Saturday, May 12, 2012

She’s finally gone blonde!

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I think everyone thought I was all talk about planning to go blonde. I don’t blame them! For the past year and maybe longer I’ve been making the claim that I would go blonde, but being weary about the damage it would do to my hair and the cost and effort in maintaining the look, I just couldn’t commit. 

This Friday I was in Sydney getting my eyelash extensions with my coupon courtesy of Groupon, and afterwards I walked by Minty Styles, a really cool looking Koean hair salon. I think the tell tale sign of a good hairdresser is when the hair stylists themselves have gorgeous hair styles. Also, one of the girls had the exact colour I wanted.

On the spur of the moment I asked them about bleaching. It’s been pretty much dejavu with every hair dresser warning me not to bleach, or plain refusing to do it, but this time the head stylist, Sunny, took a real good look at my hair, and told me ‘yes!’. The price was reasonable ($220, with bleach, tone and treatment) and they happened to have an opening right that moment, so I said to myself, ‘what the hell!’ and I got it done right then and there!


So this was my colour before. I had bleached tips and then a brown gradation.


And this is my colour now! It’s still a bit warmer than you would want with ash blonde, but it’s difficult to get a perfect ash the first time you tone, as Asian hair bleaches to an orange undertone. Also my ends did not bleach as light as the roots, but I think it ads a bit of dimension.


The Process

For anyone else who are considering bleaching for the first time, I just wanted to talk through the process and what I learned.


For black hair, especially coloured black hair, it’s quite difficult to bleach it to blonde and you usually have to bleach twice. To further complicate things, I had bleached ends, which were not the right tone anyway, and had to be matched. So first Sunny put the bleach through just the middle sections of my hair, leaving out the roots and ends. I asked Sunny why she left out the roots in the first bleach, and she explained that, as heat accelerates the bleaching process (and btw if you can see in the photo I’m actually under a hair heater), and as the roots are kept warm by being close to the scalp, this part of the hair will bleach faster than the rest.


So here’s the colour after the first round of bleaching.


Then bleach is applied to the whole head and left to lighten again. I did feel quite a bit of stinging on my scalp when the bleach was applied through my roots. Tada~ My hair gone completely blonde! photo (4)

You wouldn’t really want to go out with this cartoon character colour though, so you usually put a toner through it. However, as Sunny explained, the first tone won’t completely take away the orange undertone, and so people usually get retoned after about a month. Also, the toner will fade pretty quickly with regular washes. So it’s really important to wash bleached and toned hair with the right products. Sunny suggested that I use purple shampoo, which is basically a shampoo with purple colouring, which will tone bleached hair gradually as you wash with it. The reason you use purple for bleached hair is of course, because purple is complimentary to yellow on the colour wheel, and when mixed with yellow, dulls its vibrancy!photo (3)

Starting to come together now with a blow dry!

photo (2)The end result! I was really relieved to see that my hair was still soft and healthy looking, and not dry and brittle as I had feared. photo (1)

Care for bleached hair

Sunny also gave me heaps of excellent advice about how to take care of bleached hair. She emphasized that it’s absolutely essential that I put a high moisturising mask in my hair every time I wash. This is because bleach has already damaged my hair follicles and it’s now important that I ensure there is no further damage. She recommended L’oreal Expert Series Force Vector hair mask, which is formulated to intensely moisturise and condition specifically to take care of very damaged hair.

65For shampoo, Sunny recommended that I wash with L’oreal Expert Series Silver Gloss Protection System shampoo every second wash (every other wash should be with a good colour protecting shampoo, like L’oreal Vitamino Colour, which I am already using). 64Already when you open the lid you can see that there is a very vivid purple colour through the shampoo. This will gradually and naturally tone my hair.66

Sunny also suggested that I use a good hair oil, like L’oreal Mythic Oil. I usually don’t like using hair oils because they seem to weigh down my hair and make it extra oily. But L’oreal Mythic Oil is very thinly formulated that you can use everyday. I may consider picking this up as well.

Maintenance of bleached hair

I am so happy with my new new colour, but it’s bitter sweet knowing that it will look great maybe for the first few weeks, and it’s all down hill from there with the colour getting dull and the horrible black roots growing out. Sunny commented that she thought I would become addicted to this colour, and that I would definitely want to maintain it for a long time. She’s totally right. So for maintenance, Sunny suggested that I get my regrowth redone about every 1.5 months (about 7 weeks), and also put a toner through at that time, to deepen that ashen colour. The good news is that maintenance is not nearly as expensive as the initial bleach, and will set me back about $90 each time. For the hair that I love, at this point I think this will be worth it!


So if you are looking for a good hairdresser in Sydney, I really hope you guys check out Minty Styles! I’ve looked them up online and it looks like they’ve received great reviews from other customers as well.


Minty Styles, Sydney
SHop 5, 123 Liverpool St. (Horden Arcade)
Sydney, NSW 2000
World Square

Phone: 02 9268 0389

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