Feb 28, 2020

Kendall Jenner’s Colorist Spills 5 Tips For Natural-Looking Highlights

Ask any hair colorist for the requests they get most often and you'll undoubtably hear "natural" and "sun-kissed." It makes sense considering the notion incites a sexy narrative — like you just spent a two week vacation relaxing on a white-sand beach in Grand Cayman — and hits on the tone of YHCBB (your hair color, but better). But for the general public, especially those with dark hair, the whole concept of au naturale highlights can feel like a pipe dream. Luckily, that's where professional colorists come into play.

We recently sat down with Cassondra Kaeding, the L.A.-based colorist behind some of the most requested hair in Hollywood, from Kendall and Kylie Jenner to Natalie Portman and Olivia Munn, for her secret to these enviable hues. Click ahead for her five simple tricks to make dreamy, sun-kissed highlights a reality.

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Always Bring Visuals 

Kaeding's first tip is to compile research before your appointment, like a Pinterest board or a few saved images on Instagram. "There's chemistry and nuance to hair color, so it's important to bring images that clarify exactly what you're looking for," Kaeding explains. "Your hair color is unique to you — your skin tone and eye color, too — so when all those factors are also taken into consideration at the consultation, the end result is usually super natural."

Opt For Non-Permanent Dye

In terms of natural-looking results, Kaeding says that semi-permanent dyes and glosses are the answer. "I use Redken Shades EQ formula on every single client," Kaeding says (she's also an ambassador for the brand). "I just love the way the formula fades. For example, I just did Olivia Munn's highlights and before that I hadn't seen her in about a year. Because the non-permeant formula is gentle on the hair and grows out so well, I know I can trust it."

Gloss, Gloss, Gloss

Kaeding's top color-maintenance tip: Book a routine, in-salon gloss. "We're all busy, and it's hard scheduling a full color, so I think a quick gloss, which sits in your hair for 20 minutes, makes a huge difference in keeping your color looking new," she says. "In my experience, once people see the shine they get from a gloss, they're not only hooked, but they can go longer between color appointments."

Don’t Over Shampoo 

You want to make sure you're not stripping your highlights in the shower. "This is especially important for brunettes, because your highlights will oxidize and fade quickly with too much shampoo," says Kaeding. "When you wash, you want to use a gentle shampoo and conditioner combo that will maintain the tone integrity and the shine. I always recommend the Redken Brownlights shampoo."

Forgo Single-Process For Dimension 

As far as color trends are concerned, Kaeding says the key to a "natural, sun-kissed" effect is tonal variation. "Dimension is key," she explains. "With it, you can actually get that single-process effect, like Kendall's hair, which just looks like a pretty light brown, but it's really a melding of a lot of tonal variation when you get up-close. I find those cool, smoky gold undertones look great on everyone."

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