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David Stanko's Hair Color Tips for Brown, Red & Blonde Hair

Everything is Illuminated

Whether you’re freshening up your haircolor for fall or planning how to make your hair stand out in holiday photos, nothing beats a little extra illumination. But for redheads, brunettes or blondes, forget last season’s “highlights.” This time around, ask your salon professional for a few flashes of brights, a little accent color, gold threading or a taste of honey. Be adamant and stress that less is more and that you want an introduction to lights or brights but nothing overwhelming. After all, it’s better to be kissed by the sun than struck by lightening.

What’s best, based on your natural (or not so natural) haircolor? Here’s the new Salon Speak that I use at Cutler NYC:


  • Haircolor Tips for Brown Hair
    The hottest hair color tip for brunettes is to ask for “a few caramelized pieces,” “slightly lighter focal points,” “subtle midlights,” or accents that create amazing dimension in HD photos. If your hair is very dark, “Mini-Lights” are a great illuminator. For the effect, your stylist simply takes sections and weaves out individual strands to create threads of gold that run through the surface of your hair. Think of Flashpoint fabrics or ones with scintillating, single-thread embroidery.
  • Haircolor Tips for Red Hair
    If you’re a redhead, the best haircolor advice is to know that you can handle haircolor with a little extra bling. Just be sure it is tasteful and elegant. Think of ethnic fabrics, like Indian hand-crafted pillow cases that often include dominant reds and gingers but accent them with finely spun gold or beige details.
  • Haircolor Tips for Blonde Hair
    We know that blondes are never shy about their shade of haircolor, but the trendiest haircolor tip that’s key now is to consider where the lightest and brightest pieces are strategically placed. Do you want to show off layers with a few off-the-root pieces or add a brightening accent to your bangs? From champagne blonde to glistening gold haircolor, extra illumination is part of your world!

Haircolor Protection Tips for Blonde Hair

Regardless of the shade of your blonde haircolor, adding brighter bits means you will want to protect and maintain their luster with Redken’s Blonde Idol haircare line, which includes a sulfate-free shampoo, a leave-in mask, a BBB spray, and violet- or gold-based custom-tone conditioners that fine tune and control whatever subtle nuance of “blonde” you have asked your colorist to create. You will feel better knowing that your investment is well cared for and your “bombshell moment,” however subtle, won’t fade away fast. After all, you’d never machine wash your cashmere sweater, knowing there’s a better option.



DAVID STANKO’S Blonde Evolution 

If you’ve been “summerizing” your blonde by having your colorist upgrade to lighter and brighter, congratulations! Now you’re a full-fledged Blonde Idol.  Keep it fabulous and advance your idol status with these ideas:  

#1: Use Blonde Idol’s dual-chamber conditioner to advantage!
Turn up the dial each week after your salon service to keep your blonde beautiful. With each of the six stopping points, you’re adding an increasing kiss of color to the conditioning mix (brass control or golden addition). So, by around week 3 or 4, you’ll get just the right amount of blonde toning for a beach party. By week 6, the 6 on your dial acts as a nifty reminder that it’s time for your next salon appointment.

#2. Emerge from ponytail season with a new sophistication! 
Even if you like it long, your end-of-summer salon appointment should include a trim and reshaping. A few layers will make your hair fall-fabulous and show off the sparkle of dimensional blonde best. Blonde Idols should always have healthy-looking hair and never have shapeless styles!

#3. Get ready for what’s next! Hint: It isn’t Ombré.
The newest buzzword in what women (and gentlemen!) will prefer is “Blur.” I’ll be telling you about that next time. Stay toned and stay tuned!




Finally, spring has sprung! So what do you need to do to prep your hair?  Use my 1-2-3 plan to get your best blonde hue for spring!

#1: Visuals Pay Off
Bring pictures to your stylist so they know how you see cool or golden blonde tones. This will help your colorist more easily determine the exact blonde shade you are looking for. TIP: Don’t go too light! Save that for your summer beach ‘do!

#2: Tonality: Cool or Warm?
Were you a "towhead" when you were a child?  If so, cool blondes will definitely compliment your skin tone. If you had dark blonde hair and it evolved to a dishwater blonde or mousy brown, you can usually wear icy or golden toned hues. If you are a brunette, and your hair lightens to a degree of auburn during the summer months, then ginger, rich golden or even warm brown pieces on your natural hair (painted through the ends) will look amazing.

#3: Protect Your Blonde Investment
Sun, water and hot tools can quickly deplete the protein and moisture in your hair, which will affect your overall shine.  Redken's Blonde Idol collection, which consists of a sulfate-free shampooBBB leave-in or rinse-out conditioning spray, 2-color depositing conditioners (violet and gold) and a mask, allows you to create a completely customized haircare regimen for your specific blonde needs. Ask your stylist to help you build an at-home haircare plan!