The struggle is real for blondes moving outside of California but who want to keep their “California Blonde” hair. While there are hundreds, even thousands of variations of blonde, colorists are often asked for “California Blonde”, which means different things to different people. A colorists interpretation of this trend when asked for outside of California may cause confusion: does the client want a bright blonde, do they want only babylights, and what about the base?
As a blonde who moved to New York nearly 10 years ago and who has struggled with achieving the perfect “California Blonde”, I turned to fellow LA native and colorist, Giselle Luza for the 411.
Choupette Social Girl (CSG): What is your definition of a “California Blonde”?
Giselle Luza (GL): “I believe the feeling of a “California Blonde” is when each client leaves feeling her very best. It’s any shade that is dimensional, blended, and the perfect match for her skin tone. Color that is effortless with just the right pops of brightness- and it never looks over done.”
CSG: Working in New York, have you found that women trying to achieve “California Blonde” have difficulty finding a colorist despite it being another large metropolitan city?
GL: “Yes! This was my first impression as a colorist in New York. I was surprised since New York has such a high standard and many talented colorists to choose from. As I started building my clientele and using the techniques I learned in LA, I had lots of clients share their struggle with me: that it was difficult for them to find a colorist in New York who could get their blonde “just right”.”
CSG: How do colorists in NY vs LA differ in technique and is NY behind in their technical innovation?
GL: “In my experience, colorists in LA create more dimensional looks, and colorists in New York create more solid, over-highlighted looks. Colorists and stylists in New York are truly masters of their craft which is why I love New York with all my heart. One of the reasons I’m constantly pushing to be my best is because of the hairstylists here who have inspired me. I’m excited to see what the future holds!”
CSG: When going to a salon seeking “California Blonde” what is your advice as to how to ask for it outside of LA?
GL: “A really thorough consultation is key. Definitely do your research. The great thing about social media is that it can be used as a visual directory. Utilize hashtags to find a colorist in your area whose photos reflect the look you’re trying to achieve. Be sure you two have the same “vibe” and see if they’ve been keeping up with their ongoing education. Once you’ve found your colorist, show them lots of pictures and be really specific about what you like!”
(Photo Sources: Giselle Luza, Iiona M Ashe, Samantha Harman, Camille Plourde, Kaitlin Jade Hair Artistry)