From icy platinum to golden honey, the range of blondes is expansive. We spoke with the experts to find out how you can ensure you’re helping your clients get the right hue of blonde, along with the secrets for achieving longer-lasting colour.
As with any hair colour, when choosing the right shade of blonde for your clients, it all begins with the consultation. “Consultation is key. Sometimes blonde may take more than one appointment so it’s important to give your clients the expectations of the cost and time involved,” says Rossa Jurenas, Schwarzkopf Professional’s North American creative colour director. Next, remember that while skin tone is important, Jurenas says looking at the colour of your client’s eyes should be priority. “Skin tone can change depending on a person’s tan or makeup, which is why I’ll always look at their eyes,” she explains.“When I see gold flecks, I’ll go for a warmer blonde, but with flecks of grey I choose ash platinum and pearl tones.”
Matrix colour ambassador Heidi Kenney agrees that the right blonde always begins with eye colour. She also finds that more and more clients are opting for neutral shades of blonde. “A lot of clients initially think they want violet tones in their blonde hair, but it doesn’t always work,” she says. “But sand, wheat and clear beige all give that beach look to the hair, which is really what they want.”
Defining Role of Texture
When it comes to creating the right blonde for straight hair, she says the key is in the blending technique. “When you’re doing a balayage technique on hair that is straight and has little movement, you need to make sure there are no harsh brush lines,” Kenney says. Using a combination of backcombing, weaving and balayage, Kenney says she is able to give her straight-haired clients a perfect diffusion with seamless results each time.
For curly hair, the secret is in taking the right sections of hair. “Look at the natural curl pattern and where you see spirals popping out,” Kenney explains. “I always take wide or medium sections of hair to lighten, tone to maintain the elasticity and integrity of the hair.” She also advises colourists to remember when lightening curly hair, that its structure and curl patterns so using a gentle, non-ammonia product that has a lower pH to help maintain the integrity of the hair. Also keep in mind that if curly-haired clients wear their hair straight, focusing on the facial area and framing it with lightness is a good option, adding more internal lightness, she says.
No matter where you’re starting, “maintaining the integrity of the hair means you have to take fine sections,” says George Alderete, colour director for Keune. “You can begin with highlights and go lighter at the next appointment, but take your time with colour. It’s about having a rhythm of light, medium and dark, even with blondes, and using smaller sections contributes to creating this overall effect.” Alderete also says it’s important to remember that colour is like makeup and contouring is key. “When you’re taking someone from a dark brown to blonde the roots will be showing in a few weeks. Even though it’s a more lived-in colour at this point, and it will still look good, provided it is done right.”
New Dimension of Blondes
“Globally, people who are blonde or have an element of that colour in their hai have a distinct identity,” explains Jurenas. “For a long time it was difficult to create a blonde for everyone, but now the technology is allowing for that.” With bonding products including Schwarzkopf Professional’s Fibreplex, a technology now found in the BlondMe colour range, Jurenas says it’s even easier to create different variations of the hue, from cool icy to rose gold tones.
Alderete also adds creating that custom blonde is a matter of adding dimension to the hair with low light and an intermediate colour. “Adding low lights guarantees that your clients’ colour will stay warmer rather than becoming brassy, which will help her retain her colour longer,” he says. “Everyone wants to be blonde, even someone who we wouldn’t recommend but we can customize a colour that will suit anyone,” says Kenney, adding that blonde colour services are a large percentage of a salon’s colour business, if not the largest, making this service integral to a salon’s success.