Going from black to blond hair is not easy. Believe me, I have had my share of fuck-ups. On both attempts of going lavender, my hair turned blue because it was not platinum enough. I love experimenting with color, but before going for round three of pastels, I wanted to perfect blond, first. It took me two sessions to achieve this shade, but there are still touch-ups that need to be done. This is my transition from brunette to blond, along with what hair routine works for me.
Last summer, I dyed my hair dark brown and continued lightening it, using Sun-In hairspray. This is what it looked like hours before my first appointment.
The first session took 5.5 hours, and three were dedicated to bleaching. After the foil started heating up, my stylist shampooed my hair with No Yellow Fanola. This turned the brassy color into a dirty, ash blond. She then applied toner to reduce any unevenness. There was a thirty minute wait, followed by a second set of shampoo and conditioning. She left my roots unbleached, since I wanted them to gradually blend to blond. This will save me from needing any touch ups, once they grow.
I did like the finished look, but it had zero resemblance to the picture I sent. Instead of an overall blond, I had a series of highlights. I wanted to trust my stylist’s judgement, and I knew that first sessions were never flawless. Even though I prefer having a grey tone over a golden one, I still expected the blond to be more prominent. The color was also uneven, but that’s typically the case in the beginning.
Three months later, I finally booked my second appointment. I wanted to get this done much earlier, but my schedule didn’t line up with my stylist’s. She repeated the same exact steps, but this time it took 4.5 hours. I’m very satisfied with the result, but my roots still need to be toned. Right now, the top portion is brassy, but a few washes with purple shampoo should fix this. The most important thing is that my hair isn’t dead and still looks healthy.
GOING BLOND // DO'S AND DON'TS
Choosing the right stylist is critical, especially with Asian hair. I don’t recommend going to a white salon because the employees are probably not as familiar with dying black hair. Ours is much trickier to work with than blonds’ and brunettes’. I was referred to, Lan, by my friend, Angela. Her pricing is more affordable than other colorists’, who also specialize in Asian hair. In the Bay Area, there are many options in San Jose, but most of those stylists charge over $400 for one session. This is more than what I paid for both of mine, combined. I went to Precision 8, in San Anselmo, which is in Marin County. If you schedule an appointment, here, be sure to contact Lan, for coloring, since that’s her expertise.
In the past, I found ways to squeeze a long and expensive process into one to two sessions. Consequently, I chose damaged hair over a damaged wallet. When going blond, you must accept the fact that it can’t happen in one day. For the first few weeks you will have to endure orange or yellow brassiness. Take this time to moisturize and condition your hair before bleaching it, again. The first time I bleached mine, I tried going lavender in one sitting. Not only was this unhealthy, but it was impossible, to begin with. After baking my hair for over ten hours, it turned extremely slimy, and I lost a lot of strands, that day. Those that remained, completely fried up. This is what happens if you rush the many stages, so don’t make the same mistake I did.
I’m sure there are fancy conditioners designed for dyed hair, but my priority is just to condition. I don’t think it matters which brand you buy, as long as you use it after every wash. When I have lightened hair, I apply a little more, and I let it stay longer than usual. The bleach will dry up your hair, so it’s essential to nourish it, as much as possible.
NO YELLOW FANOLA
In order to avoid brassy hair, I use No Yellow Fanola shampoo, just like my stylist did. Fanola is a pricey brand, but its hair products really work. As the name suggests, it prevents yellow tints by using cool tones to lift your color. The shampoo is a deep violet and is ideal for grey, blond, and purple hair. Similar to conditioner, the product should sit in your hair for five to ten minutes before being rinsed. I like to mix a drop of the purple shampoo with regular shampoo. The purple shampoo, alone, does not have that hydrating, foamy lather.
I use Biosilk’s Silk Therapy to soften my hair, since bleach causes knots, split ends, and course hair. This treatment makes brushing a lot easier, since the oil helps loosen tangles. After showering, I rub a nickel-sized amount into my ends, and it leaves my hair with a really nice scent. This brand can be found nearly anywhere, including CVS, Ulta, Amazon, and Marshalls.
+ Hoop Earrings | Claire’s
+ Stud Earrings | Old Navy
+ Crop Top | Forever 21
+ Sweatpants | Missguided