To be or not to be…(blonde, that is)

Over the years I’ve sported many hair colours. As a naturally dark haired Asian woman, I’ve always been fascinated by any hair colour other than black since anything other color was always tricky to acquire. It required chemicals like ammonia and peroxide to lift my dark hair so that other colours could be seen. And even then, black hair generally lifts to a horrendous reddish orange; not an easy colour to cover up. Black hair is beautiful, shiny and deep, but for the me, the desire of having a colour of something else less ordinary was constantly in my mind.

In highschool, it was boxed dyes and over the counter concoctions of brown hair that I aimed for. But the results from boxed dye were barely noticeable, yet rendered my black hair a little bit more fried and red looking,. It wasn’t until much later on in my life that I dared to play with bleach lightener on my hair and take a dabble in “toning”, a part of being blonde. But I felt I always had to go back to black. It was hard to constantly be a different colour. I did have a phase where I sported more fantasy colors like a purple, by lifting my black hair and then adding a sheer purple color on. Over the years I have written many articles about changing hair colours, but it wasn’t until I went to hair college and learned professionally how to lighten hair, that I really dared to go all blonde and stay this way. I now am pretty much permanently sporting a light blonde all over hair colour and touching up my roots every couple of months or so.

Some links to past posts I did about hair colour (I really did like to play around a lot)

I do like being blonde. The saying blondes have more fun may be true…but aesthetically speaking, I feel it suits my pale skin tone and compliments my small eyes, and small face by not being too striking in darkness to compete for attention. Blonde hair has a way of fading away into the background and letting face make-up have a say. Also, I love the way lighter hair can support more delicate shades of colour that on darker hair would be unnoticed. For example silver blonde looks much different than sunny blonde but it is just a few tones clicks away on the scale. Also being blonde and Asian is very unique and lets me escape the mundanity of standard black hair that I was born into. Despite blonde hair being an uber sexualized hair colour in culture, there is power in embracing this beauty ideal when in an attempt to break the negative stereo types that come with it. Blondes are not dumb. I actually feel very smart and accomplished when light haired. It gives me a reason to speak up and project the way I wish to be perceived. I want to express that women are more than the sum of their parts; i.e. the colour of their hair or skin. We should be defined by our character and actions, much more so than our physical appearance. Having control over how one is physically perceived is very powerful because of the freedom of choice it presents.

This is how I maintain a blonde colour at home (I went to hair college, so I don’t actually recommend others to play with lightener):

My roots have grown in. Bleeck. I don’t mind this look, but any longer than an inch of dark hair looks too unkept for me!!! Time to touch up my base.
I don’t recommend doing this at home, but I’m a professional, so it’s ok! It is tricky not overlapping previously lightened hair, especially at the back, which is why I experience breakage from time to time. I have to carefully apply lightener on my base twice to lift it to yellow.
Not done yet. My roots are lifted to my max level, but it’s the wrong tone. Don’t that shade of banana! My next step is toning. I like to wait a few days to let my hair rest. Then I apply a demi permanent hair colour in an ash base to get rid of the warmth. I boost the toning power by adding a violet dye to the forumula! It’s complicated to colour correct properly, so again, leave this to the professionals.
Tada! All done. This photo is actually taken a few shampoos after toning, so some of the excess color has washed off. I like to over tone my blonde hair so that as it washes out, the colour stays even…I think my blonde colour is like a silvery beige. I really like how soft and natural it is. Like maybe I was born with it!

What do you think? Let me know!

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