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What is the trend?

Today, platinum blond has become trending which highlights have fallen out of favor.

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Kim Kardashian may have borrowed the dress she wore to the Met Gala in May (much to the dismay of her fans), but her platinum blonde hair was all her own. Not an easy feat, apparently it took Kardashian’s hairstylist Chris Appleton fourteen hours to turn her waist-length chocolate brown hair into an icy white-blonde à la Elsa from Frozen. This is the same woman who admitted to crash dieting to lose 16 pounds to fit into that dress, so it’s not surprising that she would embrace such a time-consuming process for the sake of a “look,” but when it comes to being in tune with prevailing hair trends, Kardashian couldn’t have been more off.

Blonde expert Laurie Daniel of New York’s Marie Robinson Salon says the pandemic has made it more difficult for clients to keep their hair dyed a bright shade of platinum. Super-blonde hair was all the rage a few years ago, but by the time salons reopened and regular beauty routines resumed, many people had lost interest in the trend. The founder of Grace Clarke Consulting, a firm with offices in New York and France, Grace Clarke, spent years going back for multiple foil or balayage treatments to achieve her platinum blonde hair. She claims that her recent experience of shedding her blonde hair has been both physical and psychological. Clarke’s new rooty, wheat blonde hair from Abby Haliti at Julien Farel has her saying, “I am making under my style.” As well as saving me time, I want every aspect of my life to make me feel attractive, capable, and well-put-together. My actions are guided by the goal of maximizing my sense of power. She has found that being less blonde is essential to her progress. Patti O’Gara, a colorist at The Blackstone’s Collective in New York City’s East Village, adds that “isolation and extended time at home let us all reevaluate our beauty routines and what may or may not continue to serve us, both physically and economically.”

Although many are still going lighter, those who do are often drawn to low-maintenance hues. “People prefer to have less upkeep, not to mention the improvement in hair texture from not over-processing,” explains Daniel. She has two main hair color preferences: strawberry and copper blonde. Mariah Joseph, a colorist at New York’s Suite Caroline, says, “A lot of people are looking for more depth and adding red, strawberry blonde, or golden blonde, which gives the hair a rich shine and reflection.” When compared to lighter tones, which can sometimes feel washed out and dull, this appears luxurious. Daniel chimes in that it also makes the skin look more healthy and radiant. Her previously ultra-highlighted clients are now opting for a “dimensional blond,” though she will still keep strategically placed pops of brightness, especially around the face. As Daniel puts it, “this reduces maintenance and often looks softer and younger.” When O’Gara’s platinum blondes expressed a desire for lower maintenance, she helped them make the transition to a warmer, darker blonde. While “she can still feel like herself,” she can visit the salon less frequently, giving her hair more time to rest in between visits.

These subdued strawberry wheat blondes need occasional TLC. Joseph suggests switching to or at least alternating shampoos with mild, color-safe cleansers like Oribe Cleansing Cream and Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Mask with Lemon. Because a no-suds crème cleanses without stripping, “these gentle cleansers will extend the life of your color,” she says. Reduce your use of hot tools and increase your deep conditioning. According to Daniels, the best products for hair are the Milbon Inphenom Treatment and the Shu Uemura Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil, especially during the warmer months. They are “perfect for stowing away in a beach bag,” she says. O’Gara recommends that her clients use Olaplex #3 before their appointments and think about getting a filtered shower head for the best color payoff. She explains that the minerals in most water lead to buildup over time and alter the natural hue of one’s hair. The filtered water provides a safe and nurturing environment, perfect for the growth of any hair color or texture.

If our hair color is a reflection of the times, the current trend toward darker, more understated blondes is here to stay. Joseph asserts, “In the midst of the chaos in the world at the moment, people are craving clean, fresh, and simple.”

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