When a Kardashian changes her hair, it’s big news. When Kim Kardashian becomes a blonde, it’s an event. That’s just what happened when the new mother debuted considerably lightened locks over the Labor Day weekend—media around the world took note!
The haircolor artist responsible for Kim’s latest transformation is Joico Celebrity Hair Colorist George Papanikolas. He reveals that he performed the makeover over the course of two days at the home of Kim’s mother, Kris Jenner. “I’ve been coloring Kim’s hair for over a year now and she’s been wanting to go blonde almost from the beginning,” says George. Her inspiration? “Balmain Spanish Vogue models,” he tells us.
“We studied a lot of photos,” George reveals, “to come up with the right color combination and a modern interpretation of blonde ombré.” George started by lifting Kim’s base with Joico Base Breaker Cool + 20-volume developer. Base Breaker lifts the hair one level in a snap, so the formula went on and came right off. Next he placed heavy slice foil highlights one inch and two inches off of the root, using Joico VeroLight + 30-volume developer. “I didn’t want the hair to look ‘rooty’,” George explains, “so I created a v-shape at the top of each highlight section. This technique eliminates the appearance of a hard line of regrowth and gives the color natural looking depth and contrast.” After lifting the hair to pale blonde, George finished with a glaze of Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome V9 + activator to keep Kim’s new blonde hue super cool!
The makeover comes just a few weeks after George brightened another Kardashian—Kim’s sister Khloe. In this instance, the pair decided to amp up Khloe’s existing ombré look with heavier highlights and a deeper base for a high contrast effect. To get the look, George first deepened Khloe’s base color with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome N4 + activator. Then he backcombed large sections and applied Joico Verolight + 30-volume developer to the non-backcombed midlength and end sections. He also added wide, face-frame highlights and processed all of the lightened hair to pale blonde. Finally, he toned the highlights with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome V9 + activator. The result—a dramatic, high-contrast, modern ombré effect with lots of luminous, complexion-enhancing highlights!
These were two very different transitions in terms of the process and timing. Khloé’s was a gradual transition, taking the look lighter and lighter over a few weeks, whereas Kim’s was over a couple of days, explained George. “Any colorist knows that for a transition like Kim’s, you absolutely need to make sure the hair is healthy and can take what you’re asking it to take,” says George. He goes on, “for fans at home who want to do the same, they need to make sure their hair is healthy; your colorist should never do this kind of transition on hair that is already badly damaged or heavily processed. You need to take time to get it healthy and strong again.” George recommends conditioning the hair with a deep conditioner, like K-PAK Deep Penetrating Reconstructor or K-PAK RevitaLuxe. Depending on how in good or bad a shape your hair is in, you may need a few days to weeks to get you hair to the optimal condition. “Because we did very heavy ombre and very heavey highlights, the color will be very easy for her maintain, explained George.