It’s the season of blonde! We’re seeing tons of celebrities adopting the platinum look this summer, including couple Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson, as well as stars of the upcoming Barbie movie Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

Summer is prime time to sport the lightest blonde hair possible because it mimics and exaggerates how the sun’s UV rays cause a bleaching effect on our natural hair pigment. But before your client takes it upon herself to stand outside in direct sunlight all day (a really bad idea), there are safer, more effective ways to achieve that bleach blonde color.

As an expert in custom color and textured hair, Cosmo Prof Artistic Team member Jon Carlos Delacruz is no stranger to the lightening process. For those clients whose hair can handle it and are begging you for some Barbie blonde vibes this summer, here are Delacruz’s pro tips for safe and effective lightening.

How to Achieve the Lightest Blonde

  • “For both virgin and pre-colored hair, I recommend the best approach for the best blonde is approaching with the mindset – ‘better safe than sorry.’”
  • “Go with a lower developer and take your time and have patience rather than going straight to 40v. It may entail more work but the process to the end results will be safer and more effective.”
  • “This approach may take a couple to a few sessions, but always know that with this approach you are going to get a much healthier result.”
  • “Saturation is also key here - excessive saturation is the only way you'll get a well-balanced lift. The lightener should look like cake batter, and that means a balanced end result.”

Blonde Maintenance at Home

  • “Treat your hair like you do your skin to ensure the best results for longer-term. I recommend washing your hair once a week and using a deep conditioner following to ensure moisturization.”
  • “One mistake a lot of people make and where I still see a lack of education from stylists is with purple shampoo. Purple shampoo should only be used when hair gets brassy as it works as a toner, not a hydration system. Never use your purple shampoo more than once a week or as needed to rid brass from your color.”

Preserving the Color and Protecting the Hair

  • “I recommend picking up Olaplex and/or Moroccanoil products from Cosmo Prof to have on hand for your clients, or clients asking for these products from their stylists, as they provide the best protection. Always remember that Olaplex doesn’t work as a moisturizing system, but helps to bond and repair from the chemical usage on the hair, so the product can be tricky for blondes. This is where the Moroccanoil system is a great secondary option for moisturization. This line is consistent, and I understand it is a ‘heavier’ product, but lightened hair really needs this level of moisture for long-term results.”
  • “As we are in the summer months now, I recommend, of course, always keeping your hair moisturized and hydrated - but try to stay away from going underwater at the pool and beach as much as possible to help preserve your color even longer.”

Remember that it’s essential to be upfront with your clients in setting their expectations. Let them know that you may not be able to get to the color they want within one session, depending on the current state of their hair.

On the same note, not every client’s hair can achieve a level 10 blonde. Some people have hair that is bleach-resistant; others have a higher risk of serious damage to their strands. A person’s lightest achievable level depends on many different factors, such as hair type, texture, porosity, health, and previous color or treatment applications. It all varies by the individual, so you shouldn’t be surprised if one client’s hair turns out differently from another.

As long as you follow the advice of the experts, you can be sure that you’re providing your clients the best summer blonde possible.

You can follow Jon Carlos Delacruz on Instagram @joncarlosdelacruz.

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