name of one color to describe the color of our hair (i.e., brown, blonde, red), it’s actually a variety of warm and cool tones which alternate to create a dimensional appearance. Regardless of your hair color, the warm tones contribute to the hair’s appearance by giving it depth or darkness. The cool tones, on the other hand, balance the warm tones to give it the neutral color you see when you look in the mirror.

Of course, everyone’s hair color is a bit different from the next person’s; you could have 100 brunettes in the same room and have difficulty finding two people with the exact same shade of brown. If these 100 women bleached their hair to become blonde, however, those with naturally darker hair would be more susceptible to brassiness. The reason being that dark hair needs to go through a lightening process which changes the hair from brown to deep red, then to a pale yellow. When the hair becomes yellow it will then be toned with a dye to reach a natural looking ashy blonde color.

Now, take a moment to consider what happens after a naturally blonde haired woman dyes her hair brown, and then takes a few showers…the brown dye will ultimately start to fade. This is exactly what is happening to natural brunets when their blonde turns brassy – the toning dye is fading, but the result of the bleaching remains. Thus turning ashy blonde strands to golden and brassy yellow.

Woman with ashy blond hair.

From Brassy to Ashy
Knowing that bright blonde tresses dull due to the fading of toning hair color, wouldn’t it make sense to recolor the blonde strands? Well, it’s just that simple! When you tone, (a.k.a. add a toning color) to brassy hair, you are adding cool dimensions to your hair. This works to neutralize the hair by ridding copper and brassy tones and replacing them with silver ashy tones.

If your hair is already very brassy, the best thing you can do to cool the warm tones is to get a toning treatment. Whether you make an appointment to get it done at the salon, or you purchase an at home tonight treatment, you’ll get similar results. If you go to a salon, they are likely to use a gentle semi-permanent color which deposits the needed pigment into your strands to prevent damaging already weak hair. If you prefer to perform this process at home and are confident in your hair’s strength and stability, then you can find a brass-eliminating treatment where you would typically buy an at-home hair coloring kit.

If your hair is only slightly brassy, or even if it still has the majority of its ash, you can prevent the copper hue from ever making an appearance by investing in a high-quality toning shampoo. These shampoos are typically a bright purple or violet color. The purple color works to neutralize brassiness in its tracks. When using a toning shampoo one should take extra care to use an ultra-repairing and hydrating conditioner, the reason being that even the best purple shampoos are known to dry out healthy and hydrated strands.

Are You A Cool Or A Warm Blonde?

Blonde woman

Have you ever had your hair colored to perfection, only to look into the mirror a few weeks later and notice that your hair had a strange yellow tint to it? If so, this yellow tint that you noticed is actually a Brassy tone. Brassy tones are probably the top complaint of those with blonde hair. That said, brassy tones are the result of extra blonde warm tones.

If you’re unsure of what all of this hair color mumbo jumbo means, check this out: When your stylist is creating the formula to color your hair, he or she is using a color wheel to determine which chemicals will make for the best color. Before mixing up the color, during the consulting part of the appointment you might hear her use the terms brassy and ashy. When referring to the entire color wheel, brassy or warm tones include the colors red, orange, and yellow, while ashy or cool tones include green, blue, and violet. However, when speaking only of the blonde spectrum it is easiest to think of a scale that goes from 1 to 15. Imagine the beginning of this scale being a warm yellow mustard color, but as the numbers on the scale progress to the center of the scale (say 7 or 8) it lightens to a neutral cream color. Because you can’t get much lighter than cream or white, the remainder of the scale will go from white to gray. Remember, yellow is at the start of the spectrum, and is considered a brassy color, which means it’s warm; thus the opposite side of the scale is cool. What does all this mean for you? Simply those whose blonde hair is more of a sweet sunny color are warm blondes. Of course, this means that those who have silver or platinum colored hair are cool blondes.

