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How to Lighten Your Hair Color

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We’re undoubtedly in the middle of a blonde moment. Kim Kardashian’s platinum hair at Paris Fashion Week sent us all into a tizzy, especially when photos showed up of her alongside a newly-blonde Jared Leto. But Kim K wasn’t the only one in her family to opt for a lighter shade; Khloe Kardashian also transitioned to blonde hair recently. She just did so a little more subtly than her older sis, which is the look we’re really coveting with spring right around the corner. Those Kardashians—they're nothing if not trendsetters.

We asked Louise Rusk, master stylist at Mizu Boston, to share exactly how to gradually lighten hair for warmer weather. Here’s what to ask your stylist (or try at home). (While you're at it, try these 10 Beauty Tips to Make You Look Instantly More Awake too.)

Think Brighter, Not Necessarily Blonde
Let’s face it: not every woman was made to be a blonde! But Rusk says taking your hair a shade or two lighter can make all the difference for spring. “All hair colors look healthier and shinier with some accent shades of lighter or brighter colors after a dull winter,” she says. “On darker hair, color a few neutral brown hand-painted pieces or interior slices to liven up and give some dimension to the hair.”

Choose Sun-Kissed Tones
You know the color your hair gets midsummer, when you’ve been spending plenty of time outside soaking up that vitamin D? Aim for that when you color this time of year. “Hand-painted pieces of sun-kissed tones give a natural feel with minimum upkeep,” says Rusk. “And it looks good on almost everyone.”

Give Your Hair Some TLC
If you chemically treat your hair in any fashion, not taking care of it appropriately can cause seriosu damage. “Color-treated hair needs to be treated like a delicate fabric—think of cashmere and silk,” says Rusk. “Always use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner specifically for color-treated hair with no sulphates. Get a restorative treatment every few months, and trim your hair regularly—even if it is just a 'dusting' keep those ends strong.”

Reverse Any Mishaps
So, maybe you hit the blonde color a little too hard a few months ago? No problem. You can get the pretty, shiny look for spring with a little help from a stylist. “Blondes sometimes need some shading and tonal deposits if the hair has had one too many highlights,” says Rusk. “Or glossing and shine treatments can make the hair look and feel healthier.”

Ultimately, for the everywoman, the goal is simply to “soften your base color,” according to Rusk. “It’s brightness without the high maintenance,” she says. “Add a few highlights to sprinkle some sparkle for spring!” Easy-peasy!

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