4 expert tips to go from brown to blonde| Salon Secret Africa
Colour Techniques

Time for change: how to go from brown to blonde

21 May 2017
Stylist coloring brown long hair woman in salon
Nicole Vince

Nicole Vince

Hair journalist

Nicole is a hair and beauty journalist with a particular fondness for the latest bright hair colours. There isn't a hair trend or tip unobserved by Nicole.

No matter what your skin complexion, eye or natural hair color is, there’s a shade of blonde out there to suit everyone. However, the journey to blonde is not always a simple one; indeed, the unforgiving nature of oxidation (the discoloration process) sometimes means that stylists cannot grant the blonde wishes of all of their clients, due to the inherent risk of damage. That’s why Matthew Collins, Canadian international hair stylist and L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador, works with Smartbond, a product whose protective additive allows stylists to execute even the most drastic color changes. Keep scrolling to discover the unavoidable steps you need to go blonde the right way.

1. For blonde hair, ask your hair stylist for Smartbond by L’Oréal Professionnel

Transitioning from brunette to blonde can put your tresses under immense stress, as oxidation breaks the disulfide bonds that create keratin (the protein that strengthens hair). However, Matthew Collins explains that using a protective product such as Smartbond by L’Oréal Professionnel during the coloring process will make sure that the health of your strands is not compromised on your journey to blonde.

“Something that’s very worrisome for the models I style is that their hair gets very damaged on a day-to-day basis, so I always want to make sure that I maintain 100% of the hair’s integrity”, Michael notes. “With Smartbond, when I brushed the hair of client who I recently colored, only a tiny handful of strands are pulled out - the average amount that someone loses. Her hair maintained 100% of the integrity and it lightened exactly how I wanted it to - it’s perfect. And the best part is that I don’t have to change my oxidant or processing time” – making it the perfect product for both you and your stylist.

2. Engage in color talk only if you speak the same language as your hairdresser

If you’ve done your blonde research, you will have been exposed to terms such as “warm”, “golden” and “ash” time and time again. However, if you’re not really sure what they mean, refrain from using terms such as these – you could end up leaving your stylist with a look you didn’t quite anticipate.

Salon tip: Stick to words that you’re comfortable with and look to the salon’s color chart for guidance. You can point out the shades that you’re drawn to, and your colorist will advise you accordingly.

Nicole Vince Hair journalist

3. Set an achievable goal

It is fundamental not to rush the coloring process. If you sport very dark locks, you should expect the transformation to take around 3-4 visits, each time ranking up a shade lighter – otherwise, you are bound to cause damage to your hair. At-home maintenance also plays a key role on the road to the shade you want; experts advise regular use of an intensive conditioner between appointments, especially on your ends, which often bear the brunt of hair coloring. Salon tip: We understand that you may desperately crave bleach blonde hair, but it may not be the best way to go for your hair’s health. Dark-haired girls should opt for honey/darker shades, in order to minimize damage.

4. Look after your blonde hair

The journey to blonde doesn’t end at the salon. To maintain the true shade that you walked out the salon’s doors with, it is important to use products that treat blonde hair with the care it needs.


Salon tip: Use a bespoke shampoo for blonde hair – preferably with purple tones, such as Shine Blonde Shampoo from L’Oréal Professionnel – in order to prevent that undesirable orange-tinted glow. As bleach can take its toll, also smooth on a conditioning treatment regularly, such as Kérastase’s Masque Densité – equipped to repair and restore resiliency, daily use of the lightweight gel can restore your locks back to their pre-bleach heyday.


Follow these tips and embark upon your journey to blonde the salon-recommended way. You – and your hair – will thank you later!

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