Well, I’m officially the blondest I’ve ever been. Last week, I had my naturally-dark brunette hair bleached for the 5th time in the past year. Without the proper care, high-quality products, expertise from hair stylists, and PATIENCE (key), I never would have been able to achieve this color and maintain super healthy hair.
So, how’d I go from brunette to blonde (ish) in about 1 year?
First and foremost, I did it slowly. The first time I had my hair bleached/lightened was June 2019. And here we are in July 2020 after my 5th appointment. I went through this process very gradually… and this was super important to me, as someone who actually tries to be fairly low maintenance about her hair. Low maintenance/high maintenance is subjective, but it was always important to me to transition to blonde/bronde in a very gradual and healthy manner. I always had my hair stylist do either a balayage or shadow root so that my color would *hopefully* fade/grow out naturally and evenly.
My current hairstylist, Kristen, says her biggest piece of advice is to try to enjoy every stage of the process. I laughed when she said this because there were DEFINITELY stages of this transition from brunette to blonde that I was not a fan of. But hey, I was in it for the long haul if being patience would help the health of my hair!
Note: This photo has a filter on it, but this was taken right after my first bleach last year.
Starting in June 2019, I gradually went lighter and lighter with my hair with about 6-8 weeks (or more) in between each color. I think this was a crucial part of the process even though after each appointment, I still wasn’t nearly as close to the light, ashy blonde that I wanted. Nevertheless, it was worth it!
The first time I saw Kristen this year (February), we did a full highlight and she also balayaged the ends of my hair in between foils. I LOVED my hair at this stage!
The second time I saw Kristen (just last week), we did a full highlight but did not balayage the hair in between. She left that hair alone but toned the ends. She decided to do this in order to give some of the other hair a break since she knew the health of my hair is super important to me.
The next time I go back (hopefully in September!), we will do an all over process. Kristen will do a full highlight and balayage the ends again… I currently love my hair but is it sad that I’m already excited for my next appointment?! 🙂
I asked Kristen (who specializes in blonde btw!) for her main tips for processed blondes. She said…
- For maintenance, tone the hair every 4-6 weeks or use purple shampoo at home! I use purple shampoo, but not as frequently as I should. Since I’m naturally dark, my hair pulls “orange”, so I definitely want to increase my purple shampoo to about once per week to cut down on brassiness and keep my blonde bright in between visits with Kristen!
- Always get a haircut after you highlight! As someone who’s pretty attached to their long hair, I’m always hesitant to chop too much, but I trust that this helps keep the hair healthy and let’s face it: it just looks better when you have trimmed ends.
- Always use a heat protectant! I’ve been preaching this since day 1, so I think this is a huge part of what has helped me make this transition safely. I try to limit the amount of heat I put on my hair… but I really do love my hair when it’s curled! So, no matter what, I use a heat protectant before ANY heat touches my hair.
- Focus on hydrating shampoos, conditioners, and masques when not using purple shampoo. I have some really, really great hydrating products that I’ve been using consistently for over 1.5 year. When you bleach and process your hair, it’s prone to dryness. I’ve definitely noticed that I’m more prone to dryness as a blonde than I was when I was a natural brunette or colored my hair dark brown/red. High-quality, hydrating products have been a gamechanger for me.
Before I dive into the specific products that helped make this possible, I also want to share that if you want to go from brunette to blonde, and doing it slowly and safely is important to you like it was for me, I almost made a “promise” to myself that I wouldn’t change my mind and go back to dark hair again (at least in the near future). I’ve learned that once you go blonder, and then go back to dark, it will be SUPER difficult to go back to blonde again. Simply put, it’s extremely hard to go back and forth frequently. So, I decided that I’ll be blonde/light for a while and I wouldn’t allow myself to change my mind and go through that vicious cycle. Again, the health of my hair and the ability to maintain has always been important to me.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to my favorite products on the market. They’re the only ones I want to use for the rest of my life, honestly. And I was someone who previously used high-quality, salon-grade products. But these have surpassed any and all expectations I previously had, and my hair has never felt better or more manageable – despite the bleach I’ve put it through!
