Pretty-mom + mega-colorist Sharon Dorram will now help you build a better “bronde”

Ageless and well-dressed, with seriously good hair.
Ageless and chic, with seriously good hair.

A model of multi-tasking, Sharon Dorram called me from a dusty, ol’ dirt parking lot in the Hamptons last Friday. The super duper superstar celebrity colorist was dropping her daughter off at surf camp – stuff was going ON in her world – but she kept her date with me all the same.

Our mission: To bring you the tips and tricks you need to maximize the “bronde” trend.

You know about “bronde,” oui? The gorge middle ground between blonde and brunette?


Because I would now like to get serious about “bronde,” take it out of air quotes, and give it the respect it so deserves.

Why? Because bronde is beautiful. Because bronde is purrfect for shifting out of summer. Because bronde is not just the new fave hue of a slew of mama-hotties (Blake Lively! Beyoncé!), it’s here to stay.

So off we go on our whirlwind Q & A.

DANA: Would bronde work for a natural blonde, who’s never colored her hair?

SHARON: Yes. In fact, I like it best for women who basically have a lighter base color and are just going a shade or two darker. Most of the women I do it for are generally blondes who may have gotten light from the sun. They want to richen up their color, and bring it back to its natural state.

DANA: And what about your highlight clients? Do they get the lowlights? Wait, we can’t even really call them “lowlights” anymore, right?

SHARON: Bronde isn’t actually about lowlights. It’s more of a semi-permanent rinse that we use, which coats the hair. You’re not married to it. And it’s a really great transition from summer into fall.

DANA: So even on those individual pieces, you’re painting on semi-permanent color?

SHARON: Yes. But I really use it more as an all-over rinse. It luxes up the hair, gives it shine, makes it look healthy. And if you wear it for a month, or six weeks, and it fades out, you might say: “Okay, I’ve been dark for a while. Now it’s time to put a few more highlights back in my hair.’

That’s a better way of dealing with the transition into fall than just suddenly going darker.

DANA: A classic lowlight is actually permanent color?

SHARON: Well, it can be. When I do my blondes, I always add a few lowlights, so there’s dimension to the color. And when I do the lowlights, I paint them on, and I use semi-permanent color so it fades out over time and blends in with the blonde.

But bronde is just a different look altogether than lowlights.

DANA: To me, bronde looks like more of an overall look, and less chunky and piece-y.

SHARON: Exactly. That’s a perfect way to describe it: An overall look.

DANA: What’s the maintenance schedule like? How often would you need to get the re-bronded?

SHARON: I would say every six to eight weeks. But you could even go longer. It can hold for up to three months. So anywhere between six to twelve weeks.

DANA: So that’s pretty low-maintenance.


DANA: Your technique at your New York salon is to add a warm rinse at the end. Should my readers ask their colorists for that as well?

SHARON: No, that’s only really necessary if someone has really faded blonde hair. Sometimes if you darken super-faded hair it can get ashy, almost green.

DANA: L’Oréal Préférence has a DIY bronde kit. Any tips about getting the best results from that?

SHARON: As always with at-home color, err on the side of caution and do a strand test first. And don’t do a strip in the back of your head that you can’t really see. Do a piece up front, near your face, so you get the full effect and can see what it looks like as you move.

DANA: Let’s say you’re happy with your little bronde test strip. Do you then have to wait 24 hours before you do your entire head?

SHARON: Not at all. If you like it, you can do the rest right away.

DANA: I saw a quote of yours recently that I thought was pretty genius: “Healthy hair is youthful.”

SHARON: Absolutely. So what does that mean? It means shampooing less often, definitely. It means using less mousse, less hairspray – anything that might have alcohol in it and could potentially strip the moisture out. And it means putting moisture back in, by maybe doing a vitamin E oil treatment once a month. That will help your hair look healthier, and younger.

DANA: Thank you lady!

SHARON: Any time.