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Most blondes have two, seemingly irreconcilable, goals: brightness and dimension. A blonde that achieves both is worth celebrating, like the icy shade recently adopted by Rachel McAdams. Her shade achieves it all by using a full spectrum of tones while staying within the same color level. In hair terms, this means alternating sections of cool platinum with beige, gold, and violet gray, all at a level 9 or 10. If done well the result is faceted like a crystal, expressing an overall cool tone flecked with reflective accents of other hues. Learn more about creating this crystalline effect in the style notes. –– Laura Martin 

Step: One of the easiest ways to ensure dimension with blondes to lighten using different products. Use different developers, a mix of highlift blonde and traditional lightener, or a one lightener with pigment control and one without. Applying a mix of different lighteners ensures variation in the final result.

Step: Tone with 3 different formulas: a warm, a cool, and a neutral. These don’t have to be extreme, McAdams mixture of soft gold, icy platinum and beige works perfectly. For a stronger variation, try a blend of cobalt-silver, rose-gold, and white-gold.

Step: Use the color that you’d like to dominate on half of the total hair, and make sure to apply it around the hairline sections. Divide remaining hair between the other tones, covering a quarter of total hair with each.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle

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