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When we bumped in to Master Colorist David Stanko at a recent conference, we were shocked (pleasantly). Stanko, know for his masterful makeovers on others, took the plunge and "made-over" himself.

Here he shares the details in his own words:

Some guys buy a motorcycle and others have an affair, but in advance of a landmark birthday, I did what hairdressers do naturally, reinvent! I was just in the mood for a change and partially inspired by the cropped bleached-blonde look seen on everyone from Kanye to Adam Levine to Kristen Stewart and Katy Perry.  So I said why not—it had always been on my bucket list to find out if blondes really have more fun

Now, I’m digging the results and happy I did it. Not only because it was overwhelmingly well-received (except for one Instagram troll), but because now I can empathize first-hand with what other double-processed blondes go through.  Once you go blonde, who knows what’s next? I might go purple or I might repeat my vampire-chic look. What I do know is that the latter takes effort!

For starters, it took eight hours and two salon visits over a five-day period to achieve the look I was going for. That’s why there are so many DIY epic fails on YouTube from clients who tried it at home and then discovered they had to go to a salon to get their home-bleach jobs corrected.

As for what else it takes, here are my tips and insights:

  • Be sure you want to do it!
  • Also, be certain you can handle all the attention. You’ll be in the spotlight for a while.
  • Get a haircut first. Then be prepared to allow for plenty of chair time.
  • Musts include using Redken pH-BONDER #1 in all the lightening mixtures and using Redken pH-BONDER #2  before every infrequent shampoo.
  • Avoid flat irons—they will yellow your hair. Also stick with clear or crème styling products. Colored styling products can discolor your hair.  
  • Enjoy it while you have it! Remember, you can only do this two or three times before the “chemical haircut” reveals itself.

If you’re re ready to go for it, here are the technical details:

1 part Redken Blonde Idol Oil Lightener + 2 parts 20-volume developer + 2 activator packets and  pH-BONDER #1. Process for 50 minutes at room temperature. Then rinse, leave on pH-BONDER #2 for 10 minutes and re-rinse. Shampoo lightly and air dry.

Immediately reapply the same formula and process for an additional 50 minutes. Repeat the post-processing  steps, then rest for three days!

Back in the salon, use Redken Flash Lift and 30-volume developer in back-to-back foils. After processing, rinse, apply pH-BONDER #2 for 10 minutes, re-rinse and lightly shampoo. Tone as desired for 10 minutes.  Live life as a blonde until your next salon visit.

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