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Last updated: April 11, 2018

4 Blonding Secrets From Gwen Stefani’s Colorist

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Photo via @gwenstefani

Blonde clients can be the hardest clients to please—they want their strands to be lighter, brighter, longer and thicker. But doing all that, and doing it well, is no easy task. Luckily, we’ve got what you need—like a few outside-the-box color secrets from the colorist behind Gwen Stefani’s iconic blonde. Here’s what celeb stylist Danilo (her colorist for almost 20 years!) swears by when working with blondes.


Blondes don’t always require lightener

  • Know this: For Gwen Stefani’s iconic blonde, Danilo never uses lightener because he finds the color pulls too white and it can also be more damaging. Instead, he uses high-lift haircolor.
  • Try this: Always know what your client’s end goals are. Gwen’s color is a little more golden, and she has a gold tone in her natural color, so Danilo formulates a couple different products and uses a high-lift haircolor to create her blonde. If she wanted to be super ashy, this might not be the best option.



Blondes should always be conditioning

  • Know this: Leave-in conditioners are a blonde’s best friend! You’ll never create super healthy looking blondes if you or your clients are constantly using products that dry out the hair.
  • Try this: When touching up the roots, keep the rest of the hair in a conditioning mask—this is what Danilo does with Gwen.
  • Here’s why: The hair is always being treated and it’s never exposed to color it doesn’t need. Another thing you can do is change up your styling products. “Yes, I love hairspray, but I style hair with leave-in conditioner a lot. The truth is, her hair has a job, and I need to make sure it’s in high performance,” say Danilo. Leave-ins help him do that!


Blondes should be consistent with their appointments

  • Know this: For a super healthy blonde color, Danilo recommends lots of touch-up appointments. When Gwen is filming “The Voice,” Danilo will color her hair once a week, sometimes twice a week.
  • Here’s why: When creating an all-over blonde, working with shorter roots means the formula is on less hair and you can be neater with your application—creating healthier hair in the long run.



Blondes should be exclusive to their colorist

  • Know this: One of the most important things a blonde client can do is be consistent with their colorist. “When a client is super light, the secret is to then stay with that hairdresser simply because they know what’s going on,” says Danilo.
  • Here’s why: “All blondes are different,” says Danilo. “So even if I used Gwen’s formula on someone else, their hair could open up in a different manner.” Explain this to your client and you’ll keep them coming back.