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photo: Courtesy of Carlina Ortega

If you've ever gone blonde or just thought about doing it, chances are you've heard a ton of lies —sorry, myths — about what you can and can't do! This is especially the case for Latinas with naturally dark or textured hair. Time and time again we're told we can't go lighter for fear of damaging our luscious locks.

"Growing up I would go to the neighborhood salons with my mom and always heard that people with very dark hair or curly locks couldn't go blonde," says Carlina Ortega, senior colorist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, who has worked with clients like fashion model and blogger Natalie Suarez and Al Pacino. "It wasn't until I learned how to color hair myself that I realized it was just a myth."

According to Ortega, who has over 13 years of coloring experience at top salons, it doesn't matter what your natural hair color, texture, or skin tone is — anyone can go lighter! It's all about getting the right colorist, picking the right hue to complement your complexion, and knowing how to keep your strands healthy. Here, she debunks some common coloring myths and gives us tips on how you can achieve any hair color you want!

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