Baby Preparations: Going BRONDE!

With about five weeks to go until the bundle of joy will join our household, I decided to make a change in my appearance that hopefully will make both my life and D‘s life easier in terms of leaving the house. I strongly believe that everyone on this planet has a soft spot for long blonde locks and I make no exception from that rule. That said, having blonde hair – even though mine is not the lightest shade, I’m more of a 9A lover – is a pain in the ass as you need to re-do your roots every four weeks tops otherwise you just look terrible no matter what your natural hair colour is. Yes, I am well aware of the fact that today dark roots are ok, however, not grown-in dark roots but rather perfectly calculated darker roots.

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My hair before the colour process

With a new baby on the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that going religiously to the salon every four weeks for root touch-ups will be impossible in the beginning at least until we get into a routine, so I decided to try the much-coveted bronde-colour melt hair colour. This is kinda the compromise between having long blonde locks, bun not really having to go to the salon quicker than six-eight weeks (for me at least). My good friend and colour-guru, Maria and I decided on 7A roots because that matches my natural colour almost perfectly and that means that if I manage to squeeze in another colour appointment until the baby comes, the colour will actually catch on nicely – note: on chemically processed blonde, darker colours tend to require more than one try for the shade to actually last.

Tools used in the process

This whole bronde trend is quite lovely in a sense that it allows blonde-lovers like myself to still have lovely light locks while also having naturally coloured roots and therefore if you are a low-maintainance kinda gal and hate going to the salon monthly for about two-three hours for you colour service this is the way to go! I must admit that at first I was very skeptical as I am a blonde-all-the-way kinda gal and I was afraid that going darker plus being hormonal will result in a catastrophe, but, to be completely honest with you, I have never left Maria’s Hair Studio sad or unsatisfied. Plus, I do love a change from time to time! Here’s what my colour-master used to get this amazing, natural, trendy colour:

Technique

Now, do not ask me how much of each she put into the magic mix that got me this amazing colour, all I can say is that she used nothing on the tips and only blended the colouring cream for about a minute before rinsing it all out. Not really touching the tips is one of my obsessions as I try and protect them as much as possible. And no, pregnancy has not helped with my hair nor with my skin and as I’ve stated in an earlier post I am not complaining as I have not experimented the bad side of pregnancy either. The process has a bit out of the box in my opinion as she knew she did not necessarily need to colour my tips in order to get this perfect bronde shade so she used foil for this natural sun kissed-highlights effect which I must confess I had serious doubts at the beginning.

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The result

I now regret all those moments of doubt as I am way beyond in love with my new hair colour and if you really want to try this or any other colour trend with minimal damage to your hair you have to visit Maria’s Hair Studio as Maria’s first concern always is for the health of your natural hair and trying to do as little damage as possible while still giving you the desired result. The reason I am writing about this is because I was simply stunned yet again at how she managed to protect my natural fine hair while still giving me the desired result that most hairstylists give you with a full-length chemical colour. She amazes me and my hair with every single visit! I hope you love the end-result as much as I do!

L.

 

Hair greatness – L’Oreal Pro Fiber

You know how when you are pregnant you are supposed to have dream hair, skin and nails? But you are also supposed to feel nauseated 90% of the time and your rings are not supposed to fit you anymore and nor are your shoes? Well none of that happened to me thus far… nor the good or the bad! The jury is still out on whether I should be happy or not about all that, but I guess that feeling normal is a good thing, and by normal I mean brassy hair, a few zits, weak nails but topped by an overall good feeling about myself with rings and shoes that still fit despite being 32 weeks pregnant.That said, during my pregnancy I did not feel the need to ignore all my hair treatments and even tried a few new ones. You know how hair treatments work: you feel a slight improvement but not really that much – and right now I am talking about the really expensive ones as the ones that are mid-ranged from a price point of view do no more than a quick fix of your issues that usually lasts five minutes into the late autumn humidity. Well, not the one I am going to talk about in this post! This one, despite being a medium priced salon treatment was very impressive and three days later it still is very impressive despite the humidity levels hitting 85% in the past few days!

