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There are ubiquitous 'rites of passage' that punctuate all our lives, from that very first kiss to the first time you ride the bus for free as an OAP, there are certain key events that never lose their personal significance, regardless of the fact they happen to most of us.
In the world of hair styling one of the most dramatic of these transitional moments comes when those born with naturally darker locks decide to try life as a blonde for the first time.
Back in 2013, a survey polling 1300 women across the breadth of the UK on hair colour choices revealed that 33 per cent had chosen to permanently swap their brown hair for blonde, making it the most popular colour change option by a significant margin. We think everyone should give blondness a whirl at least once, but it's vital to remember that if you're naturally blessed with truly dark hair and skin tone then this is a look to treat as a bold, upfront statement. In this context you can certainly say that blondness has worked for stars such as Jessica Alba and Rita Ora, but if you're hoping to emulate the soft, subtle 'honey to platinum graduations' that helped transform actresses like Bridget Bardot into icons, then you need to take a reality check right now.
Of course when we say try going blonde at least once, there are plenty of home-kit casualties out there who've bleached and never repeated the experience of leaving their scalps feeling like the surface of a small South Pacific atoll used for atomic weapons testing.
We're going to take an in-depth look at the practicalities and preferred techniques for achieving a professionally blonde transition in part-two of this blog, but beforehand we need to take time to cover the considerations that should be raised in any professional salon consultation, and take a look at some more, and less, successful examples of a bold blonde colour change. So step forward our resident Sevenoaks colour specialist Lilly James.
"If you're seriously thinking about a switch to blonde from a darker natural hair tone then a consultation is crucial, and the more radical the change the more important it is to seek professional advice first" urges Lilly.
"Think about the obvious questions, like whether going blonde will complement or contrast with your skin tone and eye colour, then seriously consider the issues people tend to overlook, such as whether a colour change will work with your current haircut and style, and how much time and effort you're regularly prepared to commit to, in order to keep your colour change properly maintained. After hair undergoes the bleaching process you need to be prepared for regular trims and colour top-ups, not to mention investing in good shampoos and conditioning masks to help prevent colour fade, and keep your hair strong and hydrated."
"We may see people like Kim Kardashian, Katie Price and Tulisa going from dark brown to light blonde overnight," Lilly continues, "but at our salons we certainly don't advise this. Not only does it take hours, more seriously, it puts hair under so much stress it can actually end up breaking."
"As we can see with Kim's recent colour change, this is a drastic alteration, and although public reaction to it might overloaded the internet but it undoubtedly put a similar amount of stress on her hair! I'd recommend something softer for people with Kim's complexion and a less extreme final shade, allowing them to go lighter without having to revisit the salon every month for upkeep."
"When Tulisa went from black to blonde, the result was an unfortunate example of what happens when hair goes from dark to a much too light shade in a rushed process. You can tell this at a glance from the root work and the overly warm chemical-orange tinge to the overall tone."
So take note from part-one of our 'Brunette's Guide To Going Blonde', and in part-two we'll discuss preparation for your blonde transition. We even have the extra treat of an in-depth step-by-step video guide filmed at our Islington salon with director (and all-round hair guru) Billie Crago!