There are two sure ways to score a cool head of blond hair: naturally and not so. While the two blonds give off contrasting styles and moods, you need not hit the sandy dunes of some exotic beach to get the blond you want this season.
In fact, the only way most office-bound men are ever going to look sun kissed is via a trip to a salon. Booking in for an appointment with old friend ‘bleach’, you’ll walk out with a look that says ‘beach’ without actually stepping outdoors.
So, what are the best ways to blond your hair as a man? And, how do you care for your hair as a new blond? We chatted to hair professional, Liam Hubbard from Edwards and Co. salon in Sydney to get his expert opinion on going blond for men.
Most men want natural blond hair when it comes to a summer hair look. “Unless you’re an out their male showing off his fabulous style,” says Hubbard. So, decide what blond style — loud or quiet — you want. And then ask for one of these procedures:
Highlights are achieved using foils. A colourist will select strands of hair, freestyle and apply colour. “It’s a more natural approach, embracing a natural look,” says Hubbard.
The goal of highlights is to lighten the overall look of the hair, letting the dyed strands blend into the rest of the hair. It’s the all-important illusion of having spent time outdoors.
Full Bleach is where there no natural colour remains in the hair as the pigment has been stripped by the bleach. “The hair has been turned into one block colour,” says Hubbard. So, it’s certainly more of a statement look and more obvious change. Of course, the bleach gets toned to the desired blond ‘temperature’, usually to a cool, ice blond.
Sun Kissed is achieved via a freehand bleaching technique. The goal is to create lighter, cooler ends via soft bleaching with a darker root. “This technique is really subtle and makes the hair appear like it’s been lightened from the sun, mostly from being at the beach for a few months (we wish),” says Hubbard. The approach works well with hair that has a bit of length to it – even if it’s just on top, and slightly messy or curly hair.
DIY blond is possible too. However, be warned. “Men can attempt it, but it’s always a gamble and hard to say what the end result will be,” says Hubbard.
lemon juice concoction and the sun. “Just be careful, as the hair can go yellow if left on too long,” says Hubbard.
- Pour into a bowl one cup of lemon juice and half a cup of boiled water. Dunk a chamomile tea bag in, letting it brew for four minutes.
- Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake. Evenly spray (lightly) the mix onto your hair, covering from root to tip, focusing on areas around the face for a more sun-rich look. Let hair dry naturally in the sun.
- Apply a tablespoon of olive oil to moisturise, massaging it into your hair for five minutes, before rinsing. Then, shampoo and conditioner your hair like normal. Repeat to further lighten.
Tip: for a streaky blond, dip a toothbrush into the solution (instead of spraying) and streak the dye through the hair.
Otherwise, Go Pro
Like most hairstyle changes, however, seeking professional help is the best option.
“Men should see a professional to get their hair done because most guys prefer their hair colour to be unrecognisable — a more sun kissed look,” says Hubbard. And if you go to the right hairdresser they can perfect this for you.”
Plus, a professional colourist will be able to give you personalised hair advice that is specific to your hair type, which is crucial for hair health — and therefore, it won’t break or fall out, post-bleach.
But Before You Do…
Think about you skin tone/hair colour and if blond hair will suit your complexion. A subtle change in shade via highlights or foils will suit all skin types. However, platinum — being with its desaturated tone, works on most skin tones, except for olive/dark complexions.
As well as skin, those with very dark or black hair should consider the ‘process’ of going blond.
“The darker the hair the harder it is for this to work,” says Hubbard. It can be a challenge, so seek a consultation with a pro first.
Consider the blond style you want. An all-over bleach is a pretty big statement, but it does signal summer and is a stylish hair move for 2016. For others, you may prefer blond highlights achieved via foils or streaking.
Remember, whatever blond you choose, you’re going to have to face work colleagues, friends and more importantly your partner too, post-salon. So, if your job and personal life requires it, go a subtle blond, not bleach bold.
“And with so many variations of blonde, it’s always best to bring along a photo reference for your stylist,” says Hubbard.
And then there’s after…
Leave other facial hair — such as eyebrows and beards — well alone. “Facial hair gives men definition when going blonde, it can make the colour stand out a lot more and makes them look a lot more manly,” says Hubbard.
So, don’t attempt to bleach your facial hair to match your new blond. Just rock the contrast look, and let the summer sun do the rest.
Cutting your hair has a small role to play too. “Having some length looks great for blond,” says Hubbard. “If short, opt for subtle colour so it doesn’t look too top deck — that is, too blond on top and too dark on bottom.”
A purple shampoo is crucial. Purple is exact opposite of yellow on the colour wheel, which is why it cools the gold/brass tones down. Apply to roots — where it’s most golden usually, and work it through to the ends.
A quality conditioner puts back much needed moisture into the hair. Apply to hair directly after shampooing and leave for a few minutes, as dyed blond hair is dryer than normal hair — again, due to the peroxide stripping moisture from the follicle.
A hair mask is a weekly routine that most fake blonds should incorporate into their grooming routine, especially in your hair is long. It will keep the hair moisturised for the week ahead, stopping split ends from forming, which makes hair look untidy and actually prevents hair from growing due to breakage.
Embrace your regrowth for a blond look that is more natural. The darker roots actually look better than a freshly applied blond, the high lightening as you move along toward the end. If the no-roots look is what you’re after, head back to your colourist every two to three weeks. Sounds like a lot of work, but hey, don’t blonds have more fun?