There’s no better time than the sunny season to experiment with a lighter hair color and if you’re curious what it will be like to go blonde over 50, you’re in luck! Hairstylists predict that butter blonde will be trending this season — and for good reason. “People want to look and feel brighter and this warm golden tone in the hair will do just that,” explains Dereq Clark, hair colorist and Wella Professionals Brand Ambassador. “And it can be incorporated into redheads, brunettes and natural blondes.” Bonus? The soft blonde shade complement all skin tones!
Should I go blonde over 50?
Hair colorists agree that going blonde over 50 is not only a great idea, it will help you look more like 40! Sure, you may still have to cover grays, but blonde shades blend best with incoming silvers for a much less noticeable, and lower maintenance look. Plus, as your skin tone lightens with age, so too should your hair color. It creates a less jarring contrast.
How do I go blonde over 50?
The best way to incorporate the trendy shades and go blonde over 50, says Clark, is by choosing the application that will help mask any flaw you want to fix. Fine lines? Grays? Thinning hair? Whether you choose to go all-over blonde or just add in highlights, we’ve got you covered. Here, the 7 best way to go butter blonde over 50. Plus, the best tips for achieving the color at home.
1. All-over blonde highlights
“The mix of a deeper root color and shimmering blond highlights has a contouring effect” says celebrity colorist Nikki Lee. Like a good blush, the highlights help sculpt the face!
To do: Use a hair-painting kit like Clairol Nice ’N Easy Balayage for Blondes (Buy from Amazon, $9.97) and apply onto ½-inch sections of hair throughout. Let sit for 30 minutes; rinse. Next, apply a dye two shades darker than the rest of hair like Schwarzkopf Simply Color in 7.0 Dark Blonde (Buy from Amazon, $23.98) onto roots. Let sit for 30 minutes; rinse.
2. Face-framing blonde highlights
“Bright blond, face-framing highlights pop against warm skin for a look that’s instantly more youthful and energized,” says Mike Petrizzi, hair colorist at the Chris Chase Salon in New York City. And the halo of light created by concentrating streaks around the face directs focus upward, which “lifts” features, counteracting any drooping or sagging.
To do: First, paint the bleach from a highlighting kit like Revlon Color Effects Frost & Glow in Blonde (Buy from CVS, $12.49) onto two 2-inch sections of face from roots to end. Next, apply the bleach onto other, varying one-inch sections of hair around the face, from roots to end.
3. Blonde balayage
The layers of color created by a darker blond base topped with various-sized bright buttery blond highlights trick the eye into seeing a more “solid” mane, says Alexis Van Brandenburg, a colorist at Bangz Salon in Montclair, NJ. Even better? When placed strategically around the face, the highlights reflect onto skin for a wrinkle-blurring glow.
To do: Paint the bleach from a hair-painting kit like Clairol Nice’n Easy Balayage for Blondes (Buy from Walmart, $9.97) onto two 2-inch sections of hair on each side of the face from roots to ends. Then paint remaining bleach onto various ½-inch sections of hair throughout the head.
Bonus: Use a purple conditioner like amika Bust Your Brass Blonde Purple Conditioner (Buy from Sephora, $28) once a week to neutralize brassy tones so blond stays bright.
4. Root-contrasting blonde
The clever contouring effect of shimmering golden blond locks against a darker root color adds a major mane-volumizing dimension, says Petrizzi. Plus, it makes coloring the roots once they grow out or when wanting to conceal incoming grays a cinch!
To do: First, apply a medium golden-blonde dye like AGEbeautiful Permanent Liqui-Creme Hair Color in 8G Medium Golden Blonde (Buy from SallyBeauty.com, $10.99) all over hair and let process. Next, rather than waste an entire box of color, look for a root touch-up kit in a hue two shades darker than the rest of hair like Clairol Permanent Root Touch-Up in 6.5G Lightest Golden Brown (Buy from CVS, $8.99) and apply the formula to roots in one-inch sections; brush through with a wide tooth comb to blend the two shades.
Tip: Twice a month, apply a color-depositing mask like Wella Professionals Color Fresh Mask in Golden Gloss (Buy from Walmart, $26.49). This will help hair maintain its warmth and vibrancy.
5. Sombré blonde
A soft, gradual lightening of hair from just below the roots to the ends draws the eye vertically for a face-narrowing effect.
To do: Try a single-process color formulated with a 60-percent-oil delivery system (like Garnier Olia Oil Powered Color in #7.0-Dark Blonde, (Buy from Target, $9). “Unlike traditional formulas that use harsh ammonia, this uses an ammonia substitute called monoethanolamide, which gently opens the cuticle so the oil can pull the color pigments into the hair cortex,” says celebrity colorist, Kyle White. The oil also helps the color absorb evenly and nourishes the hair. Simply tease one-inch segments of hair, then apply color from the ends up, stopping 2-inch from the roots. This prevents a harsh line of demarcation.
6. Blended blonde babylights
Darker color tends to cast shadows onto the face that magnify under-eye hollows and creases, says celebrity hair colorist Gregory Patterson. But lightening up with superfine highlights helps bounce light onto skin, which instantly blurs and softens “sunken in” spots and wrinkles.
To do: Grab a highlighting kit like Blond Brilliance Highlighting Kit (Buy from SallyBeauty, $18.69) and use the included brush to paint the formula onto various ¼-inch sections around the face from roots to ends. Let process for 30 minutes, then rinse.
7. Strawberry buttery blonde
The soft pink, golden and orange pigments in a strawberry-blonde shade bring out the natural rosy tones in fair skin for a lit-from-within glow, says Petrizzi. This kaleidoscope of colors mimics the appearance of highlights, without the work it takes to apply them, and gives strands a healthy sheen. Perfect for blonde over 50!
To do: Mix equal amounts of both a golden blonde dye and a rose gold blond dye like Better Natured Hair Color in 8G Golden Blonde (Buy from BetterNatured.com, $25) and 8NRG Natural Rose Gold Blonde (Buy from BetterNatured.com, $25), to achieve the most natural-looking strawberry blond. Bonus? These dyes contain hair-hydrating and nourishing coconut oil to reverse brittleness.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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