Blondes Have More Fun

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I began this post with the intention of explaining my whole hair colour story and giving a detailed description of how I apply my own highlights at home, but it started to get REALLY long. Not to mention boring.

So I deleted that sucker.

Instead, I bring you the abridged version (which is still long - you may want to skip bits, or indeed all of it), together with my thoughts on the Jerome Russell Bblonde Highlighting Kit based on my experience of using it over the past year and a half.

Firstly, let me just say that if anyone had told me a couple of years ago that I would end up lightening my naturally mid-brown hair - let alone that I'd be doing it myself with an at-home kit - I would never have believed them. I'd never been interested in changing my hair colour before. But the unwelcome appearance of premature greys coupled with an allergy to PPD (the active ingredient in virtually all hair dyes) essentially left me with two choices: grey... or blonde.

Bleaching or highlighting hair is a completely different chemical process from dyeing it - no nasty PPD in sight - and very effective at disguising grey hair. I really hated those greys, so I took the plunge and went for blonde.

Why I ended up doing it myself rather than going to my salon I'm still not entirely sure. I'm usually a complete baby when it comes to things like this and crippled by the fear of everything that could go wrong. But I happened to spot a DIY highlighting kit while browsing in Boots one day and, very uncharacteristically, threw caution to the wind and went for it. As it turned out, I couldn't have been happier with the results, and I've been doing my own colour ever since. While I wouldn't rule out going to a salon in the future, this method suits me just fine for now.

Let's face it - who doesn't want hair like this woman? Just look at her. She knows how irresistible she is.




In my opinion the quality of this Jerome Russell kit is excellent. I've tried a couple of others but this delivers the best results by far - at least for me. If your natural colour is any darker than light brown, as mine is, bleaching becomes more difficult to achieve, and this kit is specifically designed to work on all shades of hair, even black.

To give you a brief idea of the application process, the first thing you do is perform a skin patch test and a strand test - this second test is to determine how long you need to leave the bleach on to get the colour you want, and if your hair is strong enough to take it. Then you put on your highlighting cap. This has tiny holes all over it, through which you pull strands of your hair with a small metal hook. Then you mix together your bleach and developer and apply it generously to those strands for the predetermined time, checking it carefully at regular intervals.

And that's it. Slightly more complicated than an at-home dye, but not exactly rocket science. If you want a more detailed description of how to use such a kit, there are plenty out there, especially on YouTube, so I wasn't sure how helpful it would be for me to add another to the mix. Besides, once you get the basic idea, it really is just a simple case of following the instructions provided. However, for anyone who might be considering giving this a go, some of the things I've learned through using it might be worth knowing, so here goes:
  1. Pulling your hair through the cap is by far the most annoying and time-consuming part of the process. It takes me a good couple of hours. It's really important to keep the strands quite fine and as uniform in size as possible, and take care not to accidentally skip too many holes. While a friend's help might be useful, I have always managed to do this by myself - you just need an extra mirror for the back. Basically, the more care you take over this step, the more professional the finished result will look. Be patient!
  2. Err on the side of caution when it comes to the length of time you leave the bleach on. This will vary for everyone, but I have found through trial and error that twenty minutes is enough for me to get the caramel colour I want. Even though your hair might look scary when you first remove the cap - mine honestly looks radioactive - don't panic until you have washed and dried it. It will look very different then. If it's still not blonde enough you can always bleach it again, but you cannot take back over-lightened or frazzled hair. (This is particularly good advice if you have a PPD allergy like me - dyeing over it with another colour is not an option!)
  3. Even if you're still not sure of the colour once it's dry, wait a week and wash your hair with purple shampoo (see below) a couple of times. This stuff works miracles and you'll probably find that the colour will mellow out so nicely that you no longer want to bleach it again. I think that people with brown hair worry a lot about brassiness when they are using bleach, but I have personally found it to be only a very temporary issue when the process is freshly done, and sometimes even then it doesn't look brassy at all.
  4. Be a complete goody-two-shoes about following the instructions, performing the safety tests and checking the time while the bleach is on your hair. It's just not worth the risk of something going wrong.
I did my roots at the weekend and this is me right after I finished drying my hair. I forgot to take a "before" picture because I'm annoying like that, but if you check out this previous post you can see the difference now that my roots are lighter.


Finally, my hair would like to introduce you to its two best friends.



As I said, purple shampoo works wonders at keeping any brassiness at bay and this one by Provoke is both cheap and really effective. And while bleached hair is always going to be drier than non-bleached hair, a good deep conditioner once a week helps mine to stay soft and sleek, or at least as soft and sleek as it ever was. I love this one from Herbal Essences.

