Friday, January 10, 2014

How To: highlights at home | Ombre hair | dye your hair at home

My promised hair pictures <3

I started dyeing my hair in 2010 and continued coloring it ever since, apart from 2 times where I decided to go to a hairdresser because I was bored of my color, and wanted something new.
Those two times, I've been the most disappointed I have been in these last 4 years. 
I will tell you a bit about it now, and then I will explain to you step by step what technique you could use to avoid having to spend money while you can do the exact same (or better) at home. 

To start, I would like to admit that there are really awesome hairdressers out there, but to find them is a real quest and it is very rare you will bump into one that does exactly what you asked for, and even more. 
I once had the pleasure to work with someone called Sandrine who worked at Tony & Guy, and she was the best colorist I have ever met. I wanted J Lo meets Jen Aniston hair with a lighter color at the end of my hair points, something I had naturally, but I wanted to exaggerate that look. Maybe a little bit of a semi ombre "avant la lettre".

I showed her some pictures, and to me, it is even more important to stress what you don't want. 
I went with my best friend, and, even though we were both kind of demanding customers (I want this this not that definitely not that, and I do not want to walk out of here with a bill exceeding 200 dollars kind of customer) we really got a great customer service.
We both got about 10 minutes to talk to her, and she was super lovely, she explained the process, she spoke about the color range, showed us several hair samples, explained how we could reach that hair color, you know, something where you normally hear:

"that is not possible miss, your hair is too dark for that, the only way to go blond is to put in highlights, and this way you will come back every 2 to 4 weeks and after a while you will get blond".

Read more:

I guess a lot of people have heard that it is just not possible.
To make a long story short: we both got exactly what we wanted. 
A beautiful color range where at least 3 to 4 colors were integrated in our hair, without damaging it. 
And about the bill? She let us know there was a student discount, so we both paid about 70 euros each.

These were pictures taken not long after. Please do take into account that these pictures were shot on my macbook, so not the best quality.
Waw! (I like my hair color the best in this picture just above.. but I have no clue how to get that hair color back :)

I have always been in the blond/chocolate brown category and always experimented with colors ranging from a 6 to an 8. (if you are new to this subject: the higher up you go, the lighter the hair color, the lower you go the darker so a 6 would be a dark blond or even brown and a 7 would be a medium blond). 

When I color my hair myself, I always just color the roots, because I find that, once the color wears of in the natural light of the sun and because of the washing, it looks way more natural and you get that really natural feel to your hair: not overly damaged yet several gradations of blond.
If you want to check out the video I did on how to color your hair at home professionally, just click this video

Now, over to the real deal: I've been experimenting with how to put in highlights as natural as possible.
At first, I tried buying a very high blond color range, nr. 12 and tried applying it to specific strands of hair with a 20 or 30 developer. That didn't really work seeing I color my hair, so it won't be as good as when you color it on natural hair.
The difference was almost unnoticeable, so I tried looking for an alternative.
After a lot of reading, I decided to go for blue bleach powder (iekieeee sounds so scary) and a volume 20 developer. You add one scoop of the powder, and two scoops of the developer, put it on strands you pick out (I held numerous of my pinterest hair pictures (see pinterest: awomansaffair) in front of me to get the strands right), and leave it there for as long as you want but not longer than 40 min. I decided to put plastic foil over it to get some extra heat, and let it sit for about 20 min: mistake.
Because I already had lighter end (naturally and thanks to the L'oreal Preference ombre kit) so it did lighten my ends a bit but it definitely damaged them more than it did lightening them. Plus, I wanted natural highlights in my hair going some from high up but mostly from mid to end to join those whiter hair ends. However, I did not want to get all of the color pigment out on my hair, so ended up with very orange and yellow highlights.. :/
How to solve this? Tone your hair! :) So I bought any kind of hair color you would like (or you could also get a toner, from for example Wella) and I picked a developer 10.
I put the hair color I mixed with my developer 10 (1:1) and I let it sit for about 10 minutes. 
Voila! First step in the good direction.

for you girls (or guys) that want the exact same as me, so a little bit of highlights but very natural and NOT damaging, this is what you should do:
(so learning from my mistakes, I will share with you what I should have done before bleaching some strands way to harsh, and using the L'oreal Preference Ombre kit (which leaves your hair feeling like straw) 

1. Choose a root color of your choice (mine is a 7 sometimes an 8 and I like to add some non neutral color to that) 
2. Depending on your hair, choose a developer (this will help the color "develop" once you apply it on your hair) Usually a 20 is the best option, cause a 10 could leave your hair very dark and a 30 could leave it looking orange
3. pick random strands (I divide: one horizontal layer I do not want to highlight, one that I do and then I go in between with my comb end to divide the hair further up) I stay away from my top layers (so no highlights when you part you hair in the middle, always leave those top layers un highlighted) 
4. apply 1 scoop of powder and 2 scoops of developer 10 (NOT 20, that will be way to harsh and damages your hair) for about 2 to 10 minutes (no longer). Apply it with a brush or with your fingers (wearing gloves). I like using a pallet that I place underneath the strand.
5. rinse your hair with purple shampoo
6. mix your desires hair color with a developer 10 (1:1) and put it over the strands you highlighted. You can be generous (and a bit messy with this) leave it on for no more than 10 minutes (I left mine on for about 5 minutes) 
7. wash your hair 
8. apply deep conditioning mask 
9. do not use any heat to the colored hair after your wash 
10. Voila! 

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