I started my journey of going from a warm brunette to a light blonde a couple years ago. I had tried a few different stylists before I found Mashal and I’m so glad I did because she’s amazing! It’s important to give your stylist the full rundown of the coloring your hair has already experienced. If you’ve gone from dark to light and back again, that will impact how the coloring agents will transform your hair and your stylist needs to know beforehand! It’s been a long road to obtain the color blonde I wanted and I’ve learned a handful of things I think everyone needs to know before they undergo the same process.
1. It’s science!
Lightening your hair (usually done with hydrogen peroxide) opens up the hair cuticle so you can break down the natural pigments, known as melanin. The bleaching agents have to dissolve various levels of the underlying pigment, depending on your desired results and natural level of hair color. Hair typically lightens to yellow or reddish tones—that brassy color we never want—which is why toners are used after bleaching.
The bleaching process changes the elasticity and porosity of your hair. Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb (and release) moisture. Overly porous hair is unhealthy, doesn’t hold a style and can break very easily. Although it may absorb moisture well, it also releases it quickly. This is why you don’t want to over-do it when you’re going lighter.
2. We can’t all be Becky with the good hair
The texture and underlying pigment of your hair is related to how easily it will “lift” when you are going lighter. In fine hair, the cuticle is very close and lightens easier. Coarse hair, however, is more resilient and sturdy, giving greater resistance to the bleaching agents and lighter results when adding color. Since everyone has different shades and textures of hair, your journey to blonde will be different than your friends’ experiences. I showed Mashal a picture she had posted of one of her clients whose hair I really liked. This was helpful because she knew exactly what technique would achieve that look. However, I kept in mind that my hair wouldn’t necessarily look the exact same color of the girl’s in the photo.
3. Rome wasn’t built in a day
Because you need to dissolve the layers of pigments in your hair, if you are going from very dark to light it’s unlikely you can do it in one session. The process of breaking down the pigment can be damaging so it’s best to take baby steps in going from even a light brown to blonde. Be prepared for multiple sessions with your stylist if you are trying to achieve a super light blonde. Again, everyone’s hair is different so the number of sessions will vary between hair types. I’d already been through a few sessions before meeting Mashal so I gave her the full breakdown of what had previously been done to my hair. This is why consultations are important! We were able to achieve the look I wanted in one 5-hour session. I had already gone through probably 4 or 5 other appointments lightening my hair with other stylists before Mashal finally made me the blonde goddess I wanted to be.
4. Something is different here
Opening the cuticle can roughen the hair and make it prone to breakage. As I mentioned originally, lightening your hair also makes it more porous and dry. My hair texture changed drastically when I went from a reddish-brown to light blonde. It’s much more dry and I experience a lot more breakage. It’s not the end of the world, but it comes with the territory of being a blonde. The upside to this is it’s so much easier to skip a couple days of washing and I spend less time using any heat on my hair.
5. Gimme all the products
Products, products, products. Blonde or not it’s super important to use quality products on your hair. Mashal encouraged me to use a mix of products when drying/styling. I always use a leave-in conditioner to make my hair easier to comb through when it’s wet. It’s also important to apply a good heat protector before drying and styling. Finally, I finish off my styled hair with some oil on the ends and dry shampoo on the roots. Mashal recommends this product cocktail as a preventative measure to keep your scalp dry/clean and to freshen up the ends to help them from drying out/breaking. In addition to these products you’ll want to make sure you’re using a quality shampoo and conditioner. I use a purple shampoo a few times a week to keep my color fresh and avoid that brassy gold tone we all dread.
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If you’re gonna go blonde, go see Mashal.
Blonde hair definitely requires more upkeep but it’s nothing to be scared of! If you’re looking for a colorist in the DC area, Mashal is amazing. Not only is she experienced and knowledgeable about hair and current trends, she’s got an awesome personality to go along with it! I always enjoy my appointments with her and she really understands where I want to be with my hair; whether it be the color, length or style. Because I had not been taking the best care of my hair before I met Mashal, I had a lot of damaged pieces that I was struggling to revive. Since Mashal also specializes in tape-in extensions, I decided to give them a try! I’ll link my post with all the details on hair extensions here.
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