Have you tried at-home bleaching? Would you ever consider it?

Kate x
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44 comments

  1. Cool color :)

    Kisses
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never tried at home bleaching but I'm a brunette and don;t think blonde would suit me however I am flirting with the idea of doing an ombre thing with plenty or caramel and blonde-ish streaks just to add more definition.

    Love the hydrating mask...I've used that and it really leaves hair feeling soft and lovely!! I also really like an argan oil enriched mask which I'm currently testing! :)

    Layla xx

    www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

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    1. The ombre sounds lovely - I love the idea of that sort of look but I can't do it because of the pesky greys!

      Will be interested if you review the oil enriched mask! x

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  3. great post! i have never bleached or did highlights at home but i dye my hair alone every month :) not a big deal at all...

    www.simplymee89.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Natasa! You're right, it's quite easy to do at home once you get the hang of it! x

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  4. You look great with your new hair color. The highlights flatter your face and natural hair color. I having been thinking about dying my hair with an ombre kit, but haven't taken the leap yet.

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    1. Thanks so much! I love the ombre look! x

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  5. That is such a gorgeous colour on you! I've never bleached my hair before but I am tempted to try out henna

    The Chaotic Dreamer | Music + Fashion

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    1. Thank you Karina! I've heard that henna is also good for people with allergies to hair dye. It's something I always keep in the back of my mind in case I ever get sick of the blonde! x

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  6. Your hair looks so great! The post is very helpful as I have been planning to get highlights myself for sometime now but just don't have the guts yet. Now my temptation to color my hair has increased manyfolds seeing how pretty you look!

    Love
    Rachna Priyanka

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Rachna! You have really beautiful hair. I love the look of toffee coloured highlights in dark hair. I think sometimes it's a difficult decision to make - I was sort of pushed into it because it was the only way I could hide my grey hairs! x

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  7. Love the color!

    Xo!
    Stella
    www.stelladorothy.com

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  8. Your hair turned out beautifully!! I would definitely consider this. I just moved from FL to California and the rent is over double as much here, so it might be a great way to save money and keep my blonde...

    http://thecoralcameo.blogspot.com/

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    1. Yes, the cost is one of the main reasons I stick to DIY! In the states I think you have a lot more options to choose from when it comes to at home hair colour kits. x

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  9. I think blonde suits you magnificently! I'm always dreaming about going blonde...but I think that will forever remain a dream! But if I ever do take that plunge, I will definitely return to this post for some help! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, The What's In Between. I' m so glad I was able to discover your beautiful blog! xx

    The What's In Between

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    1. Aw thanks so much Zoe! I really enjoyed reading your blog too. x

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  10. Wow your hair looks amazing, thanks for writing SUCH a detailed tutorial, this is exactly what I was looking for, for my mum!
    Hugs,
    Alexandra

    www.mysweetestdisposition.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Alexandra! So glad it was useful. x

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  11. You're so pretty! It really suits you!

    xx, Be || lovefrombe

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  12. That tip with the purple shampoo is amazing! I used to go blonde, but my hair would turn a titch bronze-y. Wish i saw this post back then ;)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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    1. It really is good stuff Marlen! X

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  13. wawwwww superbe :) très jolie et naturel :) bisous

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  14. wonderful!
    Emma xx
    http://iemmafashion.com/

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  15. Lovely! Your hair looks amazing. I would never bleach my hair though, I like being a brunette. Followed your blog x

    http://cranberrydeer.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Thank you! I do still love brunette hair. X

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  16. Thank you for the tips, darling. Your hair is gorgeous.


    Lace and Lipstick Stains

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    1. You're welcome, and thank you so much! X

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  17. Have a nice weekend ^^

    Kisses
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

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  18. I've truthfully always wanted to try going blonde but I'm so pale I feel like I'd look crazy! Perhaps if I were to study abroad or go away for a while and nobody would have any memory of a brunette Britt to compare it to. :p

    xoxo Britt
    www.thenotebookeffect.com

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    1. Lol! You'd just be the mysterious blonde! You could always try doing it very gradually, over time. x

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  19. I love the Herbal Essences mask - so affordable and really works! Great post... Daisy xxx

    http://daisydabbles.blogspot.co.uk/

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  20. I love the Herbal Essences mask, it really makes hair feel wonderful and soft - I also quite like coconut oil on the hair too...that really leaves it feeling silky smooth and lovely!! :)

    Layla xx
    www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

    ReplyDelete

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