Before we dive in with all the hair detail, I wanted to share some photos to help show more of the journey I went through.
This was me right before I decided I wanted to go lighter. My hair was the healthiest it had ever been in the photo! Little did I know what I was about to go through haha!
This was the photo I saw that made me want to go lighter! So I knew it was going to be a process, I just didn’t think about all the crap my hair had to go through.
I didn’t document the beginning of the process because my hair was not cute… It had a ton of red tones in it so I didn’t take pictures haha! this photo was probably the third time I bleached my hair. As you can see it was extremely warm. My end goal was to be ashy.
This photo was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I had bleached my hair probably 5 times and I feel like it wasn’t budging. This is the effects of what happens when you put permanent hair color on your hair. I didn’t know the stylist had otherwise I would have flipped haha! If you don’t have grey hair, you don’t need permanent hair color! I promise you it is the biggest pain in the butt to lift out!
This is me now. I decided to go back dark because my hair could not handle it anymore. My ends were too fried and almost see through. The color I wanted was so hard to achieve and unfortunately I didn’t get there. I wish I would have been more patient. Because I was so ready for that drastic change, I was impulsive and impatient. I’ll go light again soon, but I’ll definitely take better care of my hair and prep it in the mean time.
This is a photo of my client (not me). She originally came in with all over dark color. this was her journey, and she did it the RIGHT way! It took time, but the wait was well worth it!
So as you can tell, today I’m talking hair care & my journey of going dark to light, then dark to light again, now back dark! Haha I’m soooo indecisive of what I want with my hair! Here’s a background story about me:
When I was in the 7th grade, my mom experimented on my hair and gave me some highlights, and no she’s not a hair stylist haha! Knowing what I know now I just die at the thought. Now growing up in Arizona, everyone gets natural highlights from the sun! So my hair was extremely golden with a ton of different warm tones throughout it! One time my friends and I did a photoshoot together for fun and in one of the photos my hair looked like a dark chocolate color! I don’t know why it came out that way but I remembered loving how it looked! I begged my mom to have that color, and like usual she said no. All of 7th, 8th, & 9th grade I fought it with her. Fast forward to my sophomore year, I told my mom that I wanted to go back to my natural color. To be honest, I didn’t really know what that was because my hair had so many golden tones in it. So my mom agreed to my natural color and my sister in law colored it for me. We matched the color based off of what my roots were. Realistically I was probably a 5n (medium chocolate brown) but we put a 4n on it. I think from all the bleach my hair had in it, it literally sucked in the color. I remember my sister blow drying it and I could see black hair twirling in my face. I was SO excited! When she was done I flipped out (in a good way) because it’s what I always wanted! I knew my mom was going to freak out though. When my mom came and picked me up, she freaked out haha! It was such a drastic change that I think she was in shock! Long story short, she grew to love it. To this day she actually prefers me dark! So from sophomore year which was 2009, up till 2015 I had dark hair!
I’m not sure what made me want to go lighter, I just needed a change. But I remember being terrified about it. I was so confident with being dark. Because my hair had so many layers of dark color on it, the first time we bleached some pieces they were literally the ugliest red shade ever. I had to be patient & take it step by step. January of 2016, I was done with being patient. I told my friend to use 40 volume on it and bleach the heck out of me. It lifted but now what I wanted. So what did I do? I bleached it again, and again, and again, and again. You could imagine what the ends of my hair felt like. But I was finally getting to a point of where I was comfortable with it. My hair was nasty though. This is why I’m sharing this story. I think it’s extremely important to share knowledge & educate women out there who aren’t familiar with the lightening process. I didn’t do these steps to take care of my hair. I wish I had because I’m still suffering with damaged hair. Here is what you need to know:
1 – Blonde is a journey ; that eventually can be a destination. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
2 – Dark brown hair lifts to red, red lifts to orange, orange lifts to yellow. Blonde lives in yellow. So you’ll have to deal with warmer undertones in the meantime.
3 – Prep your hair for lightening. There are many at home products that will help the strength of your hair while going though your hair journey. For example. Olaplex is a must (ask your stylist for it) & I also love coconut oil!
5 – Patience is key. The faster you understand that you can’t be blonde in one appointment (unless you’re already lighter) the happier you’ll be.
6 – Go to someone you trust with your life! It’s crucial to have a stylist who loves your hair as much as you do and will bend over backwards to keep the integrity of your hair strong!
7 – Damage will happen. You’re going lighter, which requires bleach, which literally eats your hair! Just do what you need to do. Listen to your stylist. I promise she’s not tying to sell you product, she’s helping more than you know.
8 – Take breaks from bleaching! I understand you want the color you saw on Pinterest, but sometimes just a toner will help you feel like a fresh new penny. A toner will counteract all those unwanted harsh tones and add shine! BONUS: you didn’t use bleach!
9 – If you can, be careful of the amount of heat you’re using. I never blow dry my hair, however I am lucky. My hair hair dries straight. I only curl my hair once or twice a week! My sister Sophie sleeps in a French braid every single night. In the morning she takes it out, adds a few curls to it if needed and then finishes it off with product! It always looks amazing! Heat protectant spray is always a good idea too.
10 – Use hair products that will help maintain the hair you desire. Hair is an investment, do you really want to dull your color with 4$ shampoo? Ask your stylist what she recommends for your hair!
11 – Take care of your ends! If they need to be trimmed, then by all means please trim them! It will look so much better. 2 inches of frazzled split ends don’t add length, it adds damage. In fact, hair will not grow! It will only break.
12 – If you don’t have grey hair, then please please please DON’T put permanent hair color on your hair. The ammonia in it makes it difficult to lift out the color. In all honestly permanent hair color was basically made for grey hair. It’s what covers the grey’s because it’s so strong. It was my biggest mistake in my hair journey.
I hope these tips help any of you who aren’t quite sure what going lighter entails. Take it from someone who knows. I finally sucked up my pride and cut 4 in a half inches off my hair and layered it to help give it some life. Yes it may be shorter than I like, but it looks better than ever. It’s thicker, shinier, and overall healthier. Healthy hair is happy hair, always!