Saturday, 20 June 2015

BEAUTY | my hair transformation - from red to blonde

(please note this is my second time trying to type this. i did have a post that took me 3 evenings to write and get right and thanks to a cat it got deleted and i cannot recover it so this won't be as good as my original post but i will try to make it as informative as my previous.)

some of you keen eyed people may have noticed that i have recently changed my hair colour and what a mission it has been. I'm still not where i want to be, but i don't want to do any more until i have done my sponsored hair cut (read my post here to learn all about that) so i am going to leave it as is for now. saying that, considering the colour i was before i have come a long way. everything i did to my hair was done in the space of a few days, and i would NOT advise this. i am by no means a hair dresser or someone who can give solid advise, but i do know my hair very well, and i know that whatever i put it through it can survive which is how i knew that doing all this in the space of 4 days would harm it but not kill it like it would for other people. if you are going to take some of this with a pinch of salt and try it, i would recommend getting to know your hair. my hair is obviously not virgin and has been coloured every year for about 7 years now. i have gone from one extreme to the other, i have permed and highlighted and cut and coloured way too much over those 7 years, so my hair has taken some serious cage time. as i said, i am by no means a hairdresser, this is purely what i did to try to lighten and colour my hair. i did a lot of research before hand so i knew what i was getting myself in to, and i made sure i knew what i was doing. a lot of people say that they took unnecessary steps in their process to becoming blonde from red but i think everything i did was completely necessary as it has helped me become the blonde i am now. 

the problem with red colourant is that it penetrates the hair instead of sitting on the outer hair layers like other colorants. as i have always used a permanent dyes instead of semi or demi colours the hair follicles have a lot more layers than other people do. i found this fascinating article by Clairol if you wanted to know more, but yes. red colour alone is one of the hardest to get rid of because of the colour it deposits through the hair, unlike browns which stay more of a solid colour, and the fact that i have permanently coloured my hair so many times the colour always penetrates my hair strands. so i basically have to split my hair open and scoop all the colour out and restart haha. 

disclaimer - i am actually a natural blonde, and i did not want to go a platinum blonde like most people do when they want to go from red to blonde, i wanted to try and be a more natural blonde colour again. i was aiming to have more on a bronde ombre (by this i mean a darker blonde and a lighter blonde at the ends, this way it will flow better when my roots grow out, and will hopefully be slightly healthier for my hair, i believe it is also called balayage but i may be wrong). i took several steps and i will show you and explain exactly what i did to achieve the colour i am now (obviously this will probably change once i am short haired again as it won't cost me as much to colour the hair!) this is possibly one of the longest posts i have ever written so bear with me when it comes to grammar and punctuation etc, i am not one to reread posts before posting!! i have also tried to make links obvious so you can see them for external pages!


one thing i saw everyone mention is how wonderful trying to naturally strip the hair first is. so i decided that would be my first step. i began just using Head and Shoulders Anti Dandruff shampoo, but then i discovered that baby shampoo was also a good natural stripper so i decided to wash my hair with both. obviously, as i am washing my hair several times every night for a week my hair needed some darn good conditioner so i used a moisture rescue Tresemme (it may be expensive, but i have been around the block a few times when it comes to conditioners and i don't think i have ever found one that does what Tresemme does. it is honestly worth the money, let me know if you want a post on it!!) so yes, i used anti dandruff and baby shampoo (Johnsons, it was just what was in the house) and washed my hair with both twice and then conditioned twice, and i did that every night for a week. being one of the most natural strippers it faded my hair to a very faded red colour and with some lighter gingery bits in there. it is important to mention at this point that prior to doing this i hadn't coloured my hair red for a few months so the colour was fading anyway. i unfortunately don't have a photo of this but just imagine a faded red colour and that was me. the condition of my hair was still very good at this point so all was good. i did see people going on a lot about lemon juice being a very good stripper/bleacher as well, but i felt that if i tried to use that then it could come out slightly streaky and as i was working every day in between all of this i needed to still be presentable. i am sure if you added some lemon juice to the shampoos that could enhance the lightening but i cannot prove this as i didnt try it.