I am talking about the L’Oreal Professionel Pro Fiber Reconstruct treatment. While I always avoided L’Oreal because of the high silicone content, I thought I’d give this one a try because it is receiving quite the rave online. As I stated this one is a reasonably priced salon treatment (about 35 $) but it promises big results. And it does just that! Now, I have no idea if the other treatments in the line work, I can say that this one did miracles on my blonde-damaged hair despite me being quite the skeptic at first and hence not thinking about taking any before of after pics of my hair. You are just going to have to take my word for it and go ahead and try it yourself. My hair before the actual treatment was a mess. By mess I mean 90% of my top crown was brassy and it lacked shine, especially when it was not styled properly – yes, throughout the years I learned a few tips and tricks on how to style it so that it does not look like a hay stack. Going in with the mindset that I should not expect much, I totally skipped the photo/video phase of the treatment but did take a few snaps of the actual products, mainly so that I know what to buy for home if I thought the products were ok-ish (I recently ran out of shampoo and hair mask) – so this post will have to work solely on those pics.

The procedure in itself is very easy and quick and right now, given my current situation I was happy with that because I can not sit in one place for more than two hours and I dreaded the thought of having a long and complicated treatment done. Basically, the stylist washed my hair twice with the shampoo, applied a full vial of the treatment (I currently have a lot of hair with my extensions and all – otherwise you only need half) and on top of the vial applied the activation mask and all I had to do was wait 15 minutes before she gave me a good rinse and the treatment was over – all in all, about 20-25 minutes. This is so easy to do at home and the thing that impressed me the most thus far is the smell – this is perfect for the winter months – spiced vanilla, but a very intense and comforting spiced vanilla! That alone helped me decide on my next at-home haircare!Then it was off to drying but not before applying the line’s serum on wet hair (no pic unfortunately!). This is when I really started to believe that this treatment actually works wonders as you know when your hair is in a bad place it’s always complicated to style it because the brush keeps getting tangled in the damaged parts of the hair no matter how much oil or serums you put into it? Well that never happened during the drying part after this treatment and by the end my hair looked and felt healthier and stronger than ever. I was hooked! especially since, even today, three days later my hair feel amazing, looks amazing despite wearing a beanie twice a day – for the dog walks – and still smells divine!

Obviously that made me buy the at-home products instantly and I even bought the vials just to see if I can fully re-create the results at home. I will keep you posted on that in a later post as I really feel that this new treatment line deserves all the praising it can get especially since it is on the cheaper side and actually delivers the promised results. I really hope that all you ladies out there that, like me, have damaged hair and a skeptical approach to hair treatment will be convinced to give this treatment a try as it really and unexpectedly delivers great results for half the price compared to other ‘luxury’ in-salon treatments.

L.

New Hair!!!

I’ve got new hair!!!! Literally!!! You didn’t believe that I just drank a magic potion and woke up with Rapuntzel hair, did you? If you look back on the latest posts, you’ll realise that in Milan I had medium fine hair, while in Paris I seem to have grown long thick hair. considering that the two mini vacations were two weeks apart, that would’ve been impossible to do naturally. So… I finally did it! I got hair extensions! I’ve been thinking about this since forever, but there was always something stopping me. I’ve seen quite a few that look fake even from a considerable distance, I always thought that they were uncomfortable to care for, and the reasons for my scepticism may go on forever.

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Hair after colour process. Current result!

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Hair before extensions. Right before Milan!

Finally, the day before we were off on a plane to Paris, I went to my usual hair salon (Maria’s Hair Studio) for a wash and a blow-dry and I ended up with a whole new set of natural hair extensions. Now, make no mistake, I wouldn’t have let my precious, but fine strands into anyone else’s hands but my good friend Maria because I trust no one else when it comes to complicated things like hair extensions. And was I glad at the end, as not even D could spot a fake looking strand of hair, and he is a perfectionist when it comes to fake-anything!

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Before the hair colour process – on the day of the application.

The process lasted almost two extra hours than what I had planned (for a wash and blow-dry) so I had to leave the professional hands of Maria without actually colouring my new hair, but because she skilfully cut them, one could say that I looked like I had a nicely done balayage. I did come back a week later, upon returning from Paris, to get my much loved ash blonde (as you can see from the featured image). But, before you judge, take a look at the Paris photos and see if the whole thing doesn’t look natural af!

Hair before all the madness – extensions, colour!

Before the colour process – I went like this to Paris!

