BEAUTY / MY HAIR STORY & HOW TO: MAINTAIN BALAYAGE

MY HAIR STORY

Being half Indian means I’ve got pretty dark hair, that paired with the 'relatively straight hair' gene that I got from my Dad means that my hair is pretty average I'd say. Dark and straight-ish.

Throughout my teens I dabbled a bit with coloured streaks but didn’t partake in the full on pink / purple / blue hair dying phase – which is a bit of a shame now because I think the pictures would be hilarious.

Anyway, once I got to University and entered my twenties, I decided it was time for a change and took the plunge with ombre. My best friend actually did it from a box and it surprisingly turned out pretty well for a £6 job. Win. It was all the rave at the time and I thought I looked super cool and on trend but because I didn't have the budget (or patience) to maintain it properly it would lose its intensity very quickly.

I re-did it again every few months and continued to do so for almost three years until I made the ridiculously stupid decision to cut my own hair. As you can probably imagine, this was an absolute disaster and left me with a very lop-sided bob which isn’t what I was intending at all. After a lot of tears, followed by a bit of a pep talk, I booked myself in for an emergency appointment the following day to rescue me. The lady had to chop off another three inches of my hair to make it even. Sob.

I’ve then spent the past year growing out my hair to a length I quite like but recently decided for a bit of a change. Thought it best to seek professional help this time though…

WHAT ON EARTH IS BALAYAGE? 

All the fancy lingo is lost on me and I’ve only just got used to saying ombre but now we’re moving onto balayage. By definition, Balayage is a french word meaning to paint or to sweep. Hair painting sounds like a terrifying concept but in fact, when done correctly, it can leave you with soft, natural looking highlights. If that's not enough, just think Victoria Secret models. You're welcome. 

MY EXPERIENCE

Even after one scroll through #ballayage on Instagram I knew it was for me but my hair is a pretty big deal to me and I didn’t want to spend the next three months having a daily tantrum (it’s happened before!) so I made sure to do a fair amount of research.  

I found a salon near my house and booked myself in for an appointment. The day arrived for my ‘transformation’ and I couldn’t have be happier with the outcome. The three hour experience involved the ‘painting’ of the colour, a conditioning treatment, as well as a toner. My hair is / was quite dark so I knew that it wouldn’t go suuuuuper blonde straight away but the lovely hairdresser left the toner in for as long as possible to make sure it reaped the effects.

The hair washing and removal of the foils was the scariest part and rather than enjoying the lovely head massage, I spent the ten minutes praying that my hair hadn’t fallen out or gone ginger. Luckily, neither of those happened and let out a sigh of relief when I was seated back in the chair.

The hairdresser blow-dried it to perfection and I left the salon very happy and couldn’t stop swish-swishing.

AFTERCARE

Like any coloured hair, it takes some work to maintain but it’s totally worth it and I definitely don’t want those three hours of patient waiting to go to waste. The thing to note is that it's a gradual process and my hairdresser suggested going a touch lighter each time to get the full effect I desire in order not to damage my hair too much. 

For now, I use the following products to keep it looking healthy:

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner

Kerastase Nutrive Masque Magistral

L'oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver

ghd Heat Protect Spray

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xo