For fall, we were warming up with pumpkin spice hair, but as we’re getting into winter, we’re trying out a much cooler color: icy blonde. Recently, we’ve been seeing people on our social media feeds rocking the silvery hue that almost looks like they’ve been walking around in a winter wonderland. The icy blonde trend started in 2019 and is only getting more popular, says Fae Norris, a Los Angeles-based hairstylist at Rock Paper Salon. On Instagram, #icyhair has more than 50,000 posts, and the number keeps growing. There’s a range of shades that work with a number of hair types and skin tones, but the color requires both time at the salon and upkeep at home. Here’s how to get the cool, trendy color.
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What Is the Coloring Process Like?
The first step in the process is to lighten the hair at the salon, requires bleaching. “For both the health of the hair and the cost that’s usually involved, it’s better to spread the process out over a couple of sessions—particularly if you’re starting from anything darker than naturally blonde,” Norris explains. She says if you’re lucky enough to have naturally gray or white hair already, your stylist will work that into the color to minimize damage and keep the grow out as low-maintenance as possible.
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After your hair has been lifted to maximum lightness, your stylist will apply a toner for 10 to 20 minutes and then wash it out. A toner is a purple-colored product with the same consistency as shampoo that neutralizes any brassiness and gives your hair the coveted, cool icy shade. Norris says because toner only lasts for several weeks, many of her clients book toning appointments in between regular cuts and colors to keep their hair looking fresh. “I also highly suggest a fantastic purple shampoo and conditioner to keep the brassiness at bay in between salon visits,” Norris says. (As a light blonde myself, I can attest to the effectiveness of Maria Nila Sheer Silver Conditioner, which is available for $21.58 on Amazon.) Norris also recommends using a conditioning treatment, such as Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, which retails at Sephora for $28, to mitigate any damage.
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Which Hair Colors Are Best Suited for Icy Blonde Hair?
Icy blonde hair works best on naturally blonde, white, or gray hair, but those with darker strands can also get the look, it can just be a bit tricky, Norris says. She recommends taking the process slow and steady, and to proceed with caution if the color change is going to be drastic. “If you’re just wanting to experiment, or might not be a good candidate, I’m all for highlights, ombré, or balayage to get an eye-catching pop of ice without the same level of commitment and maintenance.”