Hair Story: Going Blonde

Hello Friends,

So I've created quite an in-depth and hopefully helpful post about my transition from black to blonde hair.

It was quite a long and tough process but it was one that was well worth it. So I've decided to share my experiences in hopes that it might be beneficial for some of you also thinking of bleaching your hair in the future.

Why did I decide to go blonde? 

I decided to go blonde essentially because I thought it was time for a change! I've had my black hair for the past 21 years and if you know me, I'm not one to make drastic changes so this was a big deal for me.

I had been going back and forth, about whether or not I was certain about dying my hair blonde. I also wanted to make sure if I was ready for the maintenance and prepared to accept the damage it would put my hair through. I talked to a few people I knew who a had also bleached their hair blonde, and created an album of reference photos. But because of the extensive array of blonde shades out there I often found myself very indecisive. I finally did decide to go for a more champagne blonde.

My brief hair history 

I dyed my hair mostly with blonde box dyes 3 years prior to getting my hair bleached. But this only turned my hair a warm brown colour. Since then my hair had grown out to its natural black/dark brown colour with the exception of the tips of my hair, that were still a light brown from box dyes. It was also during my high school years that I had permanently straightened my hair a total of 3 times to tame my very wavy and thick hair.

  • Make sure you do a lot of research and throughly understand how long the process will take, what's involved and the cost for your hair specifically. Depending on your hair history, the length and thickness of your hair, will determine how you will achieve your desired blonde colour. Thus a consultation with your hair stylist would be beneficial. 
  • Please do not try bleaching your own hair at home. I know it's tempting, I thought about doing this too but the damage (a lot) and the risk you put your hair through might be more damaging. 
  • Your hair products are going to double in price. Be prepared to spend on highly effective products on your hair in order to maintain it's colour and overall health. 
  • Prior to bleaching or colouring your hair a crazy colour, train your hair to go without washing. Yep, it's pretty gross. But to prevent your hair from becoming dry and the colour from fading, you should allow your hair sufficient time to rest. Washing your hair every second or third day is good.

The Process

Appointment 1: Full Head of Foils 

The first step of my journey was to put in a full head of foils into my hair. This involved bleaching strands of my hair whilst leaving my natural hair in-between. At this point my hair stylist was using 20 vol bleach. After removing and rinsing the bleach from my hair, my hair stylist then proceeded to put in a semi-colour on top which turned my hair a nice caramel colour. It was a confusing concept at first but once I was able to see the end result it essentially looked like very natural highlights or a lot of streaks.

Full head of foils after first appointment

Appointment 2: Full Head of Foils 

After approximately 4 weeks I had returned to my hair salon to get an entire head of foils again. This was the second stage of the bleaching process for going blonde. During the second time, my hair stylist used 30 vol bleach. My hair stylist had essentially repeated the process from my last appointment, but applied stronger bleach and more foils into my hair. There was constant checking on my hair throughout this process.

After 30 minutes it was time to wash the bleach out of the back section of my hair. This was the case as it was the first part of my hair to be bleached. After a few more minutes, my stylist then proceeded to wash the bleach out of the rest of my hair. This was then followed by a semi-colour, that would be very close to my ideal blonde (a straw/champagne blonde). The semi-colour was then left in my hair for around 20-30 minutes. This started to sting my head a little, but nothing unbearable. I had company and some magazines to read, to keep my mind off it. Once 30 minutes were up it was time to wash my hair again. I was shocked by how blonde my hair had become once it was blow dried. Four hours later, I had blonde hair. There was still strands of black hair but for the most part my hair was blonde.

Full head of foils - indoor and outdoor lighting

Appointment 3: Scalp Bleach 

I quite liked my previous hair colour but decided to go 1-2 shades lighter during my third appointment. During this appointment, my hair colourist had bleached my roots (re-growth) which she then later proceeded to bring down, into the ends of my hair. The bleach was then left in my hair for around 30 minutes and then washed out. An Olaplex treatment was then applied to my hair to strengthen my hair from the previous bleaching. This was left in for approximately 10-15 minutes before being washed out. Afterwards, a semi-colour was then put into my hair to even out the overall colour of my hair. Once this washed out a another treatment was put into my hair.

At this point, my hair looked very brown. But I knew that this probably wasn't going to be the case once my hair blow dried. However, I was wrong. Once my hair had been dried and straightened my hair was not at all lighter than my previous hair colour. My hair after 3 sessions of bleach was very much an ash brown. The colour of my hair in my second appointment was in-fact lighter, in my opinion. Despite the amount of bleach and damage my hair had gone through, my hair was taken to a darker colour. My hair was very damaged at the end of my third appointment and had to get a trim immediately.

My hair colourist did explain that this colour was temporary and that after washing it a few times with purple shampoo that it would become 1-2 shades lighter. After two weeks had passed and washing my hair approximately every third day, my hair did begin to lighten. At the end of these two weeks my hair became a warm honey blonde. Eventually, I did end up getting use to my new shade of blonde. It was a good change.

At the time I was a little disheartened, that after bleaching my hair 3 times that my hair was toned to a light brown colour.  However, after almost 5 weeks my hair had lightened a lot, much closer to an ideal champagne blonde. I might go back to get the colour further lifted from my hair, to hopefully become lighter in the distant future. But in the mean time, I will retouch my regrowth every 3-4 months, until I'm ready to go lighter.

Scalp bleach - indoor and outdoor lighting


What is the state of your hair?

After bleaching my hair 5 times now my hair isn't too dry, course and hay like so I think it's ok. However my hair is much weaker and I notice that certain strands of my hair are no longer smooth. I also noticed a little bit of breakage as the top of my head has many shorter hairs sticking out and near my nape.

How often do you get your roots done?

I will get a full head of foils to bleach my regrowth approximately every 3 months.

What products do you use to maintain your hair? 

I am currently using the Joico Purple Shampoo and conditioner to manage the yellow/orange tones in my hair. I also use the Olaplex take home treatment at least once a week to strengthen my damaged hair. To control my dry ends, I use the OGX Argan oil.

Which hair salon did you go to?

A loft Story in Newtown

Note: The whole process was quite extensive and technical, so there was some details I wasn't able to include in my recount of this journey (e.g. the mix or exact shades of blonde, semi-colour).

Thanks for reading, I hope this helped! Kat x

1 comment

  1. wowwwww, that hair colour really suits u
    i wasn't sure if i should go for it myself but uve really inspired me to, i hope you can share more about hair care in the future!


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