Summer Whites

Because bleach is back, baby. Aura Friedman fills us in on six-hour bleaching marathons (yes, really), Khaleesi manes & more.

If it wasn't entirely evident from your Facebook and Twitter feeds alone, Game of Thrones is baaaack. And while we’re all for the savage blood, guts and no-holds-barred orgy scenes, not to mention a cast of characters big enough to carry off a CHANEL show (screw supermarkets—now that would be a sight, right?), we’ll be honest: save for snatches of Jon Snow, the images dancing in our heads long after the credits roll are those of the white-blonde, tumbling waves of the one and only Daenerys Targaryen. Seriously, the only comment made during an otherwise shockingly silent viewing party for the Season 4 premiere last weekend? “Ugh, but that haaaaaaaair.”

And, we mean, fine. Even though we’ve heard (and eventually accepted) that IRL, Emilia Clarke's snow-white bleach blonde is actually just a wig, we're sort of throwing caution to the wind here. And taking just one look at the panoply of PYTs whose 'dos are suddenly bright-white-blonde, from Miley and Sky Ferreira to Soo Joo Park and Aline Weber, we won't lie—we’re seriously tempted to go all the way there ourselves. Given that the idea of covering our scalp and precious hair in burning bleach for hours on end (we've heard salon snacks are very much in order) is more than a little frightening, we called in an expert to boost our confidence on all things bleach. Because really, after you bleach your hair, then what? Enter Aura Friedman, the star colorist at the glossy Sally Hershberger salon in NYC, who just so happens to be the same girl behind the dye jobs of everyone from Charlotte Carey to Emily Weiss and Soo Joo (to name a few). She was kind enough to sit down and talk us through the post-bleach game plan, and yes, we took notes.

Immediately following a bleach: “Use Nexxus Color Assure Prewash Primer to protect color and tone from fading caused by water.” Sounds easy enough, right?

On the inevitable (and highly beneficial, BTW) texture change: “Bleach gives it a beachy texture, which is great for most hair; adding texture gives most hair body. For a few it can be drying—all bleaching or lightening can dry hair. [To prevent over drying] use a moisturizing mask such as Nexxus Humectress.” In other words? Invest heavily in dry shampoo—and as a result, look forward to hitting snooze on the regular. 

On her holy-grail product for color maintenance (because Lagerfeld knows you'll need it):Nexxus Color Assure regimen makes color last two times longer! And avoid washing your hair too often. I have been loving the Nexxus Emergencee treatment to help mend weak hair. [I also use] a DIY coconut oil treatment, but use it sparingly because emollients sometimes cause fading. The Color Assure Glossing Tonic is great to use before any heat styling.” What, as if coconut oil wasn't highly-hyped enough already? 

The secret to getting a semi-permanent, Coachella-ready pastel wash: "Mix direct dye with conditioner!" That's right: glob in a little bit of unicorn-worthy hair dye in with your favorite ultra-hydrating conditioner and voila—thank us when strangers are inviting you to swinger parties. 

Aura’s bleach blonde inspirations (you know, if the whole Khaleesi thing just somehow doesn't quite do it for you): "The vintage ones: Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Catherine Deneuve, Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak, Edie Sedgwick and Brigitte Bardot." What's that? I think we hear Pinterest calling. They're just waiting for you to create a blonde-spiration board, you guys. 

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