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Thinking of Going Blonde? We Got Three Women to Test Out the Best Options


Photographed by Mann Butte for Vogue Arabia, January 2018. Makeup by Toni Malt.

You don’t need to wait for a major life event to change up your hair color. You do however have to wait for the right stylist, who can transform your look without damaging your locks. Especially if you’re wishing to lighten up. “Anyone can go blonde within reason,” begins Hair Artistic Director for Tips & Toes Catherine Hawkes. “If the hair has been previously colored it may take several months to go blonde, but if you want more of a sun-kissed look this can usually be achieved in one session,” she adds. Renowned as a tricky color to achieve, three women, including two Vogue Arabia editors decided to take the plunge (from dark brown to blonde), even after some previously traumatic experiences. In charge of their transformations Ana from the Tips & Toes Al Barsha branch.

Dark Brown to Blonde Balayage
Khaoula Ghanem


“My hair is dark, extremely fine, and lifeless so I wanted something that would add a bit of dimension and extra oomph to it. Not to mention that after months of wearing hair extensions, the condition of my hair wasn’t at its best. I wanted to avoid doing anything drastic that may require copious and unhealthy amounts of peroxide. I also had a traumatizing experience in the past when I last attempted to go light about six-years-ago. In hindsight, it was partially my fault for reaching for the bleach twice in the span of two weeks. Since then, I’ve completely avoided dyeing my hair, which means it was definitely time for a change. Ana advised opting for a sun-kissed look, keeping my dark roots and using balayage to blend a golden blonde color from the ends of my hair to three quarters up. Completed in one session, my hair still feels healthy a month on, unlike my previous experiences.”

Light Brown Hair to Golden Blonde
Alexandra Venison, Beauty Editor


“I’m all about low maintenance hair. Having opted for highlights only a handful of times, I was ready to try something more exciting that would have little upkeep. The health of my hair was also at the forefront of my decision making. Too many times had I seen my friends end up hair that resembled hay. Having light brown locks, myself with six-month-old highlights, Ana worked with golden and honey shades masterfully blending them up to my natural root. Dependent on my parting, I could look completely blonde or show off the balayage. For those who are a little hesitant opting for a new look, Ana is also brilliant at interpreting references. Yes, she adds her own creative flair to her work, but if there’s a look you’re after she can make it happen.”

Dark Blonde to Sun Kissed Blonde
Christine van Deemter, Sub Editor 


“After a disastrous highlighting incident that left my front T-section looking like a pedestrian crossing, I needed to call in the experts. I am naturally dark blonde but covet that sun-kissed color that makes it look as if I rollerblade down Venice Beach every day. I also had balayage regrowth down to my ears, so the situation was dire. After an extensive consultation, Ana set to work to give me the low maintenance, high glamour locks of my dreams. She balayaged a natural-looking ash blonde throughout my hair, blending the different shades into a coherent look and fixing the crude stripes around my face. A month later and my hair color is still bright and fresh, the blond subtly blended to give dimension and natural-looking regrowth. Disaster averted!”

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