She used hair lightener (aka bleach, which is essentially peroxide) to give me some highlights, since my hair is blonde to begin with. I feel like it brightened up my hair color as a whole, and made my hair look a bit more summery. You can get a big tub of hair lightener powder and a large bottle of activator (the creamy liquid used to activate the chemicals in the hair lightener) for very cheap at Sally's Beauty Supply, or any other beauty supply store. The activator basically turns the powder into a paste, making the hair lightener easier to work with and activates the bleach in your hair. There are varying degrees of strength in activators, and the one she used was level 20. Anything higher than 20 has the power to lift or deposit color. It's crazy what simple chemicals can do, isn't it?
Both the hair lightening powder and the activator last a long time, since you only really need a scoop or two of powder and a little activator per highlight job. Though, bleaching your hair can be quite drying (and also make your hair more tangly), so I wouldn't do it very often.
Tip: Buy yourself a detangler. It'll make the process of blow-drying and combing through your hair (both during the process and from then on) so much easier. No one likes scalp pain! I like to use the WEN Replenishing Mist but you can use whatever you like.
Next, she let the hair lightener process in my hair. It really depends on the person how long it takes, and how light you want the highlights to be. I have what she called "virgin hair" (basically, I'd never dyed it before), so my hair didn't have layers of color in it, so my hair lightened relatively quickly. After that, she rinsed it out once my hair had reached a pale yellow-blonde color.
After blow-drying it, she began placing the pink hair dye over it. We picked up a small bottle for around $6 at Sally's, and it seems to have enough for around three uses if you're just using it for streaks. We had to lighten the hair first, because even though my hair is blonde, it's still too dark for the color to show up. Since I'm pretty shy when it comes to my hair, and it was my first time doing anything "crazy" with my hair, she decided to do "peekaboo highlights." This was perfect for someone like me, because they're not overbearing, but they're more of a fun surprise when I turn my head. They'll be more noticeable when I curl or braid my hair, but if I just keep my hair to the side, you can see hints of pink. It's a lot of fun, but not too much!
Tip: Have an idea of what you want when you go to your hairstylist (or in my case, your very good friend who just happens to be a licensed hair stylist in New York State). The more information you can give him or her about what you want--and what you don't want--the happier you'll be with the result.
|Artificial Lighting - No Flash|
|Artificial Lighting - Flash|
|The pink highlights are hiding beneath the top layer of hair, which I'm pulling back in this photo|
Tip: Be sure to buy a color-safe shampoo that doesn't contain any sulfates. Sulfates (most commonly seen as Sodium Laureth Sulfate) are a soap-like detergent for your hair that cleans it and lathers well, but it strips any artificial color you many have put--that's your money going down the drain! I, personally, will be using my Ecru New York Luxe Treatment Shampoo from last month's Sample Society box, and my beloved WEN Cleansing Conditioner. Without any sulfates, my color will stay vibrant for longer.
When I got home, after thanking Nicole for a job well done, I made sure to put something in my hair to give it some moisture. After all of the blow drying, bleaching, and dying, my hair was a little dry. So, I dropped a little bit of argan oil onto the the hair from my neck down, concentrating mostly on the ends. I used Josie Maran's, because that's what I had on hand, but any moisturizing product would do well. Then, I sprayed some WEN Replenishing Mist onto a comb (also a WEN comb, because I'm obsessed) to tame any flyaways and give some moisture to the top of my head, which was also looking dry. After they had time to soak in, my hair felt a lot softer and smoother. I felt like it deserved some replenishing after all of the styling from the day.
Have you ever dyed your hair? What was it like?
Disclaimer: I swear I'm not affiliated or sponsored by WEN, I just have a strange obsession with their products. If they wanted to sponsor me, that would be awesome. I love free things. I'm also not affiliated/sponsored by any other brands mentioned in this post. I bought everything myself (though I guess technically not the Ecru shampoo, since it was technically included in a subscription box), and now my bank account is mad at me.
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