Turning your black hair blonde at home may be easier than you think. We've contacted some of the best stylists in the country to get their tips for taking Asian hair from natural black to bombshell blonde.
One of the best ways to make a successful transition to blonde is by choosing the right color for your skin and your overall look. Jason Backe, lead colorist and director at Ted Gibson Salon, says that the best blonde to complement Asian skin tones entails cool or ash-based tones. "Too much gold against most Asian complexions can look brassy or cheap, and nobody wants that," says Backe.
Nicholas DiGenova, creative director and mentor stylist for Mania's Hairstyling in Park Ridge, NJ, lists these color versions as best for Asian women:
Copper Blonde: This color is very popular and gives great dimension to most styles.
Caramel or Medium Blonde: Perfect for a more conservative, low-key look.
Champagne Blonde: If you're looking to really stand out, then this ultra-light color is perfect for you.
Jumping from black to blonde can be a drastic change, especially if you are doing it yourself. Celebrity stylist and beauty expert Billy Lowe suggests gradually easing into blonde instead of doing an allover coloring. The best way to go blonde gradually, says Lowe, is by using highlights. Here's how:
Choose a soft caramel tone.
Following the box's directions, apply narrow highlights for softer blending with your natural color and less obvious roots. Avoid chunky highlights. They look unnatural and will make your roots stand out.
Place the highlights 1/8 inch away from the center part so regrowth is more concealed.
If you are a full-commitment kind of girl, Jason Backe says to combine an allover color with highlights to get the best look. "I love a single process that will lift the hair to a neutral dark blonde followed by a full head of highlights," says Backe.
Since Asian hair is coarse, changing the base color with a box of at-home hair coloring can be a challenge. The best thing to do is to visit your local beauty supply store to purchase professional hair dyes with stronger peroxide.
If you simply must use coloring from a box, it may take longer processing times to get your hair the color you want. The longer the coloring is in your hair, the more likely it is that your hair will get fried, though.
To avoid damage, grab a tissue and wipe a little coloring from a strand of hair when the suggested processing time shown on the box is up. If the color isn't quite right yet, work the strand back into the mass of color-coated hair and try again with a different strand in a couple more minutes. Remember, hair is lighter when it's dry, so wash out the coloring when your hair is a little darker than you want.
When the base color is done, you can add highlights by following the directions on the highlighting box. Once again, you may need to leave the coloring in longer to get the color you want. Don't forget to do a strand test every few minutes to prevent hair damage and to ensure the best color results.
If you use these tips, your hair will become a beautiful blonde that will be turning heads in no time.
Alina Bradford is a former award-winning beauty consultant whose clients included women of all ethnicities. Today, she is a beauty and fitness writer with more than a decade's worth of experience. Her work has been featured in publications such as Modern Mom, Prevention's Buzz Blogs and Tots to Teens.