Last year, I wrote a blog post titled, “You can’t go from dark to blonde in one day.” (Okay, I guess technically you can, but your hair will be all sorts of f*cked up.) When I wrote that, I was starting to lighten my hair so that I could eventually dye it pink.
I get a lot of questions about my hair, but the two most popular ones are: How did you get it to look like that? And, How did you get it to look like that without your hair completely falling off?
Alright, there’s a third question I get asked a lot and that is: How much did it cost? The answer is, A LOT. I haven’t done the math and I don’t want to.
It took about 6-8 months to get my hair light enough (and healthy enough) to get the pink color that I wanted! I’ve spent a lot of quality time at the hair salon since. In July of this year, I dyed it purple and blue before going back to pink. The good thing about getting my hair dyed by a professional is that the purple/blue faded into a nice golden blonde color, which was light enough to go back to pink.
Big shout out to Jackie at Salon 1322 in Belmont, CA. I walked in last year with difficult, box-colored hair (years’ worth!) and asked for blonde, please.
I’ve done a few things since then to increase the longevity of the color and to ensure that my hair stays healthy.
- I don’t wash my hair everyday anymore. I wash my hair every 2-3 days, preferably every 3-4 days. I know what a lot of you are thinking: that’s disgusting. I have a routine, though. I’ll wear my hair down for the first couple of days. After that, my hair is up in a bun, a ponytail, or in a braid.
- I try to use non-sulfate shampoo and conditioner. Just Google it and you’ll find it. I will warn you, though, they’re more expensive than the Suave ones you’ll find at Walmart, but it’s worth it!
- I use hair masks. Jackie gives me samples of hair masks to use sometimes, but I also went online and bought some. It’s not necessarily a mask like a face mask. Don’t worry, I’m with you. I didn’t get it at first either. It looks like conditioner. You get a palm-full or whatever the instructions say and you work it into your hair like you would with any other hair product. Then, you put a clip in your hair and leave it for about 20 minutes. After the time is up, rinse it off.
- I air-dry my hair. I’ve always done this, so this was an easy one to continue. I get out of the shower, de-tangle my hair, and let it air-dry.
- I try to protect my hair from heat. Heat will damage your hair, period. It will also fade your hair color. Look it up on YouTube. I try not to use a lot of heat in my hair anyway, but I do straighten my hair or curl it sometimes. To protect it, I’ll make sure to use heat-protectant spray because I’m tryin’ to look cute!
I’m by no means an expert, but these are the things I’ve done that have worked for me. Or, at least I think so because my hair is still growing at its normal rate and it still “feels like hair.” You know what I’m talking about. I have some split ends, but it doesn’t feel crunchy.
I’ve been dying my hair since I was in high school, but I didn’t start experimenting with non-neutral colors until this year. I’ve been interested in “crazy-colored hair” (as my mom liked to call it) since I was a kid. I remember being in elementary school and asking my mom if I could dye my hair pink, purple, or blue. My mom, being a conservative Mexican woman, said absolutely not.
To be fair, my mom had done everything in her power to ensure that I grew up to have beautiful, long, luscious hair, so I suppose she was just protecting her investment. Her efforts, however, included shaving my head completely bald at one point. There was a Mexican belief of some sort that if you shaved your child’s head completely, that new, better, even more beautiful hair would be born. In this very specific case, I am glad that there are less than 10 pictures of me before the age of 3. The nickname “pelona,” which roughly translates to “baldy” stuck with me for a few years, but eventually went away when I grew hair. Thank GOD.
Top left: natural hair color 2006; top right: box hair color July 2016; middle left: lightening round 1 July 2016; middle right: lightening round 2 September 2016; bottom left: fun colors round 1 March 2017; bottom right: fun colors round 2 March 2017
More fun colors July 2017