Pastel Pink, Lavender, Neon Blue, and even Granny-Gray hues have completely taken over 2015 hair trends. Perfectly curled, long luscious strands of mint green and even rose gold hair have becomes fixtures on my Pinterest and Instagram feeds. We all know I’m a fan!
What I didn’t know was the extent of care, cost, and maintenance that goes into achieving these almost impossible looks.
A year or so ago, I began the journey of blonding my hair after years of crimson reds. I knew it would be a feat, but I was going through a break up and desperate for a new identity. Two color extractor applications and two full heads of lightener in one day. It was the most terrifying experience I had ever had in my almost five years in hair.
You see, hair has to go through what we call “seven levels of lift.” They are the hair equivalent of the circles of hell. BRASSY. It’s the only word that you can get out of your mouth when you’re staring at a head of hair that is that dry, damaged, and orange as the almighty sun. But I expected this—going blonde is a long journey.
There are a few vivid fashion colors that you can begin with once your hair is a dark blonde like mine was. Magenta, Violet, and Orchid Colors actually really like these levels of lightness. And it’s realistic to expect to be able to get there in one or two sessions with your stylist. All the prices I’ve listed are according to Lava Salon's prices and are starting prices.
In Salon cost:
Color Extractor x 2 [$120]
Single process Lightener [$120]
Fashion Color [$60] per color
I mean let’s face it, the odds of hair color virgins sitting in my chair are slim.
Have realistic expectations
After a few weeks of letting it rest, I attempted lightening my hair one more time, hoping to break through the oppressive orange brass that was left. I felt pretty discouraged at this point, but my hair pulled through for me and lifted to a nice pale yellow blonde—the blondest hair can be. Now I knew the real fun could begin. Most vivid colors; blue, green, pastels, and grays, are only achievable on the palest of blonde hair and any decent colorist would know to refine the yellow tone with a toner first. I’ve mentioned color theory on my blog before. What do yellow pigments make when you put blue on top of them? Yep, green. I see too many disappointed faces when girls put at-home blue on their lightened hair and it’s a nice shade of green you’d find in a baby’s diaper.
Don’t forget about after care. According to hair painting and vivid color artist, Shannon Holben Keel, “Consultation and post care are the most important things. Exclusively use cold water when shampooing your hair and shampoo less often. It’s not hard to shampoo less when the water is cold. Sulfate free shampoos are the best for fashion colors. I never over promise, sometimes hair just doesn’t lift the way we hope. But I always tell my guest that I will take care of their hair to ensure it’s healthy and beautiful when they leave.”
Shannon’s extensive process to create peacock-like hair.
Five hours later she had stunning results.
Uh, yeah, no one likes to be cold. I shower and then wash my hair under the faucet, it makes the icy water more bearable. And I personally prefer Surface Hair Care’s Bassu Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner along with the Bassu Masque for deep treatments. The Color Vitalock Complex in all of their products has helped with the fading. I finish off with Bassu Oil for extra color and sun protection. Oh, and wear a hat if you’re heading out to the beach or doing some gardening. UV exposure means the death of fashion shades.
In salon cost
Single Process Lightener [$60]
Fashion Color [$40] per color
Bassu Shampoo [$28]
Bassu Conditioner [$22.50]
Bassu Masque [$33]
Bassu Hydrating Oil [$28]
Vivid fashion shades are amazing. Your stylist can truly create works of art with them. It can be a few slices in your bangs or a full head of blue mermaid hair like mine, created by my talented co-worker Jackie Inman.
But it is costly and takes time, so weigh the pros and cons for yourself and your lifestyle. The possibilities are limitless if you put your head in the hands of a salon professional with knowledge of fashion color who cares about the integrity of your hair.
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