You guys! I’m blonde! Since our wedding I’ve been feeling like I could use a drastic change, and the thought popped into my head that I could go blonde again (during my college years I was a blonde as well) and yesterday I decided to take the plunge.
I thought I’d share my experience with you in case it proves to be useful. Apologies in advance for the low quality pictures–they were all taken with my phone in low-light settings.
I booked my appointment at Solo Salon with Ashley, who normally cuts my hair, and Frankie, who I’d never seen before but Ashley wasn’t free for a full color and cut time slot. I showed Ashley this picture of Blake Lively. Blake has always been one of my style idols and I thought her hair color would suit me quite well. Interestingly enough, I’ve had this picture on my phone for a while because I also used it as an example of what I wanted for my wedding up-do.
Ashley immediately recommend that we try balayage for the color, a technique she’d mentioned to me in the past. Balayage (meaning to paint or brush in French) is a technique where the stylist simply paints the color on to chunks of your hair rather than teasing out pieces of hair and wrapping them in foil. The advantage of this is that balayage emulates the effect of the sun on your hair and looks a bit more natural. Also, because you don’t have a hard line in your hair the way foil gives you, you can go a bit longer between color treatments.
I was still a bit nervous to try balayage, though, because most of the balayage you see has a bit of the ombre effect, of which I’m not a huge fan. A simple Pinterest search for balayage will return mostly images of women with ombre-esque hair (ombre is a dip-dye look in which you get a two-tone effect between dark roots and light ends). I told Ashley this, but she insisted that since my palette was perfect for balayage we should try it anyway, and she could do it in such a way that I wouldn’t have an ombre effect.
She was totally right.
The balayage process took a while on my long hair, especially because Ashley put a lot of dye into it to achieve a full transformation of my color rather than just a few sun-kissed pieces. One thing to note is that balayage involves teasing of the hair. Ashley would grab a chunk of my hair, run a comb up it toward my scalp to get little hairs out of the way, then paint on the dye. Still, it was faster and more comfortable than the foil method had ever been for me. After she painted it all on I sat under a heater for about 20 minutes. They then washed out the dye, put in some toner to get the color just right, and washed my hair.
I was nervous about the rinsing and washing process because of my neck injury, but I just asked them if I could take my time and get the bowl positioned just right and have extra towels for support and it worked out well. Everyone at Solo was really helpful about this, and they ended up putting me at the tallest sink in the salon so I could keep my neck as straight as possible, and they did the rinsing, toning, and washing super fast so I had minimal time in the bowl.
Frankie was probably the friendliest stylist I’ve ever had. She did a great job cutting my hair and the blowout looked fab. I always wish I could replicate the blowouts I get in salons, but it’s just not possible. The finished product is below. I’m thrilled!