I’ve Gone Dream Girl Blonde For Summer – It’s Given Me a Lift I Didn’t Know I Needed

POPSUGAR Photography / Rhiannon Evans

How often do you go to the hairdressers these days? When I grow up, I’d love to be one of those women who stands at their hairdresser’s reception desk, paying for their treatment, opening their diary and booking in for their next freshen-up in six weeks with their favourite stylist, before subtly and classily dropping them a tip (without having to cringe as I ask if I can do it on card, because I’ve forgotten cash). But here, in my fortieth year, I’m having to admit I’m not going to be a lot of things when I grow up, because I’m grown. And sadly for my follicles, I’m one of those people who regularly lets their hair go to rack and ruin (sometimes for more than a year) until one day they wake up, cannot believe the actual state of it and hurriedly books in to the nearest salon.

And I know a lot of you are too. Because that’s why balayage has become so popular over the last five years. The colour job, which is designed to look worn-in from the start, gives you a lot more grace when it comes to the horrendous root growth some of us experienced with our 90s striped highlights. Sadly, the balayage has lulled some of us (me) into too much of a sense of security.

Because this time, as I sat in Toni & Guy Covent Garden chatting to colour technician Shania Seedin I realised it had been more than 18 months since I’d last coloured my hair. Oops. 2022. No wonder it was looking both brassy and washed out. Recently, no matter what I do with my hair, it’s looked a bit of a state, not giving me the zhush you get as you walk out the door knowing that no matter what’s going on with the rest of your face/outfit/life, your hair’s got a little bounce. It goes a long way. And I didn’t realise how flat not having that was leaving me, and I mean beyond the scalp.

Related: 7 Hair Colour Ideas You Need to Know For Summer 2024

But Seedin was undeterred by my hair confession. and listened carefully to my requests to give Dream Girl Blonde, one of 2024’s biggest hair colour trends, a go.

The results gave me a lift I wasn’t expecting. I’m not going to go over the top here – I’ve still got the same wrinkles, lines and increasingly-collagen-depleted skin I walked in with and am still struggling to get used to as I approach my big birthday this year. But something about getting such a summery, warm, hair colour freshen-up did feel like it lifted my face, my appearance, and in turn, my mood. Read on to find out everything you need to know about going Dream Girl Blonde.

What Is Dream Girl Blonde?

Dream Girl Blonde is one of the top 2024 hair colour trends according to the experts we interviewed. Speaking to our Assistant Editor for beauty, Lauren Ezekiel, Christel Baron-Hough at Stil Salon previously told us: “The aesthetic for the Dream Girl blonde trend is all about lightness, movement and fluidity. It’s both practical and playful.” The key is the lightness and texture, with roots being blended – and the fact that it can suit a number of different skin tones, without a huge amount of maintenance.

How Do You Go Dream Girl Blonde?

Seedin recommended Toni&Guy’s Lumi Blush treatment package, which, includes “expertly placed highlights around the perimeter of your face to illuminate your natural features”. As well as doing a full head of balayage, the package includes a toner and the brand’s Label.M M-Plex bonding treatment.

Related: Forget Cherry Cola Hair, It’s Vanilla Coke Blonde Season

The key to the look is opting for the balayage over highlights, said Seedin, who explained the look would be a “blended but dimensional blonde for face-framing. Not super blonde, nice and blonde at the end, but a bit more dimensional and face-framing.” She added that as summer approached, blonde is the colour they see the most request for. “At the moment everyone wants to be blonde and people are moving away from traditional highlights, they want the lived-in blonde,” she said. “It’s lower maintenance. It’s more versatile than the highlights and you can do more variations.” She also added – on my prompting – that is also popular with women as they look for a new style as they get older, as a great bridge for blending newfound greys.

The work began with Seedin separating the hair and putting in many, many balayage foils around the whole head. Because of the desire to get that lifted, brightened look, we went slightly higher up the hairline and closer to the root than you might go if you were looking for more of a wintery look. She also opted for the blonde to go all the way to the roots at the front, framing the face, giving some slim money-pieces that mimicked the look of naturaly lightening your hair in the sun.

Once the hair was lifted, the colour was washed out, before Seedin applied a root blur all over to avoid any harsh lines and bringing a bit more depth to the colour at the top of the hair. It was something – knowing myself and that this colour would probably last me a long time – I was glad for, as it gives the look more longevity and softness. Around 10 minutes later, a toner was also applied all over and worked through the hair in sections to take away any brassiness. Seedin recommended I invest in a purple shampoo, but only to use every two to four weeks, to stay on top of any yellowness – and she cautioned that overuse of the product could actually have the opposite to the desired effect if it builds up on the hair.

Related: 13 Best Purple Shampoos For Keeping Blonde Hair Looking Bright and Cool

Another visit to the sink saw the toner washed off and Toni&Guy’s Label.M M-Plex bonding treatment applied to help bond and strengthen the hair after the treatment.

Dream Girl Blonde – The Results

Then it was time for the best bit – the blow dry and style, when you can truly see the colour that your stylist has been working away on. I could see instantly the lightening and lift the colour at the front had given me, with a warm, honey-glow blond framing the face. It was only in comparing the before and after pictures that I really noticed the difference the colour had given to my whole look.

The ends of the hair had really lifted, giving a creamy blonde look all through the hair. Some pictures and a mirror revealed the roots and back of the hair had depth and dimension of the colour, with the darker roots blending into the colour and giving texture. The transformation (and yes, the blow dry of course does help…) were really stark.

As much as I loved the colour, the shift was dramatic, so I had that uncanny experience of loving the hair, but not quite feeling it was mine, almost like wearing a wig. But the next day, somehow the colour had changed again slightly and after a night’s sleep on the blow-dry and no make-up, I was still pleased with the result and lift it had given me. Even sat in my front room typing away this very piece in my leggings. In fact, I felt I liked it a bit more – and I think that’s a real litmus test. It’s all well and good to look “like you just stepped out of the salon” as the 90s ad goes, but to still enjoy the colour as it beds in is proof of a good job.

Toni&Guy’s Lumi Blush Package

To get the desired look, I had the Lumi Blush Package, which includes balayage, toner, Label.M M-Plex bonding treatment and a luxury HAIRSPA experience.

Rhiannon Evans is the interim content director at PS UK. Rhiannon has been a journalist for 17 years, starting at local newspapers before moving to work for Heat magazine and Grazia. As a senior editor at Grazia, she helped launch parenting brand The Juggle, worked across brand partnerships, and launched the “Grazia Life Advice” podcast. An NCE-qualified journalist (yes, with a 120-words-per-minute shorthand), she has written for The Guardian, Vice and Refinery29.

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