How To Go Bleach Blonde (When Everyone Tells You Not To)

Do blondes have more fun? Perhaps. There’s only one way to find out. Yet, most of the time, people will talk you out of a drastic, bleach blonde look. Screw them. If Taylor Momsen can do it, so can you. Here, tips from Julie Dickson, an expert in achieving light hues and owner of the fabulous Fox and Boy Salon in New York City.How can you tell if a bleach blonde hue will look hot on you?
“Anyone can carry pale blonde tones,” encourages Julie. “It’s important to work with your stylist to determine which tones are right for you.” The truth is that whitish blonde is never a natural look, per se, so if you’re going to do it, you have to just embrace it. Toners allow a stylist to create a variety of looks, so start off by talking about what kind of a girl you are. Julie suggests the following criteria: Are you in a position to change your color according to your mood? Do you have the kind of job where one month you could rock a pale peachy pinky blonde, the next month sandy, and the next month icy? If you are, toners can allow for easier changes because they are adjustable. For the classic look, ask for a creamy beige blonde.

I want to look like Gwen Stefani, how does she get it so perfect?
“Most of the very blonde celebrities seem to have extensions,” says Dickson. Rats. But don’t be dismayed! Getting the right products (both in-salon treatments and at-home care) can make a serious difference in how your color holds up. And again, you have to just be okay with having an edgier look, adds Dickson, “My [processed blonde] hair is ridiculously fine and limp, but I love having pale, cartoon-like hair, and the damage from the process is a good thing for me because the color allows my hair to hold styles by plumping each individual strand.”

What are the risks?
Basically, don’t do the at-home thing where you just pour bleach over your head, especially if you already have processed hair. “Getting any bleach on previously lightened or colored hair will probably break it. Even if you have virgin hair, two separate products are needed for the roots and the ends of the hair to achieve even lightening,” advises Julie. Do your research to find a colorist who specializes in this area and has years of experience.

And upkeep? Groan…
This process isn’t for the lazy (uh, beauty is work, people). Expect an intense upkeep. “A double process, (or bleach and tone) is what is required to get those gorgeous uninterrupted pale tones. You must be in the salon for a retouch every 3-6 weeks. If you wait past six weeks, there is a good chance your color will end up uneven,” says Dickson.

That said…
It’s just hair, and it does grow out if you’re unhappy. However, follow Julie’s advice, and you’re guaranteed to like your look. Once you embrace being blonde, there’s usually a huge enthusiasm that comes with it. With a perfect head of color herself, Dickson would know: “I have a double process and I love it.”