Why I Chose to Dye My Hair
Two words: peer pressure aka Thomas Duffy. Ever since we met at Maria’s Tower, our dorm, he has always voiced his fascination with me going blonde. Even when I tried on this platinum blonde wig and I looked totally washed out, Tom insisted that blonde Asians are the coolest and I would be the coolest Asian on the block. Not his exact words but from this frightening picture below, I definitely didn’t agree with him then.
About eight years later, I’m twenty-six now and ready to make a three-month commitment. I convinced myself that if I got a blonde balayage, it would eventually grow into an ombre and I could slowly chop it off. I am no noob when it comes to having dyed hair. I used to dye my hair in my teens with boxed dyes any color ranging from the lightest browns to the darkest reds. And I just had a light brown ombre, so going blonde didn’t seem that much of stretch. Also I’m twenty freaking six years old and thirty’s a coming, I most certainly cannot be frolicking with blonde hair when I’m trying to be an adult. You know what I mean?
Pembley: Where Hair Dreams become Reality262 Mott St New York, NY 10012 b/t Houston St & Prince St
Why Pembley? This is where Taedra frequents when she wants her roots touched up and her hair is always looking sun-kissed and fly. You should definitely find a reputable hair establishment if you want to go blonde and be willingly to spend to at least $290-$500, not including tax or tip. Everything about this hair salon was posh; it’s in the heart of SoHo, I was served ice water in a Mason jar, and just look at the lounge section! I want that as my living space or bedroom. My hair stylist, Miss Jenna Pitocco, was very considerate and shared her extensive knowledge about going ash blonde especially when I have black Asian hair. We literally talked the whole session comprising of seven hours and that was the only the first session! Because my virgin hair is so dark, the processed hair near the roots turned the brassy shade of orange I was afraid of and the ends where my light brown ombre was, turned ash blonde(please refer to the middle picture, it doesn’t look that bad because of the lighting but believe me, there were tears). Needless to say, I was freaking out at the time! This is where Jenna stepped in and told me that I just needed another session to lighten my hair further so my hair would be toned down. Because she used this magical serum called Olaplex, my hair wasn’t as damaged as it could have been and I could come back in a week for the second treatment. You would think the second process would take less time because my hair was already lightened. Wrong! My Asian sisters and my brothers, our hair is stubborn! Proceed with caution if you want to commit to having blonde hair. It took another five hours of my life and in the process of re-bleaching my hair to get to the lightest shade of white before applying the ash blonde toner; I lost at least two centimeters of hair. This is expected. I lost even more hair when she was gently brushing and blow drying my hair. This is the cost of beauty: time lost, $$$ spent, and hair loss. What is worth it? I would say, yeah I got mad compliments and I felt like a star!!!!
Lessons in Hair Care
- You can’t wash your hair everyday. This rule killed me especially when I was so used to washing my hair after a workout. Honestly being the rebel that I am, I proceeded to washing my hair everyday but instead of using shampoo, I just rinsed with conditioner every other day. For the first month, I only washed my hair shampoo for 2 days and the other 5 days with conditioner. Do what’s right for you.
- I slept with a natural hair mask of pure coconut oil. That’s right, I would lathered my hair with approximately five tablespoons of coconut oil and braided my hair in two pigtails before I went to sleep for 2 months. Yes, it took two months for my hair to feel like hair again. Not going to lie, freshly processed blonde hair will look pretty but will feel like dry straw.
- Products to maintain a light blonde shade and combat brassiness will be expensive. Unfortunately, they are necessary if you don’t want your hair turning that ugly shade of brass or that cheap orange. If you spent $500 on your hair already, why not $70 more? PS, I highly recommend the Fabuloso conditioner. It is about $40, but it goes a long way. You can get away with a cheaper purple shampoo like a generic Walgreens one that is similar to Shimmer Lights, but this conditioner is the ultimate brass banisher. It smells amazing unlike its cheaper counterparts and will make your hair even blonder and silky again. I also swear by Aussie deep conditioner; it is only $7 and helped my hair retain moisture.
4. Hair grows and it’s better to chop than to redye. As soon as my roots were getting out of control, I knew I had to get a haircut. I read countless articles that dying your bleached hair back to black will result to green hues with boxed dye and honestly, I didn’t want to spend $150 at a salon. This is what my hair looks like currently:
I only spent $20 for this bob and people seem to think the “ombre” was on purpose. I’m good with that and Tom seems pretty pleased too.
So what have we learned about hair transformations? Plan ahead with your expenses and know that it’s just hair and hair grows. PS: if you want you hair to grow faster, I swear by collagen powder. Yes dried and disintegrated animal bones! I placed 2 tablespoons of that in my coffee everyday. My hair grows at least one and a half centimeters long per week.
Here’s hoping all is well with your hair adventures.