Last summer on Justin and I’s honeymoon I made the decision to bleach every bit of my hair. I hadn’t done anything with my hair since putting in some blonde highlights a year before and then some brown low lights around Christmas time 2012 and I was feeling antsy to change it up again.
So, I went for it.
Because I did it myself I ended up missing a few root sections and even had to do the bleaching process two times before it all was almost the same bleach blonde shade…after it was all done I almost immediately regretted it. For my wedding day my hair was the perfect balance of natural color and dyed color, and was also longest I had grown my hair since I was 6 years old, and I so regret putting all of my hair through the trauma of a full bleach…from then on my hair was thoroughly processed and I was distraught. I got roots almost immediately and by the middle of summer I knew I needed to put a different color over the bleach. So, I dyed all my hair a medium shade of blonde in an attempt to revive my long damaged locks.
To no avail though, no matter what conditioners or lack of hot tools that I used my hair, especially the ends, was just damaged and dead. So I decided to at least cut my hair to get rid of some of the damaged sections.
After that hair change I kind of fell apart. I felt like I had ruined everything and wished I could just go back to before I had bleached it all and tell myself that it just wouldn’t be a good idea to jump back onto the hair dye bandwagon.
I came to a few personal conclusions and made a commitment not to dye my hair for a full year. The bleach blonde had been a snap decision that I had made too quickly and all the subsequent color and cuts were in an attempt to remedy the first poor decision. But by the end of it I had just cut off all my hair and dyed it a color that was WAY too dark on me and made it so I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror, not a great end for a girl who already had problems with keeping her identity and focus straight. :)
Well, for about 3 months I kept my commitment to no hair dye, but then I started to look like a raccoon and realized that I was going to have to help my hair out a bit to get it to a place where it could even grow out naturally. Enter the orange phase.
I have lifted dark color out of my hair three times in my life and each time I dread the ‘orange phase’, that time when the bleach can only lift so much and gets stuck at an odd orangy blonde phase, but if you want to save your hair at all you have to let it sit for a while before bleaching again…well, I lived with the orange phase for a few months and then bleached my hair again to try to lighten it more, I was only doing bleach via highlights, I had learned my lesson about bleaching hair all over and was trying to preserve as much hair health as possible, after that I waited a month or two more and bleached it one last time with a combination of low lights as well to bring in some color dimension.
I thoroughly acknowledged my lack of sticking with my promise, but also knew I had finally gotten to the point where growing out my hair could actually look normal, though no matter how hard you try the color ‘dirty blonde’ is one of the HARDEST colors to attempt to match so I still ended up with visible roots pretty quickly. Thankfully though I looked less like a raccoon ;)
These days, now about 6 months since I finished the last step of lifting my color from the dark brown, I am so pleased with knowing how much natural color is a top my head, it makes me breathe easy knowing that I don’t have to worry about hair color maintenance or not recognizing myself in the mirror… I used to love the reinvention of myself through hair color, but those days were most certainly best lived in high school and really have no place in my life today, and it only took 1 bad bleach job, 1 full medium blonde dye, 2 hair cuts, 1 dark blonde dye, 2 highlight bleaches, 1 more highlight bleach, 1 more highlight bleach combined with a 1 low light color deposit and 1 final haircut for me to realize that. :D