Be Happy, Go Blonde

What to know before going blond, and the celebs who wear it well

Style + Beauty Editor

Be Happy, Go Blonde

What to know before pulling the switch, and the celebs who wear it well

-Lois Joy Johnson

Drew BarrymoreSpring is THE time when women who consider going blonde actually do it.

Drew Barrymore and Kate Winslet are blonder once again, and Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts just went blonde for movie (Angie did it with wigs but still!).

Personally, I always think Scarlett Johansson, Nicky Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan look better when they turn on the lights too.

I wasn’t always blonde either, but it took haircolor guru Brad Johns three minutes from the moment we met five years ago to see the golden girl beneath the smoky brunette. Last time I was there, at 8 A.M., his color sanctuary at The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon in New York City was already crammed with blonde-a-holics like artist Cindy Sherman, model Jamie King and loads of adoring clients chatting away recession anxiety as our dark side went down the drain. The late Natasha Richardson and Carolyn Bessette owed their buttery locks to Brad, and so does political analyst Ann Coulter.

Mornings like these make for a very lively meeting of roots and minds. Brad’s advice on maintenance, when to cut, when to add pieces or bangs or grow them out and his calm spiritual vibe make the experience more like glama-therapy.

If you’re brunette and have blonde ambition, here’s what to know:

• Do it gradually. Going from brunette to blonde is an extreme haircolor change. Start by adding a few sunny highlights, then ease into a lighter base color before adding even bolder highlights.

• Let a pro handle the transformation. Adding a few highlights with a kit is easy if you’re a natural dirty blonde shade, and at-home is foolproof for covering grays or just going a shade or two warmer or brighter. But when it comes to serious change, let a skilled colorist narrow the margin of error. Getting the right shade and degree of blondeness without damage is tricky for amateurs. If money is an issue, go the minimalist route.

• Be committed to care and conditioning. Beautiful blonde color needs to be handled like silk not a cotton tee. Moisturizing shampoos, shea butter-rich masks at least once a week, and careful heat styling are all part of the TLC you’ll need to do.

What kind of blonde are you? Know before you trade your shade. Think all blonde hair is alike? As these celeb heads show, there are important shades of difference…

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0 thoughts on “Be Happy, Go Blonde

  1. Is there any way to strip out dark haircolor before you do this? I never understand how a brunette like Queen Latifah can go blonde without it coming out orangey.

  2. celebs with dark hair should get highlights, not go from one extreme to the other. and yes, edgeworth – people with darker hair must first strip their color COMPLETELY before re-dying … the red-orange is a result of red pigmentation in the gentic makeup.

  3. brad johns did my hair once. he looks like an old woman with a ton of work done. but my hair turned out “alright.” i go to rita now… amazing!

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