I get questions day in and day out about my blonde hair – is it real? Where do I get it done? What products do I use? The truth is that I have done everything possible to maintain my blonde hair color, and after years of trying everything, I have finally discovered 3 tips to maintaining natural blonde hair.
I have gone from Sun-In overuse in my teens and early twenties, to a ghastly full-head bleach situation that my coworkers will never forget, to highlights to balayage to most recently, basically throwing in the towel. From 2012 to 2015 I veered away from bleached highlights and instead sprayed some slightly less damaging blonde spray into my hair once or twice a month as I blow dried. It was never the look I was going with, but it was easy maintenance and inexpensive.
Then, with my wedding this year and the re-launch of the blog, I realized that it was time to step up my hair game. Unfortunately I made the mistake of *trying* to save money by going to a more inexpensive salon for highlights, and as usual, my hair came out incredibly damaged, and the blond was much too light, so several weeks later I ended up looking like a natural brunette because of how dark my roots looked in comparison. It took just that one salon appointment to completely discourage me, as now I had no idea what to do to maintain and enhance my blonde hair until my wedding.
Tip #1: Treat yourself to a quality hair-color experience
That was until Redken stepped in and solved my problem! I was fortunate enough to receive a salon appointment at Cutler in NYC, and it has completely changed my viewpoint on how to care for blonde hair. I was treated to a full color consultation by one of Redken’s leading hair color consultants, David Stank0. We spoke about how my hair naturally gets blonder in the summer as it grows out, but that it’s always darker at the roots and underneath, where it hasn’t received as much sun. Since I was going to wear my hair up for the wedding, I did not want a two-tone look with drastic highlights on top and dark hair underneath. Cutler was beautiful, large and CLEAN. No hair everywhere, no dirty combs and no gross bottles of styling creams and potions in sight. Plus you know how else you can tell you’re in a great salon? When everyone has great hair. Seems obvious, but we have all been in a salon where the person working on you looks like they got their color experiment wrong, or accidentally got their head stuck in a lawnmower.
Tip #2: Don’t do anything too drastic
As much as I wanted to be a beautiful, perfect toe-head, David convinced me that building off of my natural color was a much better option for maintenance and to give a natural look on my wedding day. He recommended not doing anything drastic, but instead doing ‘babylights’ all over my head. These are very tiny highlights that look more natural and need to be done with a skilled hand. He focused on the lower back and side portion of my hair, so there wasn’t as much contrast between top and bottom. This would lift the color of my entire head without seeming fake or processed. He applied a permanent color in clear (say what?) which lifts the natural color of your hair, similar to what the sun would do. That way I would look as if my whole head is slightly sun-kissed, not just the ends. Since my treatment 3 weeks ago, I have received tons of compliments recently asking what I did differently- no one can tell I’ve had highlights because the result is so subtle, but it’s just a better, enhanced version of me.
Tip #3: Upkeep, upkeep, upkeep
While I loved the final result of my hair color experience (seriously I was blown away by how natural, but better I looked) we all know the reality of what you have done to your hair becomes evident when your hair starts to grow out. I decided to make sure my blonde stays as healthy, enhanced and bright as possible by using a few Redken Blonde Idol products geared strictly for blondes. My favorite is the Blonde Idol custom warm toned color depositing conditioner. You dial up the color each week as you get further from your initial appointment, in order to adjust the tone after sun exposure and swimming. I love it because with all of the outdoor activity and swimming that I do in the summer, it is the perfect way to avoid brassiness and green tones from chlorine. The bottom line is, you paid for your color, so you should take as best care of it as best you can in order to increase time between appointments and ultimately save some cash.
There are 4 months until my wedding and I’m feeling confident and extremely happy with my blonde. The only issue is I am not sure how I want to wear it! What do you think? Let me know if you have any classic but edgy updos that would suit me.
This is a sponsored post for Redken through Conde Nast. All opinions are my own.