Friday, 29 September 2017

Going Blonde...

At the beginning of Spring this year I took the plunge and went all over blonde - an idea that bounced around in my head for probably a good 10 years before having the courage to do it!

I really wanted to go blonde as alot of my heroines are blonde  (Gwen Stefani is one of my ultimate girl crushes) Rich is also blonde, I could then try pastel colours and I just desperately wanted a change. I felt like my brunette hair just didn't feel like me, even if it suited me.

1. See a Pro and ask for a strand test

One thing I recommend as the absolute golden rule of this is to see a professional. DO NOT use store bought bleach and chuck it on thinking your hair will look fab.

It may be expensive to do but the end results are worth it. Having bleached in my own highlights over the years and coon tails (remember those, scene kids!) before I knew I have only ever managed a very raw looking yellowy colour which resembled straw. A salon can advise you on upkeep, keep it looking its best and keep the colour even. Totally worth every penny.

I did some shopping around and spoke to a few people I knew who also had done drastic colour changes (and the colour and condition of their hair was really good afterwards!) and was recommended to Tanya @ Beehive Salon in Eastbourne.

Don't think that necessarily the most expensive or Instagram hyped salons are the best and only options. I visited Not Another Salon (which is as Instagramable and amazing as the photos show) and had a chat with one of the girls there and had a strand test. It came out to the same quality and colour as the local salon (Beehive) did, only as it was London prices I was quoted £600. At Beehive's it's cost me about half of that. A trip to Not Another is still on my wishlist of places to pamper myself though, its just outside of my budget!

As you can see in the above picture on top left, my natural hair (aside from fringe) is a auburn brown, darker at top before it goes reddish in the middle.

This makes the poor stylists job alot harder, with reddish hair this does mean that through the colour wheel to get to blonde (see below) we will hit more orangey, goldey yellow tones.. not a good look!

After my consultation with the lovely Tanya, we agreed to do a strand test - an absolute must if you are shopping for a salon to go blonde from brunette. Even if they do not suggest it do make sure you ask and they should be happy to do this for you. At the end of the day, it will help you see for yourself (and the stylist) how much bleach and mixture they will need to for you application to get you closer to your desired colour , and , just as importantly the condition of your hair.

If its gonna go a good shade but then snap or break then you have had a warning that you desp need to sort out the condition of your damaged tresses before that bleach touches down on your barnet. Don't argue with the stylist about it and say you want to get it done anyway - at the end of the day they are trying to make sure you make the right decision as well based on the conditions of your hair.

2. Don't expect to go from dark - light in one sitting

After researching (I researched for MONTHS before I began enquiring) I was well aware that on my first colouring session I wasn't gonna walk out a full blown Daenerys, the mother of Dragons. At least not yet.

Above is the colour wheel for shades going to blonde, my natural shade being a cross of medium brown and red orange. This is why my hair is an even harder one to turn blonde. the reddish lightens to orange and then eventually a garish yellow! not a good look!

Luckily, I  was in Tanya's hands as we did our first hair lifting session and we got it to a really nice shade of Strawberry blonde. Much better than I had feared, I had thought I was gonna have to be gingery for a good few weeks following.

The reason for the separate sessions is to prevent damage. as my hair is not the the best of condition this made total sense and is the better way to generally go lighter. We also gave it a good sesh of toner and conditioned with Loreals Smartbond conditioner. I bought a bottle of it also to maintain the silky softness Tanya had managed to go (she is a hair wizard I tell ya!) and a bottle of purple shampoo (that stuff will become your bestie if you also choose the blonde life)

I lived it up as a strawberry blonde hottie for 6 weeks before my next appointment. See my pic above on the right to see how shiny and in good condition it was in after! We did cling to that stubborn orangey looks for a while whilst I was in there so on your first visit make sure you go equipped with a book, sweets and some tunes. Lifting hair to blonde from brunette is truly a labour of love n can't be rushed!

3. Root maintenance and getting icy white locks! 

To keep your blonde looking top notch, you will need to keep with salon visits every 6 weeks to touch up the roots. If you don't mind a growing out root look then that's ok, but bare in mind that the reason salons ask you to make frequent visits for root touch ups is to avoid what is called "banding" on hair. The further the hair is that the need to touch up from you head, the harder it is to get the same ashey  light blonde.

Science behind this is due to that the colour develops faster nearer the heat of your head, the further away it is down the root means its much harder to get that colour and may result in a slightly off coloured stripe across the new/older hair. not good!

For my second visit we lifted from the strawberry blonde colour to the icy white I wanted - the perfect base for then going pastels! :) Sometimes the whole process can take three sessions to lighten but in my case it took two luckily.

So basically going blonde  from dark hair is a biggg commitment and is definitely worth the research and making sure you have the fundage to keep on top of it. I am loving being a blonde though and looking forward to being an ice queen this winter! :) Perhaps experimenting with colour in the new year...

Have you ever made the switch from brunette to blonde? Let me know about your experience in the comments below or if you have any extra tips!

Love, Sarah xx


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