Hi friends! This blog post has been a long time coming. If you’ve followed me for awhile you’ll know I’ve done my fair share of hair dying. I haven’t dyed my hair since September (which is actually a really long time for me), so I’m now feeling fully qualified to reflect back on the good, and the bad, of my hair care experience. Here’s a bit of my hair history:
2005: I’m guess-timating this year, I think I was in about fourth grade. My older sister is actually the reason for my first ever hair dye job. She and her friend had gotten purple streaks in their hair, bleaching it first to get the hair dye to really show. This is a tactic often used by hair professionals to get bright colours to show. Unfortunately, these colours don’t always “stick” to the now non-pigmented hair, and my sister was left with big, chunky, white streaks in her hair after a few washes. Nice. My mom bought purple boxed dye to go over it until the white had grown out. Lucky little me who was watching her get her hair dyed got the rest of the box (we both had little bob cuts) put into my hair. It was love at first dye, I felt super cool (until other kids made fun of me of course).
2009: 13 year old me, 8th grade, I desparately wanted to dye my hair. I’m the youngest child so I was brought up watching my older siblings get to do things that I really wanted to do. I started pretty young when it comes to beauty as I started wearing makeup in 7th grade. That being said, my makeup wasn’t as serious as a lot of kids now. I wore mascara, brown eye shadows, (all drug store of course), I was just learning the basics of makeup. Then one day my mom was going out to buy box dye and casually asked if I wanted to dye mine too. I can’t describe how excited I was, I don’t think she knows how excited I was. This was the first time I googled “colours that suit my skin tone” and looked at a couple blogs about it before picking a slightly darker brown colour. To be honest, this decision was less based on those blog posts, and more based on the fact that the boy I had a crush on told me to dye it darker. Classic.
2010, still 8th grade: After deciding I was over my previous crush, I decided to go lighter instead. This was the first time I ever bleached my hair. It was towards the end of the school year, and the woman who did my hair didn’t do a great job, she didn’t put in the right toner and my hair was a yellowy white colour. At least she immediately noticed her mistake and threw in some lowlights to offset the yellow colour with my more olive complection.
2010/2011, now 9th grade:, At the end of the summer I realised my paper carrying job wouldn’t cover the cost of constant root touch ups, and my mom (who missed my darker hair a lot) offered to pay for me to get my hair coloured back to a brown colour. I went to a Chatters hair salon and they did a really good job of covering it up. They filled in the colour with an orange dye first, then went over that with the brown dye. This is standard procedure for covering bleach if you’re going to a good place. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. It came to about $300, with a student discount. Thanks mom!
2011/2012: Grade 10: After getting my hair fixed up I focused on growing it out again. All of the hair dying had done a lot of damage so I tried to avoid any more dye jobs. I was box dying it a darker brown colour every once and awhile to keep the roots consistent.
2012, Grade 10: Towards the end of the school year I decided I wanted to go lighter blonde again. I didn’t have the money to do this so I box-dyed it every 2 weeks to get it lighter. Then, at the beginning of the summer I took my NLS and Swim Instructors, I was in the water for like 5 hours every day and didn’t want to wear a swim cap (I thought I would be ugly). By the end of the two weeks the bottom half of my hair was a metallic green colour and my hair was worse than straw. At the end of the summer I went to one of my friend’s hair salon to get it fixed. All the stylist did was slap on an almost black colour and chop most of it off without giving me any advice other than “don’t do that”, thanks. It was uneven and choppy, and faded quickly because she didn’t fill in the colour. Thankfully, no pictures of this.
2013, Grade 11: I decided to leave my hair alone for the first semester as I was a bit traumatised by my green hair experience, and still teaching in a pool 3 nights a week. Second semester began my mental illness struggle, and my consecutive binge watching of all (then) 6 seasons of Doctor Who. Poor little 16 year old me idolised Amy Pond, and there went my brown hair. I dyed my hair red from about March 2013, until November 2013 (that’s actually a long time for me!) People kept telling me I looked like Arianna Grande (mostly because my skin tone really didn’t suit the red…)
November 2013, Grade 12: We have come to my grad pictures! I went to a high school whose school colours were maroon and grey, so our graduation gowns were a solid maroon colour. Picture that: maroon robes, red hair, olive-ish skin tone. I did, and it gave me nightmares of having to look at that awful grad picture for the rest of my life. This made me run straight to another one of my friend’s hair stylists, my current hair stylist. I wanted to go blonde at this point, she, unlike my previous hair stylists, told me no. She dyed my hair brown and did as many highlights as she could without compromising my hair. For those of you who don’t know, red is really hard to get out, you mostly have to cover it with brown and hope it doesn’t make its way back in. It stinks. It’s a big reason of why I kept it so long (I couldn’t afford to fix it).
February, 2014: I went back to Ashton (my hair stylist) for more highlights and a trim, she got my hair to a near-blonde colour using multi-toned highlights. It was actually really nice, and my hair was in excellent condition, but maybe a bit shorter than I wanted.
