Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A 'Bronde'
The Debrief: Brondes have more fun, guys.
I’ve never dyed my hair. Not really, not properly. I’ve dabbled slightly – DIY highlights one time and ombre the other – but nothing very drastic has ever happened to my dark hair (apart from the time I caught it on fire, aged four). I’ve recently thought about going properly blonde. Like, Gwen Stefani levels of blonde, before realising that I have neither the patience nor the money to maintain platinum locks.
That’s where ‘bronde’ comes in. It’s a bit of a buzz word right now, too with celebs like JLo and Blake Lively opting for it. I recently got my hair ‘bronded’ (and, FYI, I love it) by Jess Gartland, stylist at Myla and Davis, so I picked her brains for the low-down on going bronde. If you fancy swatting up even more, check out Grazia’s top four tips on going bronde, too.
So what’s bronde hair?
Bronde is a mix-up of blonde/brunette so it’s neither one or the other, and it all comes down to technique. ‘It’s achieved using balayage which is a freehand highlighting technique.
How does it differ to standard highlights?
‘If you’re super dark, structured or intense highlights could look quite unnatural and maybe stripy, whereas with this technique it’s much softer.’
What’s so good about it?
‘Balayage is definitely something that can be quite bespoke and tailored to each person which is what I think is so nice about it. It allows for what the client wants and what they feel would suit and you’ve got a lot of control over how far you want to go with it.’
How bronde is bronde?
‘I would usually say, as a rule of thumb, don’t go anymore than two and half to three shades lighter than your natural colour. This will keep it as that subtle, sun-kissed style. If you’re going more than three shades lighter, you’re a blonde!’
How do I let the stylist know what I want?
Show them, and tell them; it’s your hair after all. ‘Pictures are always a great things to bring. Some people think it’s annoying or not useful, but actually it’s really helpful because it makes sure everyone’s on the same page. People are becoming more aware of balayage and so much more clued up.
‘So if you know that’s what you want, it’s definitely a good thing to say, I’ve heard about this technique and I know it gives a softer more natural sunkissed look rather than the traditional foil highlights.’
Is it easy to maintain?
As an extremely lazy person when it comes to hair (and general life), I didn’t want anything that would cause me unnecessary hassle, which is why bronde totally works. ‘The great thing about balayage is that it’s freehand, so it’s quite soft and it doesn’t always necessarily go up to the root area, so you’re not tying yourself into a huge commitment.
‘With other highlighting techniques, especially the structured foiling technique, you get a line when your roots come through and if you go really blonde, there’s always a bit of a contrast with the roots. Instead, this evolves with time and it looks different, but not necessarily in a bad way.’
Should I use a toner?
If you feel like you’ve lost the colour you wanted, for one reason or another, an appointment at your salon to have it toned could help in-between colour appointments. ‘Toners are definitely something that can be used in between appointments if you feel that it’s gone a bit too light or it’s faded or it feels brassy, but it’s always best to come back into the salon. It’s up to the stylist to mix the toner to suit the client and what they want.’
A purple shampoo like John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo, £4, may help eliminate brassy tones too, although the results will vary depending on how light your hair is and, a word of caution – don’t overuse it.
Any other products I need?
‘Colour support shampoos and conditioners help to reduce colour fade and ensure the colour lasts a long time. Bumble and Bumble Colour Minded Shampoo and Conditioner from £23, is amazing and reduces colour fade. If you’re adding colour of any kind it can dry the hair out, so it’s important to make sure your hair is in good condition. The Bumble and Bumble Hairdressers Invisible Oil Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner, from £23 is really nice and nourishing.’
If this is a little on the pricey side, try something like Aussie’s Color Mate Shampoo and Conditioner, £4.19. Bleach’s Reincarnation Mask, £4, is specifically for repairing and moisturising coloured hair, too.
And how long will it last?
‘I would say with balayage, on the whole, it’s whenever you feel like it, but roughly three to six months. It’s a really good cost-effective way of going for a bit of a change!’
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