My Natural Hair Color Is 'In' and Now I Can't Get It Back

My Natural Hair Color Is 'In' and Now I Can't Get It Back
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I've been dying my hair blonde for so long, I can't remember when I actually started — I'm addicted to the platinum lifestyle. From my first Sun In experimentation in seventh grade to my platinum single-processes at 21-years old, I've been all over the map with my blonde hues. But, there is one color I can safely say I've never tried to attempt — my natural one.

Strip away the bleach, I'm a natural so-ashy-it's-almost-gray blonde, and for the first time women are actually attempting to dye their hair my shade. I was shocked to see models showing ash blonde hues during the Marc Jacobs runway show back in Winter 2014. Then, throughout the year, a several gorgeous celebrities jumped on the bandwagon: Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Zosia Mamet.

I became more and more confident that my natural hair color was, in fact, completely and totally chic. And dang it, I wanted the color back!

The only problem was, I'd been dying my poor hair for so long that my strands were very overprocessed and sometimes difficult for a colorist to control. In my previous attempts to take the sun out of my lightened strands I'd left the salon moderately happy, only to have golden tones creep back into my hair seemingly overnight. Clearly, I needed serious professional help.

To facilitate this change, I enlisted real life celebrity colorist Caroline Buckler from the Marie Robinson Salon. A veteran hair colorist who has worked her magic on some seriously awesome ladies like Carolyn Murphy, Mariska Hargitay, and Elisabeth Moss (who she affectionately calls "Lizzy"), I knew Caroline was the perfect person to make my ash blonde dreams come true.

daylight savings time: it's getting lighter and I'm going darker

A photo posted by Kathleen Braine (@gangsta_leen) on

As I sat down in the chair, Caroline explained to me that her philosophy as a hair colorist was all about trust — and luckily, with her laid back vibe and self-assured manner, I completely trusted both Caroline, and the process.

In order to revamp my blonde, Caroline used foils and created subtle ashy lowlights to break up the blonde and add dimension. She also rid my hair of the brassy color from past base enhancements: Caroline's most strident advice to me was that I was never, in any situation, to touch my base ever again. Caroline told me she usually utilizes foils over hand-painting (bayalage) because they give her more control over the color. After she finished with the foils she did two different glosses — one all over to tone my hair, and a second to soften the highlights at the root.

After three hours at the salon (which was actually quite pleasant as Caroline and I bonded over our mutual love of NYC and St. Vincent), I walked out looking like the ash blonde bombshell that I knew I was all along.

Want to take care of your ashy blonde locks? Caroline recommends using color safe shampoos like Shimmer Lights ($8.79; and Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo ($44.00; To keep your lightened strands protected, Caroline also loves Oribe Balm d'Or ($43.00; and Kiehl's Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pak, ($25.00;

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