June, 2014: Grad is this month (we don’t call it prom in Canada), I really wanted a dark blonde to platinum blonde ombre. I brought in a picture I found on Bleach London’s instagram which had dark brown to platinum and tried to tell my stylist that I wanted dark blonde where the brown was, and the rest the exact same, but I have anxiety problems and I couldn’t find a way to say it so I ended up with Kardashian looking hair. Luckily, my hair stylist knows best and this is not me complaining, it looked awesome.
July, 2014: Uh oh. I had an obsession with Bleach London and ordered one of their ‘Super Cool Colours‘. I wanted a brown to lilac ombre… I did not get that. The hair colour was way darker than I expected and though it eventually washed out (because they’re not permanent) to a lilac colour, it continued to wash out to all the undertones. I had brown and blue-white-green-purple ombre. It was bad.
Late July 2014: I decided I needed to fix this and made an appointment with the stylist of a girl I know who’s hair I liked. It proceeded to be the worst experience of my life. Because of my anxiety, I will always book online if a salon has that option, so I did. I then went to my appointment only to find that their online booking doesn’t work. Instead of finding me a time where he (the stylist) actually had time to do my hair, he told me to come in the same time the next morning and he’d do it then. I told him I had to work at 1:30 so I could only do that if we would have enough time, he assured me we would. Fast forward 26 hours and I have spent an hour and a half with my head in a sink, having had my bleach washed out by an assistant, and then toner put in, and then having that washed out. Normally, you sit and wait for the bleach to do it’s thing, then you wash it out and only sit with your head in the sink for about 15 minutes while the toner does it’s thing. I spent one hour and a half with my head back in a sink, while he did other people’s hair. At this point, I’m already late to work, but my head is in a sink so what can I do?! He then got my assistant to wash my hair, after an hour and a half, and start blow drying my hair. At this point, I’m half an hour late to my shift so I told her I had to go. This experience almost cost me $200. Yes, I did spend about 3 hours there, but 95% of that was me waiting for him to get his shit together. In total, all he did was bleach THE BOTTOM HALF of my hair, and apply toner to the same bit. And it almost cost me $200. I have nothing to say about this but that word on the street is that he left town because of drug problems. This slightly explains why he left to his back office every 10-15 minutes. I also decided to cut bangs into my hair at this point in time.
October 2014: I won’t lie to you, I was traumatised by the horrid head-stuck-in-sink experience. I still get anxious when I’m sitting waiting with toner in my hair, head back in the sink. Instead of going back to Ashton I went to my mom’s hair stylist. She was new, so she was cheaper, and I knew Ashton probably wouldn’t want to bleach my hair platinum blonde, which was what I wanted. Jen, the girl who did my hair, didn’t even question me. She chatted with me about the hair colour – I wanted that platinum-white/grey blonde hair that was going around. Then, she bleached it and toned it twice, trimmed it, and I was on my way. It cost me just over $100 with a tip, and I was really pleased with it. I’ve put the most pictures here because I miss this hair SO much. I’m so sad looking at these.
2014- May 2015: Until May of last year, I got my roots done by Jen every couple of weeks. Even though Jen was new and her prices were lower, this was expensive. I am a student, I don’t have the money to be doing that. Then, in May, I went back to Ashton for what I like to call “the post break up chop”. You know, when you go and get your hair changed up after a break up and somehow feel infinitely better about it? I swear it’s therapeutic. I wanted it back to an ombre colour, and Ashton evened it out really well. I LOVED this hair, she did too. It was from brown to platinum blonde at the bottom, but the transition was really smooth. The medium blonde faded out over the summer, lightened by all the sun exposure, and I was left with brown to platinum blonde.
September 2015: Finally, we’re here. After the post break-up chop, I let my hair grow out. I actually still haven’t cut it since… I really should but times are tight right now. Don’t judge me. In September, I wanted to cut out the blonde completely, it made my hair look ratty since I hadn’t had a proper trim, and wanted to let it flow naturally (which is quite beachy and messy). Beachy and messy can be a good look, but it just doesn’t work so well with ombre hair I find, so I box dyed my hair back to brown. It’s now faded out to a light brown-golden blonde ombre, with my natural roots at the top. I really don’t feel like I want to get my hair done anytime soon (though I do need a trim). Most of my friends really like my hair now, and I do too, it’s very subtle and I have no problem spritzing a little beach texture in and leaving it for the day. But I really do miss that platinum blonde hair. Sigh.
I know this is quite extensive, which is why I decided to throw it into it’s own post. Keep your eyes peeled for a Hair Do’s and Don’t’s which I’ll be posting soon. Madison Reed has a link to an awesome test to find your perfect hair colour match, so if you’re thinking about dying your hair I’ll link it here, and also in my future post. Thanks for reading, feel free to comment your own hair dye experiences, I know there’s some crazy stories out there!