The Blonde Hair Bible According to The Experts
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We often hear about the importance of caring for blonde hair particularly throughout summer, what with the heightened UV rays and harsh heat threatening to damage fairer tresses. However, as any blonde will know, lightened strands need year-round maintenance in order to preserve its integrity and prevent brass at all costs between salon visits.
Enlisting the expertise of two leading Australian authorities in blonde—Brodie Lee Tsiknaris, Creative Director of Rokstar Salon, and Tarryn Cherniayeff, co-founder of MOB HAIR—we spill the beans on all of their hero treatments, products and tips they swear by to keep all blondes looking bomb.
GRITTY PRETTY: Which in-salon treatments should blondes be booking in regularly?
BRODIE LEE TSIKNARIS: “L’Oreal SmartBond is our absolute go-to—we always recommend to each of our colour clients. I also encourage an in-salon ritual or toning treatment to maintain strength and colour.”
TARRYN CHERNIAYEFF: “Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier and No. 2 Bond Perfector are two of my best friends when it comes to treating blonde hair. To keep locks healthy, we ensure that Olaplex No.1 is used in every lightening colour we do—it’s a non-negotiable!”
GP: As for at-home care, which products are necessary in order to ensure the on-going health of blonde hair?
BLT: “For the best ongoing hair condition, my personal favourites are the L’Oreal SmartBond Step 3 Conditioner and Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Shampoo and Conditioner, as they are specifically designed to restore strength in damaged locks to keep it as healthy as possible between visits to the salon.”
TC: “I suggest using salon specific-haircare and taking into consideration what your colourist has recommended to you during your initial consultation—this will ensure optimal hair health. My favourites are Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner, which are designed to work in conjunction with the in-salon treatments.
GP: Which types of toning products should blondes use to minimise brassiness?
BLT: “At Rokstar, the Shu Uemura Colour Lustre range is our number one go-to. It comes in two different tones—golden blonde and cool blonde—one of which will always suit every client!”
TC: “My absolute favourite toning products are the Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. These products leave the blonde lightly toned without overdoing it. I have found that some toning products can actually darken your blonde, having a reversing effect on the lightening, so the Bright Blonde range is perfect!”
GP: How often should blondes use toning shampoos and conditioners?
BLT: “I always educate all of my guests to use a repairing or colour-lock shampoo and conditioner, and then once a week use their prescriptive home toner. This enables the hair to be healthy and maintain their colour without over-toning.”
TC: “I would recommend using your toning shampoo and conditioner every other wash, unless you are wanting to achieve the over-toned “ashy” finish.”
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GP: Which ingredients should blondes be looking for or avoid in their haircare?
BLT: “You should generally talk to your colourist about any ingredient concerns, but your colourist should be prescribing you a haircare routine that is designed to be free of any ingredients that will work against maintaining your colour.”
TC: “I would generally recommend staying clear from the big ol’ nasty sulphates. Sulphates are often included into shampoos to create a bigger lather, but are known to strip colour—so take care to stay away from these as they are a big no-no for coloured hair.”
GP: What should be the minimum time between salon touch-ups be in order to reduce damage?
BLT: “I always advise that at minimum, clients should wait at least six weeks for foils from their previous visit, and five to six weeks for on-scalp lightening.”
TC: “I would recommend six to eight weeks, however this is dependant on the type of blonde you have. For example, if you have a dark natural colour and are after a super-light, all-over blonde look, your re-growth is quickly going to become far more noticeable. To avoid your colourist overlapping colour and if you’re regularly doing your at-home haircare regime, you should be able to hit up the salon regularly. If you have balayage and are seeking a ‘natural look’, you can maintain this for months with minimal touch-ups.
GP: Realistically, how much lighter can someone go in one sitting without risking damage?
BLT: “This is something that needs to be discussed with your colourist. It’s very important that you have a consultation prior to your appointment to discuss the process and expectations of both the client and colourist, in order to get a realistic idea of what is achievable. All hair is different, and there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.”
TC: “I get asked this question quite often, and the answer for each individual depends on a number of factors—the current condition of you hair, your recent colour history and your natural colour. Due to the multitude of factors that influence it, there is no clear-cut answer, so you need to be sure to consult with your colourist.”
GP: For blondes who aren’t able to regularly book in to touch up their roots, what approaches for colour placement should they consider in order to ensure natural-looking tresses between salon visits?
BLT: “Baby lights and freehand techniques such as root-shadows are a fantastic option for those that aren’t able to maintain their blondes regularly in salon.”
TC: “Definitely go for baby lights. Your other options are a root stretch (or shadow) or balayage.”
GP: How often should blondes visit their stylist for a cut, as it is more susceptible to looking damaged?
BLT: “I recommend a cut every colour service or no longer than ten weeks to keep hair looking fresh — even if its just a split end trim!”
TC: “I always advise that my blondes get a trim at every appointment as opposed to every second like my brunettes.”
GP: Do you have any additional blonde haircare must-haves or tips?
BLT: “Using extreme heat, even with heat protectant products applied, is a big no-no! I would also advise to always use professional brands recommended to your by your stylist. And finally, a great colourist and a silk pillowcase are must-haves!”
TC: “Never underestimate the power of a good serum. Blondes often lack that natural shine; my two go-to products for this are the Oribe Shine Light Reflecting Spray and the Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil.”
Tell us, what are your go-to products and treatments for blonde hair?