Now that you have a better idea of the difference between warm and cool blondes, you certainly have an understanding of why your bleach blonde isn’t as bleach colored as it once was – because for one reason or another the cool, ashy tones have faded to warm, brassy ones. Some ladies may be okay with the warmer tones but others can’t stand it! If you find that you’re one of those who isn’t a fan of the warmer tones, check out the tips below to reverse and prevent them!

  • Use a violet shampoo for regular maintenance. Since violet and yellow are on opposite sides of the color wheel, the purple color works to neutralize the brassy color. Sometimes violet or purple shampoos can be extremely drying, which is the last thing that vulnerable, bleached hair needs. Protract your hairs integrity while preventing brassiness by alternating violet shampoo with your regular shampoo every other day.
  • Use a violet conditioning treatment on a semi-regular basis. This is a great option if you are a fan of conditioning treatments and are able to find the time do them every-so-often.
  • Schedule a toning treatment with your stylist in-between root touch-up appointments. If you notice that the brassiness acts up during the summer it’s because the sand and salt water tend to do some serious damage to cool tones. It can be annoying, but it is also super easy for your stylist to take care of with a toning treatment.

Celebrity Inspired Hair Colors

When we are thinking about changing our hair colors, sometimes we need to turn and look for a bit of inspiration from the stars – and we aren’t talking about astrology, here. Celebrity hairstyles are one of the most searched things on Google, and it’s no wonder – everywhere, every day, there’s someone looking to replicate a style from their favorite stars. Today, Lionesse points out a few celebrities whose color we love and believe you should check out as well.

Olivia Wilde

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Olivia Wilde – Ombre Brown to Golden
Olivia Wilde always looks stunning, and has a gorgeous face that everyone loves – but can we just for a second talk about the fabulous hair she’s donning currently? If anybody thought the ombre hair style was over, think again. Ms. Wilde currently has a lovely brown hue, which could be likened to a medium brown, with plenty of golden ends and tips as the hair fades to an ombre style about midway down. It looks stunning for the summer! Get the look yourself with golden ombre tips and a brown hue throughout.

Sarah Jessica Parker

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Sarah Jessica Parker – Chocolate Brown with Golden Highlights
Ms. Parker looks beautiful this summer as she can be seen spotted with her new chocolate brown locks and golden highlights (which we have to wonder, is it foliyage instead?) to debut as the new face of Jordache jeans. This bubbly, sweet star looks oh-so-summery this season with this hair look. Get the same look to be right on trend for summer.

Sharon Osbourne

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Sharon Osbourne – Cranberry Red
Sharon Osbourne is one of those who has been around for quite some time, but we have to love and respect her for the person that she is. She’s also had the same color hair for quite some time, sometimes changing it up between red and black. Her bright, vivid cranberry-red hair color is perfect for her loud personality – but it’s toned down enough to be sweet at the same time.

Salma Hayek

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Salma Hayek – Black
Salma Hayek isn’t a name we hear too often, but we have to give her credit where it’s due – she is absolutely beautiful, and she has quite the head of hair, if we do say so ourselves! Her gorgeous, rich black hair always looks so flawless. We wonder if she needs to touch it up, or does it naturally stay so black even still? Nonetheless, opt for a rich black hue to get her look.

Lindsay Lohan

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Lindsay Lohan – Auburn
Though Lindsay Lohan hasn’t been in the media much lately (shocking, but maybe it’s a good thing), we still love to follow her style, beauty, and of course, her gorgeous hair. Lindsay’s gorgeous natural reddened auburn hair has always been beautiful – and we love when we see her play it up with a nice style for the evening. Medium auburns work best to recreate the look of Ms. Lohan if you were to create the style yourself.

Christina Aguilera

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Christina Aguilera – Platinum Blonde with Rainbow Colors
Christina has been seen sporting many different hair colors over the course of her career, from platinum, to green, to purple, to pink, to brown, to black and beyond. Currently, this judge from ‘The Voice’ is rocking a platinum style with rainbow colored dip dyed ends to her hair. It looks so incredibly summery, bright and beautiful, it just may be one of our summer favorites!