The expert guide to going from brunette to blonde


DIY bangs, chunky ’90s highlights and shaving off your hair on TikTok have all enjoyed the isolation hairstyle spotlight, but there’s a new hair trend that’s taking over. As recent converts Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowski can attest, what’s better than dramatically emerging from isolation after going from brunette to blonde? (Other than, you know, defunding the police!) Both models have hit the bleach and traded in their usual hair colour for bright, sunshine blonde shades.

Model and activist Ratajkowski debuted her new hair on her Instagram with a video that truly makes us wanna risk it all and go to the light side ourselves. The bright blonde is probably a little lower maintenance than you might initially think, too. She’s kept her roots slightly darker, possibly for the sake of avoiding extra hair salon trips while we’re all still assessing the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

Ratajkowski thanked the hair care line Kérastase in her post, who handled her big transformation as part of their partnership. She must have trusted them a lot because she explained in a recent interview that, “I’ve never coloured my hair or changed the length significantly in my entire life.”

“I just celebrated my birthday and am so happy to be coming out of quarantine with a fresh new look,” she said. “Beauty is meant to be fun and expressive and this is definitely, hands down, the most fun I’ve ever had with my look before.” Well, maybe that old saying is true after all?

Unlike Ratajkowski, Kaia Gerber’s flirted with lighter hair for a while. Now, the model has fully committed to figuring out if blondes have more fun. She’s chatted about her previous quarantine DIY dye-jobs before, explaining to Refinery29 back in April that “I got to the point in quarantine where I was like, I’m either going to cut my hair or dye it.” 

She ended up doing some at-home highlights, which looked great despite her haphazard approach. “I don’t know if I’d recommend this,” she said, “but I just used hydrogen peroxide, a random DIY thing I saw online somewhere.”

It’s not just models going lighter for the U.S. summer either. Fashion gal and YouTube star Emma Chamberlain also debuted a new do just yesterday, check it out here.

Look, we don’t know if there’s a rigorous way to investigate if blondes truly have more fun, but we do know that three is a trend.

If you’ve been hit with the blonde-bug too (sorry if we did that 😬) there are a few very important things you should know about the process and maintenance involved. 

Girlfriend caught up with Rhiannon Dimaria, an expert hairstylist and Revlon Professional Australia Blonde Ambassador to get the expert advice you need. Take a scroll through her IG feed, @hairbyrhie for more glorious inspo.

What should someone know before going from brunette to blonde?

“It’s really important to be honest with your hairdresser about what you’re using on your hair. Some supermarket products or some shampoos and conditioners can react with lightening product. Some people don’t want to tell. You know, when you go to the dentist, and you’re like, have you been flossing and you’re like, “Yeah, sure,” and you haven’t. It’s not like that. We really need to know what’s on the hair so that we can formulate a colour that’s not going to damage the hair at all. That’s the one thing you’re going to be combating the most, the damage that you get from lightening hair.”

“Know that you’re going to have to give a little bit of extra TLC to your hair after it’s been lightened. Your hairdresser should also be quite realistic with you about how much it’s going to cost and how much time it’s going to take.”

How long does it take to go blonde from brunette?

“Sometimes it can take six months to a year to get it to the perfect shade. So a lot of patience is needed and to keep it in the best condition, you’re often better to do it slowly. And yes, it does take a very long time sometimes, depending on how dark you are and if it’s naturally dark or coloured dark. It depends on your current hair condition and how light you’re trying to go, and your expectations as a client as to how long you prefer to wait. It can go through this quite yucky colour in the interim if it’s been coloured a lot over the years.”

“We can do a test strand and see how the hair reacts to lightness, otherwise, after the first go we’ll definitely be able to tell whether you’ll get there at the next session, or you might take three more sessions and they might be spaced out six weeks apart or eight weeks apart, depending on the desired result.”

What can people do to keep their hair healthy during this process?

“Depending on your hair type, you could use something from the Revlon Experience Range, which is amazing for getting the condition in the hair. They’re all tailored to your specific hair types, there’s one for colour, volume, density, things like that. You can also book your appointments so that you’re having a cut and treatment in between colouring sessions to make your hair feel better in between sessions and be able to withstand the lightning process a little bit easier, as well.”

“My biggest thing is to use the Nutri Colour Creme. It’s like a treatment three-in-one colour cocktail that actually has a little bit of pigment in there. Even if you’re in that in-between kind of caramel stage, you can use one of these to keep that tone in there so you don’t keep continually having to come back to the salon to tone it.”

Are there on-going maintenance things people should be aware of?

“We experience pollution and zinc and copper from our taps, all of those things that you don’t really think about, that can really change the colour of your hair. Especially as you go lighter, they can last long hair sucks up everything. The Revlon Magnet range is really good for that, it’s a micellar cleanser. It goes in and magnetically pulls those unwanted particles from your hair, and there’s also a shield spray for every day. A lot of my clients who live in older apartments in Bondi in Sydney experience that build up. One of my clients just moved and I could just tell when she sat down for her consultation, she was like, ‘how did you know?!'”

Is there anyone who shouldn’t go blonde?

“Absolutely. I don’t think it’s worth trying to have a nice colour if you’re not going to have hair on your head three weeks later. It might not even snap off in the salon or break away, but over time your hair does wear down. Especially with things like tying it up when it’s wet. These are all things you need to think about when you go blonde. You’ve got to be prepared for the maintenance and some people just don’t do anything to their hair! You’ve got to look after it like a little pet and make sure it’s always fresh and always treated and so that we can get it to the right colour. Because if you’re not going to do it, then you probably won’t have any hair left to colour in the end.”

So what’s the sustainable way to embark on this journey?

“Really sit down and have a good chat with your hairdresser about what how long it’s going to take and what you need to do in the interim, and just follow their instructions and you’ll get there a lot faster. I think it’s really nice to have that relationship with someone as well and just to let them know that they can get there but it might take one go, it might take five goes and then at least you know and you and you’re prepared for the little transition along the way.”

“Honestly, you get to try five different colours in between going from really dark to really light. So it’s kind of nice to see yourself with all these different tones. You don’t have to just look at the end goal, we can really enjoy the journey. And I think it’s better when people don’t have a huge shock because they think they want to go lighter and then it completely changes your whole complexion, you skin tone, your makeup routine, everything that you do. A lot of my clients actually say, ‘Oh, I’m so glad we did that in between because I wasn’t ready for actually how shocked I would be.'”

Have you noticed any other post-isolation hair trends?

“I think everyone is wanting to chop their hair off. I think they just all got bored of it at home. And we’re like, ‘Man, I want a massive change now.’ So I’ve been doing a lot of big transformations. And a lot of like, I’ve been doing a lot of brunette to blonde lately. I think everyone’s just like, ‘yeah, I’m ready.'”

Idk about you, but we’re ready. 👱‍♀️

The Best Hair Violet Hair Products

John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Shampoo for Blondes 250 mL, $17.99 from Priceline.

John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Shampoo for Blondes

John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Conditioner for Blondes 250mL, $17.99 from Priceline.

John Frieda Violet Crush Purple Conditioner for Blondes 250mL

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