A Guide To Going Blonde (Safely) For Black And Brown Folks

What to know before lightening your strands.

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Honey blonde is one of the biggest hair color trends this season. It Girls all around — from Kylie and Kendall Jenner to Hailey Bieber — have been opting for the golden hue shade for their hair and loving every minute of it. While some may be ready to hit the salon or already searching for the right box color without a second thought, the switch to blonde oftentimes takes more consideration for Black and Brown folks.

When it comes to dying hair, especially as light of a color as blonde, there's a lot of factors to take into consideration from bleaching and toning but even more so your type of hair. For people of color who typically have a tighter curl pattern than most, altering their hair even the slightest bit can cause a whirlwind of change and damage to their strands.

Wanting to take every right precaution available we reached out to amika hair Pro Educator and hair colorist Jamie Brice. From understanding where and how to start to maintaining both color and texture, heres what every Black and Brown girl should know before going blonde.

Find an Experienced Colorist

First things first is to find a hair stylist or colorist who specifically understands your hair and has experience coloring it. While coloring hair step by step can seem the same across the board, it's important to seek out a hairstylist who has the qualifications to take achieve the color and lightness your after while not damaging it.

Be Realistic and Know the Risks

It's also very important to be quite realistic with yourself and your hair. Brice can't stress this enough, "[be] realistic with yourself about the current condition of your hair," she tells NYLON. "If you have been coloring your hair dark for a while or already have previous damage to your hair it is extremely important that you understand that it is possible that you may not be able to achieve the level of lightness that you’re going for especially without experiencing some level of damage."

Having already damaged hair or just extremely dark hair in general can alter the results of the color you're after while leaving your hair even more damaged than before. Brice recommends finding multiple inspiration photos of the look that you’re going for so this way both you and your hairstylist can be on the same page about the overall outcome that you desire. Now, if that is the risk you're willing to take then it's time to find the right hue of blonde for you.

Find Your Shade

Although being blonde is allegedly more fun, as well as super trendy right now, you'll want to find the right shade of blonde that works for your skin tone as well as your hair type. It's also important to be mindful of the maintenance that such a shade requires. "A blonde moment can be very high maintenance, costly and sometimes pretty damaging to the hair if the appropriate tone is not selected," explains Brice. She recommends staying on the warmer side of the spectrum such as the ever-so-popular honey blonde. "Selecting a warmer tone will help to keep the hair as healthy as possible while giving you the blonde look you’re going for," Brice tells us.

Be Mindful of Your Texture

But for the girls who are interested in going the super platinum route, Brice warns to be prepared for some real damage. "Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to avoid damaging coarser textures and when going this light," Brice shares. Adding such a light color in an access amount to natural or textured hair can loosen your curl pattern while drying out moisture leaving your strands very brittle to the touch. If an icy-hued platinum blonde color is what you're after, Brice recommends considering a "super cute pixie or a shorter do’," for if and when your strands have become damaged.

Should you be opting to dye your hair DIY-style at home, below are some tried-and-true options for textured hair.

Prep & Protect Your Hair

Last but not least, the most important step is to prep your hair for receiving color. As stated before, adding color to your hair can cause some serious damage, especially those with tighter curls and coils. It's very important to prepare your hair weeks in advance to make sure it's as healthy as possible. Brice recommends doing deep conditioning treatments weekly as well as wearing your hair in protective styles, such as braids or twists to protect your hair from an unnecessary manipulating or heat damage. She also recommends looking into bond building treatments that help preps and primes hair for a service.

Opt For A Wig

Whether you're not ready for the commitment just yet, or the possibility of irreparable damage is too much to think about, opting for a wig is a welcomed (and popular) choice for Black and Brown folks looking to go blonde. With so many options on the market today, you're able to chose the exact shade, style, length, and price you're looking for.

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