Keep it Cool. “If you elect to lighten your hair on your own, opt for a cool or neutral shade rather than something warm. Lightening naturally warms up your hair; if you choose a warm-colored dye, you may end up too [orangey] gold.”

Avoid Alcohol. Bottle blondes may suffer from dry, dull hair, and using products that contain high amounts of alcohol can make the problem worse,” says Johnathan Gale, a colorist at the Serge Normant for John Frieda Salon in Los Angeles (he’s responsible for Charlize Theron’s gilded locks). Common alcohol-containing culprits: hairspray, gel, and mousse; check the label.

Don’t Overbleach. Many women equate cool, white strands with elegance but the reality is that having overly platinum hair can leave you looking tired. A better approach? Ask your colorist to create a golden base, then add cooler highlights.

Go Pro. You want to take your color more than two shades lighter than your natural hue, visit a salon. Attempting a job this delicate yourself is risky — and you may end up more banana than honey-blonde.