the next step made me think i was going crazy, or my mother i was at least. i kept seeing everyone going on about this vitamin c treatment and i didnt really pay attention, but when it became apparent it was in every single video or post i looked at i decided to read in to this too. i found out it is another 'natural' stripping method. people said it did the same as a high lift but without the bleach, so i decided to research the best of doing this and gave this a go. everyone i read about said that they did it a few times a night and did this for about a week. obviously, me being impatient, i didnt do it for a week. i did it 3 times a night for 3 nights. everyone had a different mixture that they used, but i used what i thought would get the best results for my hair. i used vitamin c tablets (i recommend the ones below as they crush up finer - be warned if you do not crush your tablets enough your head will burn, and i mean worse than your head burns from bleaching. crush finely please, or if you don't then don't worry about the pain. if you can survive it and stick it out the results should be worth it, but i have warned you it will hurt if you don't crush the tablets enough!) so yes, i used the tablets, a small amount of bicarbonate of side (don't used baking powder it won't work), anti dandruff shampoo, a small amount of baby shampoo and a crap load of washing up liquid. NOW this mixture is going to grow 20x in size when you mix it up, this is just the washing up liquid and bicarb mixing, so just leave it to one side and wet your hair. i suggest using damp hair as you are essentially putting shampoo (and other things) on your head. and then just apply the mixture generously to the head. i tried to concentrate my mixture of my mid shaft and ends as my roots weren't really red anymore. everyone left theirs on for different times, and the first time i did it i didnt crush my tablets enough so my head was killing me so i only left it on for an hour, but the second and third nights i left the mixtures on for between an hour and half and two hours, depending on how long i had taken to apply it and what sort of time i had (obviously living back at home limits my time schedule as i have to be done by 10ish before my parents go to bed). the below results were after i had finished the three nights of treatments.


i tried to get pictures as accurate to the colour as i could, but i was using the front camera on my phone. as you can see the colour really did fade after the vitamin c treatments. as you can see the colour faded really well, however my ends were a little fried. i had gone from a faded red to a bright/mid ginger and as you can see there were actually blonde patches in some spots! i felt that this had worked a lot better than i thought it would. what i would say is don't be disheartened if the first or second time you do it there seems to be no results. as i explained before, the problem with red hair is it penetrates instead of coats, so it is going to take a bit of oomphf to get the colour out. i think however this was a completely necessary step as it removed quite a lot of the harsh and deep red tones and reduced my hair to a gingery/deep copper colour which is a good building base for the next step.


this is the step that is going to kill your hair if not done correctly. i think this step i did one too many times which i would not recommend, but it was necessary to get my hair from the ginger/deep copper to a lighter colour that i could then bleach or colour as i wished. i researched which high lifts were good for highly coloured hair and i always came up with Jerome Russell as they have a few different tones dependant on how coloured you hair is and what colour you are aiming to go. i chose this which is a maximum lift as obviously my hair is a) severely coloured and b) a very bright gingery copper colour. i would NOT go in to this step lightly. take your time and do your research okay. at the end of the day it is still bleach. so the idea of a high lift is to remove the colour instead of just colouring on top. i used a maximum lift with a 40vol and i did this step three times. i could have stopped after 2, but i did three. if anything in this process was unnecessary that would be the only thing that didnt need to be done. i used a 40vol twice and then a 30vol the last time. at this point i have deep conditioned my hair over night, but if i can give you any advice it would be to space these out as it will KILL your hair very badly. i am so surprised how good the quality of my hair was after i did these, yes the ends were awful but they weren't as crap as i expected. so i did two lots in one night which i really shouldn't have done but like i keep saying my hair can take a good beating, and then i did the 30vol the next day. with the high lift you get 4 sachets in a box (only one pair of gloves which is bollocks so i just got a box of disposable gloves from work so i had spares) and then you buy the developer separately. however it is very inexpensive, the sachets are like £4 and the developer is a pound each, so i only spent £2 a time which is not bad at all. what i did with the high lift which i saw a few people do is mix it with a little shampoo so that it was easily to apply. it didnt lather like a normal shampoo but it did make it easier to apply. i tell you what though, i haven't been blonde for about 2 and a half years and i have NOT missed the smell of bleach! you basically mix one sachet with the whole bottle of developer and apply to your hair. now they will recommend a time for you to leave this mixture on, but i would say it, again, depends on how coloured your hair is and the length and such. i left mine on for roughly an hour, which is a little longer than they suggest. if you have virgin hair and are just wanting to lift your hair a few shades i would say no longer than half an hour as this stuff is very powerful. if you, like me, are going from red, i would say leaving it on for slightly longer. after these three times i did get my hair to a relatively decent colour. i was still slightly ginger but i was mostly blonde. below is what i used and what my hair looked like afterwards.

