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The first, and perhaps most important, tip: do not try this at home. Blondes might have more fun, but they do so under the supervision of a professional. We spoke to hairstylist Ernesto Garcia from The Harlot Salon in Los Angeles about some do's and don'ts when it comes to bleaching hair. In terms of his process (in hairdresser speak) Garcia says, "When bleaching hair, I like to start with a low developer and when reaching towards the end, end with a higher developer."
He also recommends changing the color gradually as opposed to trying to slam it all together in one salon visit. "Don't bleach or highlight your hair in one day, to maintain the integrity of your hair." Again, be sure to work with a stylist you feel comfortable with who knows your hair.
Once you've left the chair, it's on you to keep your blonde game strong. Garcia told us, "After a color service, I recommend not washing your hair for a couple of days just so that your hair can soak up the color, making it last longer." You'll get your money's worth from that salon visit this way too!
When it is time to wash your hair, Garcia suggests conditioning with care. "After bleaching or highlighting, always deep condition the hair," he says. A hair mask like our Mane Goals Deep Repair Mask works well as a weekly deep conditioning treatment for all hair types.
How you wash your hair as a blonde or highlighted brunette makes a huge difference. Garcia suggests using a color protecting shampoo and conditioner to make your hair color last longer. Further, certain shampoos can be better for specific shades. "For the blondes that like to stay in the cool tones/ashy, I recommend a purple shampoo," says Garcia.
There are also styling products specifically designed to help repair dry or damaged hair. For example, the NuMe Not Your Basic Ends Sealer reduces breakage and nourishes locks when applied sparingly to the ends of hair once it's dry. And our Rise and Prime Hair Primer is a one-stop-shop for moisturizing, preventing breakage and protecting hair from the elements.
Blonde, honey colored-hair, or anything in between looks best when it's shiny, which is why we'd also make sure to have a shine enhancer ready after you go lighter. Consider a serum like our Sleeky in a Bottle or a hair oil along the lines of the White Truffle Serum (both can be applied to either wet or dry hair), and you'll see a difference before and after, and combat dullness.
Sometimes the water coming out of your faucet can make or break the health of your hair, especially if it's been bleached or highlighted. Depending on where you live, the water quality can vary. So that's why a lot of stylists who deal with colored hair recommend a filter for the shower you use to wash your hair. They even sell special attachments at spots including ULTA. Garcia agrees on the benefits of home shower filters, confirming they "will help your hair color stay longer and make your skin much softer." So you better filter up before you lighten up.
Bleaching or highlighting takes patience and attention to detail. Keep these suggestions in mind if you're thinking about going blonde. You can find Ernesto Garcia on Instagram @ernestogarcia222! For more hair inspo, follow us @NuMeHair on Instagram. Sign up for our NuMe Rewards & Loyalty Program to earn points so that you'll be on your way to achieving gifts, products, tools, and even tickets to exclusive NuMe events!
Author: Mary Patterson Broome