How The 'Faux Bleach And Tone' Technique Keeps Your Hair Blond Without Extra Damage

Blondes have more fun, but they often have more hair damage to go along with it. Unless you're a natural blond, a lot of work has to happen to achieve a look worthy of Barbiecore standards. The bleaching process simply isn't super kind to strands, as it employs chemicals to literally strip all traces of pigment from the hair so that it can be further colored to the desired hue. The color is typically not the only thing that changes when hair is bleached blond, however. In fact, regular bleaching can actually affect hair texture, causing it to be more rough or thicker. Bleach also has a way of drying out hair that can cause it to look extra frizzy or straw-like. 


Since few stylists want to send their clients home looking like the latest incarnation of a scarecrow, many employ techniques specifically designed to minimize damage and help hair look as healthy as possible. One of these is a 'faux bleach and tone,' which gives off a beautifully lustrous end result with fewer potentially harmful chemicals than a standard dye job. Color us intrigued.

How faux bleach and tone prevents hair damage

Any hair color job requires a certain amount of maintenance to stay looking fresh. Blond hair is obviously no exception, as roots grow in quickly, requiring visits about every six weeks for touchups. Once the entirety of the hair has been bleached to the desired blond, it's possible to use the faux bleach and tone to maintain the color without adding insult to injury with lots of unnecessary products and chemicals. Celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham recently told Refinery29 about her faux bleach and tone process, which involves a sparing hand on the bleach and a couple of helpful products for protection's sake.


"When you do a regular bleach and tone, you're bleaching every single bit of hair," she says. Rather than going all-in via this method, she sections the new growth with foil and only applies lightening agents to the necessary areas. She also uses a product called Olaplex No.2 to prevent the bleach on the new growth from bleeding over onto the already lightened tresses. This, she told the publication, is "easier on the health of the hair."

Take these steps to further protect blond hair

Olaplex No.2 is specifically formulated to protect hair throughout the coloring process, so it's not surprising that Tracey Cunningham and other stylists have it handy. For this reason, it should be easy enough to ask your own stylist to use the product (or a similar one) to prevent dry, damaged, breakage-prone hair, she tells Refinery29. 


The best way to keep blond hair looking fab between salon visits is by following a careful maintenance plan. Fortunately, it's actually less work than it sounds like. First, blondes (and really most people) shouldn't wash their hair every day. As most, wash hair every other day and try to stretch it further between washes with the help of some dry shampoo, says Hair by Natalia. Also, only use color-safe shampoo and conditioner, and a few times per month, substitute in a purple shampoo/conditioner to mitigate brassiness. Toss in a deep conditioner once per week, and you'll easily get the full value out of your next faux bleach and tone.