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WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE GOING FROM PEROXIDE BLONDE TO BRUNETTE

Say goodbye to having approximately 5 billion foils on your head – #winner.

before-after-shot

I’d been fakin’ it as a blonde for as long as I could remember. My natural hair’s mousey brown (and sort of shit), so aged 14 or 15, I started going cray cray on the highlights.

Remember when this was cool?

25-Kelly-Clarkson

Anyhoo, it’s cost me heaps over the years. Both at the expense of my bank balance (welp), and at the expense of my poor, damaged, peroxide-ridden barnet (welp welp).

This was bad enough living in my native Britain where it was sunny approximately two days a year (might be a slight exaggeration), but when I moved to Australia last year, the daily dose of sun hit my head like a burning wrath of fire (funny that) that was hell-bent on drying out the little condition it had. Sidenote: the vitamin D is fantastic for general wellbeing/happiness – I’m not being ungrateful, honest.

Working in the Cosmo offices, it’s pretty much a given we’re 100% open with each other, whether that be discussing what we’re having for dinner, who we’re having for dinner (jks), and yup, our appearances. So I wasn’t offended in the slightest when Online Beauty Writer Amelia told me I had to go back to the dark side because it would look a lot better. She even hooked me up with the daddy of all salons in Sydney, RAW by Anthony Nader.

Before going in, friends told me to fake tan like crazy because I’d feel really pale and I had to make sure my brows were on fleek too.

So I walked into the salon looking a hawt combo of this:

before-shot

There, I was greeted by the lovely Colour Director, Stella, who was great at putting things in layman’s terms for a doofus like me and she didn’t even judge me (out loud) for the shabby state of affairs that was my ‘do.

4pm. So, to business. Stella explained that blonde hair has zero pigments in it. Nada. It’s because the pigments get blown out when stripped by our good old friend Mr Peroxide. She told me that she was going to apply a red tint first. Gulp. Warm colours like red have strong pigments so she basically had to coat my hair in red as a sort of filler before applying the brown. If she put the brown straight on the bleached hair, it’d go an attractive khaki colour. Yoiks.

4:45pm. Once the red was applied (a darker shade at the top, lighter on the ends), Stella combed it through and I was all red hair, don’t care. Well, for about half an hour. She then dried it ready for the brown application.

dye-1

dye-2

5:15pm. Next came the brown. With a secret little weapon called Olaplex. Which (if reports believe) is basically The Holy Grail in hair colouring and should be used by everyone in the world.

Olaplex prevents your hair from breaking and repairs damaged strands by linking the bonds back together again. And it’s especially beneficial for chemically coloured hair given that hair bonds are broken during chemical services. Kim Kardashian is a fan. Everyone loves it. It makes your hair so fancy. It probably eats caviar and sips Dom Pérignon.

olaplex

dye-3

6pm. I wasn’t sat in front of a mirror while I waited which was probs a good thing given it would be quite a drastic change (I did manage to take an alien-looking selfie). But I can’t tell you how friggin’ refreshing it was to be sitting without approximately 5,042 foils in my head. Anyone who dyes their hair blonde should be able to relate to that!

6:30-ish-pm. I was a bit nervous while I was getting the colour rinsed off. Y’know, the big reveal could induce a total White Chicks moment in the middle of a ~fancy~ salon.

white-chicks

Nah, totally trusted Stella! And in less than 3 hours, I’d gone from white, damaged and bristle, to caramel-y brown, softer locks. Yay!

dye-4

It was a bit weird catching sight of myself in the mirror for the next few days but I quickly realised, blondes don’t always have more fun.

And guess what? I got to take home a bottle of the elixir of life Olaplex which is to be used once a week on damp hair before shampooing and conditioning. It makes your hair feel super soft so I can see why everyone and their dog is raving about it.

Altogether, going peroxide blonde to brunette was pretty breezy. And being the laz-ee girl I am, I’m looking forward to minimum upkeep – that’s the deal now I don’t have roots…right? And when that pesky peroxide decides to shine through, that’s also a win because, #BRONDE.

before-and-after

Here are 5 key things I took away from my experience to consider before you make the switch:

1. I know I was joking earlier with the whole feeling pale AF thing but I caked on bronzer like nobody’s business for at least a week. Looking washed-out will probs be a concern.

2. I didn’t know what the expression ‘makes your eyes pop’ was all about until it actually happened – weey. So you may want to consider experimenting with accentuating those peepers some more. I went heavy on the kohl and liked the results.

3. I felt like I could be more daring in the fash dept. For instance, I would *usually* steer away from reds and bright pinks (personal preference) but don’t really feel any colour is off-limits now. Also, grey is good. Weird.

4. The dye will run down your plughole when you’re showering and you will freak out. And yes, this means the colour is a’ fading. But you’re a colour chameleon now, own it!

5. Prepare for people not to recognise you. And prepare to feel a teeny tiny bit offended if you’re told by basically everyone (in my case) that it looks better. Whatevs, guys.

A massive thanks to Anthony Nader, Stella Greenwood, William Jamison and Taylor Mascherin.

By Lorna Gray for cosmopolitan.com.au