GOING BLONDE
Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for LOVE Magazine

Everything You Need to Know Before Going Blonde Like Mila, Kendall and Millie

Rule number one: be patient.

Summer might be over, but that doesn’t mean that Hollywood (or we for that matter) are ready to let go of seasonal inspirations just yet. In fact, several celebs have shunned the usual dark hair for fall, in favour of bleach blonde locks.

First there was Kendall, who switched up her look ahead of the Burberry show during LFW, then Mila Kunis stepped out with a striking blonde ‘do just last week and overnight, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown went short and blonde (plus long and balayaged and then back again – it’s been a busy 48 hours for the star). Going from brunette to blonde is timelessly intriguing – speak to any brunette and she’ll tell you that she’s more than once dabbled with the idea of going to the other side (chances are, instead, that she’s played with highlights and balayage, as an entry point). But what exactly does it take to go from team brunette to team blonde? A lot of work, says Armineh Damanpak, stylist at Moods salon in Vancouver. Here’s what you need to know:

 1. Give it to us straight: How difficult is it for a brunette to go fully blonde? How much time can you expect to be sitting in the chair? 

Realistically, to go from brunette to a full blonde can be quite difficult! It really depends on if you’re starting with your natural virgin hair or if you’re starting with previously coloured hair (which is what makes the process a lot more difficult). I generally don’t recommend it in one salon visit – I like to break up the appointments to gradually get your hair lighter to reduce the amount of damage done. If you were to do it in one session I would allot anywhere from 7-10 hours.

2. How does going blonde from brunette affect the quality of your hair?

When going blonde from brunette the texture of your hair generally completely changes. When lightening the hair you are opening up the cuticle and stripping away the melanin (natural hair pigment) which results in a expanded cuticle which gives the feeling of “fluffier”hair. The more you lighten, the more you are breaking and removing pigments which soon exposes the cortex, which is when we experience breakage and split ends. So all in all, the quality of hair gradually decreases the lighter you go.

3. What is the upkeep like?

Being a full blonde requires a lot of maintenance. Appointments every 6-8 weeks are recommended to keep up the colour of your hair, as well as trimming and treating your split ends. On top of your salon visits, a good home care regimen is a must! Getting salon professional products will help maintain the health/colour of your hair and give you longer lasting results.  Being blonde is a full time job. Oh and it’s expensive, too.

4. What are your holy grail products for protecting dyed blonde hair?

My holy grail products for protecting blonde hair would be the Joico Defy Damage line. I use the Defy Damage Pro series in salon on almost all my colours to reduce the damage and I send most clients home with the at-home care line. The Joico Defy Damage shampoo, conditioner, protective masque and the protective shield will cover all your at-home care needs in order to maintain a healthy blonde. It’s the one product I’ve used which clients and myself instantly see and feel the results.

5. What happens when you’re done with your blonde moment and you want to go back to being brunette?

Once you’re done with your blonde moment, going to brunette is a lot easier! At your salon visit we will generally fill the hair with the removed pigments from your previous lightening sessions and then add your final desired shade (this is a two-step process at your salon visit). Since the process of going blonde is so damaging to the hair shaft, the hair tends to be quite porous which means the hair is filled with a whole bunch of little holes. As a result, when applying colour over porous hair it tends to grab really quickly but will also release quickly. Generally it takes a couple colour sessions to be able to maintain the darker colour.