So you want to be a blonde…3 things to consider

Around the end of April I was really itching for a physical change. During May 2017, I got a beautiful blonde balyage treatment from my favorite O’ahu salon, Foundry, and I loved it so much that I booked an appointment at a salon in Fitchuburg, Wisconsin, to have the same thing done. Here’s what I originally was going for.

That was the plan…until I was actually at the salon and my amazing hair stylist, Laura, mentioned Pia Mia and how fun the bleach blonde thing would be. As you may have seen on Instagram, I have now been a blonde for about three months and am absolutely loving it! Since making the change I’ve received lots of questions about the process, so I decided to put together a little post for anyone who may be thinking about changing up their hair.

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Cost. Going blonde is a process. And an expensive one, at that. It took Laura and I three visits (about 12 hours total!) to get me from my natural brown color to white blonde. And guys, my hair took to the bleach pretty easily. AKA it could easily take longer and require additional treatments. The initial bleaching can cost anywhere from $300 to $500, and that doesn’t even take into account all the upkeep. Every 4-6 weeks I go in for a root retouch and a toner treatment. Additionally, I opt for deep conditioning treatments each time to help counteract the damage from the bleaching process. Consider also the products you’ll want to keep on hand. Some of the products I’ve added to my repertoire include Aveda blue malva conditioner ($23), Aveda damage remedy daily hair repair cream ($30), Aveda damage remedy split end repair cream ($32), and Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28). So yeah, it’s not cheap and it’s an ongoing financial commitment.
  2. Time. Like I said, it took us about 12 hours to get me where I wanted to be and that was on the quick side. Every month my touch up takes about 3 hours. Aside from actual time spent at the salon, it’s been a big change for me to have an at home hair care routine. Before going blonde I never really did anything to my hair, aside from occasionally using the curling iron, but now that I use so many creams and serums, my shower and post-shower routines take significantly longer.
  3. Damage. It’s inevitable. Bleach was not intended for hair and treating your hair with chemicals can take a serious toll on its overall health and appearance. Luckily, the damage I experienced was minimal. First of all, I had fairly healthy hair to begin with. I wasn’t using hot tools or a bunch of hair products and hadn’t used hair dye in about seven months. I was very vocal with Laura from the beginning that my top concern was damaging my hair. She was very honest from the get go and let me know that it was a risk, but she also took my concern into consideration when deciding what the best way to get me to white blonde was. Between hair treatments she would deep condition my hair and use products to help counter the bleach damage. She also was super helpful in recommending products and was the one who introduced me to Aveda’s damage remedy line, which I highly recommend. The things I noticed right away were a slight change in texture (my hair isn’t as soft) and the breakage. I freaked out a bit a first but have adjusted my hair routine to help manage the changes. First of all, I never brush my hair when it’s wet. I notice that this is when the majority of breakage goes on for me. When I do brush my hair, I am very gentle with it. The Aveda split end repair serum really helps to heal the broken ends. As for the texture, the products I have adopted have helped so much in just 3 months. I use the Aveda damage remedy daily hair repair cream every time I have wet hair. I just apply a coin sized amount to my damp hair and finger comb it through. The Olaplex is more of an at home deep conditioning treatment that you rinse out after 10 minutes. Finally, I wash my hair less often. I used to wash my hair every single day but made a conscious effort when I went blonde to start washing it every three days instead.

Overall, I have been really happy with my hair experience. I’ll leave you with just a few tips if you’re still considering bleaching your hair.

First of all, don’t skimp on the price. You definitely need to go to a salon with stylists that know what they’re doing. Buying a Groupon or going to a discount salon might save you initially, but more likely than not something will end up going awry and you’ll have to dish out more money in the end to fix the problem. I am speaking from experience. The first time I tried to go blonde (end of 2016) I bought a Groupon for a salon in Honolulu. Because the salon was in a fancy hotel I just assumed it would be really good. Not the case. The stylist gave me bleach blonde highlights but left my roots and the majority of my hair dark brown. It looked atrocious and the next day I spent twice as much to go to a different salon and have them undo what I’d just paid to have done. See photos below. First picture is how my “blonde hair” turned out and second is after it was fixed. It’s not worth it, guys. 

Second tip…go to a stylist you trust and love. Laura and I actually went to high school together and I had heard great testimonials from people. She absolutely exceeded my expectations and I travel from Chicago to Madison every time I need to have my hair done just because she is that awesome. If you’re in the Madison area you can find her at Ecco Salon in Fitchburg, WI. Side note, Laura just publicly announced the launch of her new business, Calming Cuts, which specializes in providing haircuts to those with sensory sensitivities. This girl has a heart of gold, I tell ya. Show her some love and give her new Facebook page a like!

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