3 tips for any Asian considering going blonde to avoid a hair disaster

korean blonde
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It’s becoming quite a common sight for Asians to rock blonde hair on magazines or in popular music videos, but this trend has yet to fully hit the streets of Southeast Asia. Almost two years back when I boldly decided to turn blonde with a hint of ash green, I received many bizarre looks and questions from taxi drivers and café servers asking if I was Korean or Japanese. And trust me, I’m not even close (miles from that) to the fairest person you know, which is typical of what Koreans and Japanese are known for – porcelain fair skin.

Contrary to common beliefs, you don’t have to be fair (or Caucasian) to rock blonde hair. Light hair can be very flattering on Asian women’s warm skin tone and modest features. It also makes you stand out from the crowd; what can be more eye-catching than a touch of exciting color among the waves of boring black or brown-toned hair?

That said, are you ready to go Asian blonde? Here are some guidelines for those who are thinking of taking that plunge.

Tip #1: Be Prepared

We understand how daunting it can be. Burning a hole in your pockets for a straw-coloured hairdo? No way! However, it is very much achievable with the right colourist and the results are worth every “shade” of effort you put in. Firstly, do not scrimp on researching for the best colourist. “Stalk” them on the salon’s social media, do a background check on their experiences and past awards, or visit colourists recommended by friends who have had their hair lightened. Secondly, research the colour, shade and tone you would like. Don’t be afraid to take screenshots of pictures you come across and seek advice from your trusted colourist.

With the research homework done, you have won half the battle. Now, be also prepared for multiple bleaching sessions, long hours at your salon, and of course, a head of blonde that may not suit you. Tip #2 and #3 helps bring down the possibility of having a heart attack at the end of your salon session.

Tip #2: Go slow or go wild

Similar to how you ask for samples or buy travel-sized products before you invest in any beauty items, testing the hair colour on a smaller surface is a good way to slowly ease yourself into the colour and determine what the best shades are for you.

Start off with a muted base and blonde highlight that blend effortlessly with each other. Allow your original hair color to peek through at your roots for a more natural look. Gradually lighten your hair even more with subsequent salon visits. This way, even if you discover cool colours do not work for you, you can opt for a warmer shade on your next visit.

If you decide to go wild with a full blonde on your “virgin blonde experience”, make sure you are certain the shade suits your skin tone (or have a very experienced and trusted hair colourist advise you). You won’t want to spend a bomb fixing your hair, or cringe in front of the mirror for the next couple of months!

Check out blogger Eugenie Grey and her hair transitions.

eugenie greySource 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Tip #3: Choose Ombre or Sombre hair over a full blonde

By now, everyone should be familiar with what an “ombre” hair colour is. A “sombre” hair colour is basically ombre with a softer look and a much more subtle transition in colour. The beauty of an ombre or sombre colour is that you get to play with blonde shades and enjoy growing out your colour without worrying about the ugly dark roots that will stick out like a sore thumb with your colored hair.

We can’t stress enough how important a good colorist is if you want to achieve stunning ombre, sombre or balayage results. Here are the top four hair colors we are excited to see take over our streets!

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Today's Beauty Tip

Everybody has perfectly good perfumes that they're bored with. Consider gathering a few friends to bring along fragrances that they no longer like, and host a party for perfume-swapping. Come back tomorrow for a surprising perfume tip!