at this point my hair was in a bad way. the third time i used the high lift i concentrate it mostly on my ends. as you can see i was mostly blonde but i do still have some gingery bits and some patches underneath that were darker. i left my hair in a hair mask over night to try and help my hair. i then added some oils to my ends before tying it up for work so it could rest a little. then i obviously went on to colouring.


obviously by now my hair had been through a lot and i wanted to leave it a few days to let it rest, but i was going over to bens on a few days off before my new job and their bathroom isn't suitable for hair colouring so i wanted to get it done. i spoke to his mum who uses hair colorants too and she suggested using superdrug own as it has worked wonders for her. so i decided to grab some. i used three because, naively, i thought my hair would take colour and i wouldn't have to bleach my hair. 

in terms of what they did, they did something. i obviously didnt use all of each bottle because i used the 8.0 on my roots, the 10.03 on my mid shaft and the 10.1 on the ends. i actually ended up doing this system twice and after the second time i did see a slight difference in my hair. it wasn't as ginger in the front sections and my root sections definitely were slightly darker to the rest of my hair. this was the point i did leave my hair. i washed it several times with a purple shampoo (i used this one as i have used it before) to see if that would remove some of the ginger and brassy tones and that did work. when i got back from bens i used some Olia hair colour (i have used Olia before when i using it for red and i was impressed with the results so i hoped i would equally impressed this time round.) i used 8.13 sandy blonde for the roots and mid shaft and 9.0 light blonde for the ends. after i used these i did some change in my hair, by that i mean my ends were definitely darker and the majority of the ginger had gone, and my roots were definitely more of a honey/mid blonde colour. advice when picking colours - i never go by the guides on the box and i would suggest you don't either. it doesn't matter what kind of hair you have, even if you have virgin hair, you will always look different to the box. it is there as a rough guide only but i obviously know that i need to use brighter colours on my hair anyway if i want to get any pay off. once i have had my cut off (don't forget to check out my fundraising page here) i will colour my hair again and see if i can get it to the colour i want and get rid of the last few stubborn ginger bits. 


as you can see my hair is for the most part blonde. i still have some ginger parts but having washed my hair a lot with purple shampoo and conditioning like mad the colour is a lot better (i just haven't got any recent recent pictures cause i have been working a bum load at my new job). currently i have already got some root regrowth which is crazy and for the most part my hair is all blonde. the thing i like about the colour at the moment is that all the blonde is different, so it isn't one block colour, there are slightly darker tones and lighter tones even within the different sections i was trying to achieve for the ombre. 

all in all, i think i have achieved some what of a miracle. considering i got told it couldn't be done and the internet seemed to be against me for a while i feel i have done well for a home colouring situation. obviously everything will change once i have my short hair, but for now i am so over the moon with the colour. as i said before, what i did was a miracle and it nearly completely damaged my ends, but i know my hair can bounce back and it has. get to know your hair before you do anything, do you really think it will survive? red is definitely the hardest colour i have ever had to change from, but it was my favourite colour. now that i know that i can get rid of the rest i will definitely be going red again at some point as i did love being red and my hair grew so so quickly when it was. however, just be aware of all the chemicals and crap you are putting on your hair and scalp. if your scalp is burning then stop immediately, it isn't worth the pain. (i know i said up top that the vitamin c will burn but you will be able to tell the difference between that burning and my hair is going to fall out right now burning.) i am by no means an expert, and this is the first time i have ever done anything like this to my hair, but i am so pleased with the outcome i had the confidence to dye bens mums hair the other day for her (thank goodness she has short hair is all i can say cause my arms were going to drop off after all of this haha)

i hope you managed to make it to the end of this post without falling asleep, but if you have any questions then please contact me and i will do the best i can to help. this is not an feat to take up lightly, you have to make sure you are serious about this. and also bear in mind i didnt want to go platinum like most people do, i wanted to be a more natural blonde and i think right now i have achieved that. but yes, i would advice seeking professional help, even if it just to see whether your hair will take the high lift well, but if you are determined to do this independently then get someone to help you with the back sections. i have mastered the knack as i have been dying my hair on my own for most of these 7 years, but with this i should have gotten some help because i am lifting instead of colouring so some of the back is slightly more coppery than the rest, although i did make an effort to really work on the back. 

ADDED - as you can see from these pictures the colour is a lit less ginger than it was in the above pictures which i am very happy about! i still have a long way to go, but i am concentrating on my fundraising and the hair style i want right now more than the colour.


1 comment

  1. Your hair looks amazing with the braid oh my such hair envy!


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