Thursday, May 23, 2013

my hair.

im sure youve put it together that my hair is not naturally bleach blonde. in fact, its quite the opposite. i havent actually seen more than an inch of it in almost a decade, but given that as a child my hair was dark brown, and hair color typically darkens with age, my best guess is that my natural color is somewhere just north of... black. 

now i know that youre supposed to re-touch your color ever 6 weeks or 1/2 inch to avoid visible roots, but honestly i dont think that rule really applies when your hair color is this obviously fake. i mean, im not trying to fool anyone into thinking that my hair anything other than fake, and i completely use this as an excuse to stretch re-touches as far as i possibly can. personally i like to have at least an inch of regrowth before i even bother with the roots, but my hair is really thick and grows on the faster side, so i can only  get away with putting it off for two and a half months maybe three. 

anyways, i know its time to do my roots when my mom says "victoria its time for me to do your roots", because, its my mom that does my hair. at home. its what weve always done. with the exception of the few months that i worked as a salon receptionist, ive had my color done at a salon exactly once. 

coloring hair at home isnt nearly as difficult or dangerous as its made out to be and when done correctly it can save you A LOT of money, HOWEVER, you do need to do A LOT of homework and learn about how the different chemicals react to each other and why. honestly if you think youre going to go to rite aid and pick a box of clairol dye thats even a little different than your existing color and have it come out exactly like the picture on the box you are most likely going to be disappointed. at the same time, going to a stylist doesnt necessarily guarantee perfect results either, since not all stylists specialize in all kinds of color processes (and no stylist would ever admit that). 

after years and years of trial and error (and my brief stint at beauty school) my mom and i have formed a tidy little method for doing my roots, and i thought id talk about how we do it, but before that i have to give a big fat disclaimer:

*my mom and i are not professionals. this is not a tutorial with any kind of guaranteed results for anyone other than me. this is what WE do and it works for ME, thats all. these ARE professional products that CAN be super damaging to the hair even if used correctly. technically, what we do is SUPER risky and ive even had stylists tell me that i shouldnt be able to do this.*

with that out of the way, these are the products i use:

im not particularly loyal to any particular brands, i just buy whats on sale at sallys, but i always use powder bleach and 40 volume creme developer (when i was in beauty school i used 50 volume). the bleach comes in a one pound tub and is usually somewhere around $20, but theres usually at least one brand on sale for as low as $15 (this loreal is usually around $30, but it was on sale for half price, and so far its my favorite). the developer comes in a clear liquid and a creme, and even though they do exactly the same thing, i prefer the consistency of the creme, and is about $6 (sometimes on sale for $4.99) for a 32 oz bottle. 

the bleach powder usually lasts me well over a year for root touch ups, and the developer not quite as long, so they never run out at the same time. but hypothetically even if i had to buy both at regular price, id be out the door for less than $30 with enough product to last  the ENTIRE YEAR, as opposed to paying a minimum of $40 + tip four or five times a year (and thats if i went to like, fantastic sams. a real salon would be more like $60+, and this type of bleaching isnt really popular anymore, so not a lot of stylists even know how to do it right). really, if i wasnt able to color my hair at home, i WOULD NOT be able to afford it, $30 a year i can do, $40-60 every few months? at this point i cant even IMAGINE how much money youd have to have to be able to do that. 

anyways, the bleach and developer get mixed into a paste:

and carefully applied to the roots only. lots of people believe the myth that bleaching COMPLETELY ruins your hair, and while that certainly can happen, the real culprit isnt the bleach itself, but the re-bleaching of already bleached hair. once its all on, the ammonia in the bleach needs time to oxidize and "lift" the color out. since im going for maximum lift (in stylist speak, im going from a 2 to a 10), i leave it on until the bleach stops reacting completely, about 20 minutes, which is entirely too long to walk around looking like this:

once thats done, i just rinse the bleach out (though i always miss some, no big deal), condition REALLY well, blow dry, and ta-da! no more roots:

its kind of a lengthy ordeal (about two hours start to finish), so im always REALLY glad to have it done so i can go back to avoiding it for the next three months. 


  1. Looks great, professional even. But I agree that 1" of roots is so bad ass why would you ever not want to have them...

    1. thank you! it really does get to a point where its kind of punk rock how much i dont care how my hair looks. or at least, thats what i tell myself.