All blonde transformations take a lot of time, foils and careful formulation. But it’s important to remember that no hair service is one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to working with textured and curly hair.
We spoke to color expert Kelley Brandon about how you can keep natural strands healthy during a blonding transformation and pack the process with TLC. Kelley attended Arrojo Cosmetology School in NYC and has been licensed for almost nine years. Originally from Maryland, hair has always been her passion. She decided to pursue what she loved and hasn’t looked back since.
Ahead is Kelley’s essential advice for lightening all waves, curls and coils to leave your textured hair clients in the best hands.
Those Curls Need Consultation
Before you even begin the bleach-out, there are some boxes to check with your client. “A major in-depth consultation is needed,” Kelley says. “Clients will give you the most basic answers to your questions and usually I have to dig a little deeper to find out more about their hair history.”
When the big day comes, Kelley has a few musts for the process. “I almost always start out with a color extractor if they have previous color on their hair. A good salon treatment system (my favorite is Olaplex) is mandatory.” She also recommends setting up the client with an at-home maintenance system and prebooking their maintenance appointments.
There might be times when you have to say no to performing this service if it means keeping someone’s hair healthy. Kelley says to seriously reconsider if the hair is compromised, weak or even if the client seems impulsive and wants a quick result. “In my experience, clients who show these signs typically do not trust the process and will not be satisfied with the results of the first session,” she notes.
Products for Pros
Being blonde ice queen is a bunch of fun, but it also requires some substantial care in the salon and at home. This texture expert has a few favorite in-salon supplies for the lightening process: Oligo Extra Blonde Lightener, Olaplex, Ashlee Norman Balayage Board and Natural Level Finder, Framar color brushes and Joico large foils.
Kelley also recommends Olaplex Take Home No.3 along with the Bond Maintenance Shampoo, the Wella Invigo Brilliance color mask and the WetBrush detangler for clients at home.
A Changing Industry
Scared to lighten textured hair? That might be because the education for these techniques has been too slim for too long. As the hair industry continues to become more aware and celebratory of diversity, Kelley has a few changes at the top of her list that she’d like to see. “My hope is for women of color to be better represented on salon social media platforms. I want them to understand they can have balayage and go lighter without the damage, if they are in the hands of an educated stylist.”
Stylists should be able take care of every guest that comes through the door. “I would like to see more stylists become comfortable with coloring textured hair so that future clients are not turned away and meant to feel like their hair is difficult or a burden,” Kelley continues. “Coloring techniques are generally the same, it’s just the texture that is different.”
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