Confession: I’ve been blonde before. When I turned 13 years old, my mum thought it’d be appropriate to get me blonde highlights as my birthday gift—considering that I grew up in the South, this is perhaps not altogether surprising. So when I relocated from New York City to Los Angeles about three months ago, the prospect of going sunny California blonde was not beyond my imagination. In fact, it may or may not been at the forefront of my mind.
Enter Kari Hill of Meche Salon—a disciple of much-beloved celebrity colorist Tracey Cunningham, Hill’s most recent claim to fame is having created Orange Is the New Black star Taylor Schilling’s gorgeous golden color, which she rocks not only on the show but on the red carpet and in real life. When Hill, who is also the American ambassador for L’Oréal Paris, offered to add a light touch to my locks, I knew it was meant to be.
As soon as she got hold of my hair, Hill asked me what colors were in it—not always the question a woman wants to be asked, but I had admittedly put my hair through a number of colorful iterations throughout the years. After a brief spell with a platinum blonde pixie a few years back, my most recent color transformation was a blonde and red ombré treatment in the summer of 2013. Hill took one look at me and said, “This is going to be tough. Red is the hardest color to get out.”
Like the true professional she is, Hill tackled the project with aplomb, and after only a four-hour process, I was officially a Los Angeles blonde. There was still a hint of red in my hair, and certainly some virgin brunette threads showing through, but overall, Hill had seemingly done the impossible: turn me from a brunette into a blonde in just four hours.
Already bitten by the blonde bug, I decided to keep going and booked a second process to add even more of the light tones to my hair. Because of the red ombré effect still showing through, Hill actually had to use two different shades of blonde near the crown of my head and toward the ends. But once she was finished, after a healthy application of gloss, my hair looked perfectly blonde from root to tip, without any red shining through. I was beyond impressed.
To find out how to give yourself the Taylor Schilling effect, follow these easy steps in the comfort of your own home!
1. Do an all-over color in a cool tone.
(product: L’Oréal Paris Preference Mousse Absolue in “1021”)
2. Use a finger-tip applicator to add highlights as subtly or dramatically as you wish.
(product: L’Oréal Paris Touch-On Highlights in H90)
3. Tone down unwanted yellow and orange tones in your hair with a brass banisher.
(product: L’Oréal Paris Brass Banisher)
4. Maintain your new locks with a color-protecting shampoo and conditioning regimen to nourish the hair and keep your gorgeous new color from fading.
(product: L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Color Vibrancy)