I love taking risks in the world of fashion and beauty... although I was never someone who dared to transform my hair into anything but a simple, straight cut in my natural color. Eventually, a little less than a year ago I branched out and cut half a meter (20 inches) of my hair off and since then I've never looked back to boring hair choices. I suppose it's like those adrenaline junkies who need a crazier adventure every time, I feel the same about my hair now. So after a few months of my new hair cut I decided to go blonde (Click here for the article). Now that I have bleached my hair numerous times, here's what I have learned:
My hair is naturally very very dark brown, I'm talking like dark/ almost black chocolate kind dark. I thought getting it to an icy platinum blonde would be an easy, fairly quick and painless process, but boy was I wrong! The first time I tried a brown to blonde balayage,which is when you keep your natural roots but fade the rest of your hair out to blonde - it's more cost effective and way less maintenance. This process took over 4 hours, 2 sets of foils and lots of toner... and a strain on my wallet... Not only did I pay way more than expected in the salon, I also realized I had to buy special purple toner shampoo to keep my hair from going brassy (which it did the first time because I went to someone who wasn't my regular hair dresser and she didn't know what she was doing).
Oh, and here's another thing: bleach burns. The first time I only did half my hair it stung my eyes... well at least the smell did. I was crying like I had just seen a bunch of kittens but really it was the chemicals that were stripping my hair of pigment. The second and third time I decided to go full on blonde, bleaching my roots and going over my pre-lightened hair to take it from a brassy caramel tone to icy platinum. At first your scalp tingles a little, and you think all is well and good; then after about half an hour the bleach really starts to burn and while it is bearable it is certainly highly uncomfortable and it's not something you can totally ignore the feeling of unless you're a highly trained meditation expert (I'm taking a wild guess here).
It's also really important to treat your scalp differently after bleaching as well as your hair. In al likelihood you'll have a few small scabs on your scalp (gross, right?) and if not that, your head will still be really sensitive for a few days. The first time, don't wash your hair for at least 3-4 days, to allow your natural oils to heal your head again... not that you have a huge wound on your body (you shouldn't - if you do, you have chemical burns and should go to a doctor), but you've put chemicals on your skin and you need to take precautions. You don't want your hair to fall out or to damage your follicles permanently, it's not worth it. Also make sure your don't shampoo every day or second day, try to only do it twice or once a week to keep your hair and skin moisturized. Rather use a tiny bit of dry shampoo instead.
It's also important not to styleyourhair in such a way that it's very tight or pulls hard on your scalp -especially if you've just bleached it. Thisis because your scalp needs time to relax and if you pull a tight pony tail or create cornrows then you're putting strain on your hair follicles which could cause them to fall out easily... and no-one like bald spots. Also this is very likely to give you a forest of split ends, since your hair is already brittle from stripping the pigment out of each hair strand, the ends will fray very easily. Stay away from those horrid fabric hair elastics, rather get plastic coiled ones (they prevent as much hair damage) and use butterfly clips instead of bobby pins if you can since they cause less damage to your hair and scalp.
Also stay away from heat... entirely you can. Your hair dresser will obviously use a hairdryer on you when she bleaches and washes your hair, but don't ask her to flat iron or use hot curlers on your hair. I almost never blow dry my hair, and when I do I only use the coldest setting on my hair dryer because the heat dries out your hair, which strips it of any conditioner or moisturizing product you may have applied. This thins your hair, causing it to split at the ends, frizz up and in bad instances even fall outer break off in sections... this hasn't happened to me but I have heard horror stories from friends who went blonde and then decided to constantly flat-iron or blow-dry their no-so-luscious locks.
This last part that is very important: if you plan to put a dye on top of your bleached hair (if you're bleached your roots as well) then it will either itch or burn... more than the bleach burns. I have tried grey toner dye twice now and hell it was something else. The first time it itched like crazy, so much so that my hair dresses has to put on gloves and scratch my scalp at regular intervals while the dye was developing (I know, how awkward right?). The second time it really really burned when she put the dye on, or at least while she massaged the dye into my hair and scalp. It was nail bitingly bad, but as soon as she stopped rubbing it through my hair and leftist to develop the burning luckily seemed to stop, which is apparently the case with many Youtubers who have talked about using grey/ silver dyes and toners(don't worry, your at-home toner shampoo won't burn at all, and if it does, you should use a different brand with less chemical or allergens).
Please remember this is all stuff I have either experienced or researched on google, I am by no means an expert or a hair/skin care specialist so if you have concerns or queries maybe consult your hair stylist or dermatologist. Also keep in mind that everyone varies: what may hurt/ itch or be unpleasant for me may not even happen to someone else because our bodies all react differently to chemicals and processes.
Until next time
- The Traveling Oyster xxx