How To: Achieving Blonde and Pastel Hair
This year and in 2012, I took a plunge and entered the world of blondes and crazy colored hair. It's a fun and, naturally, a head-turning hair adventure. And for those who wants to join me in this adventure, here are some tips to help you prepare.
But first, let's do a colorful recap of my hair chameleon journey (as of December 2014)
- Ariel Red - My crazy color adventure started in 2012, starting with a fiery red color because I love Disney's The Little Mermaid. I was still too scared to go full-on blonde, so I settled for an ombré. This was professionally dyed at the salon, but for that pinkish tone, I used Special Effects Cherry Bomb.
- Purple x Teal - A lovely mix of colors that was short lived because I went back to being a redhead. I used Manic Panic Purple Haze and Atomic Turquoise.
- Brown with Ash Blonde Highlights - I went back to chocolate brown in 2013, but L'Oreal Professionnel added ash blonde highlights to emphasize my natural curls. Professionally dyed at the salon.
- Golden Blonde - I moved back to the Philippines, and the first order of business was to go blonde. I really prepared for this, both mentally and financially. It took us one whole day to achieve the result I wanted, and I'm quite happy with the result. Professionally dyed at the salon.
- Platinum Blonde - I went lighter, but not intentionally. I used Schwarzkopf box dye from Munich, Germany.
- Mint/Apple Green - A lot of things were happening in my life that time, and I felt like I needed change. I mixed Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise with Dove condition (green bottle)
- Cupcake Pink - FINALLY! I've been wanting to do this since forever. I used my 3-year old Special Effects Cupcake Pink just for this. I also used Manic Panic Cotton Candy Pink, but it doesn't perform as well as SPX.
- Turquoise/Blue Hair - Sailor Neptune anyone? To achieve this, I diluted Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise. Your hair needs to be really light, otherwise, it will only turn green.
Bleaching your hair is a courageous thing to do, but also a painstaking task. First of all, the regrowth will be the bane of your existence. Then there's the damage, split-ends, and unimaginable frizz. If you want to go blonde, you really need to commit and treat your hair like a significant other.
The first of step of going blonde is to DO YOUR RESEARCH! It's fun to go wild with your hair, but there's always a trade-off. I recommend you read articles, forums, blogs about how bleaching works, blonde maintenance, side effects, and so on. Why so? Because this is your hair. If you screw this up, you will deal with it for the next 6 months. It's better to be mentally, financially and even emotionally prepared for this.
PREP UP YOUR HAIR. Give your hair a much needed TLC — deep condition every weekend, apply VCO, get a trim, and so on. This will help condition you and your hair for the biggest damage it will ever experience. If you already find this task too time-consuming, then you better rethink your decision of going blonde.
First timer? DON'T DIY BLEACH AT HOME. I did say this is a HOW-TO post, but I really don't want you to take that big risk. Of course, who am I to stop you? Just note that bleaching is something you can't joke about. Aside from the damage, you may also experience uneven color and scalp burns that may result in hair loss. YIKES!
But, if you're really determined to bleach your hair on your own. Then listen up: bleach is a fast-acting chemical, so better to ASK A FRIEND FOR HELP. Then buy a pack of bleach powder and oxidizing lotion (9%) from HBC. Mix both in a plastic bowl, and apply it to your hair using a tint brush (like regular hair dye procedure). Keep the substance for 30 minutes or less.
Instead of DIY, I highly recommend you FIND A QUALITY SALON that you can trust, and discuss with them your plans. But don't go immediately to the cheapest salon, because cheap doesn't always mean they'll deliver a fantastic job. I went to Philippe Torjdman Le Salon and they're incredibly expensive for a salon but 1) they've managed to salvage my hair and still make it appear so healthy and 2) looks better than DIY bleaching (Trust me, I've tried). Basement Salon also did a fantastic job retouching my roots once, but I'm too broke to go back.
Not to discourage you or anything but GOING BLONDE WILL COST YOU MONEY. The total amount spent will still depend on your hair's length and ability to withstand damage, but I think you need to allot at least $250 or PHP10,000 if you want to go platinum blonde (good for two bleach jobs). Additionally, going blonde may mean new makeup products.
And once you're blonde, congrats! You are now part of the HIGH MAINTENANCE CLUB! Bleached hair means dry, damaged and all-around frizz. You've spent so much on your hair, now's not the time to flake out. Your hair should always be on point 24/7, meaning it should be styled always. I know styling bleached hair can be tedious, so if you need a fuss-free hairstyle, get a blowout experience.
You also need to INVEST IN PRODUCTS to maintain and protect your hair, this includes a purple shampoo to tone down blonde hair. You can read more of the products needed on my Blonde Hair Essentials blog post. Your hair will experience irrevocable damage but a Keratin Treatment or Brazilian Blowout should be able to alleviate the problem.
Last but not the least, COLOR WITH VEGGIE DYES. Veggie dyes, such as Manic Panic and Special Effects, are semi-permanent dyes that doesn't damage the hair. I recommend you buy from RainbowHeadPH.com because they're an authorized seller of Manic Panic and currently the cheapest in the local market.
Okay, I think I covered everything you need to know before bleaching your hair. If you got any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'll be happy to answer your question! :)