Tips for going lighter & brighter blonde

Everything you need to know about blonding hair at home

Blonding tips

Whether you want to breathe new life into your blonde locks or make the switch from brunette, these expert tips will help you master the technique at home.

Lighten up! With the right products and a bit of insider know-how, going blonde (or blonder) doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you want to go a shade or two lighter or you’re planning a whole new look, our expert advice will have you turning heads in no time.

How do I find my perfect blonde hair dye shade?

The numbers on hair dye packs can seem like another language. Don’t worry though, we’re here with the cheat sheet to make life easy…

The first number of a hair colour relates to how light or dark the dye will take the hair. Shades range from level one (jet black) to level 10 (very light blonde).

The second number is known as the reflect, and this basically means the colours you can see in the hair when the hair moves, or is caught in sunlight. The reflect can be natural (.0), warm (.3, .4, .5 and .6) or cool (.1 or .2). So, for example, 7.3 is a golden dark blonde shade, and 10.1 is a very light ash blonde.

Top tip: Check the back of the pack for a sneak peek of what the end result will look like, based on your current hair colour.

Remember, you can only lighten your current hair colour by one or two levels with hair dye. If you want to go lighter, you’ll have to use a great bleach product first. We love Garnier Nutrisse D+++ Bleach Maximum Lightener or L’Oréal Paris Preference 9 Extreme Platinum Permanent Dye.

How do I lighten my blonde even more?

If you simply want to lift your blonde locks by a shade or two, the first thing you need to think about is whether you want an ashy or golden tone.

If you are after a cool ashy blonde, try L’Oréal Paris Excellence Cool Creme Ultra Ash Blonde 7.11. For a slightly lighter blonde, with a warmer reflect try Garnier Olia 9.3 Light Blonde, a no ammonia permanent hair dye.

Alternatively, if you want a more natural, creamy baby blonde, try Garnier Nutrisse Baby Blonde 10.01 – it’s Holly Willoughby’s go-to shade!

Not ready to take the plunge with a permanent hair dye? Check out L’Oréal Paris Casting Crème Gloss in Satin Blonde 801. It’s a gorgeous semipermanent shade which will temporarily transform your hair colour.

Found your perfect blonde shade? Skip to the application tips and tricks section below for a step-by-step on how to get your best blonde results.

How do I go from dark hair to blonde?

Ready to switch up your style and go from brunette to blonde? If your hair is naturally dark, you’ll need to use bleach.

This isn’t as scary as it sounds, so long as you use the right products. Garnier Nutrisse D+++ Bleach Maximum Lightener contains a caring bleach formula and anti-yellow conditioner to help keep your hair looking its gorgeous best.

If you want to go from dark to dazzling bright blonde, try L’Oréal Paris Preference 9 Extreme Platinum Permanent Dye – it lifts the hair up to nine levels for the ultimate bleach blonde result.

Once you’ve bleached and used the conditioner to tone your new colour, you should have a bright blonde finish. You can either leave it there, or apply another blonde shade on top to achieve your desired finish.

How do I touch up my dark roots?

No matter how well you maintain your blonde, hair grows and roots are a fact of life. Luckily, there are a couple of options when it comes to covering your roots.

Firstly, you can use a permanent box dye, for a lasting root touch up that matches your current shade. Just remember to follow the instructions on the box (and our step-by-step below), and only
apply the mixture to your roots.

Alternatively, for a quick and easy way to temporarily touch up dark roots, try L’Oréal Paris Magic Re-Touch Blonde Spray. Simply spritz on to conceal your roots.

Hair dye application tips & tricks

Now you’ve found your perfect blonde shade, it’s time to master the application process. Check out our expert tips below for amazing results, every time.

First things first though – any time you dye your hair, you need to make sure you do a patch test first, at least 48 hours beforehand. This is important even if you’ve used the dye before.

1. Always read the instructions on the box before you begin dyeing your hair at home.

2. Open your hair dye box and lay out all your equipment. As well as the items in the box, you’ll also need a towel, hair brush, hair clip and some moisturising cream.

3. Apply the moisturiser to your hairline – this will help stop the dye staining your skin. Next, put the towel over your shoulders.

4. Time to put on your gloves and get mixing! Squeeze both the colourant and the developer cream into the mixing bottle and shake it so they combine. Then immediately remove the cap and begin applying the dye to your hair.

5. Part your hair and apply the product directly and evenly onto your roots. Repeat until all your roots are covered, then apply to the lengths and ends if you’re dying those as well.

6. Leave the hair dye for as long as the instruction leaflet states. Remember, the development time may be different for roots than for the lengths and ends.

7. After the development time, rinse your hair with warm water until the water runs clear.

8. Apply the multi-application conditioner – this will help keep your hair feeling soft and looking shiny.

9. Rinse again until the water runs clear.

10. Finally, towel dry your hair, apply your leave-in conditioner and get ready to rock those locks!