As said before, I chose the micro-ring method because let’s be honest, I am way to low-maintenance to not wear permanent hair extensions. I think that the ones that you just put on with a hair clip are just too high-maintenance for me, and I am lazy, but I haven’t really gave them a try so far so I can’t really give you my opinion on that. I just took a leap of faith with these more permanent ones. First of all, they are natural healthy hair, from a good source (not from corpses) and my dear friend was patient enough to fill my head with 90 different strands carefully placed for a natural finish no matter if I wear my hair down or in a pony-tail.

After my usual colour treatment!

The aftermath: The first night I felt that there was something different, but by the second night I just slept like a baby, not feeling them at all. I suggest that brush your hair starting from the tips and moving upwards towards the roots and, as for washing, not much changes. The styling now takes me double the time, but taking into consideration the fact that it is natural, healthy, thick hair, the hairstyle tends to last a lot longer than it did before, on my fine hair. Overall, I love it! I have no idea why I waited and hesitated for so long to get them. Be careful though, as there are a lot of places that can offer you this service, but you can end up looking very fake. Take great care when choosing you stylist!

L.

olaplex

As you’ve probably noticed, my hair is a lot lighter and greyer…Well, I did it! I’ve tried the product that’s causing a lot of rave online and offline! I’ve tried Olaplex and lived (well my hair lived) to tell the story. The thing is, I’ve always wanted sandy, greyish hair, but my natural undertone is orange, so I’ve never really had the courage to fulfil my dream until now. After reading tons and tons of reviews online about this little miracle worker, I decided to take the plunge and go for it. The only reason I’ve kept steer of the bleaching powder is because, to be quite honest, a few years back I had some highlights done with it and it completely ruined my hair. Yes, my hair is very fine and fragile! But, again, seeing all the rave this product gets, I decided to brave-up and go for a lighter whitish-grey for the summer.

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I decided together with my stylist to get a balayage and then tone everything with a lavender toner. Fingers crossed, I took a seat on the chair and hoped that I wouldn’t leave with a pixie cut, cos God knows a pixie is the worst thing that could happen to me hair-wise! The first step was to put my regular colour (Joico) on my roots and go for a bleach on the ends. This entire first step was combined with the miraculous step 1 from the Olaplex system. At first I did feel a bit of a tingeling at the roots and I know that was due to the Olaplex solution as I never felt that before and we used the exact same combo of hair dye for them. That all passed in 5 minutes, and 20minutes later I could breathe again when my stylist told me that I still had hair on my head. I have to tell you that knowing for 20 minutes that I have used bleach on all of my hair except for the roots kept my heart from beating properly. I mean, will I still have any hair left at the end? Or will I have to start buying hair gel to style my new and unwanted pixie? Which one will it be? Thankfully, I still had some hair left.

The BEFORE photos

On to the next step of this system. This one consists in toning my hair with a beautiful lavender toner  from Wella called Instamatic that is supposed to get all the orange undertones neutralised and leave me with a beautiful grey colour. After another 20 minutes of hard breathing, as this was the second chemical process my hair was going through, I was greeted with good news again. Still had my hair on, and not a chance of getting the feared pixie. Yet!

During the process

We still had to apply the last in-salon step of the Olaplex system. After the hairstylist dried my hair with a towel, she applied the second part of the system and I spent another ten minutes while she applied heat waves onto it. She then rinsed it all out and dried my hair.

The result:

The colour was fabulous. It was everything I ever wanted, but I did however had to cut about 2 cm off my hair because as good as the Olaplex system was, it still wasn’t able to fully protect my hair. Like I said in the beginning, my hair is really sensitive and I was really in awe that this product managed to protect it for more than 90% of the length. As you can see in the before and after photos, there is a very big change in the tonality of the colour and even though through the years I’ve tried everything, that obnoxious orange undertone just wouldn’t go away. Now, thanks to Olaplex, I can finally have the grey undertone I’ve always wanted.

What it looks like on a very sunny day

Of course I bought the third step of the system and I plan to sleep with it on once a week as I’ve read that it is truly a miracle maker. I will not lie to you and tell you that my hair looks amazing after bleach and toning in the same day, but it surely looks and feels a lot better than it would’ve looked had I not used the Olaplex system. As a price point, this treatment will almost double your regular price per colour, but it is totally worth it and I don’t ever plan to colour my hair without it ever again.

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I will keep you updated throughout the month and again after my next colour and I sincerely hope that I will never have to worry about a pixie ever in my life. D was really happy with the result, but he too says that my hair was a bit softer before the bleach. Maybe that will sort itself out after I sleep with the third step on for a whole night.

L.