Dying Brown Hair Blonde

Dying Brown Hair Blonde: Expert Tips and Things to Know

Roundtable: The Art and Science of Transitioning Brown Hair to Blonde

We assembled some of Gusto's finest hair colorists to delve deep into the intricacies and nuances of lightening brunette hair. They weigh in on techniques, formulations, science, and best practices.

brown hair blonde

Moderator: Let's start with the basics. How feasible is it to lift dark hair to light blonde?

Marie: It's absolutely possible with patience and the right technique. But many factors determine the time frame and number of sessions needed. You must consider the hair's original shade and condition. Expect the process to take months for minimally damaging results.

Kelly: I agree. Rushes and drastic same-day transformations often compromise the hair's integrity. Go slowly and gently. It's like filling a dark room with bright light - you don't flip the switch, but rather adjust the dimmer gradually. Space out appointments by a month or two.

Yiannis: True, but with Olaplex or bonding treatments you can safely speed up the timeline. The technology has improved tremendously. And innovations like balayage and babylights let us paint on color while mostly avoiding the roots and mid-shaft.

Mod: Okay, so it can work. But what about the upkeep?

Marie: That's the catch. Blonde hair is extremely high maintenance. To keep brassiness at bay requires a purple shampoo regimen, regular toning glosses, and visits for touch-ups every 4-6 weeks. You must commit fully to the lifestyle and expense.

Kelly: Absolutely. Plus avoiding chlorine, heat styling, and sun exposure which accelerate fading. For some, the perpetual cost, salon time, and fuss outweigh the appeal of blonde. Maintenance is easier for highlights than all-over lightening though.

Yiannis: I'll play devil's advocate and say shine, dimension, and brighter features make it worthwhile to many. With technology advancing, we can minimize damage. It's about setting realistic expectations - blonde doesn't happen instantly. When done gradually and properly, most can achieve their dream shade.

Moderator: Let's get technical. What is actually happening chemically when you lighten dark hair?

Marie: Great question. Hair lighteners use ingredients like hydrogen peroxide or persulfate salts to oxidize the underlying pigment melanin. When the cuticle opens and melanin degrades, it appears lighter. But this process also weakens bonds.

Kelly: Absolutely. The cysteic acid content is lowered. To visualize it, think of bleach dissolving melanin while roughing up the cuticular structure of each strand, making it porous and fragile. The lighter you go, the more damage potential.

Yiannis: It's a delicate balance. You want to maximize lift while mitigating weakness. This means meticulously formulating the peroxide volume and alkalinity to swell the cuticle just enough without over-processing.

Mod: Tell us about options like balayage and babylights. How do they minimize damage?

Marie: With balayage, we paint the lightener on the mid-lengths to ends freehand, leaving the roots and regrowth area untouched. This imparts a sunkissed look while avoiding overlap at the vulnerable crown.

Kelly: Babylights are done with a micro-weave technique, painting ultra-fine slices of hair rather than full chunks. This means gentler lightening along the entire strand. We can dial down the peroxide volume too. Both methods result in a soft, diffused look.

Yiannis: We also have more ways to support the bonds and proteins while lifting, like Olaplex, Smartbond, jojoba oils, etc. These preserve elasticity and integrity. Plus purple toners counteract undertones. It's an art and a science.

Mod: What aftercare is critical?

Marie: Hydrating masks, leave-ins with ceramides, avoiding shampooing too often, heat protectants, minimal hot tool use. And no chlorine! Those molecules wreak havoc. Maintenance is crucial.

Kelly: We prescribe a speciality purple shampoo and conditioner to use 1-2 times weekly. I instruct clients to shampoo in cool water, use ionic brushes, sleep in a silk cap, and religiously apply masks and serums.

Yiannis: And I can't stress enough - regular gloss and toner appointments are mandatory. Every 4-6 weeks for most. We combat oxidation and banding between lightening sessions. It's a lifelong commitment if you want to stay bright.

Mod: Incredible insights, everyone. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us! This was enlightening, no pun intended.

Lightening your brunette locks to go blonde can be a dramatic change. But with proper technique, care, and maintenance, you can rock lighter hair successfully. Going gradually will protect your strands and keep brassiness at bay. Read on for professional advice on transitioning brown hair to blonde.

Consult With Your Stylist

"Going blonde is a process," says Marie, senior stylist at Gusto Hairdressing. "How long it takes and the steps involved depend on your starting shade and desired end result." Schedule a consultation to formulate a plan.

dying brown hair blonde

Your stylist will consider your brown hair's undertones and condition. They can recommend options like highlights, balayage, all-over color, toners, and bonding treatments. Together, you'll decide on a realistic timeline and budget.

Lift in Stages

"Be patient. Lifting dark hair is challenging," advises Kelly, a Gusto Hairdressing color expert. "Trying to rush dramatic lightening risks damage." Go low and slow by spacing out appointments 6-8 weeks apart.

"Do it in phases, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends first," Kelly suggests. This prevents breakage and allows your hair's health to adjust between sessions. Regular trims will help minimize dryness.

Use Bonding and Masking Treatments

Coloring significantly stresses hair. "Counteract this by reinforcing bonds," says Yiannis, Creative Director at Gusto. He recommends Olaplex or Smartbond to preserve integrity.

Deep conditioning treatments are also key when lifting dark hair. "Masks with protein and moisturising ingredients repair, strengthen, and restore elasticity," Yiannis advises. Pamper hair 24-48 hours before and after lightening.

Pick the Right Blonde Shade

Choosing the right tone for your complexion is key. "Cool, ashier shades complement fair skin with pink undertones," Marie notes. "Warm golden and beige blondes are ideal for those with yellow, olive, or darker complexions."

dying brown hair blonde

Keep your eye color in mind too. "Brown, hazel, and amber eyes really pop against golden blonde," says Kelly. "Blue and green eyes shine with ash blonde." Go for a dimensional look with a mix of highlights and lowlights.

Maintain Tonality Between Appointments

Preserving your expensive blonde colour requires diligence. "Use a purple shampoo and conditioner to cancel brassiness," Yiannis advises. "Even better, get a take-home toning gloss." These deposit pigment to counteract warmth.

dying brown hair blonde

Avoid chlorine, salt water, and hot styling tools which accelerate fading. "Use a UV protecting spray to prevent oxidation," Kelly suggests. Schedule a toner glaze midway between lightening sessions.

Expect a Commitment

"Remember, blonde hair is high maintenance," warns Marie. To stay icy, be prepared to visit your colorist frequently. The grow out period also requires vigilance.

"Schedule a gloss or full highlight refresh every 4-6 weeks," Marie recommends. Regular root touch-ups will keep your hair dimensional. Consistent care is key for healthy, vibrant, lightened locks.

The journey from brown to blonde requires time, money, and dedication. But with an expert stylist guiding the process, you can achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. "Trust your colorist, invest in quality products, and properly care for your hair," summarises Kelly. "You'll turn heads as a ravishing blonde bombshell in no time!"


To book, please call Gusto Hairdressing Salon in Soho on 020 7287 0015 Covent Garden Salon on 020 7836 9163, or Oxford Street Salon on 0207 486 5044. Book online for our Soho Salon, Covent Garden Salon, or Oxford Street Salon.

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