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How to Talk Like a Blonde

June 26, 2012

Sometimes clients find it difficult to talk about blonde.  The nuances of the hue are as varied as the people who don it, which is precisely why some clients struggle to find the right words to communicate exactly what they want. Brassy or buttery, ashy or caramel, highlighted or single processed?  See, it’s difficult!

Luckily, I stumbled upon this article at Editer that might help to differentiate just what blonde you’re aiming for.  In the article, Debbie Bhowmik, a colorist colourist nicknamed ‘The Blonde Fairy’ at London’s Hari’s, has grouped blondes into three categories that I think make a lot of sense.  These three categories don’t necessarily relate to tone, but they do relate to maintenance and technique and they are: Bleach Blonde, Beach Blonde, and Perfect Highlights.  

Bleach Blonde: This is barbie blonde.  It’s unnatural, it’s gorgeous when it’s healthily maintained, and it’s usually the same glamorous blonde color from root to end (with a few variations).  Think Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stafani, and Paris Hilton (though don’t think of her for too long…).  Maintenance for this look can be tedious, especially if your natural color is much darker, so be sure to talk with your colorist about what shade is best for your complexion, how frequently you’ll need to touch-up your roots, and what products are best for your hair to ensure a consistently flawless and healthy look!

Beach Blonde: This is an easy, care-free, almost-natural-but-not-quite blonde that is favored by women who have a slightly more low-maintenance (think beachy) look.  Many of our clients who ask for this color are natural blondes who want to brighten up their darker natural color with sunshiny highlights that can grow out for a few months without looking like they’re in need of an Emergency trip to the salon.  You’ve seen this look on the likes of Cameron Diaz, Maria Sharapova, and Sarah Jessica Parker.  Over time, the ends of your hair will become more blonde than the root due to the amount of times it’s been highlighted, creating a natural ombre effect.

Perfect Highlights: For those who want a more multidimensional blonde a la Jennifer Aniston (hair goddess, amirite?), Reese Witherspoon, and Scarlett Johansson, I recommend a highlight or foil, as we like to call them in the salon.  As you can see, complimentary strands are woven throughout the hair to add contrast as depth that warm the complexion and accentuate features.  This technique is middle-ground in terms of maintenance with most clients going four to eight weeks between services.

Remember, the best way to make sure you and your colorist are speaking the same blonde language is to bring pictures to your appointment and show them what you want.  When you say you want Jennifer Aniston’s color, you’ll want to show your colorist which hue you desire to make sure you don’t walk out the door with Aniston’s color circa 2004, not 2012…

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