It took a good couple of glasses of wine for me to finally take the leap and lather my hair in bleach, after weeks of um-ing, ah-ing, and every other -ing in a bid to talk myself out of doing what I knew I’d get round to doing one day or another. Not that I’d suggest making decisions like that on Dutch courage alone – no, that’s not sensible kids… and neither am I, clearly! No, truth is I had been considering it for a while, after spending far too long playing with the hair colour filter on FaceApp (you know, the one that depressed everyone by showing them how they’ll look in 40 years time?).
So yes, me being me went out, bought the bleach – I opted for the Bblonde Lightening Kit Med-Dark from Jerome Russell – poured a glass of wine and started painting my hair. Simple, right… I had to laugh as I prepared the mixture and the smell hit me from 10 years ago of my Grandma bleaching her hair – you could smell it from out on the street! Well, that and an overwhelming musk of Glade plug-in air freshener. So there I was, emulating her as I put the plastic cap on my head and sealed it in place with a peg. Thank GOD no one came to the door!
Then began the 40 minutes of anxiety. Should I take it off? Is it ready? It’s not turning orange, is it? If you’re thinking of bleaching your hair, please don’t do what I did – don’t turn to google and read all the horror stories beforehand! I mean, really, I’ve never been so nervous in my life!
After 45 minutes I could see it wasn’t going to get any lighter, so I stepped into the shower and washed off the solution – and, lo and behold, it worked! Yippee! Until I realised I hadn’t bought toner – yes, the bit they don’t tell you about. Because unless you have light hair to begin with, you’re likely going to get a yellow hue from using bleach alone, and toner will get rid of any brassy tones. However, by this time it was nearing 7 pm so I had to leave it as it was. Ok, so that’s not too bad.
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Then I realised that, with my boyfriend away for the weekend, I’d have to go to the shops myself with this half-finished hair-do to pick up what I needed. Aghhhh. Cut to me in a hat and dark glasses half-sprinting to Westfield in the hope I’ll make it right at opening time, so I can rush in, pick up what I need, and hide indoors before anyone sees. But this is London, and who was I kidding – the place was rammed.
Oh well, we all have our crosses to bear, and I made it out alive – no thanks to the Sunday regulars dawdling around the shopping centre with no clear direction. And, while we’re on the subject, don’t you just loathe people who stop dead with no warning?! Anyway, after excessive sighing and some exaggerated eye-rolls, I made it home and lathered my hair in the Colour Freedom White Blonde 027 toner by Knight and Wilson for 30 minutes – and now I don’t look like something from a ’90s boyband anymore! (Nb. The toner isn’t my absolute favourite thing I’ve ever used – not sure I’d go back to it. However, I’ve read a lot of people saying it’s great for lighter hair, so could be worth a go.)
Have to say, I do kind of love it, although I have to do a double-take every time I see any kind of reflection of myself. I’m also slightly paranoid about my hair suddenly falling out, but that’s just because I’m the most irrational person ever. But, I did want to end with a couple of pointers, as always, based on what I learned from bleaching my hair for the first time, and things I wish I’d done differently:
- Before you even think of bleaching, make sure your hair is in good condition. I alternated between conditioner and intensive masks on a daily basis for the week leading up to it.
- Know what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re going to do it – otherwise, you’ll end up putting your hair through too much unnecessary distress.
- I don’t know how many times I can say this BUT make sure you buy the bleach and toner at the same time – don’t do what I did and have to go out in disguise.
- Don’t leave the bleach on for too long; check your hair and if it looks done and even, wash it off!
- Be extra careful going forward – your hair will be more fragile so keep it well conditioned and protected, especially when using heated styling products.
And that’s that on that. Sorry for the blog post/grooming hybrid today – I mean, it’s more a stream of consciousness but oh well. I’ll hopefully be a bit more active on here over the next couple of weeks, after what seems like forever. The past month has been so hectic I’ve hardly had time to even think about writing blog posts, never mind actually doing it. But that’s about to change (he says)… On that note, I’m off to pour a wine and make the most of what’s left of the weekend!