Managing Blonde Expectations for Summer from a Colorist

I specialize in blonding in Honolulu,Hawaii. As great as it is being sunny all year and having beautiful beaches, blondes are constantly coming to me for the first time and telling me about the unwanted warmth in their hair. To my surprise, most of them have never been consulted on how to take care of and maintain their blonde at home. Here are some of my blondes, formulas and recommendations! 


This client came to me ​with 4 inches of regrowth and golden uneven mid-ends. Her goal was, well, where she is now, the last picture. I had to get really real with her and let her know it will take several sessions to achieve that level of lightness. By the way, when I do consultations I sit on a stool so I am at eye level with the guest and can write out price quotes, take notes of what they are saying, etc. It has made a world of difference! In our consultation I made sure she knew if shes out in the sun and in the ocean her toner will fade faster.  

For end result formula: Aveda 40g Enlightener + 40g 15 vol around the face, 30 vol in back. I painted the 30 vol mix in the ends for added brightness. Tone: 1. 20g ELC + 2g pastel v +2g pastel b + 20 vol, 2. 20g 10n, 20g 0n, +5g pastelv, + 1g pastel b + creme


This client wanted to brighten up her ends which had gone brassy. In our consultation she had asked if the purple conditioner would lighten her ends, which I do get asked form time to time. It does not, it will just neutralize warm tones and deposit (temporarily) cool tones.  Process and formula: highlights;Aveda 40g Enlightener ​+ 40g 20vol, 30vol last section. Toner: 10g 10n, 30g 0n, 4g pastel v, 1g v/b, 1g pastel b, 40g creme


This client wanted a brighter blonde. She said she was having a hard time finding anyone to get her light enough. Solution: tight babylights add on toner and patience​. She loved it! Around the face is what a blonde cares about the most. If that’s not bright the rest doesn’t really matter. Taking smaller sections when weaving will allow the lightener to lift better and evenly. 

Formula: Aveda 40g Enlightener + 40g 20 vol. Toner 10g 10n,+ 30g 0n, 8g pastel v, 1 g pastel b, creme. 


I love creating beachy blonde and texture in Hawaii because the wind with mess with the style anyway! This client wanted to brighten up a bit but not go all the way blonde.​ I left her natural by doing a partial highlight (babylights) with Aveda Enlightener + 15 vol and alternated with ELC, pastel v, 40 vol. No toner. This is a beach girl and  I coached her on not going straight into the ocean after getting her hair done! The cuticles are still raised a bit from being lifted and do not need to be thrashed around in salt water under the sun. 

 Warmth is beautiful when it is controlled and balanced. This guest wanted a sunny, beachy, sandy vibe. I did just about every color service on her. I started by applying a retouch base color with Aveda 40g 7n, 8g b/b, 1g l y/0, 4g l n/n, 40g 15 vol. Right over that,I applied her highlights with 40g Enlightener, 40g 20 vol. I painted on her ends with the Enlightener formula for pops of brightness. I do this for most of my blondes that want a beachy look to mimic what the sun does. After processing I toned with 10g 10n, 30g on, 2g pastel v , 40g creme, cut, and styled. 

The quick tips:
 I always recommend for my blondes to not wash their hair for 1-2 days after a service to allow the cuticles to settle. Dry Shampoo is great as well to make toners last longer  (with in moderation). Purple conditioner tends to contain more pigment to cancel out and cool down warm tones that can settle in between appointments. I always make sure they are using one. Heat protectors like Aveda’s new Thermal Dry Conditioner are important to use for the healthy of the hair before styling with hot tools as well. Best recommendation: Go into an appointment with realistic expectations for where the hair health, color, and texture is currently and set a hair goal to eventually work to and it will be a fun journey!

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