Whether you're going platinum blonde, simply lifting not-so-sparkling locks to a brighter version of blonde or attempting to experience the extreme shift of lifting your tresses from brunette to blonde, finding a way to incur minimal damage is essential. The last thing you want is a head full of straw-like hair that looks anything but bombshell brilliant. So consider the necessary steps and tricks to achieving sunshine-laden locks without causing too much harm.
Before you throw a bottle of dye over your hair, prep it for the coloring process. Start by washing your hair, using a deep conditioner and then waiting at least 48 hours before applying color. A freshly washed scalp is stripped of natural oils and therefore more susceptible to injury or irritation, according to "Lucky Magazine." Take a look at your hair color and compare it to your goal color; if your goal is more than two shades lighter than what you currently have, let a professional colorist do the lightening.
Choose Your Best Color
The boxed dyes and limited tools you have at your disposal, when compared with a salon, are not quite as powerful as what you'd experience with professionals. Home dyes tend to result in a brassier finish than the color achieved by a professional who carefully watches and tones your locks. Whether you have a cool or warm complexion, when you're coloring to blonde on your own, reach for neutral or cool colors, skipping warm blondes that may end up in too-yellow or too-orange territory. If you're visiting a salon, ask for multi-dimensional color for believable blonde hair rather than a stark finish.
Take It Slow
Particularly if you have darker hair -- though this applies for everyone -- and you want to go blonde on your own, consider using a box dye once every four to six weeks, lifting your hair a single shade lighter each time, to avoid damage and disaster, "Marie Claire" suggests. If you're visiting your colorist, let him or her lift your color to a middle tone first -- for example, brunettes may need to first transition through red and strawberry-blonde phases during the initial visits before reaching the ideal blonde -- to avoid extreme damage.
Immediate, Regular Care
Once you've achieved that lovely blonde hue, resist the urge to wash and style. Wait a couple of days before washing and conditioning to give your hair a rest. Choose shampoos and conditioners that are made specifically for blonde or color-treated hair; products to keep blondes bright or free of a brassy appearance can help you maintain the precise color you love. In addition, weekly at-home deep conditioning -- followed by leave-in conditioner or heat-protective products if you blow-dry, curl or flat-iron your hair -- helps your tresses remain healthy with minimal damage.