Going Dark to Blonde: What You Really Need to Know

We all wish we could change our hair color from dark to light faster than a pop star. But — no matter how convincing bond builders may seem — the reality is that going from dark to blonde is a chemically intense process with the potential to wreck our mane. Even though we like to think of our hair as a canvas, it’s actually just our hair. We checked in with color queen and Redken Brand Ambassador Cassondra Kaeding to find out what we can’t be glossed over when going from dark to light.

No One Goes Blonde Overnight

The most common misconception about turning hair from black or brown to super blonde, according to Cassondra, is that all it takes is one appointment. Instead, she explains, “major lightening services are a long, intensive process,” meaning going blonde is a commitment and time intensive – you have to really want it and be willing to put in the work.

Before making the transition to blonde, you want your hair to be in a good place – the worst thing for your mane would be breakage from bleach. “Realistically, a colorist would love for the client’s hair to be virgin, but nowadays this is rarely the case,” explains Cassondra. “Going from dark to light can be strenuous on the hair so it’s important to take hair supplements and use products that are color safe and moisturizing. I recommend Redken Color Extend Blondage ShampooConditioner and Mask for my blonde clients and a strengthening leave-in treatment like Redken Extreme Play Safe, which protects the hair from up to 450 degrees,” she explains.

Your Color History Is Super Important

Unfortunately, going blonde isn’t for everyone – there are certain people who should just avoid it altogether.  “Someone who has overprocessed, permed hair or chemically straightened hair,” says Cass, should probably steer clear of bleach.

Your Salon Time Will Vary

You can’t totally predict the time going from dark to blonde takes or the number of trips you’ll be making to the salon. “Time will vary per client, as it really depends on how dark their natural hair color is and their desired hair color,” says Cassondra. “I always tell my clients that it takes two sittings to get the color right. You also may need one to two more follow up appointments for fine-tuning,” she continues.

Gloss In-Between

It’s easy to forget because it happens so gradually, but your hair color is continuously changing, which Cass explains is due to the impact of heat styling, sun exposure, how often you wash your hair and the type of products that you are using. “The key is to spread out the process to keep the integrity of your hair,” she says. Cass recommends a Redken Shades EQ Gloss treatment to her clients to keep their color looking bright, healthy full of shine in-between their color appointments.

If your hair is already loaded up with years of dark hair dye, again, Cass stresses that you should take your time. “During each color appointment, go one level lighter than the last,” she says “Taking out harsh dark hair colors requires using lightener and stripping agents, so it’s best to take baby steps.”

Blonde For Everyone

Though there actually is such a thing as not being able to achieve platinum blonde, if you’re working with the right colorist and can put in the time then, generally, where there’s a will, there’s a way. “If all the correct steps are taken, you can achieve a high-level blonde and still keep the integrity of your hair,” says Cass. “Make sure that you speak to a professional and set up a consultation so colorist can tell you realistically if you’re are a candidate for this process,” she advises.

Can’t go blonde? There’s a bronde for every skintone HERE.

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