About My Hair: Journey to the Perfect Balayage
I think everyone always wants what they can't have. Which is a shame because most of the time we revert back to the original/natural version of what it once was... Lol. This is a constant battle for me in my life. I am never satisfied with my hair! I love my hair, please don't get me wrong. But when you're brunette, you want blonde and when you're blonde you generally want blonder!
LET ME JUST SAY SOMETHING! I 100% LOVE BEING BRUNETTE! Which is why I've only gone fully blonde once and actually woke up for a week not knowing who I was and went back to brunette. I was 19 at that time, and did not know what I was getting into - emotionally or financially.
Let's start this post by saying going blonde or ombre is a full-time job. Don't just think you're going to walk into CVS and think you're buying your usual shampoo and conditioner. Also, don't think to yourself that it's going to be a cheap process, or that this will happen overnight.
Here's my experience going OMBRE/BALAYAGE:
I am a brunette, through and through. There is nothing light about my hair. When I was 19 I was mortified going blonde because my hair immediately went orange. Bright brassy orange. Luckily I was able to have it fixed and it all worked out... Some aren't so lucky. Let's start with basics.
1. FIND SOMEONE WHO SPECIALIZES IN COLOR. Someone who has experience with the look you're going for. This is a task in itself. I started getting balayage/ombre by a sweet girl who did know what she was doing, and she did a great job. But did she give me what I was asking for? No, I went to her three times as I knew what I wanted wasn't going to happen sitting in the chair once. The issue was, she wasn't willing to go there, she was nervous and I could feel it. I know it sounds excessive, but you truly need to have a bond with the stylist that you guys can be real with one another and achieve the desired results in a timely manner.
On referral, from a friend of mine who has mermaid hair (bright pink hair), I started seeing a new stylist. She was more expensive, but I was willing to try because having mermaid hair means creating a light base underneath to achieve the color. Most "mermaid" hairstylists know how to get platinum blonde hair on their client's because they basically have to create that base prior to adding any color over top.
I already had a miniature base from the previous girl for the ombre. But it wasn't nearly as light or the shade/style I was looking to have. In the first session, which was 7 1/2 hours by the way, I was completely lifted. But it wasn't immediate, my hair was actually a silver blue-purple for about 2 weeks.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. What I really wanted was to keep the crown of my hair dark, as dark as my natural hair. Fade into a caramel shade and ultimately the ends be a cool blonde. When you show your stylist your inspo images know what you like about each of them and how you'd like to see them in your hair. I knew I wanted a high contrast ombre, deep dark at the top, warm mid shade into an icy cool blonde.
Here's the inspiration I pulled for both stylists:
Here's what my first stylist gave me (over the coarse of 3 sessions):
Here's what my hair looked like after the mermaid stylist (silver blue-purple - 1 session):
Here's what my hair looked like after 2 1/2 weeks (once the silver washed out):
Once the silver had fulled washed out I seriously had zero complaints about my hair. It was so worth the 7 1/2 hours of sitting and letting it all process. I was so thrilled with the entire look and my hair still felt so healthy.
3. UPKEEP. This is the most difficult part of having blonde hair, especially if you want a cool tone blonde with zero yellow. I bought this amazing product called Fanola No Yellow Purple Shampoo that I worked into a foaming lather and let sit in the shower for about 5 minutes. This single handed made this color conserving process easier. I also got this Mielle Protein Free Hydrating Deep Conditioner that helps keeps my hair hydrated and smooth. Both of these saved my hair from brassy color and deadly dehydration.
I hope this helps anyone who's interested in ombre/blonde hair. My top tips would be finding the right stylist, knowing what you want and managing your upkeep.