Nicole Richie's Blonde HairQ: I have brown hair, it's a number 4. I want my hair to look like Nicole Richie's - cut in a long, blonde bob. Would this damage my hair too much and how often would I have to have the color re-done?
A: Nichole's hair color is multi-tonal, with hair color levels ranging from 8 to 10. This means that you'll need to lift your natural color a minimum of 4 levels to get the desired results, and will require some pre-lightening. If your hair is in good condition now, your salon professional should be able to give you the color you want without damaging your hair. The process will be stressful on the hair, and you will need to focus a lot of energy in the aftercare process to re-hydrating the hair and restoring healthy condition.
Click to enlargeMake sure that your stylist performs both a strand test and a patch test to make sure that a) your hair can withstand the procedure and how much time will be needed to process to the color you want, and b) that you don't have any sensitivity to the chemicals used in the processes. This is definitely not the kind of color you want to attempt at home on your own, if only because it will require constant monitoring to ensure it is done safely.
As to the question of how often the color will need to be redone for maintenance purposes, you will have to get the color/lightening retouched every 6-8 weeks. Since the average person's hair grows at a rate of 1/2 inch per month, after 6 to 8 weeks you will have approximately 1/2-1 inch of new hair growth (or more) with your natural hair color. This means that the new growth will be very visible because of the dichotomy of the two colors. You can extend the time needed between retouches in color by creative styling methods, such as using staggered parting to keep the scalp area from showing so readily.
Even so, 10 weeks is likely the longest you will be able to go between retouches before your hair becomes obviously in need of re-coloring.
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