Here’s What It’s Really Like to Go From Black to Blond

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For some women, coloring their hair is as much of a necessity as brushing their teeth—they just can’t live without it. For others, the thought of changing their hair color and all that comes along with it—potential damage, high costs and many hours at the salon—is a thought that can’t even be fathomed, and so they wear their hair au natural for as long as possible.

Every now and then, we all need to make a change to our look, and upping our hair game is one of the easiest ways to do it. Nicole, 28, wanted to totally transform her overall look via her strands. “I wanted to do something to change my look, so the first thing I thought to switch up was—you guessed it—my hair. Hair is such a strong representation of how you look and how you feel and I wanted to give myself a complete transformation by doing something that was the opposite of what I had always had,” she says. That meant saying goodbye to her waist-length raven hair and going for something lighter, brighter and shorter.

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A color virgin in every sense of the word, Nicole admits she was nervous about the change and explained to the stylists who would be making her over, color director Marris Ambrose and senior stylist Shab Aghajani, both of the Julien Farel Salon, exactly what she was looking for. “Since I was five years old, my hair has been long. I’ve never colored it, so while I was really excited about going from nearly black hair to something with a little bit of blond in it, I was a little hesitant, too,” says Nicole.

Ambrose and Aghajani consulted with each other about what color and cut would best complement Nicole’s features and skin tone. “We looked at a variety of lob haircuts (long bob) and we both agreed it would be the perfect new look for her. Nicole’s face is petite, so it was important to make sure her shorter hair wouldn’t overpower her face, which is why after cutting her hair to a collar-bone length, I cut a lot of texture into it,” says Aghajani. Once her hair was cut, Ambrose lightened her dark locks with balayage highlights that start a little below the root line to create a super natural look that won’t leave any demarcation as the color grows out. 

“The whole time I knew I was in such good hands and I gave Marris and Shab full authority to give me whatever look they thought would best complement my skin tone and features. After this makeover, I can seriously say I wish I did it years earlier because I feel more like myself than ever!” says Nicole.

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