Something that I love about my blog, is that I have the freedom to write about absolutely anything I want. Whether I’ve been inspired by an art exhibition or a performance that I have recently seen, have stories to tell about a place that I have visited, or if I just feel strongly about a particular topic – anything goes here in my little nook. Just now, my life is definitely on the stressful side; I have a huge impending move, bringing with it many difficult challenges, I haven’t been home for more than a couple of weeks in a long time and, well, I am a poor musician! (Enough said!) So, I thought that for today’s blog post I would take a step back, write about something fun and just keep it real. The subject of today’s post is how I dyed my hair blonde.
Going blonde was quite an experience. It took longer and a lot more work than I ever anticipated and I am still learning how to handle it. So I thought I would document the process here – this will be a post that I would have wished to read myself before I began this blonde journey of mine. And please, if you have any personal experience in this matter, any tips to add, I would love to read them, so do leave them in a comment below!
I guess I should start by clarifying that my natural hair colour is a kind of darkish red – in winter it looks a little more brick-brown and in summer it tends to go a shade of strawberry blonde. I have experimented with dying my hair darker in the past; I first tried a tone just a little darker than my natural colour when I was about 16, and have since also gone a more chocolatey brown. But I have always been curious to see what a true golden blonde would look like on me. And the thing about hair is, it grows! Nothing you do to it will ever require more than a short-term commitment! To me, this just calls for creative experimentation.
So where did I begin? Well, I decided first, being the cheap-skate that I am, that I would try to do it myself at home. I first bought a semi-permanent box dye of a shade that was more of a dark blonde. I would say, at this point, I was still unsure of the exact kind of blonde I wanted to be, and this is something I would suggest you really think about first if you are considering going blonde – it’s definitely a good idea to know the colour you really want to be before you start. I also chose the 8-week wash-out dye, only because this is what I had done for going darker in the past and it had always worked really well. Basically, this dye did nothing. Maybe in some light it looked ever so slightly lighter… but you couldn’t really see any difference. So I wrote this off as a fail.
Next, I decided to change two things; I would now try a permanent box dye, instead of the wash-out one, and I would pick one that looked super light blonde on the box (lighter than I had intended to go). By the way, we have a pretty limited choice of box dyes in the shops here in Germany – I have since seen the selection of dyes in stores in North America, which is highly extensive in comparison – so both box dyes that I bought were L’Oreal, as this was pretty much the best option I had available to me. After dying my hair with this second one, I found that it came out lighter than the first one, but it still wasn’t blonde! My hair was now just a lighter version of red.
At this point, I realised that I was never going to get to a real blonde colour by myself at home. So, with the help of my kind aunt, I arranged an appointment at a salon in Stratford, Ontario (where I was headed in a couple of weeks). Before my appointment, I finally decided to choose a shade of blonde that I really wanted and the kind of look that I was going for. I did some research online and found a picture of a style that I really liked, and I took that picture with me to the salon.
The result: I LOVE my new blonde hair! I have to say, my hairdresser was fabulous, she pretty much achieved exactly the look of the picture I showed her, and I can highly recommend Dudes and Dames Hairdressing Salon in Stratford! The appointment took about 4 hours in total, and most of that time was spent applying the dye individually to very small sections of hair (I have a lot of hair). So if you are going to go through it, bring some reading material! I actually found my hairdresser’s technique for applying the dye pretty interesting; she would apply it in a V shape to some sections of hair, to achieve a kind of ombre look, before wrapping it, and then applied it directly from the roots in other sections, which she then folded and wrapped in foil. She even left a few strands of hair all over my head out, so they stayed red, and the overall look creates so much texture and dimension.
Now, by this point, I had achieved the blonde that I wanted, and I was so happy. However, I still had (and have) a lot to learn, because what I have discovered is that getting to the blonde you want is only part of the journey. Maintaining the blonde is where the real challenge lies. I have found that since going blonde, my hair has been very dry and brittle, and extremely difficult to brush. I have been using L’Oreal Ever Pure Colour Care System shampoo and conditioner, followed by some coconut-oil-based serum and a frizz control product from Lush. I brush my hair out with a wide tooth comb after I shower, as this has always been my strategy for dealing with my curls. Again, if you have any suggestions for good products to use, I am all ears!
The other thing is that, of course, I knew my hair would grow quickly, and with this my roots would also grow out. And it is happening very, very quickly! I still absolutely love my blonde hair, but it is changing in tone every day as it grows, so I am always learning how to style it to make it look good and fresh, and constantly trying new things with it.
As of right now, I am not sure what my next plan will be; whether I will re-dye it, just touch up my roots at some point, let it all grow out altogether, or dye it a whole new colour! I guess I will see how it goes and what happens over the next few weeks and months. I will say that, for right now, I am really enjoying my new look and the feelings it gives me; it’s kind of like having a new character to play when I am out and about! It feels warm and summery, friendly and bright, and I know that my red hair is lurking there, not far away, so I really don’t miss it!
So, if you are considering changing your hair colour, to blonde or anything else, I say do it! It will satisfy that small curious voice in your head, and even if you hate it, it’s always good to try new things!
What I learned:
- Know exactly what colour and shade you want to dye your hair
- Blonde hair needs a professional
- Be prepared for lots of after-care!