Love her or loathe her, Kim Kardashian can get a beauty trend rolling with more momentum than most. However, you may want to put the brakes on trying her latest foray into hair colour, Emma Bangay discovers.
Not everyone can simply go bleach blonde, warns acclaimed Australian hair colourist, Malarie Cox. “It depends greatly on the existing colour – both natural and chemical – in the hair, the density and texture of hair and most importantly the condition of hair,” she notes.
Here are Malarie’s cautions and considerations if you are hoping to replicate Kim’s bleached blonde hue!
1. Consider the upkeep
“Bleaching hair blonde can prove expensive to upkeep and also cause major damage to hair condition,” Malarie says. “You must do your research when considering such a dramatic colour change as the lightening process is a very intense service, so when done incorrectly or poorly it can create hair problems which will continue long after a trend has gone out of style," she says.
2. It Won’t Happen Overnight. Ever.
“What’s difficult as a colourist is when celebrities have dramatic ‘overnight’ colour change and clients think they can have it also,” she says. “What they don’t understand is that it is a process and it takes time.”
Malarie explains that all hair has an underlying pigment colour - with dark hair that is either red or orange - so your colourist has to “push past these colour stages” to be able to reach the desired shade to bleach. Therefore, bleaching your hair may have to be done in several visits to your salon, she suggests. “When aiming for something like Kim’s colour, if the natural hair is black or brown, you may just have to settle for wearing something a little warmer or more toffee tones between salon visits.”
3. Only invest in the best
Being in the industry for over 15 years, Malarie can’t stress enough how important it is for a client to do their research before committing to a colorist to create a dramatic colour change. “You need a highly educated colourist with a wealth of knowledge that can deliver,” she says. “Reputation is everything so go by word of mouth alongside experience, and never trust a colourist that promises brunette-to-bleach results in one salon visit! This in itself is enough to make anyone nervous!” she says. “Beware the ‘over-promising/under-delivering hairdresser!”
4. Products are a priority
What colouring brand does your salon work with? Malarie advises asking the question before you take a seat in the swivel chair. “Cheap and nasty brands deliver cheap and nasty results,” she says. Malarie works with Wella. “I will never work with anything else. Their products deliver and give guaranteed results every time,” she says.
5. Hatch a hair colour plan
Although she is quick to caution clients, Malarie is a blonde herself and a huge believer that it is an achievable shade for all – on some level - but only with a plan in place. “As a colourist, the condition of the hair is my top priority, so I will work to a plan with clients considering the hair tone they already have, not a quick-fix ‘one shade suits all’ approach.”
6. Consider texture
“The best hair type for platinum results is medium to fine hair,” says Malarie. “Coarse and curly hair is harder to lighten as it will change the texture of the hair shaft. Furthermore, with black Asian hair it’s very hard to remove the existing black pigment altogether,” to achieve a successful bleached blonde, she says.
7. Switch up your shampoo
You will also have to invest in a professional range of shampoo, conditioners, weekly treatments and heat protectants designed for bleached hair, notes Malarie. “This is in addition to visiting your colourist for a toner (to take out any yellow tinge) every few weeks and having a trim of the hair each 6 – 8 weeks.”
8. Farewell your former hair
Not happy with your white hair? Bleach can be corrected in the ‘colour correction’ process – again, not in one visit – but your hair will never return to its former condition, warns Malarie. “Brunette hair reflects light so it will always appear glossy, whereas blonde hair does not, so you will also have to invest in gloss products to keep the gleam factor up.”