Every spring, I face the same issue – should I go blonde, once and for all? The decision to dye your hair blonde is a big one, especially if your natural color is dark. There is also time, money and style to consider. Naturally dark-haired celebrities from Nicole Richie to Beyonce have been rocking blonde locks and looking great doing it. But can a regular woman switch to this lighter hue gracefully?
Will the color look good on me? Yes, blondes have more fun, but that doesn’t mean that they look good while doing it. (Jessica Alba, anyone?) Brad Johns, global color director for Clairol, told Marie Claire that women who were blonde as children usually have the right skin tone to pull it off now. The same goes if your locks get lighter in the sun. Even if blonde will be a natural fit for your skin tone, stick with a cooler shade if you are doing it from a box. Stay away from anything marked "golden" or "honey," as these indicate warmer tones that can come out orangey if done incorrectly. You should also stay away from platinum unless you are working with a professional.
Will it cost me a fortune to maintain? Blonde hair requires major upkeep. If your hair is naturally dark, your little brunette secret will undoubtedly be exposed when your roots grow out. (Of course, you can always just let it go wild and call it ombre.) Since hair grows about a half-inch every three months, you may want to get regular touch-ups, which means shelling out between $75 and $100 every few months. You can also try some tricks to hide dark roots – hats, anyone?
What can I expect with blonde hair? If you go several hues lighter than your natural color, your hair might become dry or dull, so you will need to avoid any hair products that list alcohol in the ingredients. You will also want to invest in shampoos and conditioning treatments that will nourish your strands while keeping the color fresh. Many blonde-specific shampoos have ingredients to remove build-up that can darken blonde hair. John Freida's Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Enhancing Shampoo, for instance, has honey and oatmeal to cleanse hair in this way. Others have citrus extracts to improve the clarity of blonde hair, or UV protection to protect against sun damage. Conditioners should nourish hair that may be dried out from the dye's chemicals.
You can also expect to get some looks – and more attention from men – if you go blonde. If you have always felt like blonde is the true you, spring is the perfect time to lighten up and get a fresh start.