Always dreamed of golden hair on your wedding day? Going from brunette to blond is a big transition (remember Kim Kardashian's makeover?), so only consider it if you've lightened your hair previously or if you're totally okay with rocking a whole new look on your big day. Then, make sure the transition is gradual — so you can get used to the lighter shade. Colorist Tiffanie Richards of Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City shares her five must-know rules for going blond before your wedding.
Give yourself enough time.
And it does take time! Six months to a year is the ideal amount to transition from brunette to blond, Richards says. You should expect to make the switch fully in two to three appointments — just one time in the chair is too taxing on your hair.
Know the right shade for your skin tone.
For most brunettes, a warm, golden blond is your best bet. Start with caramel highlights, and go brighter each time you go back. "A lot of brunettes make the mistake of asking for "ash blond," because they think warm blond will look brassy," Richards says. "Most brunettes have warm skin tones, though, so golden blond is a better choice. Brassy highlights are due to oxidation, not tone."
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Stay away from lowlights.
Far from balancing out lighter pieces, lowlights can look jarring and streaky against highlights, Richards says. Instead, let your natural hair color act as a base, and build on it with multiple highlights sessions. If you want to go really blond, lighten the base, too.
Keep your bridal hairstyle in mind.
If you'll be wearing an updo, Richards says, ask for highlights around your hairline, and if you're wearing your hair down, make sure you tell your colorist where you're planning to part your hair for your wedding, so she'll know to highlight around it.
Condition, condition, condition!
Lightening your hair over a relatively short period of time puts it at risk for damage, breakage, and dryness, because the lightening process strips hair down and exposes each strand's cuticle. "Don't worry about using a color-treated hair shampoo," Richards says, "since you're taking color from your hair, not depositing it. Instead, look for products that boost moisture." And don't forget to deep-condition every week!