Last weekend I did the last touch-up on my blonde hair for the year. At this point, when I see a picture of myself with dark hair it looks weird. I think this might be my last time I bleach it and will be moving on to a new color. I’m thinking about trying Lush’s Henna Dye. They have a color that comes out like a natural red head that looks really cool or maybe I’ll throw some pastels in there temporarily while I still have light enough hair for it. Whatever I do I’ll probably stick with until my roots grow out and then transition back to brown but who knows. All of the process pictures in this blog are from this past weekend.
Being Blonde and Staying Blonde takes a lot of work. Before I even bought anything to bleach my hair, I did a bunch of research. I read blogs, I watched videos, and I looked on professionals websites to make sure this is something I could do. I’ve bleached my hair before but that was really just to lighten it so I could dye it purple. I didn’t do a great job then but it didn’t matter because the purple was dark enough that it didn’t matter. After purple I did green and then went back to brown. Last fall I did a vampire red on top of my brown hair and it came out as this really pretty deep burgundy. But I’ve never done just a normal color before. I did at least two weeks of research before I finally went to Sally’s Beauty Supply to get what I needed.
I still had a couple of bleach kits, Manic Panic Flash Lightening, left over from the bleaching before the purple and I had the proper brushes needed to apply hair color but I still needed toner and developer. Through my research I knew I wanted either Wella Color Charm T14 or T18 level toner. The blonde I was going for was more whiter blonde but I didn’t want it to be too drastic right away. So I went with T14 for the first round just to see how it turned out, T18 is a little whiter. After the first time, I switched to T18 and haven’t looked back. I was able to rope Tyler into helping me get the back of my head and we got to work applying the bleach. The kit I used was a level 30 developer which is the highest you should really go for developers unless you really want to damage your hair and scalp. We started with my ends first, then went for the roots. Don’t wash your hair before bleaching, I usually do it 12-24 hours before. You want the natural oils to help protect your scalp and hair. I also applied a little bit of coconut oil to my hair as well for extra protection. We had to bleach two times to get it light enough to put the toner on. After applying the bleach and the toner, I put on a shower cap to hold in the heat to help process. I also occasionally flipped on my blow dryer to help things along. It took all day and the results were okay. I think it needed to be toned again after the first time but I didn’t think to buy two.
I quickly realized that you can’t just dye your hair blonde and keep using the same shampoo and conditioner. I needed a purple toning shampoo which I should have figured out in my research but I was too focused on the actual bleaching itself. Purple shampoo is exactly like it sounds, its a shampoo that is deeply purple. Purple neutralizes yellow and helps with brassiness. It would also help to get the blonde I had a little lighter before I had to go into work that following Monday. I ran to store the day after I dyed it and got Clairol Shimmering Lights Purple Shampoo and Conditioner. I don’t recommend getting it unless you really enjoy smelling like a perfume an older lady would wear. I used it once and smell didn’t fade before I shampooed it again three days later. In that time, I of course hopped on the computer and started researching purple shampoo.
There are a lot out there and a lot of them have good reviews, even the Clairol. I wanted to try Lush’s Daddy-O but it’s quite expensive and I wanted to get it as soon as I could so I could ditch the old lady smell. I ended up getting Tigi Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo and Dumb Blonde Reconstructor as the conditioner. I’ve really liked it and both of them smell amazing. The shampoo keeps the brassiness at bay and can be used as hair treatment in between bleaches. You just apply it like toner and let it sit for 20-30 minutes and rinse it out. Be careful though because it can end up dying the white a little purple but it usually rinses out, you can see this in my pictures as I am bleaching my roots. As much as I love the shampoo the conditioner has been the real star. Bleaching and toning damages your hair really bad but this conditioner makes it seem like it never happened.
Within a few weeks my roots started to grow in. I was expecting it to look really bad but I ended up liking it. I let it grow out a little over a half an inch before bleaching it again. This was a different experience because now I was focused more on the roots. When you are bleaching the whole thing, the roots process faster so there isn’t a worry that they won’t lighten. With this I was worried they wouldn’t come out the same as the rest. I put the bleach on, let it process with a shower cap on, rinsed it out, and realized I needed to do it again. I put it on again and decided to just apply it all over to even things out. Then I toned it twice. My roots were still a little darker but it didn’t look awful so I just left it. As my roots started growing out again it became a little bit more noticeable but who cares.
Last weekend I did the process again but learned from the mistakes of last time. I started with the bleach on my roots just like last time and put the shower cap on enough to cover my roots. I went through two or three times to make sure I got everything but I didn’t. I have a horrible cowlick on top of my head and I missed one little part of it. It still lightened but not as much everything else. Luckily I planned for this. I knew I would have to do my roots again because they were orange and I still needed to do the rest of my head as well. So I applied the bleach again (sorry for my weird face) and threw back on my shower cap. It ended up getting the most even bleach this round. After letting it air-dry (no heat, heat means damage), I toned it. It was pretty late and I only toned it once. I also was trying to get done quick because I wanted to meet up with some friends which didn’t work out because I fell asleep, like a loser. The next day I decided to tone it again. Just a note, toner does turn purple or blue as it sits in your hair but it doesn’t dye your hair that color unless you overtone it and then it is more silver/grey. Overall, my hair came out really nice this last time. It is closer to the white/silver blonde that I wanted in the beginning and it isn’t as damaged as I thought it was going to be. I usually trim my hair after this whole process to get rid of the damaged ends but didn’t need to this time.
I really do love my blonde hair. A part of me would like to keep it going for a long time but the amount of work that goes into reminds me that it’s not possible. I’m not sure where I’ll go next with my hair but I am sure it will look just as good!