Where do I start ?

The first thing to look at is obvious really, what colour your hair is to start with. You see, the lighter your hair is in the first place the easier it is to dye it blonde. There is less colour pigment to strip away, so the products have an easier time working on the hair.

If your hair is REALLY dark, naturally or not, then you may face a tough struggle going blonde. I've got to be honest and suggest that if you are really dark, then you do seek adivce on this. You don't want to ruin your hair completely.

Also caution should be advised if you have recently dyed your hair red. Again, be very careful and it's advisable to wait at least a month afterwards if you are considering bleaching your hair.

So you see, just sometimes it is an advantage being a boring old mousy brown colour. On the other hand if you hair is a dark blonde colour you may get away with dyes specifically for lightening blonde hair only. Schwarzkopf do a range of 'Nordic' colours and some other brands have similar, so you may be better off giving these a go.

Condition ?

Ideally your hair should be in good condition before embarking down the 'going blonde' route. If you are even vaguely considering it then the time to start taking extra special care of your hair is BEFORE you slap on the dye.

Start paying attention to those lacklustre locks of yours beforehand to try and minimise the damage afterwards. Another thing to bear in mind is that if you have had any chemical treatments to the hair (ie perm/relaxed) wait a few weeks before attempting this and be very careful as your hair will be quite susceptible to damage. Bleaching hair will ALWAYS be damaging to the hair so if your hair is in bad shape to begin with, applying bleach over it is not exactly a recipe for silky shiny hair. Saying all that, my hair had been highlighted a few weeks before over a previous permanent brown colourant so the hair doesn't have to be in 'virgin' 'untouched' condition, although that would help. I have though, always taken pretty good care of my hair and I condition religously, so perhaps thats why I got away with the horror story on the last page relatively lightly ? Just use common sense.

Pre-lightener.....you WILL need one of these !

Going blonde for most of us IS NOT A ONE STEP PROCESS. If your hair is anything darker than dark blonde then you will need a pre-lightener. L'Oreal Superblonde is one example, but all the major brands have them under differing names.
Their function is to do one thing only, to strip all the existing pigment out of you hair so that you are left with a sort of 'blank pallette'. This theoretically means you can put any shade of blonde in over it. Too many people make the assumption that this is a dye in itself and that the colour it leaves is the 'blonde' colour they have to live with.

PRE-LIGHTENERS ARE USED ONLY TO STRIP COLOUR OFF YOUR HAIR. YOU SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER DYE IN THE SHADE OF BLONDE YOU WANT READY FOR AFTERWARDS. This is called 'double processing' the hair. The important thing to remember using a pre-lightener is that you don't want to be left with any obvious 'patchy' areas which are darker or redder than the rest. You are aiming for a nice even base for your blonde colour and a patchy base means a patchy colour overall.

Which 'shade' of blonde to use after Pre-lightening?

Its personal preference really. There is a lot of debating about 'cool' and 'warm' skintones and I guess it's safe to say that someone with very fair skin will suit a more 'whiteish' blonde and that someone with more 'olive' tones may suit a more 'honey' coloured blonde.....but as many of us are a mixture of something inbetween the two and eye colour is so varied, well, it's hard to put hard and fast rules on it. If you use a semi-permanent dye afterwards, I would whole-heartedly recommend this, then your options are endless for experimentation with different blonde shades, so you can play around with them and see what suits. Then if you decide to put a permanent dye in you know exactly what shade you want.

Shades go all the way round from the whitest 'platinum' blonde like Marilyn Monroe, to shades which are more warm and 'golden' ie Rachel Hunter, to a light 'strawberry' blonde which is almost red. The more 'whiteish/grey' blonde shades are collectively known as 'ash' blondes.

You will need a friend to help

He/She can help to apply the products to the 'tricky' areas...and they can also let you know how things are going on the bits you can't see. Moral support if you start wavering once the pre-lightener has been on a good 30 mins (no turning back now) and your hair is starting to turn a nice 'carrot soup' colour, is always nice to have !


More Blonde Tips and Tricks

Oops ! Overdone the Bleach ?

Hair gone Orange ? Or Green ?

Examples of Blonde Shades

Back to Brown ? How ?

Fighting the Frizz

Highlighting Basics

More Hair Disasters, Stories, Tips and Advice.

Pregnancy Info, Articles and Advice

        Hair and Beauty Tips and Advice

Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Advice

Using Retin-A for wrinkles

Revitalising Facemasks

Invigorating Bodyscrubs

Make your own Lipgloss

Do your own French manicure

Home Facial Techniques

        Product Reviews and Suggestions

Aveda Cherry/Almond Bark Conditioner

How to Choose an Anti-Aging cream

Reviews of 'Sun-In' Hair Lightening Spray


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