We asked celebrity colorist and blonde expert Rick Wellman of Patrick Melville Salon in New York what it takes to get the perfect blonde hair color -- and he should know! He's worked with two of the most sought after blonde manes in Hollywood: Heidi Klum and Blake Lively. Here's what he says are the 10 things you need to know before going blonde.
What is your blonde budget?Going blonde requires maintenance. If you are going to do it, make sure you can afford the upkeep every four to 12 weeks, depending on the desired blondness and your existing natural color.
Be aware of your natural level of colorImagine hair color range to be from one to 12, one being the darkest level of black and twelve the lightest blonde. It may be a long time before you see your natural hair color again or even remember it. It is rare that anyone over the age of 16 actually has a natural level lighter than a seven.
Be ready to upgrade and change your shampoo and conditioner routineTypically, going blonde requires higher levels of ammonia or bleaching products. You will notice a texture change in your hair that most likely will require less shampooing and more conditioning. I recommend finding a gentler sulfate free shampoo and a reconstructive treatment mask.
Find a blonde color specialistBe on the lookout for someone whose color you admire. Approach them and inquire "Who does your color?" Don't be afraid to ask someone that same question whose color you think is hideous, so you know where not to go. If your colorist pulls out a crochet hook and a plastic cap, reschedule with someone else.
Know how blonde you want to goThere are many different shades of blonde to choose from. Be aware of cool and warm shades and which one compliments your skin best. Bring pictures of blondes you like (and even you don't like) to your colorist. Make sure they are realistic and not in black or white. Keep in mind, blondes will look different depending on the surrounding light.
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