How to dye dark hair blonde for the summer

Emily | 31 May 2016

Learn how to do it right without wreaking havoc on your locks.

Going blonde for the summer is one of the most common hair transformations we face during this particular time of the year. There’s nothing like a head of sun-streaked strands to evoke that beachy, cheery feeling of the season—not to mention to set off that amazing St. Barths tan! For the sultry brunettes out there looking to lighten up their natural shade, there are several tips and tricks to colouring your hair that will not only ensure the best results, but cause less damage on your tresses, as well. A lot of people wonder how to dye dark hair blonde without wreaking too much havoc on their locks, and we’re here to help take you through this fun phase in your life, lengths intact.

How to dye dark hair blonde

how to dye dark hair blonde for summer
Dark hair dyed blonde looks beautiful during the summer. Credit:

Seek a professional

If this is the first time you’re going blonde, we strongly recommend that you go to a salon to see a professional stylist. D.I.Y. blonde box dyes may be cheaper than booking an appointment at that uptown celeb jaunt, but the risk of botching up your dye job increases exponentially if you’ve never done it before, or are working with hair that’s already been coloured—the results can be very unpredictable.

Do your research

Google salons in your price range, ask friends, follow the salon and their stylists on Instagram and Pinterest… anything! Put those renowned ex-girlfriend stalking skills to good use and check out their social media accounts to get a feel of their specialties and trademark techniques. Not only will you can get an idea of their client profiles, but you can maybe even peg some with a similar colouring to yours, so you already have a familiar reference point. Screenshot and bookmark to your heart’s content!

how to dye dark hair blonde
Go for ombre or sombre if you don’t want to commit to regular root touch-ups. Credit:

Speak in layman’s terms

Or better yet, show photos. Stylists are visual creatures, and you’ll have a better chance of getting your point across with one picture rather than dropping phrases like “level 10 platinum” or “flaxen balayage with rose gold tips.” Even if you’re positive you got the terminology down, it’s always better to describe the look you want, e.g. “I need something ashy, because anything too yellow washes me out,” and supplement with image references. Tips: some stylists also find it helpful to see examples of cuts and colours that you don’t want – so they know exactly what to avoid.

Prepare to make that investment

Any good colour job worth raving about will (probably) run you in the triple digits. But seeing as you wear your hair every single day, it’s pretty much the best cost-per-wear return you’ll ever get. It’s not just about the money either: prepare to set aside at least half a day or so for your colour appointment. A couple of hours can turn into six, depending on whether you’ve got virgin or processed hair.

Don’t wash

Keep those natural oils the day you come in, and your stylist will nod in appreciation. The sebum will actually protect your scalp from stinging when bleach is applied to your tresses.

how to dye dark hair blonde if you have dark roots
Opt for balayage or ombre if you have super dark roots. Credit:

Be realistic

If your stylist suggests that you would look better in a shade slightly different from what you set out for, keep an open mind: he/she is taking into account your existing colour and how it will affect your new shade—something we can’t usually envision on our own. If you have really dark hair and want to go very light, or even platinum, be prepared for more than one visit. Don’t force it in one go, as that level of severe bleaching can really traumatise your locks and cause more damage than needs be.

Don’t panic

We had to mention it, because, hey, we’ve been there! Brunettes or redheads, especially those who’ve never seen themselves with blonde hair, may have some apprehensions while they’re sitting there as the colour develops. Trust that you’re in good hands (which you should be, if you’ve done your research!) and the end result looks nothing like that goopy purple mess on your head right now.

Be patient

Going blonde at a salon is a back-and-forth dance of lather, rinse, repeat. Your stylist might also have to do some toning or apply a conditioning treatment directly in the sink after your rinse, so be prepared to wait things out for the perfect end result.

how to dye dark hair blonde
Look after your hair after dyeing it. Credit:

Aftercare is crucial

Now that you’re a brand spankin’ new blonde, ask your stylist for suggestions on the best at-home products that’l help maintain colour vibrancy. You don’t have to walk out of the salon with a busload of the products they sell at the salon either, but at least make a note of what to look for (hint: shampoo for blonde hair, deep-conditioning treatments, shine glosses!).

Try: Toni&Guy Cleanse Shampoo For Blonde Hair (£6.49*)Nourish Conditioner For Blonde Hair (£6.49*) and TIGI S-Factor True Lasting Colour Hair Oil (£20.95*).

Also, let your colour set for 72 hours before washing it, and try not to shampoo as frequently thereafter—get your stylist’s opinion and be open about your lifestyle and current hair care routine as well.

Congrats, blondie, and hello from the lighter side! Now you know how to dye dark hair blonde!


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