If you have a fickle relationship with your bottle blonde hair, you're not alone. It's complicated. From the shelf life of your dye job to how it complements your skin tone and eye color, getting it right is tough.
Because finding the right synergy with a colorist is 99% of the battle, we looked to Mèche Salon's Matt Rez, the man behind Margot Robbie and Chiara Ferragni's immaculate blonde balayages, for his expertise.
Blondes, here's everything your colorist should be doing to keep you peroxide'd to your heart's content:
1. Working off the inspiration photos you provide. Don't show up to an appointment empty handed! "Everyone's definition of blonde is different—it could be an ash, white, or golden blonde," explains Rez. "So bring in photos of what you want your blonde to be, so that you and your colorist can discuss the tones of that blonde. Then, later we'll know exactly what to lift your color to."
2. Laying the groundwork for smooth grow out. A great colorist is always looking to keep your roots on point—even if less touch-ups for you means less business for them. "They should be considering the natural base color and grow out because of the demarcation that's going to come in a month or two later," says Rez. "I like to keep the top area as close as possible to a client's natural color so that it's a nice fade out."
3. Complementing your eye and skin color. Eye color is so important to Rez it's actually his jumping off point before skin tone. This is because light-eyed women tend to have lighter bases to begin with, thus, can go lighter.
As far as skin tone goes, you'll either lean warm or cool. Neutral blondes complement cool undertones (pink, red, or blue), while golden blondes look best with warmer undertones (yellow, peach, and gold). "If you have a lot of redness to your skin tone, you'll want an ashier blonde," he explains. "If you have olive skin, you'll want to be in the honey and caramel world."
4. Color match your base and brows. The closer your natural hair color is to your brow color, the more graceful your grow out will be. If your base color is going to be lighter than your brows, it shouldn't be obvious. "For a softer look, go no more than two levels lighter than what your natural base is," he says.
5. Lifting your color high enough to avoid brassiness. Brass is blonde enemy number one, and while there are post-salon causes, like sun damage or the hair products you use, the integrity of your dye job has a lot to do with it. "Make sure your colorist lifts you to yellow or pale yellow before you're toned," he instructs. "If you're not lifted there, they're toning you to cancel unwanted orange tones that will eventually fade out."
6. Giving you as much dimension as possible. It's all about the canvas! A shadowed root that matches your natural color, married with balayage highlights, will make your blonde look the most natural.
"For highlights, the color shouldn't be any higher than three to five levels," he explains. "Blondes love to feel blonde, so your front section should be lighter with face-framing highlights. But you always want to keep a nice shadow through the top and interiors so that you have a pop to color."
7. Using Olaplex while they process your hair. Olaplex is a game-changing, hair-strengthening product that rebuilds broken hair bonds while preventing future damage. Over time it strengthens hair and makes it look shinier. "It works miracles!" says Rez.