Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Journey From Dark Brown To Blonde Balayage Hair

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |
A while ago on Twitter, I stated that I was going to dye my hair blonde for summer. Though I had white blonde hair as a child, it became darker as I got older and it's almost always been a dark colour since I first dyed it at 13. I'm not even totally sure what my natural hair colour is.

But just as a little background, I dyed my hair dark brown this time last year, then for a festival I bleached the ends blonde and put lots of different semi-permanent colours in like a dip dye. The pinks and purples faded quickly leaving only a turquoise blue which ended up fading to a green, while the dark brown on top faded to a lighter brown. I struggled to get rid of this green as it had completely stained my hair, and resorted to dying over it again with a dark brown. This worked for a couple of washes but soon started to reveal the green again. A couple of months later I dyed it dark again, and this solved the problem. 

As a small disclaimer, I would just like to say at this point I am absolutely no expert in hair colouring or really, anything to do with hair. All hair reacts differently to dyes and I can't say that results I have achieved would be exactly the same as someone else's. I do a lot of research before messing around with my hair but I am not trained, qualified or anything like that, and all my knowledge has come from the internet or my own experience.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |
Anyway, back to where I was. When I started, my hair was a rather heavily dyed dark brown. I was going to try and strip the colour, but to be honest, I couldn't be bothered. Maybe I should have done, but I thought I'd dive straight in and go for the bleach.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |


As I was in Germany, I placed an order on Boots as I decided to use Bleach London and as per, this wasn't available in Germany. The problem was delivery is expensive and it isn't next day, so when I ordered all the dye I knew I needed to order enough that I wouldn't run out and leave my hair half dyed without being able to pop to the shop and grab another box. I ended up ordering 2 boxes of Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit and 2 boxes of Jerome Russell Bblonde Maximum Blonding KitBleach London Silver Shampoo, Bleach London Silver Conditioner, and Bleach London White Toner Kit.

Whilst I was researching, I also read how coconut oil is a miracle worker when it comes to hair bleaching, so I also picked up a pot of that. I stopped using heat on my hair for a while beforehand to try and get it in the best condition possible and I did a conditioning treatment a couple of weeks beforehand.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |


I stopped washing my hair a week beforehand and the night before doused it in coconut oil. I later read that you only need a teaspoon or something but I just went all out and drenched it in the stuff, then added some more in the morning before bleaching for good measure. Coconut oil and natural hair oils help to protect your hair from damage from bleach.

The first time I bleached it I used a box of the Bleach London balayage kit. I had two boxes at the ready but I really only needed one. My main issue was is that I underestimated how difficult it would be. Don't even bother with the balayage board provided unless you're a wizard, it's so difficult and fiddly to use. I started off quite well with little strands and different sections, but then I checked the time and realised I'd only done half of my hair and had about 10 minutes until I'd reached the maximum time for the bleach to be on your hair. So then I had to work super quickly to get the rest of the bleach in.

After leaving it slightly longer than recommended, I washed it out along with all of the oil, gave it a shampoo to ensure the oil was all gone (it wasn't) and conditioned it with the Reincarnation Mask. I then washed it again later because that coconut oil just didn't want to come out.

This Reincarnation Mask is the best thing about Bleach London hair kits. Despite my hair having gone through a chemical decolourisation, it was so soft and silky.

The result of the first round of bleaching was a little disappointing, though sort of expected. It didn't lighten it that much, but it was so dark that I couldn't expect it to be platnium blonde after one attempt of bleaching. It did however start to reveal a little bit of green on the ends that I thought was long gone. I then left it a couple of weeks with another hair mask halfway through and a coating of (too much) coconut oil the night before.

Repeating the same process as before, but working much quicker to get the bleach on, the second round of bleaching gave more noticeable differences. It was blonde! I used the Bleach London purple shampoo to try and knock out any brassiness, though it still wasn't that light so I don't know how much difference it made, but I was pleased with the results. And again, the Reincarnation Mask is a lifesaver.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |
After another couple of weeks, I put my hair through even more torture, because when I started I had my mind set on a much lighter blonde. Same process again, except this time using the Jerome Russell Bblonde kit.

This is where I made a mistake. As I had only needed one box of the Bleach London dye each time, I thought I would only need one box of the Jerome Russell too. But really, I should have used two. I had enough to cover the parts I was dying but I think it could have had more of an impact had I used more bleach.

I left it on for the maximum time, rinsed it off, purple shampoo, reincarnation mask and allowed it to air dry. The difference was barely noticeable.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |
So less than a week and a half later I was trying again, however this time was unplanned and therefore I didn't have a coconut hair oil coating on it. The ends of my hair were blonde enough, having always started applying the bleach there in previous attempts and then working my way up, so this time I tried the opposite and worked my way down.

I started off slightly higher than before, and worked in sections starting at different lengths to give it a natural look and then at the end adding the remaining bleach to the ends. This time it did make a difference.

The following day I put the toner on it which knocked out some yellowness and left the hair a much cooler shade of blonde. And this is where I am now.

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |


This was a long process. If you haven't got experience in dying and bleaching your own hair, I would not recommend doing it yourself at all. It's difficult getting it to look decent, and it's a lot of effort and takes a lot of time.

Also, I would get someone else to help you. I tried to enlist the boyfriend, but let's face it, that was never going to end well for either of us so I did it by myself. And though it looks OK, I think it could have been improved with an extra pair of hands at the back.

Always use more bleach than you think you might need. Don't try and scrimp, as it just won't work if you don't have enough. Have a box ready to use should you need it, and when applying, do not go for the less is more approach. When it comes to dye, more is always more. 

Coconut hair oil masks are great. They DO help with saving your hair a little bit (though you must accept that you can't bleach your hair with no damage whatsoever). The only problem I had was as your hair looks wet with the oil, it is difficult to see where you have applied the bleach and where you haven't. The application was so much easier when I tried it with no oil in the hair. 

Lightening hair at home is NOT an overnight thing. Do not expect to leave work or school Friday night with dark hair and come back Monday morning with white blonde. It took me several weeks, and if I had done it any quicker without allowing my hair resting time, I wouldn't have any hair left. Be prepared to have less than ideal hair for a few weeks during the process.

I would recommend the Bleach London kit over the Jerome Russell kit as I saw better results and there was more dye to use, BUT I was bleaching already bleached hair with the Jerome Russell kit and I didn't use enough bleach either. The Reincarnation mask however is definitely worth buying even if you do choose a different bleaching kit. 

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. I'm no expert but I can try and help!

Final Results:

Bleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review | www.hannahemilylane.comBleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review | www.hannahemilylane.comBleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review | www.hannahemilylane.comBleach London Beach Lights Balayage Kit Review |

Have you ever bleached your hair? Do you have any tips?

Hannah Lane

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