It’s safe to say the last nine months my hair has been through a lot, from black to ginger (warm as hairdressers would say) to khaki green and back to my natural colour brown, keep reading if you want to find out more…
So I had been growing out a pixie cut from when I worked in a salon training to be a stylist, it seemed to be taking forever. I’d been wearing hair extensions for months to make the transition from short bob to shoulder length a bit easier, when my hair finally reached shoulder length I decided it was time to go a bit more natural and embrace my curls too. The picture below is from May 2016 leaving for our holiday.
I decided the next step to being more ‘natural’ was to get rid of the black hair and revert to my roots of being a brunette. I had previously done this myself before becoming a hairdresser and turned my hair completely the wrong colour, so decided I would pay a proffesional to do it. I had spent so much money on hair extensions and maintaining the health of my hair that I wasn’t going to attempt to strip and recolour my hair on my own, especially when I couldn’t see the back!
I did a little research on the salons in my area, checked their reviews and prices and had a few consultations. I came across a stylist who had great reviews and did similar training to myself, they also had more experience than I did at the time as they qualified before me.
First I booked a consultation, I was pleased with the method described on how we were going to lighten my hair and the price and so made an appointment.
A few weeks later I went in for session one, this took a few hours because my hair had to be stripped from the box dye black that I had put on my hair for the last year. I went to a reddy/ginger colour and I had it trimmed too, because in order to have healthy hair trims every 6-8 weeks are key.
The stylist used a product called Olaplex to help protect my hair during the service. It costs roughly an extra £20 per service but is definitely worth the money! I left the salon with no longer jet black hair, but a more natural lighter shade as below, I quite liked it and my hair felt great.
I had booked in my next appointment leaving time for my hair to rest and to allow time to get used to my new (temporary) colour. I received so many compliments on it that part of me wished I had kept it that colour.
Fast forward two weeks…
I was back at the salon for stage two of colour correction and I was pretty excited to see what colour my hair would be leaving the salon. Again I was there for a few hours whilst my hair was stripped of the colour for the final time so that the brown colour could be applied.
I was there a long time, so long in fact that I was almost late for dinner. I have never had good experiences with bleach on my hair and won’t be using it in a hurry. The stylist put my hair in a full head of bleach foils rather than using the stripper like I was advised she would, this turned my hair a blonde and ginger colour, she then put a brown over it to (hopefully) neutralise the colour… to my horror it went a khaki brown colour when wet and hung like limp lettuce. I hoped that when dry my natural curls would spring to life and my hair would be fine, however this was not the case.
At this point I had paid over £200 for the services on my hair, and I was impressed. Over the course of the next few days my hair started to fall out in clumps and break off, had a chewingum texture and I couldn’t even brush it. I contacted the salon and they offered to try and fix it for free, this included inches of hair being chopped off and Olaplex treatments. It helped my hair a little but I couldn’t leave it to dry naturally because it was so damaged it just frizzed, I couldn’t straighten it everyday to make it look presentable because it would damage the hair more. In the end I asked for a refund which I received a few weeks later as he attempts to revive my hair failed.
Fast forward to September…
Maintaining my hair or trying to make it look presentable just wasn’t working, so I decided it was time for something drastic. I made an appointment with my mums friend who is now my hairdresser she was going to see if there was something we could do to make managing my hair a little easier, I was open to options as it was hardly going to get any worse – my hair was already breaking off!
My appointment came and I went for the chop, I’m lucky that I can pull off most hairstyles. It was a bit of a shock as I hadn’t had short hair in so long, but was ready for the pixie look. I decided that I would grow out the remaining damaged bits of my hair and be truly natural for a while.
I liked my hair this length because you can see my whole face, plus when it’s warm you don’t have to worry about getting too hot. The only downside was my fringe wasn’t long enough to plait so I was limited with looks until it started to grow out a little.
My hair growth plan at initially was to grow the top layers down whilst keeping it trimmed in to the neck, the mullet look wasn’t what I was aiming for!
Along came October, I was still wearing my hair straight and swept over, and tucking flyaway bits behind my ears. At this stage I had to have my hair cut after 3 weeks because my neckline was growing so fast. You can see from the picture that it hadn’t grown much in the three weeks on top but it was still sitting nicely, when growing out hair patience really is key!
Come early December and I was finally noticing some changes with the growth of my hair, my fringe was so long that it would only sweep over how I wanted it to for a matter of weeks before I needed to change my style again. If you look closely you can also see that the back and sides were starting to get long so I could tuck it completely behind my ears.
In case you’re wondering I kept up with my regular trims but was leaving it 5 weeks rather than 3, and kept the neck trimmed in as much as possible so the layers would continue to grow down.
Mid December it was all about the braids, my hair was now long enough that I could create another style, one I could do in about five minutes and not have to worry about for the rest of the day. No awkward gap fringe or hair in my eyes!
Fast forward a little to the start of February, I have started wearing my hair natural again. My hair hair always been naturally curly but I am lucky that if I do decide to straighten it I can go a few days without having to wash it. Curly hair is great, however a bit unpredictable, you have good and bad hair days but you just have to go with it. The bonus of no straightening means no heat damage and tons of time saved drying and styling, just wash and pop some product in and go!
Finally today! Now I know you can’t really see how long my hair is in this one but you can see that it is long enough to be styled into two reverse braids and pinned at the back. This style was created from curly as it gives the hair more volume and hold!
*Below I have listed advice which comes from my training and from personal experience*
When using bleach you have to be very careful, if you hair isn’t in tip top condition I would not recommend using bleach and always make sure to get a professional opinion. In my opinion it is worth paying a bit more money and getting a professional to lighten your hair rather than to do it yourself because that’s their job and they are trained to be the expert in making sure your hair isn’t damaged as a result of a colour service. If a professional tells you it is not recommended that you do something to your hair, please take their advice and don’t try a home job because 9/10 times will end up paying for it (cost wise and hair health wise) in the long run, trust me I have learnt from experience.
If you go to a salon to have your hair coloured or lightened please make sure they are doing the following tests, to make sure what happened to me doesn’t happen to you:
1. Strand test – they cut a very small piece of hair and test the colour on it to see how it comes out and if it damages the hair
2. Elasticity test – this is where they stretch a strand of hair to see how easy it snaps – if your hair snaps very easily then it would be reccomended not to colour your hair
Please always tell a stylist if you have used box dyes, henna or tried to strip your hair at home with a home kit.
Part two of my hair growth story will be posted in a few months when my hair has had time to grow some more.
Please let me know what you think of this post, if you have any tips/ideas/tutorials you would like me to do!
I hope you enjoyed today’s post.