Mideast blond craze: How to dye your hair with stunning results

The first blond appeared 11,000 years ago, according to research, and ever since then, they’ve been having more fun

Emily Jardine

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The first blond appeared 11,000 years ago, according to research, and ever since then, they’ve been having more fun.

The hair color has gained traction in the Middle East and one wouldn’t be hard pressed to find fresh-from-the-salon blondies in cafes and clubs across the region.

Besides being a fun change in hair color, Nick Collins notes in the Telegraph, “a study in the journal Economics Letters reported that having blond hair boosts pay by £1,600 ($1,999) a year for a woman earning £22,000 ($27,482) a year – the average salary in Britain.” As Dr. Elizabeth McClintock writes in her article for Psychology Today, “like prior research, I find that blond women (and perhaps blond men) indeed enjoy higher earnings, net of educational attainment and hours worked.”

But only two percent of the world are natural blonds. So what are the options for the other 98 percent? Going blond may sound appealing, especially when considering all the benefits of being blond. But what should one keep in mind before taking the plunge?

We spoke with Dubai-based stylist Helen Marsh of Chill Salon. She has been working with hair for more than 20 years and has helped countless women transition to blond. The lowdown on going blond is that yes, blond is for everyone but before you go blond, it’s important to know what you’re signing up for.

“Blond is for everybody. The shade of blond that is going to look best on you just depends on your skin tone and eye color and your natural base shade,” says Marsh. So even if you’ve got your heart set on a certain shade, hold out until you get the chance to talk to your stylist before committing.

The time it takes to get to your ideal shade of blond also depends on where you’re starting. “If you’ve got naturally black hair, you’re not going to be platinum in one sitting. It’s going to take time; you can’t walk in and walk out with the shade you want,” says Marsh. So make sure you prepare yourself for the process of becoming blond - it’s an investment in time and in money.

The first step after you’ve decided to go blond is find a picture of the shade you want. It’s critical to go in with an image. After you’ve identified your shade of blond, book a consultation with your stylist. “Make sure you have a consultation; this should be complementary,” says Marsh. “And make sure that you listen to your stylist during your consultation because you might come with a picture that might not be the best for you. Your stylist has the experience to know what shade is the best for you.”

Also be careful when trying to describe the shade that you want. “Not everyone can be ‘ash’ and ‘warm’ so be careful using terminology because these words can mean something different to a stylist,” explains Marsh.

The worst thing to do if you’re thinking about going blond is to do it yourself. Stay away from box colors because what might seem like a smart financial choice can end up breaking not just your hair but the bank as well if you need to have the color corrected.

“Coloring it yourself is a big mistake because not only will you damage your hair, you’re not going to achieve the right look because you have no idea what the end result that box of color on your hair will turn out to be,” Marsh warns.

The financial aspect is critical to consider as well. Blonde is not a one and done type of commitment. “Once you go blond, there is a commitment financially with the treatments, and color which you have to take into consideration,” says Marsh. “The initial cost depends on the length and the original color. Blacks and reds are the hardest to transition to blond because you have to kill that pigment in the hair.”

Once you’ve gone blond, you need to invest in special shampoos and treatments as the texture and condition of your hair will change. “Typically going blond requires high levels of ammonia or bleaching products and you’ll notice a change in the texture of your hair,” explains Marsh. “This is why I recommend that you use sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoos. You can also use a silver shampoo; blond hair can look dull and dirty but these kinds of shampoos refresh the hair in between visits to your stylist.”

So how much for blond? Depending on where you’re starting, going blond can cost anywhere from $130 to $350. The upkeep can be approximately $130 - $200 per visit, and that’s not including a hair-cut.

Marsh adds, “blondes not only have more fun, they are more fun!” So take the plunge and dare to go blond.

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