The Path to Perfect Blonde
Cultivating the perfect blonde colour is no easy feat. The potential downfalls are dime a dozen - brassiness, dryness, and regrowth that doesn’t quite blend in to your latest batch of highlights. Let’s not even get started on those DIY home disasters that leave us looking like Jack Skellington, either (we’ve all been there though - holla to my early teenage years). Naturally a brunette, I’ve been on the blonde pursuit for quite a few years now, going from blocky ombré to grown out balyage and finally the all over Elle Woods. I learned very early on that blonde was not something to be tackled by the unskilled. Decoded: do not try this at home. That is, unless you’re willing to tackle a gamble and rock whatever the outcome happens to be *you do you girl*.
I try and get my roots and toner tended to around every 6 weeks, although this might be a little shorter or longer depending on how busy my schedule is and what kind of condition my hair is in. Hair cut wise, I usually get the ends trimmed every other visit and have my layers revisited to either frame my face or add some more body to the cut. As you guys will know I rarely wear my hair any other way the straight-out of the shower air dried (I’ll be honest, that’s only for non-gram days haha) or softly curled with a straightening iron. Therefore my cut has to work for me, and a few layers here and there stop the overall look from being too straight up and down.
But less about the cut, and more about the colour. Last week I headed to Live True London in desperate need of a freshen up and some root management. During my last hair appointment I wanted to try something different so I went for a slightly darker blonde on top, and as much as I did loved the change, I have to admit I was happier when the gloss wore off and I was back to being a bright blonde. I headed to the Clapham branch with one goal in mind: becoming the ice queen of blonde colours. I was booked in with Tatianna, the sassiest of all globe-trotters, who opened up with hedonistic tales of her travels across the US and the *best* places to go for a good party (heads up, it’s L.A.). After pleading with Tatianna to do something - anything - to blend my roots in, she proceeded to tell me that actually, having some roots on show was great for my dark eyebrows and blue eyes, and so she would just blend out the line of regrowth and also lighten the ends for a beachier, sunkissed vibe.
After an hour and a bit of time that poor Tatianna will never get back and what seemed like a million foils, I was all bleached up and ready to set. I did the typically blogger thing of scrolling endlessly through Instagram and pulling out my laptop to catch up on emails, but the team at Live True London were always on hand to offer me cups of tea and magazines which always makes me feel well at home in the salon. A good test of a salon is if when all the initial introductions and holiday chats have passed, they feel comfortable leaving you be and not trying to force chat on you when you just want to unwind. I only work within the communications industry, so sometimes I just don’t want to communicate. Relaxing for me is having quiet time. Whilst my blonde was brewing and I just wanted to zero in on my own little world, the Live True team tended to their other clients, joked with one another and let me fade into the background. Tatianna even asked me if I wanted to take a nap whilst I was sat by the sinks letting my toner develop, to which I obviously said YES.
Now I’ve been a bottle blonde for a good few years now, but even I came away from the appointment having learned some vital new tips for cultivating the perfect blonde.
1: Don’t brush it whilst it wet. As tempting as it may be to go straight in with a tangle teezer (especially, if like me, you actually have a bird’s nest instead of a head of hair), bleached hair is especially prone to damage whilst wet so it’s better to roughly dry with a hairdryer, thoroughly towel dry or air dry first. Then take it slow and be kind to your hair - you have just bleached the shit out of it, remember.
2: Serum is not a treatment. Whilst sitting in the chair Tatianna asked me what treatments I apply and how often, to which I replied, “Well, I put a serum on when I get out of the shower.” “WooOoow, a serum, well done!” she replied with dollops of delicious sarcasm and a sly smile. I thought I was doing just about enough to keep my hair from dying a death, but I need to do more or the condition will just deteriorate massively over time. Time to invest!
3: Not all salon visits will be the same. The colour treatment I need to achieve my #HairGoals are not always going to be the same. Sometimes I might find myself sitting down in the chair to a simple root touch up and half a head of highlights, and another time I’m having a full head of colour with extra bleach at the ends and specially placed colour around the face. Hair grows, toner fades and colours change - every element is affected by time, environment and how you treat your hair, so always asking for the same process won’t necessarily guarantee the same results.
Aside from what I learned in the salon, the most valuable advice I can give for achieving the perfect blonde is to not rush it. You can’t healthily go from brunette to blonde overnight; it took me multiple salon visits, multiple different techniques and multiple different stages of the look I wanted before I finally reached my end goal. Bleached hair is never entirely happy, but you have to do your best to care for it along the way otherwise you’ll end up with a damaged bob before you know it. I do tend to get a lot of questions about my hair cut and colour, so if there’s anything that I haven’t covered in this post, then please do pop a comment down below or find me over at @chloeplumstead on Twitter and Instagram!
This post was sponsored by Live True London, but as a bottle blonde of many years, you can trust that all of the above is 100% genuine.