The dpHUE Guide To Caring For Your Blonde Hair
As hair colors go, blonde hair is one of the most versatile shades around. It can be used to add dimension to your existing color with expertly placed blonde highlights, to warm up your hue for a sunkissed look, or create a striking platinum effect with an icy bombshell shade.
But, blonde is also a high-maintenance hue that requires a lot of love and extra care to keep it healthy and nourished — whether it’s your natural hair color or a collaboration between you and your colorist at the salon. Lightening your hair with bleach can be a damaging chemical process that leaves the hair brittle and dry. And blondes of all shades and types have to deal with issues like brassiness, dullness, and sensitivity.
To help you learn what you need to know to care for blonde hair, plus the best products for blondes, we went to our color experts — dpHUE Education Lead, Jocelyn Smith and celebrity colorist (and dpHUE co-founder) Justin Anderson — to learn their tips and tricks for going blonde and how to keep blonde hair healthy. Keep reading to learn their secrets.
What Are The Different Types Of Blonde?
All hair colors are described by colorists as levels and tones. Levels refers to the different stages of lightening, while tones are the degree of warmth or coolness of your color, says Jocelyn.
The levels of lightening in blonde are levels 6 through 10:
6 Dark Blonde
7 Medium Blonde
8 Light Blonde
9 Very Light Blonde
10 Lightest blonde
“The higher the level of desired effect,” says Jocelyn, “the more the hair becomes compromised and needs more care post and prior to color service.” Your base color will also have an impact on how much damage your hair undergoes in the coloring process. For instance, someone going from a level 6 to a level 7 is going to have a much easier time than a dark brunette attempting to go to a level 9 or 10. “Bleaching your hair can be extremely drying and, depending on the health of the hair, it could actually cause the hair to break altogether,” says Justin. “I always try to manage expectations for the client’s request, based on how their hair may react to further bleaching, especially if their hair is already in a fragile state.”
Tones can be divided into warm tones like red, orange, and yellow and cool tones like blue, violet, and green. You’ll hear colorists call warm tones names like auburn, copper, gold, bronze, or honey and cool tones names like ash, smoky, or platinum. Tones are important in blonde hair as they determine which type of blonde you are trying to accomplish. If you have visions of an icy platinum mane, for instance, you won’t want your colorist to use a honey blonde on you.
To help keep your color in the tonal family you prefer, many blondes use toners. These are semi-permanent, demi-permanent, or permanent hair color products that are used in salons primarily on pre-lightened hair to achieve pale and delicate colors. There are also temporary toners, like our Cool Blonde Shampoo and Cool Blonde Conditioner, which contain purple pigments that neutralize yellow tones in cool blonde hair. They can be used on natural blondes and dyed blondes to temporarily eliminate brassiness and reinvigorate your color.
How To Repair Blonde Hair
Those with chemically altered blonde hair — whether you opted for highlights or went for a single process color— need to make conditioning treatments a weekly part of their routine, says Jocelyn. The bleach used to strip away your hair’s natural melanin will sensitize the hair and open the hair cuticle, leaving it more prone to breakage and damage from environmental stressors.
Jocelyn recommends the ACV Hair Masque as the best reparative treatment for blonde hair. It has Protein to rebuild the internal structure of the hair that was compromised during chemical service, plus carrier oils like avocado, rosehip, and coconut oil that are small in molecular size to penetrate through the cortex and nourish the hair within. Not to mention Vitamin B5, to strengthen the hair and help prevent future damage and potential breakage to lightened hair. “Use it once a week and leave on for the full 20 minutes,” she says. “Put a shower cap over to allow the heat from your head for full penetration of the mask. Rinse and follow up with ACV Lightweight Conditioner to hydrate the cuticle layer and seal it down. That way you are getting a strong internal foundation and external nourishment.” Your hair will look softer, smoother, and shinier after each use because this combo helps close the hair cuticle and protect your color.
How To Protect & Maintain Blonde Hair
The two biggest threats to bright, shiny blonde hair are water and sun. So rule number one for blondes, both natural and dyed, is to do as little shampooing as possible. “Over shampooing blonde hair (especially chemically altered blondes) will cause excess dryness and wash out the toner,” says Jocelyn, “making more brassiness come to the surface.” Instead, swap out the harsh cleansers for a shampoo alternative like our ACV Rinse or ACV Rinse Lite, which have color-locking technology and won’t dry out hair. Jocelyn also recommends adding in the Gentle Brightening Shampoo and Conditioner or Cool Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine once a week to help add a temporary toning effect and brighten up your hue.
Another common water-related issue for blondes is hard water and mineral deposits. These can cause build-up that dulls your color and makes hair feel dry, frizzy, and rough. Brightening Powder was created for this specific issue — it contains 15% Vitamin C to remove those dullness-causing minerals and hard water deposits from hair.
“The Brightening Powder acts as a magnet by pulling out impurities and minerals in the hair from hard water and pollution, leaving you with bright, vibrant hair again,” says Justin. “It gives you noticeable results in just five minutes. You see the biggest transformation in blondes, but will also see results when used on highlighted hair, brunettes, or even gray hair. Plus, the added Vitamin C gives your hair a natural boost of brightness!”
To help prevent fading caused by sun exposure, add a daily UV protectant into your styling routine. The Protect & Play Hair Mist, a leave-in deep conditioning mist, guards against color fade out as it adds shine and softens your strands.
How To Enhance Blonde Hair
While lifting or bleaching your hair is usually best left up to the professionals, there are ways you can enhance your blonde at home. For blondes looking to add that summer sunkissed effect, our heat-activated Blonding Brush is a gradual precision lightener for blonde or pre-lightened hair that creates a targeted brightening effect.
Our Gloss+ formulas are hybrid semi-permanent hair color in a deep-conditioning base that let you enhance your color vibrancy and shine while also infusing hair with softness and moisture. Our collection of blonde tones can help make your blonde more reflective and your highlights pop as it illuminates your shade.