Disclaimer: I have absolutely no professional experience in any of this. I have no school. I may or may not offer to do your hair in real life, but just know that this was a very messy, gratuitously ridiculously long way to get my hair blonde. I also have no love/money from the companies whose products I will mention, though if any of them want to show me love I would not say no.
Previously in my hair adventures: How Wella Saved My Hair
For a reason that can’t be explained, I decided to undergo the most difficult, most often fucked up thing in the beauty world: I attempted to bleach my own hair blonde at home. To my surprise (and the collective surprise of everyone) I managed to not fuck it up entirely. Still, this is an undertaking that usually takes very few steps. Instead, my procedure looked like the weirdest game of Candyland ever.
This is my story. Please learn from it.
After a lot of Pinterest searching I concluded that essentially all I would need to do would be to bleach the shit out of my hair, condition, and tone. I visited a new beauty supply store with an extra-kind owner (holla @ the kind of person who will help you and then compliment you, which is exactly all I need in a person).
But! The compliments might have distracted me. My first thing? Keep in mind that the last time that I tried really coloring my hair it was shorter than shoulder length. Because of that, I (incorrectly) assumed that two packets of bleach would be enough. I also ended up walking out of the store without toner. Like a dumbass.
Still, this application went very well–for the hair it covered. I left the bleach in for about 50 minutes, which was a long time but not so much that it caused too much breakage. Because I didn’t get enough bleach only about 2/3 of my hair ended up getting covered, and some of it was lighter than the rest. After a rinsing and inspection I jumped in the car to run to Target to get the other product seen in the Pinterest articles, as it was 10 P.M. and I don’t think there are too many black market bleach kits floating around the Valley? (Side-note: there should be.)
Where to buy:
L’Oreal Super Blonde – $9.99
The role of Jesus came in with this L’Oreal product. I honestly didn’t expect it to do much to my hair, but I was extremely surprised that it worked perfectly. I did, of course, have to do some creative yoga moves with an extra mirror propped up on a trash can to make sure that I got everything covered this time, but my body needed the random cardio anyway. Holla @ my friend who was nice enough to not laugh at me through this process. Thanks to this product, my entire head was then lightened considerably after 40 minutes of developing and then rinsing.
I mean, it was brassy and crassy but that was expected.
The next morning I drove to the beauty supply store I should have gone to all along–Wow Beauty Supply. I was brought up with a very true and wonderful commandment that should always be followed: always go to the stores that the black women shop at (and own, usually). That way you know this is a store that can be trusted and is well-stocked. They always have everything that I need, so why do I shop anywhere else?!
I got both the Wella color charm (which I previously loved and knew worked well) and the Manic Panic because I wanted to know which would work better. Because I only got one bottle of the Wella I needed to use both products to cover my entire head. Before applying I trimmed off the super fucked over ends of my hair. On efficacy, the unequivocal answer was that the Wella worked better, obviously, but the Manic Panic did almost as well. After about 40 minutes of processing I shampoo’d with the Shimmer Lights (and have been twice a week since), conditioned like a mother fucker, and looked at the results.
I am so happy and so lucky that it ended up working well! There is a good amount of color variation because of the use of different products, which ended up making it look more natural. So, for about $50 and less than 24 hours I lightened from medium-brown to blonde. My overall goal is to lighten all the way up to platinum…but for now I should obviously give it a rest.