Thats Not Blonde ???

First a little (hair) background. I am 32 and for the last few years have been going rapidly grey, (it runs in the family unfortuatley), and consequently am no stranger to hair dyes. As I have already said I have been to the hairdresser twice in the last few years with a view to 'going blonde' but was so put off by the 'horror stories' I had fed to me I gave up. By this time I tended to just dye it plain old medium brown but had been getting a bit annoyed at the regrowth and booked myself in for some professional highlights, yet again, in order to try and disguise it better. I wasn't pleased with the result AT ALL !

She had completely disregarded the fact that I had been growing my hair for the last two years and whacked a lot of it off (I didn't realise till I got home just how much she had taken off the back), As for the hair colour itself ? I ended up with a mish-mash of a few bits of blonde at the front, a huge chunk of ginger in the middle sections and the back was left brown (apparently to mimic my own hairs 'tones' and 'highlights' ) AND I could STILL see the grey roots. I tried to get used to it but 2 weeks later and with a a bit of persuading from my husband who was 'strangely' enthusiastic about me going blonde, I did what I had been thinking about for years. A hour later I found myself face to face with a l'oreal superblonde pre-lightener kit, AND a lovely 'champagne' blonde dye to complete the 'look' I wanted.

I mixed the kit together. It contained a developer and 2 sachets of lightener, gloves and conditioner. You were left to decide as per your hair colour before use (very dark = 2 sachets, light = 1) how many sachets to use, I used 2. The instructions were easy to follow, rather like other hair dye kits, and there were certainly no more warnings than the usual. So I took a deep breath and started applying following instructions :- roots first, ends last as advised. We waited, and a good 30 mins later I was getting quite alarmed at the speed of the colour change. By 40 mins I was positively panicing. My hair looked as if it was turning a bright canary yellow and I was sure that wasn't supposed to be happening, I had also convinced myself by now that if I left it on any longer my entire head of hair would fall out. I rushed to the sink and rinsed off. EEEK !!!. My hair WAS bright yellow and there were a few patches on the back where the brown had been that were distinctly 'orangey' looking.

'Never mind' I thought, 'I'll just put the 'Champagne Blonde' shade through and that will even it out a bit. I read the instructions for the pack then applied the mixture, leaving it for the regulation 25- 30 mins as I always have done. Can you see the mistakes piling up ?

It's Bright Orange !

TAAA DAAA....The result : "Oh s**t, f*****g hell.... what have I DONE" describes it exactly ! Lets just say I would've given Ronald McDonald a run for his money. It looked just awful. Bright, full on 'neon' effect ginger hair !!! I was horrified and burst into tears, my husband was torn between genuine sympathy and (as men do),stifling his giggles everytine I sobbed..'but LOOK at it !!!????'...and when I finally ventured tearstained downstairs to face my 4 kids their reactions varied from outright laughter (the 15 year old), and wide eyed shock (the one year old).

My first instinct was to send hubby out to buy me a nice brown dye, but instead he went on the net (while I sobbed in the corner) and started reading up on 'hair disasters'. There wasn't much info around, but on an American site we eventually came across it expressly advised against putting a brown dye in (more later). I posted with my disaster story, and was given the advice to 'rebleach' as "it is far easier to correct a blonde gone wrong than it is to try and put colour back in". Alas, the rest of the advice concentrated on USA products such as using 'Colorfix' which is unavailable in the UK . Also, they have different strengths of developers and stuff which they can tailor to suit themselves with experience. Over here the hair products for dyeing we use are very much 'one size fits all' so they can be quite harsh comparitively with the US products. So I was left with 2 choices 1)Go to a salon and try to have it put right ie back to brown with a lot of 'tut tutting' and finger wagging from them and a great deal of 'red face' action form me, OR 2) Try again.

I decided to try again.....

My husband went out to get more dye and when he got back I started the whole process over again, this time hoping to avoiding all the mistakes I had made last time. I waited a lot longer this time for the pre-lightener to work. My hair was still a frightenly vivid shade of cringe-worthy yellow but this is NORMAL !! (more later).
This time I snipped off 3 strands of hair before applying the Champagne shade and found that the one that looked best was after only 5 minutes on the hair, certainly not the 30 minutes I had left it on the day previous. The other 2 strands were both quite orange by 10 and 15 mins repectively. I applied the Champagne blonde dye and barely 5 mins after I had applied it, rinsed it off, applied the conditioner. I blow-dryed my hair, and I got the best surprise ever.

I was now a nice shade of Champagne blonde ! RESULT !


If I had gotten it right first time round this would obviously not have been necessary and I wouldn't like you to think I went ahead lightly. I can't help wondering just how much hassle and tears could I have saved myself if I had known what I was doing in the first place ? How much damage to my hair could I have avoided if I had just a little bit of info ??? Oh and GREEN hair may well have been the result if I had went ahead and put the permanent brown dye I was thinking of over the top of a semi-permanent blonde....And I tell you I was this close to doing just that but for the American site I posted on.

So there goes my tale of 'going blonde'. Got there eventually, but I sincerely wished there had been a site like this to give me a tiny bit of Do or Don't info. Nothing fancy, just to let me know the difference between what is supposed to happen and what definatley isn't would have been good.

So that's why I set this up. I am not a hairdresser and I have nothing to sell to you, just passing on a little bit of advice I wish I'd had a few months ago when Ronald McDonald and I looked like we'd been separated at birth. Have a look through the rest of the site, it may just stop the above happening to you.

I have to stress again that if you have any doubts at all about doing this sort of thing, go see a professional.


More Blonde Tips and Tricks

Oops ! Overdone the Bleach ?

Hair gone Orange ? Or Green ?

Examples of Blonde Shades

Back to Brown ? How ?

Fighting the Frizz

Highlighting Basics

More Hair Disasters, Stories, Tips and Advice.

Pregnancy Info, Articles and Advice

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Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Advice

Using Retin-A for wrinkles

Revitalising Facemasks

Invigorating Bodyscrubs

Make your own Lipgloss

Do your own French manicure

Home Facial Techniques

        Product Reviews and Suggestions

Aveda Cherry/Almond Bark Conditioner

How to Choose an Anti-Aging cream

Reviews of 'Sun-In' Hair Lightening Spray


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