Yet again I found myself back in Jodie's chair trying to articulate what I wanted and failing miserably. Luckily Jodie is a trained pro at interpreting "ummm yeah so I thought maybe I could go more ashy by having it bleached". She explained that bleaching it would mean my regrowth would be even more noticeable and would require 6 weekly touchups...no thank you! Instead Jodie recommended that I get a whole head of highlights with a lighter blonde followed by an ashy toner. That meant next time I would only need to get either a t-zone or half head of hightlights. Sold.
The other benefits to getting the highlights is that my scalp wasn't bleached as usual: no itchy burning scalp, no looking and feeling like Stan afterwards and more natural blending with my hair as it grows. I absolutely loved the finished result, I didn't think it was possible for my hair to look blonder! I'm really glad I decided to persevere as I finally have the perfect blonde colour I was after.
Here are my 3 tips if you're thinking about going blonde (or blonder!):
- Find a really good hairdresser. I managed to get the hair colour I wanted because Jodie took the time to ask questions and listen. She was also expert enough to work out what would be best for my hair. Yes, finding a good stylist/colourist may set you back a bit more than you anticipated but you can get around this by going on days that the salon has half price off colour days (or 50% off everything!). You could also save money by getting a friend to cut your hair and just paying for the colour.
- Have a little patience. Especially if you have dark hair, you can't go from zero to hero in one trip I'm afraid. Even with my hair colour which is naturally light brown and had been highlighted blonde, it still took 3 trips over 7 months before I got the exact blonde colour I wanted. Doing it gradually will not only prevent disaster, it will also help maintain the health of your hair and keep it looking as natural as possible (with the exception of going bleach blonde of course!).
- Maintain, maintain, maintain. You're going to have to kick it up a notch with your conditioner - in quality and quantity. Colouring your hair any colour will dry it out, especially if you're lightening it. I try to wash my hair no more than 3 times a week and every time I do, I try to leave conditioner on for at least 3-5 minutes, if not longer. I also read that non-sulphate shampoo & conditioner helps to keep your colour for longer. For a double whammy, I use the L'Oreal Hair Expertise range (full review here) which has no sulphates AND deeply nourishes. You will also need to maintain the tone by washing with purple shampoo. My favourite is Fudge's Whiter Shade of Pale (full review here) which is more like a purple toner that I use roughly once a month to remove brassiness. I'd also recommend regularly having the ends of your hair trimmed to keep it looking healthy (which we should all do anyway, really!).
If you're thinking of doing it, 100% I'd say go for it! It's just hair at the end of the day, it's fixable and it grows back :-)
What do you think of my blonder hair? Do you have any other useful tips?