When summer comes, a lot of us dream about having the wavy, golden locks of pro-surfers and the odd Brazilian supermodel. But just how can you master the power of the sunshine and the sea to care for your blonde hair? FAB spoke to Eric Pfalzgraf – the manager of Coiff1rst’s 35 luxury salons that stretch from New York to Tokyo and Seoul – to get his expert advice for sun-kissed, shimmering blonde hair.
What shade of blonde should you choose before going on holiday?
In order to achieve natural-looking, luminous blonde hair before you even go on holiday, Eric Pfalzgraf recommends asking for a varnishing technique: a sculpting, hair-colouring process that has become one of his specialties. “We use two to three different brightening shades and combine them with a product that darkens certain strands again to give your colouring realistic dept,” says Eric. “Then we cut and taper the hair to underline this 3D effect.”
Before the beginning of summer, Eric makes sure to ask his varnishing clients “if they think they will spend most of their holiday swimming or out in the sun”. That’s because it’s essential to take into account the hair’s natural lightening properties before colouring it. “This information lets me master the effects of the sunlight on the most exposed strands of hair. To do this, we don’t lighten the locks of hair that frame the face as much,” he says.
Women who are dreaming of being a platinum blonde can also get prepared before the arrival of the summer months. “It’s actually the best season of all! The contrast between platinum hair and tanned skin is always very flattering,” the stylist tells us. “Rather than a simple bleaching, I recommend trying a platinum effect varnishing. Instead of giving you a very light yet uniform colour, this lets you choose a sculpted, platinum effect, with two or three different tones and with roots that are left intentionally visible.”
As for natural blondes, they need to do very little else: “The effects of the sunlight and the seawater lighten hair naturally,” Eric confirms. Yet despite them having this good luck, it doesn’t mean natural blondes can go without protection…
How can you protect your blonde hair from the sunlight?
The combination of sunshine, seawater and the swimming pool can be a double-edged sword for blonde hair. Although this cocktail brightens the hair and gives it a pretty, wavy texture, coloured hair can fade and its tips be dried out by UV rays, chlorine and salt.
In fact, coloured hair is particularly sensitive and so Eric recommends taking the time to protect your hair on a daily basis: “You’ve got to adapt your haircare routine by opting for products from a specialised sun-care range, such as L’Oréal Professionel’s Solar Sublime collection.” A UV ray protection spray and a repairing cream will seal the follicles, which in turn helps the follicles reflect sunlight better. In short, your blonde hair will shine and shimmer even more. And for the ultimate protection, “remember to wear a sunhat when you spend a lot of time in the sun, and always rinse your hair after each dip in the sea,” Éric reminds us.
So whether your hair’s natural or coloured, whether you’ve gone for darker tones or a platinum effect, blonde is still the unrivaled hair colour of the summer months. From Jessica Alba’s half-caramel, half-golden locks to Jennifer Lawrence’s platinum bob, not forgetting of course Gisele’s honey blonde hair, every possible shade is permitted and welcome. All you’ve got to do now is choose your own, and wait for the sunlight, the waves and your haircare treatments to get to work!
Translated by James DAVIES