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Blond highlights add a sunny energy to your look -- but that sun can quickly set as brassiness kicks in, or the rest of your hair color fades to match those not-so-light highlights. To perk up your locks, you need a hair lightener that will make those highlighted strands stand out again. And the best part? Hair lighteners are a breeze to apply.
Shampoo Your Way to Blond
Blond hair lightens and brightens under the influence of purple shampoo, also known as violet shampoo. Don't be intimidated by its bright purple color. The hue of the shampoo neutralizes brassy yellow tones in blond highlights, making them appear truer. To avoid tinting your highlights lavender, alternate between the purple shampoo and another choice.
Watch Your Tone
To really tone those blond highlights, upgrade from violet shampoo to a true toner. Rather than adding dye to your hair, a toner neutralizes opposite shades -- so applying a blond toner will tone down other shades to let the blond shine through. You can find them at beauty supply stores. When you get home, coat your strands with it and let it penetrate for the time recommended on the box before rinsing.
If you're a girl who embraces every opportunity to go green, you can make your hair lightening routine all natural, too. Just rinse your hair with lemon juice -- a mild bleach -- in the shower and let it dry in the sun. Manhattan celebrity stylist Marie Robison recommends making a mix of vodka and lemon juice to spray on your hair at the beach. The result? Blond highlights that really are sun-kissed.
Bake Your Hair
Next time you shampoo, add some baking soda to the mix for a lightening effect. Los Angeles hair colorist Lorri Goddard-Clark recommends mixing baby shampoo with baking soda and sitting in the sun for 10 minutes while the mixture is on your hair. This opens up your hair's cuticles to send unsightly brassy tones flying, leaving you with baby blond highlights.