Summer is on the way and as you dream of warm, sunny days, you decide you want a little (or a lot!) of that sunshine in your hair.Maybe you’ve never tried coloring your own hair, or maybe you are a serious pro; either way, these tips will get your summer color off to a spectacular start!
First, if you are going three shades or more lighter than your original color, you are going to need a bleach.If you have a perm, it is not a good idea to bleach over that as it will severely damage your hair. If you have previously bleached your hair and have more than a month’s worth of growth, this could cause an off-color stripe where the new bleach and old bleach meet.
Most salons call the brown to blond transitions double process, but some hair color packages don’t explain what these means.Hair is made up of primarily red and black pigments and, as you lighten your hair you remove the black, leaving behind red. This is what causes that orange or brassy look so many “bottle blonds” sport instead of truly gorgeous gold. If you are going for a warm, honey blond you will bleach your hair, then lay a color down on top of the lightened hair.However, as time, environment and shampoo wear on your hair this can cause your bleached color to come through and dull the blond.
When you choose a bleach, make sure it is one specifically for hair and is also safe to use on the scalp.Be very selective and, if possible, try to get recommendations from stylists or others who have worked with bleach.You do not want to shortchange yourself by choosing a bleach that will strip and dry your hair or one that will damage, possibly even burn, your scalp.Most kits you can purchase in the store come with bleach packaged with the toner (color).
Depending if you are going all-over blond or looking for highlights, you will use a special cap with holes poked through it so you can pull out strands to highlight.The disadvantage of this is with the cap it is impossible to get all the way to the scalp for bleaching.It is, however, easier than trying to highlight without using the cap.
Bleached hair will look darker when it is wet.Make sure when you do a strand test that you dried the hair.Definitely do a strand test so you know how long to leave the bleach on your hair.Too much bleach will turn your hair green!If your hair does go green, do not try to cover it with brown, as it will only turn dark green.You will need to try balancing the green with a color that has some red in it.You could try slathering ketchup or a henna mixture on your hair for 30 minutes instead of putting red dye down on your hair; that could save some chemical wear.
If your hair is gray, or has gray in it, those strands will turn quite blonde when bleached.You will want to take special care, as gray hair is often drier and more brittle than other hair colors.
Second is the actual bleaching process.If this is your first bleach, you will want to start by applying the bleach ½ inch from your scalp.Use a comb to do fine partings so you are sure to get all of your hair.It is a good idea to go back through your hair again to double check for any missed areas.Once your hair has reached about the midpoint of the color you want to achieve, then put the bleach on that last ½ inch of hair.
This will ensure your color looks natural as roots are always slightly darker than the rest of your hair.When your hair has reached the color your want (and remember to judge by the time, not how it looks as your hair will be wet), rinse the bleach out with cool water.If the water is too warm it may irritate your scalp.Use a gentle shampoo on your hair, rinse again and towel-dry.Now you are ready to put on the toner.
Toner adds dimension and color to your blond.In some cases, the bleached look may be just what you want, however for most it is just the beginning.When choosing your toner, make sure you have one without ammonia or peroxide as those can damage your hair.Toner is usually mixed with a developer, and applied directly to your hair.Leave the toner in for however long you need in order to allow the color to soak in (it shouldn’t be long) and rinse again.Above all, make sure you condition your newly-blond locks with a high-protein conditioner to keep it shining and strong.