I hate hate hate my natural hair colour.
It’s something I’ve always despised, but to be fair, I suppose there’s not really much wrong with it. It’s pretty much brown, but being Scottish and all, there’s the slightest hint of red and that’s what I don’t like – I’m constantly told by my parents and grandparents to just embrace it, but I’d rather not!
One colour I always wanted to try was blonde – whether that was golden or platinum, I didn’t care; I just wanted something different from my own colour. I’d heard so many horror stories though, and that put me off for years, until I discovered ombre hair kits. After a couple months of using these, I figured last year, “hey, I’m managing this without any disasters, what’s the worst that could happen?”… and this is where my hair nightmare journey began :)))
So I’ll admit, I’m not someone who’ll sit and properly plan this kind of thing through. When I get an idea in my head, I’m determined to race to go through with it. Of course, this is exactly what happened here.
I Googled a few tips on home bleaching, and went to Boots to pick out a range that my friend had recommended. I got home, followed all the instructions and my advice from Google, and went ahead with the application.
As you can see here, not exactly what I had intended (I also did all of this in my boyfriend’s flat while he was out at college, and his face here is exactly what I was greeted with when he came in the door that afternoon. Also, obviously not a good photo of me anyway. For some reason I thought over-contouring my nose would draw some attention away from the situation, don’t ask). Not only were the ends of my hair orange, but my roots had gone a weird yellow/orange/bright white fusion too. Really do your research, kids.
I ended up staying indoors like this for near enough a week, before I decided enough was enough and I was going to get someone to fix it professionally. At least, that was the plan until I was quoted prices, none of which I could stretch my student budget for…
I KNOW I was being really stupid in doing it myself a second time, but I was poor, desperate and I HAD ORANGE HAIR. I was going back home for summer the next week, where there’s no drugstores selling hair dye nearby for a good few hours and no available hairdressers for months at a time, so I had to do something.
I waited about a week maybe, and then braved using the same product as before; I knew it worked for other people, so I was aware that it was just my inexperienced idiocy and not the dye’s fault. I think this time I actually left it on for a tiny bit longer, which was probably really stupid, but…
Still not great, I know. But at least it was no longer the colour of a traffic cone, and I’d managed to fix my roots by painting over them with a light brown root touch-up kit. I was able to go outside once more, and my flatmates finally saw me again and laughed at me a lot.
Thing was, it still looked ridiculously blonde. Like, in-your-face blonde. Bearing in mind that my colouring isn’t naturally suited to that shade, having a really bold colour made me look a bit stupid.
That’s right, there was a third step. Idiot.
Thankfully, I was well over my bleaching stage. All I had to do was get it to a point where it looked natural enough on me.
I decided to pick up some purple shampoo and conditioner just to get the remaining orange-y bits out (Touch of Silver, absolute life saver), and came across Bleach London’s White Toner, so I picked it up to try (because my hair was still intact, it was fine, right?). I am still so grateful that this existed because god knows what option I’d have gone for otherwise.
- ALWAYS research this kind of thing before going straight into it. Learn the actual techniques rather than launch into it assuming it’ll all lighten no matter what
- Go to a professional when bleaching for the first time, or failing that, get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you apply DIY kits
- Don’t keep repeatedly bleaching thinking it’ll all be fine just because there’s no instant damage. The one thing I didn’t mention is that my hair in fact didn’t break throughout the bleaching process – but a small blonde chunk snapped off in my hand two weeks ago. I did all of this in May 2016 – it’s now April 2017. 11 months later and it’s still damaged! Don’t do it.
- Actually know what shade you want to go for. Not every shade of blonde suits all skin tones, and I just assumed that anything would be fine for me. Not the case.
- Be prepared to spend a whole lot more on hair products to maintain the colour. Ironically I only went for the initial box dye because it was like £4.99 and I couldn’t afford to go to a salon, but I’ve lost track of how much I’ve since spent in making sure it stays away from going brassy. V expensive.
- Just don’t do it again. Don’t even look at a home kit. Salon salon salon.