Two expert colorists answer your questions, and offer their best hair care advice.
This post originally appeared on MIMI.
Though the saying blondes have more fun is true (at least in my humble blonde-haired opinion), we do have it rough when it comes to maintenance—especially during a season change. To keep my hair color in tip-top shape, I tapped Redken colorists Sean Godard and Veronica Vasilevsky for their professional-grade tricks of the trade.
1. What are your tips for getting more mileage out of my highlights?
"The best way to get more mileage out of highlights is to ask your stylist to blur the color in the area close to the scalp. Techniques like Redken Blur give a softer and more natural-looking grow-out instead of a hard root line." —Redken Artist Sean Godard
2. What is the ideal blonde maintenance plan for in-between my salon appointments?
"The ideal plan is to shampoo every 2 or 3 days using blonde-specific product. To keep the color fresh in between salon visits, I recommend a toning conditioner to maintain the color weekly. Using treatments like a strengthening spray on a weekly basis helps to prep the hair for the next service and strengthen it to avoid dryness and breakage." —SG
3. How do I know if I have the right shade of blonde for my skin tone?
"Generally speaking, paler skin tones usually suit cooler shades of blonde and deeper/olive skin tones tend to suit warmer tones of blonde. To truly determine what color will work best for you, it's always best to see a professional colorist as they can take into account crucial factors that play into this like skin tone, skin texture, eye color and your overall lifestyle." —SG
4. My hair is dark and I want highlights. How light can I go?
"For darker hair, getting to the desired lightness can be a journey that may take up to three salon visits. It is better to lighten it gradually and do at-home treatments in between your salon visits to help maintain healthy hair." —SG
"More importantly, ask yourself how much time and money am I willing to invest in order to sustain the desired highlights and/or color, both in the salon and at home?" —Redken Artist Veronica Vasilevsky
5. What are some tips for maintaining my new ombre look?
"Maintaining ombré is simple. Between major visits to touch up the ombre, I recommend to my clients that they come in for a Shades EQ service to correct/refresh the tone of the ombré and add amazing shine and condition to the hair." —SG
"What's great about ombré is that less maintenance is required. However, because trips to the salon are less frequent, it's important to use a color-depositing treatment conditioner like once a week. This will keep your ombre fresh and bright!" —VV
6. Help! My hair is too brassy. How do I get a softer look?
"Brassy hair is simple to fix with a Shades EQ service. It will correct the tone of the blonde and add amazing shine and condition to the hair. Another quick fix is the Blonde Idol Custom-Tone Conditioner Violet for Cool Blondes—use it in place of conditioner every time you wash to control unwanted brassy tones." —SG
7. How can I go lighter without severely damaging my hair? How can I better protect my blonde locks?
"The best way to go lighter is gradually with lots of strengthening treatments in-between each service. Using strengthening spray really helps rebuild the hair from within and helps prep the hair for the next lightening service. Protect blonde hair by using heat stylers like Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer before blow drying, flat ironing and curling to help protect the hair and the color. Using a lower heat setting on the hot tools is another great tip for lighter and more fragile blondes." —SG
8. How often is too often to have my hair lightened?
"It varies depending on history of hair or type of hair. Your colorist, and your hair, will let you know!" —VV
"I would recommend waiting at least two weeks between most lightening services with lots of treatments in-between so the hair can rebuild from any damage created in the lightening process." —SG
9. Any additional "hot tips" for blonde clients?
"Use a clarifying shampoo like Redken Hair Cleansing Cream every few weeks to help keep the blonde from going dull and to remove any impurities from the hair like water deposits, pollution, etc." —SG
"Blondes are like a white T-shirt - they show stains more so than dark clothing. This is why it so easy for blondes to look dull. Get rid of the stains with a hair cleansing cream shampoo, like Redken Hair Cleansing Cream." —VV