Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Going Blonde at Home: Brunette to Blonde

Going blonde at the hairdressers was never an option for me. Not only couldn't I afford it but I’m slightly scared of hairdressers – from judgmental encounters in the past to not being able to speak up when I haven’t liked something. I realise that is more about me then it is about hairdressers but I just wanted to lay it all out on the table :P Plus I’m a bit of a DIY kid and really enjoy trying out things for myself! 

My Hair Type
I have naturally super fine oily hair and the dreaded flaky scalp – gross! I normally keep my hair above my shoulders as it’s not the type of hair that looks super pretty long. For all those reasons and more I’m not overly attached or in love with my hair and therefore wasn’t scared of bleaching it and the threat of it all falling out. I had dreads a few years back and know I’m personally 100% okay with all my hair being chopped off in the worst case scenario. My hair has low porosity (you can find out your hair type here) and knowing I wanted to go blonde and wanting to avoid the process of first needing to strip my hair back to its original colour, I made sure to keep it Au Naturale and legit for the past year or so. I’ve also been going the crazy no-shampoo route for the last 6 months with varying results though something I’ll save for another time to discuss :P Lastly, in a grass is always greener type scenario, if I wanted my hair to look pretty, I’d load it up with curlers, a texture spray and hairspray to give it some type of – oomph! 

Goal: To take my naturally brown hair to a golden blonde 

DAY 1 (Tuesday 12th) 
Round 1: Full disclosure: neither of us knew what we were doing at round 1, we had no idea what the paste should look like or how much to apply – totally blind. In hindsight the whole application on my hair was too dry and didn’t have enough coverage. The end result - my hair was slightly lighter in some sections but still brassy and patchy. We needed this round to know what to do next time but you can definitely avoid this stage – learn from our mistakes! 

Steps: 30% developer mixed with bleach left on for 30 minutes.

How did my hair hold up after bleach one? It was the first time in 6 months using a conditioner and honestly my hair never felt so good. Since the bleaching was fairly light I would say very little damage was done at this stage

Things to Improve: The mixture needed to be runnier, left on for longer with thicker coverage 

DAY 5 (Sunday 17th) 
Round 2: Five days since my first bleaching and all I can say is luckily it was cold and I could wear my beanie everywhere to disguise my random hair. I waited five days because I wanted to give my hair time to recover after its first bleaching. I put in a coconut oil treatment an hour before bleaching for minimal damage to my scalp + hair. Luckily we knew what we were doing by my second round of bleaching so this was really my first proper bleach and it resulted in my brown hair being stripped back considerably. There was still some unwanted hues (orange/yellow) and patchiness too which would need at least another round of bleaching to combat. I bought some spray in conditioner and started using that to keep my hair nourished and conditioned. 

Steps: 30% developer and bleach left on for 45 minutes to an hour

How did my hair hold up after bleach 2? I did notice it definitely needed conditioning, slightly drier but almost back to normal once using the spray in conditioner daily. 

Update: The above spray was what I was using but have since found using  Evo - the great hair hydrator, once a week is the awesome sauce for my hair!

DAY 7 (Tuesday 19th
Round 3: I let my hair get naturally oily for my last round of bleaching. Since my goal was to get to a golden blonde, I was happy to call it a day with this round of bleaching taking out most of unwanted hues. Emaya targeted all the patchy areas so that it finished with an even coverage. 

Steps: 30% developer and bleach left on for 45 minutes. Darker areas hit first!

How did my hair hold up after Round 3? Not much of a change from round 2, just an apparent need for my hair to be conditioned as I could tell it was definitely drier and more damaged then when I started. 

Things to Improve: Although I just let my hair get naturally greasy, there is no harm in putting through an oil treatment a few hours before - something I will do from now on as an extra caution.


Since there was still some left over toner (ash colour) from Emaya, I ended up using the remaining amount though only leaving it in for 10-15 minutes as my end goal was to get to a golden blonde. In hindsight I probably could of left it on for a little longer maybe 30 minutes to tone down some more of the yellow in my hair but I was still happy with my overall 

Steps: A quarter of tube of violet ash blonde toner mixed it was 30% developer and left on for 10-15 minutes

Things to Improve: I don't think I understood the importance of the toner but it pays to spend a little time looking at colour wheels and working out which toner you'll need to achieve your desired result.

So this is how my hair looked at the end after three bleachings and a toner. Knowing how to apply bleach we could of definitely have gotten it down to 2 bleachings and one toning session.

I’m so happy I went blonde and so happy we trusted that we could do it! 

Remember when I said I wasn’t the biggest fan of my original fine, limp, greasy hair – well bleaching, in its damaging way, actually gave me hair I love. After bleaching I found my hair took on the results I would have normally used time and products to achieve. Overall my hair feels much thicker and I can now go a few days without having to wash it - avoiding the dreaded grease factor. I know all these “good” side effects are a result from my hair being damaged but for me, oddly enough, the result is having hair I really love!

So that was my story and tomorrow is Emaya's journey of going black to blonde!


  1. Woot woot!! You look so frigging amazing as a blonde. Can't believe it was done at home...

    1. Thanks Trishie! I feel it's definitely do-able too :)

  2. I can't get over how great this look looks on you! Superb!!

  3. I think both suit you very well. And this is definitely a great shade of blonde for you! Maybe the intended would have been too, but I really like this. And I'm glad to hear you actually like the new texture better:)
    Anyway, great job! I try to do all my hairdressy things myself too, but I've never dyed or bleached it…

    1. I think doing hairdressy things is just another creative outlet :) :) I'm lucky about the texture I think!

  4. Looks awesome matey :) You always look super pretty though :)

    1. aww shucks! or is it chucks! :P
      :) :)

  5. I love you both ways, as a brunette and blondie! That doesn't happen frequently! ♥

    1. :) Aww yay! I'm sure i'll be changing again in the future!


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