blonde hair at home
Photography via Imaxtree

How to Go Blonde and Maintain It at Home According to a Celeb Hair Colourist

Charlize Theron and Gwyneth Paltrow's hair colourist, Tracey Cunningham, tells us what to do before and after getting highlights

As the temperature increases, so does our desire to lighten our hair colour. Visions of Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief or Gwyneth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley dipping into the water somewhere in Italy with our golden manes glistening under the beaming sun dance in our head. But as anyone who’s ever gotten highlights will tell you, achieving the exact shade you’re after isn’t so easy.

“Always bring a picture to a hair colour appointment,” says celebrity hair colourist Tracey Cunningham, known for her blonde bombshell clients like Charlize Theron and GP. Since you and your colourist may have different understandings of golden, ashy or icy blonde, Cunningham stresses discussing your exact vision. “I ask [clients] what do you like the most? Do you like to see ash? Do you like to see blonde?” And she’s quick to guide them to the shade and dyeing technique she believes will be best for their skin tone and hair condition.

If you can’t hop on a flight to LA to have Cunningham give you the best blonde colour of your life, you’ll want to do your research to find a local colourist who’s sure to deliver. Find a picture of the hair you want and check out the prospective hair colourist’s Instagram account to confirm you like their work. If you’re after the ombré or balayage look, choose a colourist who’s experienced with the specific technique—but as Cunningham notes, keep in mind it’s possible to achieve the look of balayage (the technique in which dye is painted free-hand on hair) with foils.

No matter if you’re going from brunette to blonde or just brightening your already light locks, hair products will save your colour from fading and keep it looking healthy. Depending on your hair texture, Cunningham recommends Redken Blonde Idol (a conditioner that enhances colour and strengthens strands), Redken Color Magnetic (a nourishing shampoo for colour-treated hair), Redken Diamond Oil (a serum that softens and adds shine to hair), and Redken All Soft (a collection of products for those with very dry hair).

For more of Tracey Cunningham’s tips for going blonde and maintaining your blonde hair at home, check out the video below and shop her top picks in the following gallery.