Why 2016 is the year of bleach blonde hair

Arianna | 18 May 2016

This year, bleach makes a comeback…

It’s true, 2016 is officially the year of bleach blonde hair. How do we know? Well, in the past few months we’ve seen superstar celebrities like Taylor Swift debut bleached locks (remember that Coachella ‘bleachella’ hairdo?). Plus, it was only a few months ago that trendsetter Kim Kardashian West shocked everyone when she posted a picture on her Instagram page sporting bright platinum blonde hair – a far cry from her trademark sultry black tresses. In doing so, she sparked a huge trend that saw women everywhere opt for a dramatic hair transition: changing up their dark locks for much bolder, lightning bolt hair colours. Well, 2016 is the year of change, after all.

But Taylor and Kim can’t take all of the limelight: Gwen Stefani, AKA the queen of bleach blonde hair, practically invented this hue. Famous for her bleached, pin-up-inspired locks, Gwen is definitely one of our ultimate bleach blonde hair idols – and boy, does she wear it well.

bleach blonde hair gwen stefani getty
Bleach blonde hair: Gwen Stefani. Credit: Getty Images

As we all know, bleach blonde hair isn’t the easiest of looks to pull off. So, it’s important that, with the help of a stylist, you work out the perfect shade of blonde that suits your skin tone and eyebrow colouring, otherwise you could end up looking washed out.

Take a leaf out of Kim Kardashian West’s book: while her bleach blonde tresses nod towards Hollywood glamour, her platinum colour features a medley of different tones. And notice how although her colour is strikingly light, her hairdresser still managed to make it work with her dark brown brows.

However, luckily for Kim, her blonde wig doesn’t need much maintenance, unlike real hair. So if you’ve committed to bleaching your mane, we suggest you brush up on our tips for maintaining healthier-looking locks and colour vibrancy for longer, below.

Tips and tricks for maintaining bleach blonde hair

The process of getting bleach blonde hair is long, especially if you’re starting off with a very dark base. Once you’ve finally achieved your desired colour, you may well find that your hair is drier and more damaged than before. To keep your hair in tip-top condition, and to help maintain the vibrancy of your colour, there’s a few things that you can do.

Bleach blonde hair Kim Kardashian
Bleach blonde hair: Kim Kardashian. Credit: Getty Images

Tip 1: Use a shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair

Instead of using your normal shampoo and conditioner, swap in formulas that have been specifically designed for blonde hair, like the Toni&Guy Shampoo For Blonde (£6.49*) and Conditioner (£6.49*). This duo will help to maintain the vibrancy of your blonde hue and add shine to dull strands.

Tip 2: Deep condition your hair once a week

Deep conditioners can work wonders on coloured and/or bleached hair, as they help to coat your strands with moisture to keep them hydrated. If your hair’s very damaged from the bleaching process, then it’s super important you treat your tresses to a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week. Trust us, your mane will thank you!

Read more on how to deep condition your hair and the dos and don’ts of deep conditioning now.

Tip 3: Avoid excessive exposure to sun and chlorine

It may sound obvious, but avoiding over-exposure to the sun and chlorine during the summer months can also help to maintain colour vibrancy for longer. You’ve probably heard many horror stories about bleach blonde hair turning green when exposed to chlorine, but don’t panic: not all types of bleach react with chlorine in that way, although some can cause blonde hair to change colour.

Unilever creative director and head stylist Dan Lynes advises that “wearing a swimming cap will massively reduce contact with the chlorine, and thus hugely reduce the risk of having blonde hair turn green.”

However, realistically, we don’t see many of you opting for a swimming cap while in St. Tropez, so our advice is just to be sensible. Try and minimise your hair’s contact with chlorine and beware not to sit under direct sunlight for too long in order to help maintain your colour vibrancy. Or you could just invest in a big, glamorous floppy straw hat and win extra sartorial points, too!


Sleek and sophisticated

Jennifer Lawrence’s straight, subtly layered lob gives bleach blonde an elegant spin.

Futuristic and fierce

Teamed with fierce bangs and a bold lip, Taylor Swift really makes bleach blonde a statement.


*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.


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