Sarah Tolan: Dyeing for a lighter shade of hair?

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IF you’re considering lightening up for the summer, then be sure you get the most out of the lighter side of life.

Because altering your hair colour requires a little planning and, depending on your natural hair colour, money too.

Things to consider before going blonde include your skin tone, complexion and the colour of your eyes and eyebrows.

Aside from the Gwen Stefani standout shade of platinum, to keep it looking natural, avoid having the same all-over blonde shade as this can look very harsh. Instead highlights can add a natural-looking depth to hair and always talk to your hairdresser and see what they advise.

Once you’ve gone lighter, prolong your hair colour and keep it looking its best by using the right hair products. US hair brand Color Wow has been specially developed for this purpose.

Available online via the brand’s website, its Colour Security Shampoo is sulphate-free.

Sulphates are standard in most shampoos – it’s what makes them lather. However, in recent years sulphates have got something of a bad name after reports surfaced that these can make curly hair frizzy and damage highlighted hair.

Aveda’s Blue Malva range is one of my favourites for keeping my blonde hair in top condition. The shampoo, £27, and colour conditioner, £20, help to neutralise any brassy tones whilst adding in moisture and brightness and it’s soft enough to use every day without affecting the colour. For those with highlighted or lightened hair, you could also try Aveda’s Camomile Shampoo and Colour Conditioner range.

Improve the appearance of highlights with John Frieda’s Sheer Blonde Brightening Oil Elixir, £9.99, without weighing hair down or making it greasy. The brand’s Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Deep Conditioner, £6.29 is also ideal as a weekly treatment to pep up hair colour. You could also opt to protect colour with Argan+ Colour Care Shampoo, £5.99, and Conditioner, £5.99, available via Waitrose.

Going blonde usually requires more maintenance, particularly when it comes to your roots. But if you do find yourself with roots on show and no appointment with your favourite hairdresser available, then there are ways to get around this. Josh Wood Blending Wands are a non-permanent hair colour product which instantly hides re-growth and any grey. These last up to three washes, so just enough time to get your hair appointment sorted. Buy via M&S, at £12.50 – they are available in four shades.

Beyond your hair shade, ensure your hair is looking tip top with the right shampooing techniques. Dirt and grease tends to build up at the root, so when shampooing begin here, taking the time to cleanse and lather.

Top hairdresser Trevor Sorbie also recommends avoiding lathering in a circular or scrunching motion on top of your head. This is because this can damage the cuticle, cause hair to become tangled and diminish hair shine. Instead, he recommends applying shampoo in the direction of the hair growth to smooth the cuticles down.

A double shampoo can leave hair clean and shiny. But always rinse thoroughly without being too rough with the hair as this can stimulate hair production and make hair greasier.

Depending on your hair type, a conditioner can help keep hair tangle-free, soft and shiny. However, only use from the mid length to the ends and avoid applying this to roots as this can leave hair looking greasy and flat.

The longer you can leave on hair, the better the impact, so if you can, leave it your on hair for a few minutes before combing through and rinsing.

Going into spring and summer you may notice a change in your hair. In a bid to tackle this, Richard Ward, the man behind the Duchess of Cambridge’s locks, has devised specialist seasonal treatment programmes.

Spring is all about deep cleansing, ridding hair and scalp of the effects of winter and restoring and re-energising locks.

Available via QVC, the Richard Ward Seasons Spring Detox Treatment Programme, £24, contains Foaming Clarity Pre-Cleanse, a pre–shampoo treatment to help tackle product build-up, the Pure Clean Shampoo and the Vitamin Rush Shine Spray.

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