Blonde Talk: Warm vs. Cool
Blondes come in all shades, tones, and preferences. In fact, the term "blonde" translates differently to different women.
Blondes are typically described as warm or cool.
Warm can be described as honey, caramel, buttery.
Cool can be described as icy, ash, platinum, pearl.
A neutral blonde has a combination of warm and cool tones.
Which tone is brighter?
Warmer tones appear brighter than cool tones. Warmth reflects light, whereas cooler tones (since they have blue or violet based pigments) appear darker than they really are. This is evident especially when the hair is wet.
Maintaining your blonde tone.
Many shades of blonde can't be achieved simple by lightening the hair. Toning may be necessary in achieving your desired look - especially if you prefer cool tones. All hair has underlying warmth, and a toner (also known as a gloss or glaze) will cancel out that warmth to achieve a cooler result. On warm blondes, a toner can enhance color and add shine.
In the mean time, your locks can be maintained at home by using purple shampoo. For cooler tones, this will cancel out yellow pigments. For warmer tones, this will brighten you up!
Should I get balayage or highlights?
Balayage is a method of hand painted highlights, meant to look natural with only a few levels of lift compared to your root color. Highlights will get you as light as possible in one sitting.
Balayage will deliver a warm or neutral look, unless you are already blonde. Highlights require more maintenance but they will deliver a brighter result.