Expert tips on going blonde

Blonde is back big time this autumn/winter. Leading colourist, Karine Jackson shares her tips on how to go blonde.

Ever since Brigitte Bardot changed her auburn locks to blonde and Marilyn Monroe peroxided her curls, blonde hair has been associated with sex appeal and glamour. Dark may be sultry; red may be fiery; but from Jackie Collins to E.L. James, it has long been decreed that blondes are what any red-blooded male is ultimately lusting after. From being fair, sweet and softly-spoken, to racy and glamorous, something about the paler tint of hair has had an enduring appeal.

Step into any salon and you will see women sitting under heaters with foil in their hair. Walk into any supermarket or chemists and see row upon row of colouring product. But, going from dark to blonde is never an easy transformation. Colour specialist Karine Jackson, christened ‘the queen of blonde’ by a host of journalists for her faultless colour transformations, gives her tips:

“Going from dark to blonde is always going to be difficult on your hair. If your hair is already coloured you will need to do a complete colour change, and this will entail stripping the colour from the hair as tint will not lighten tint. It might be easier to lighten up in stages, so start with some highlights. This also gives you a chance to get used to being lighter. Use a gentle colour that contains organic ingredients where possible and contains no ammonia. I recommend Organic Colour Systems – it uses heat to open the hair’s cuticles to absorb the colour instead of ammonia so is much less drying.

Generally speaking, going lighter is more damaging than going darker, so you need to give your hair lots of replenishing treatments. Hair either lacks moisture, protein, or a mixture of both. To test the condition of your hair, you can do the “stretch test”. Take about 10 strands of hair and spray with water, hold the hair firmly between both hands and gently pull the hair away from the head, healthy hair should stretch about 30% of its length and then return like an elastic band showing no signs of damage. Hair that stretches and returns is healthy, hair that stretches and does not return to its previous length is weak in protein, and hair that doesn’t stretch is low in moisture.

Make sure a full blonde change is practical to upkeep. If you have an all-over blonde, your roots will need doing every 4 weeks or so – have you got the time and money to do this? If not, go for highlights that are more broken up at the scalp – regrowth is disguised for longer. Blonde hair needs to be cared for properly or it’ll go brassy. Wash once a week with a special blondes shampoo, such as Organic Care Systems Silver Shampoo. Look out for shampoos that are tinged blue or purple – these are best for counteracting any yellowing.

www.karinejackson.co.uk