Of all the major hair transformations, colouring hair can provide some of the most noteworthy results. Darker or lighter colour choices can enhance your features and frame your face in a new way. For many, making such a big move can feel like an entire style shift. It’s not without its risks though, and most of us have either heard horror stories about bleached hair gone wrong or experienced them ourselves in the past.
Our guide to colouring hair breaks down the considerations you should make before, during and after this hair change. There are a few things to take note of when considering how to colour your hair, which are all personalised to you. If your hair goals are to go light, we want you to embrace it with confidence (and healthy hair).
For how to lighten hair to suit your lifestyle and the right hair care to avoid breakage and faded colour, read on. Our comprehensive guide and the best blonde hair products to keep your tone bright are ahead.
What happens when you lighten your hair?
Taking the plunge with lightening hair can give luminous results, but too often we hear about the bad outcomes – like bleached hair breaking off when wet. Whilst you might not want to overthink a change as big as this, understanding if it’s even plausible for your hair type and status is important.
When hair is lightened, the pigment molecules that produce colour are dissolved alongside the protein keratin. This results in permanent damage to your strands – so the health of your hair going into a treatment really determines the success of your hair colour outcome. On the brighter side (no pun intended) the swelling that occurs in each strand during the process adds volume to hair – which can help those with thin or fine hair types.
How to colour hair the right way
Knowing how to lighten hair so that it suits your lifestyle and styling preferences can be the difference between long-term radiance and damaged hair. By thinking through our top five tips for colouring hair, you’ll know how to achieve the best results.
1. Consider your skin tone
The colouring you want to achieve should be informed by your personal style preference – but for the most complimentary results, consider what suits your skin tone and undertone. Undertone refers to the colouring in skin that stays the same regardless of tan – and is either warm, cool or neutral. By compiling examples of your favourite types of hair colour, you and your stylist can achieve the perfect tone.
2. Go slow
Once you decide to make a change like lightening hair, it can be tempting to try and achieve it right away. Big colour shifts take time however – especially if you’re transitioning from brunette to blonde. Allow around a 6-month timescale to achieve blonde hair. Your stylist may also recommend that you improve the health of your hair before exposing it to bleach. Take it as an opportunity to attain strong, shiny hair with the right products for your hair type.
3. Prepare for texture change
As mentioned above, bleach causes strands to swell, which adds volume but also alters the hair texture in other ways. Whilst fine hair can gain thickness, it also becomes rougher – owing to the dehydration involved in the treatment. Those with curls can also see the pattern or shape of curls alter. To best prepare for this – consider opting for a cut before lightening your hair, to colour your healthiest hair only.
4. Consider your lifestyle
Touching up your roots after lightening or darkening hair colour will need to happen as often as every 4 weeks. If this level of commitment seems unlikely (for your budget or your lifestyle), consider whether the initial result would be worth it. If you spend a lot of time outdoors and swim regularly, note that UV rays, chlorine and salt promote the damage caused by bleach by further pulling moisture from strands. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon your brunette or blonde hair dreams – just know that you’ll need to take extra care to support radiance and shine.
5. Coloured hair treatment
It should be no surprise that looking after coloured hair properly determines how successful the outcome is. From when to use purple shampoo after bleaching to how often you should apply a nourishing mask, knowing the right post hair routine will protect your colour from going brassy or dull and increase hair strength.
Purple shampoo & conditioner:
After your treatment, blonde hair care is required to reinstate moisture to hair and maintain the tone you’ve achieved. Convert your regular treatments to Blond Absolu Bain Ultra-Violet Purple Shampoo and Blond Absolu Cicaflash Fondant Conditioner. This blonde-specific duo for all hair types protects the tone from brassiness and boosts your colour’s luminosity. The hyaluronic acid and edelweiss flower-rich formula restores hair health and prevents future breakage.
A common outcome of lightening hair is strand porosity – where the natural moisture becomes lost easily. This affects hair’s ability to reflect light, creating a dulled effect. Once a week, apply the deep conditioning Blond Absolu Masque Cicaextreme Conditioner & Hair Mask to restore health to your hair fibres.
Hair repair oil:
Daily stressors like sun exposure and water can weaken the quality of your colour and the bounce and strength of hair. If you style your hair, the extreme levels of heat from styling tools can cause breakage, split ends and dulled colour. Apply Huile Cicaextreme Hair Repair Oil beforehand to protect against external irritants.
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