I’m back to blonde hair! As much as I loved my magenta hair, I was getting weary of the pink stains on my house shirts, towels, pillows… everywhere! I was also tired of having to worry about about getting my hair wet in the rain and my hot showers bleeding it out too quickly. Bright red hair is just so high-maintenance. It’s fine for a few months, but it gets too much for me eventually. So it’s back to an easier color!
Settling on blonde is a long story. I bleached my hair twice last year, first to get to light brown in the spring and the second time for blonde in the fall. I then went back to black hair to take a break from coloring and save a bit of money.
I let my hair grow out for a new months, and then I decided to go for red. I had an ombre effect in the beginning with purple roots and bright red hair because I didn’t bleach my virgin growth. In time, that annoyed me so I bleached my roots to get bright red all over my head.
So! The top half of my head was bleached once and the lower half was bleached twice, all on separate occasions. I was very aware of this when I began thinking of retiring red hair. I know the ends of my hair will be very light, and the top will be darker. I thought maaaaybe I should rock an ombre again so I won’t have to bleach anymore. Okay, let’s do it!
No Bleach? Hah, you wish!
For reference, this was my hair before! That’s about two weeks since retouch, so the pink tones have faded a little and my hair looked more like straight red than magenta. Well, it’s gone now! I miss it sometimes. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. (That’s Pablo Neruda. I’m not able to verbalize my feelings as well.)
The first step going blonde was to remove the red. One week before I started the process, I washed my hair in very hot water and dandruff shampoo repeatedly. Basically, I did things that you weren’t supposed to do with red hair. It did fade the red some, but of course, nowhere near enough for another color to take. I ordered a box of Color Oops Extra Strength to take it all off once and for all. Despite my reservations, it actually worked in removing the red. I read that red is very difficult to take out, but I had no problems.
The next step is where I made a huge mistake and lead to me spending another $20 fixing my hair and ending up with blonde. After the color remover is when I’d typically dye my hair over. During this time, I ordered Loreal Hicolor Highlights in Golden Blonde.
I knew my ends would be too light for ash blonde dye and there’s a high chance it’ll turn green, so I avoided that. Plus it’s summer, so a warmer blonde is a great idea right now. Generally, warmer dyes are a terrible idea on Asian hair but hey, I bleached already. What could go wrong? Let’s do it!
Aaaand this is what happened. ORANGE ROOTS. My ends looked fine, but I guess the top of my head wasn’t light enough for proper golden tones. Instead of a cute light brown to blonde ombre, I was stuck with an orange mess.
I wasn’t happy at all, but I didn’t want to go darker just yet. I decided to screw it. I’m gonna bleach again. Argh. I know I keep saying I don’t want to anymore, but it’s so hard to keep away once you’ve started. Take heed if you’re not willing to commit time and money into your hair. Don’t bleach!
I wonder if I just chose neutral blonde or even risked ash blonde, I’d have been fine at this point. I’ve read time and again that any dye that promises warm tones is a huge no-no on Asian hair, but I didn’t listen. I am not very smart.
In Which I am Reminded that Messing with Hair is a Time and Money Sink
I hastily ordered some bleach and box dye to fix my hair, and then proceeded to lock myself in our apartment until they arrived. That’s one perk to working remotely. Here’s what I got: Manic Panic Lightning Hair Bleach Kit and John Frieda Precision Foam Color in Light Natural Blonde. I chose these two because they were the only ones I was looking for that were Prime-eligible. I’ve honestly never used them before this, so I was hoping very hard that they’d work.
Once the weekend started, I did a bleach bath. Manic Panic’s kit came with bleach powder in a tub, 40 volume developer, gloves, shower cap, and a small tinting brush. That’s not a bad deal at all! I have a larger brush already, but this small one was great for precision mixing.
Prepping the bleach was simple and nothing out of the ordinary if you’ve done it before. I simply mixed the powder and developer with equal parts clear shampoo. I applied the bleach to my orange roots only and let it sit for half an hour, and then I added some to the rest of my hair and left it on for an extra ten minutes. Forty minutes in total.
Here’s the result from the bleach bath! My roots were definitely lifted. Still a few orange patches but overall it’s a lot lighter than before. So far so good!
Black Makes Everything Fancy
Time to tone down my crazy orange/yellow hair! Here are the contents of John Frieda Foam Color: vibrancy sealant, a bottle of developer, colorant, after-care conditioner, and a pair of black gloves. I gotta say, the black gloves made me feel more pro.
Wow, so fancy~~ I like to line some cheap tissue wrapping paper on my sink to make clean up easier.
I’ve never used foam color before this! I’ve read about them, so I was very curious. Prepping the bottle isn’t too different from cream dye. You pour the colorant into the developer, but this time instead of shaking, you simply tilt the bottle a few times to mix. I’m guessing shaking will produce too much foam and reduce the color’s potency.
Here’s what you get after mixing the dye. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was more than enough for my hair. The color comes out in a very soft foam that was easy to lather on to the hair. Think of it as shampooing. It was a joy to apply, and I was able to get the foam on my hair evenly. Plus, there were absolutely no drips and no mess! All I had to do afterwards was throw away the box. I had no idea foam color was this easy. I might use it more often.
Although when I first started, I tried pumping the top of the bottle and kept wondering why it wouldn’t move. I was supposed to squeeze the bottle to get the foam out. I was stumped for two minutes even though the instructions were clearly printed on the bottle. I am not very smart x 2.
The Riveting Conclusion
After washing out the foam dye, here’s my final color. I’m so relieved it worked out in the end, and I’m so in love with my hair right now! I can’t get over the golden tones on top of my head. LOVE!
Here’s a progression of my hair from before the bleach, after the bleach, and after the foam dye. The dye didn’t lift my hair much, but it definitely toned down the orange and yellow parts of my hair. I still have a few patches that need work, but nothing purple shampoo can’t tone out.
It was super helpful to me to take these comparison pictures. I was able to see the difference in each step and feel reassured that what I was doing was taking me somewhere. If you’re planning on processing your hair, I highly recommend that you take progress pictures! If not for sharing, then just for personal reference.
And that’s the story of how I went from red to blonde! What do you think? Are you planning on changing your hair up? Let me know!