Reposted from Salon magazine’s August 2, 2017 article.

For many men, hair colour is all about grey coverage while still looking natural. But with the trend of platinum blonde hair in Hollywood and the sports world making its way up north, more men are interested in exploring their colour options. “I think men want the looks, but you need to plant the seed and give them the visuals,” says Kim Vö, global BlondMe ambassador for Schwarzkopf Professional. “Some people want the shock value. Blonde is really an attitude and a personality, and I try to customize it to the client.”

Cool Factor

Celebrities like Justin Bieber and Adam Levine have been spotted with platinum blonde looks, inspiring men to get creative with hair colour. “Colour, in general, is more accepted today. It’s a new option for men to play,” says Ramsey Sayah, owner of Texture Hair Salon in Ottawa. “A lot of the celebrities are doing it now, and soccer players are really big for hair trends—[Lionel] Messi did it last year. These guys are considered cool. Colouring your hair is a fashion statement.”

Tip: “In summer, you have the change in temperature, and humidity. If your client is washing more often and it’s cold inside with air conditioning, it can dry out the hair even more. Adding conditioning treatments is so important. Both the client and the stylist need to work together.” — Kim Vö, global Blondme ambassador for Schwarzkopf Professional

“With the return of the ’90s and the grunge era coming back again, it’s bringing [blonde hair] back in,” echoes Ashley Hood, a colourist at Suki’s Salon, Spa and Academy in Vancouver. “In the summer, people tend to go lighter. I know some men like to go for more of a surfer look.”

While platinum blonde may be on trend, lightening the hair can also help solve aging hair concerns. “Clients don’t realize that their hair gets naturally darker as [they] age,” says Vö. “I will often dust in or really work in the colour with my hands to bring back a bit more summer in the hair.”

Level Up

Taking dark-haired clients to platinum blonde levels is often no easy feat (no matter what they may have seen on social media). Not only can it be time-consuming, but for men who have never been blonde before, it can sometimes be a difficult transition. “When [clients] ask, you have to be ready to explain and get them thinking of themselves,” says Vö. “You can do a few highlights so they can try it before they buy it. It’s sort of a sample program—they may not realize it, but a lot of [clients] want this.”

Tip: “Try to book people two to three weeks after the service to do a toner retouch. With oxidization, the colour and toner are going to start leaving the hair, so to make sure you get to keep those silvery lavender tones, it’s important to maintain that toner to [remove] any brassy, unwanted tones.”— Ashley Hood, colourist at Suki’s Salon, Spa and Academy in Vancouver

“When I have clients with a darker base that are interested in trying blonde, I try a balayage or hair peeking, which is a really safe introduction into that because they still get to keep a bit of their own natural, dark colour,” suggests Hood. “It really helps introduce some of that blonde into the hair without it being such a dramatic change.”

While lightening clients’ hair in the summer may be popular, it’s also a great way to build business for your salon year-round. “It helps us create more revenue, gives [clients] another service and brings them back in sooner,” says Sayah. “It’s competitive in the hair industry, so having a client come back more frequently is good for us. When you offer a new service, you’re showing them you care.”

“It’s our job to let clients know what the popular trends are,” adds Hood, who was part of the Canadian winning team for the L’Oréal Professionnel Color Trophy in 2016. “There’s nothing worse than having something that you’ve always wanted to try on your client but you didn’t ask or recommend it and they go somewhere else to get it done.”

Photos: Hair: James Calabria, Franco of Canberra, Australia; Makeup: Rose Borg; Styling: Kathy McKinnon