Non-negotiables that helped me go from brunette to blonde:
- Rejuvenique oil: a blend of 13+ botanical oils. The molecular structure is small enough to penetrate all 3 layers of the hair strand AND deliver nutrients into the scalp (instead of just sitting on top of the hair and scalp). This is important because the the hair closest to your scalp is truly the only hair that’s “alive”. Healthy hair and hair growth starts at the scalp! This oil is a gamechanger and it has over 101 uses for hair and skin!
- Renew shampoo: A hydrating shampoo (infused with Rejuveniqe) that helps hydrate the hair from the inside out. This is best for medium-thick hair, but I actually feel like my hair is more on the fine side, and it works great for me.
- Intense repair conditioner: This helps promote shine, heal damage, and increase hair growth. It’s infused with a proprietary ingredient called Capixyl, which is clinically proven to increase hair growth, hair density (amount of hairs on the head), and increase the strength of the hair.
- Double action hydrating serum: These little vials of goodness are infused with hyaluronic acid. I don’t talk about this product enough… it’s one of my absolute favorites. It’s like giving your hair a big drink of water, which has been a MUST for me in the past year. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, so with just a few sprays on each side of my head, it gives my hair a ton of extra hydration and softness.
- Purple shampoo and conditioner: This uses natural phytopigments derived from lavender and violet flowers to enhance silver and platinum hues. Like I mentioned above, I haven’t been as consistent with this as I should be and now that I’m extra blonde, I want to increase my usage of these products to once per week. I know it will make even more of a difference!
- Hair Transformation Masque: This masque uses a plant-based keratin to fix breakage, soften the hair, and heal over-processed hair. I also use Replenish Masque, which is super hydrating and focuses on healing damage like split ends, frizz, and more.
Okay, the truth is, there are a lot more products (styling products) in my routine that I would LOVE to mention, but I thought I’d keep this list fairly short with my non-negotiables. These have played a key factor in helping me keep my hair as healthy as possible throughout the process of going lighter and lighter.
A great hair stylist and great products are KEY, but don’t forget that proper care, stress management, and an overall healthy lifestyle are a huge part of healthy hair and skin as well.
Here are a few rapid-fire tips:
- I use soft scrunchies as often as possible. If I wear my hair up in a bun or ponytail, I do my best to keep it loose and not tug on my hair too much. Be gentle on your hair! It becomes more and more fragile with age (and bleach! ha).
- I make sure to eat a balanced diet and prioritize protein. I drink a ton of water – over a gallon on most days. I’m not perfect in this “diet” category at all, but I do believe that whole foods and balancing proteins, carbs, and fats helps the health of your hair and skin.
- I *am trying* to focus more on stress-mangement. Stress is one of the leading causes of hair loss, and let’s just say that in the past 2+ years of becoming an entrepreneur with huge goals and dreams, my stress has been a little higher. 🙂 Exercise, proper sleep, and trying to take frequent breaks are a huge focus of mine.
If you made it through this whole blog post, I love you! 🙂 it was a long one, but I’m so glad you stuck it out. I honestly could talk about hair, skin, and beauty for hours. I’ve always been this way. It’s no wonder why I partnered with the number one haircare company in the world to create an additional stream of income for my personal brand. 😉
Want more details on the products that have gotten me through this process? I’d love to do a 1:1 consultation with you and discuss what would be best for you! I can also give you the rundown on the VIP customer program to give you some awesome discounts and perks. Just message me on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll give you the details! You can also do a free beauty quiz HERE if you’re interested!
Thanks for taking the time to read about this process!
BTW: there are more “progress photos” of the transition from DARK to light on my Instagram!
So… Do blondes have more fun? That’s still up for interpretation… but I can honestly say I DO really, really love having light, bright hair. 🙂