Ask a hairdresser: How do I get natural-looking blonde highlights on my brown hair?

Jennifer Aniston - Directors Guild of America Awards 2012

The question

Reader Jaye writes:

I’m planning on highlighting my hair for the first time since high school. Refreshing it in time for the summer weather and hiding any white hairs that keep poppin’ up. I’m thinking something that looks natural and may not need regular maintenance… if this even exists. Any advice for a brunette who doesn’t want to walk away with “Cali blond” hair? I want to make sure I am following 2012 trends.

The answer

Tony Chaar’s advice:

Great question. The best way to approach this is with the location of your highlights. The temple areas are very important, and the highlights should also be scattered around unevenly.

You don’t want to go any higher then gold blonde.

If you go to baby blonde and then stack the highlights (i.e. put them through the middle layers of your hair), then you will reach the California blonde that you do not want.

So stick to the gold blonde at the temples, scattered around, and you will be happy and it will have flair.

Tony Chaar is a Toronto-based hairstylist who has worked with celebrities such as Coco Rocha, Freida Pinto, LeeLee Sobieski and Kim Cattrall. Visit his salon at 11 Hazelton Avenue in Toronto or call 416-920-9965. On the web, find him on FacebookTwitter or at

Got a hair question of your own?

Ask Tony! Submit your hair colour, cut or styling question here for Tony to tackle in a future BEAUTY EDITOR post.


Sunday, March 23/2014 at 11:23 am

Hi Tony….I dyed my hair dark blonde and now I want it to be light blonde so please can you advice me what is the best colour to use and my hair is so damaged……and please I wanna ask you if lemon is useful for getting blonde hair..thank you so much


Tony Chaar
Friday, March 28/2014 at 12:34 pm

There’s two ways of getting you to be light blonde. One is less damaging than the other, which is a lightening bath, what I did to Michelle before. But it has to be at the salon and under my watch.
The other way is for you to get colour remover and put it on your hair, dilute it with water, and follow the instructions. And you must do it fast and even, and stay off the roots, just where all the dark blonde is. Put the hair up and a plastic cap on top of it. After 10mins, look at it, and you will see the changes. It should be at an orange blonde, then wait another 5mins and then it will go to yellow blonde. Then you rinse. And then you apply a colour that you already bought, which would be gold blonde. And you put that colour on after, follow the instructions. Please let me know what happens.
Lemon juice will also help to make your hair a little bit blonder.


Leave a Comment