Those of you who have followed us for a while probably noticed I hit a mega hair transformation over the past year. As a natural brunette, I had never done anything drastic to my hair – except the time I cut my own bangs during my senior year of college, fail. Though I was completely content with my natural color, I was convinced a hair glossing treatment would give my hair the oomph it was lacking. Unfortunately for me, I underestimated the importance of a good colorist. My brunette hair went to pitch black and that’s when it all began.
Over the past year my hair has gone from brown to black to purple to copper to orange to blonde – overwhelmed? I know I am! With the exception of the fleeting purple hair, my hair color has been a surprise every time I left a stylist, so today I am sharing everything you need to know if you want to go from brunette to blonde. The most important thing I learned is that it is a very long and ugly process, so get ready!
- NEVER use box hair dye
Ok, for most of you this is a complete no-brainer, but as a girl with newly pitch black hair from the stylist, it seemed like dying my hair from a box couldn’t cause much more of an impact. I used Clairol Natural Instincts non-permanent hair color since it was a lighter shade than the stylist’s gloss, and it gave my hair a revitalized look. If I had stayed a dark brunette, I would’ve had no issues with this process (though it makes stylists cringe) – but if you ever choose to lighten your hair later, the box dye makes the process a lot longer and harder.
That being said, when I was on my box dye kick, I experimented with L’Oreal Feria dye in a deep purple. I absolutely loved this color, but safe to say my family hated it. It stayed for two weeks, but hey, it was fun while it lasted.
- Find a good colorist
Though most salons can give a great haircut or blowout, not every stylist can master color. My (natural blonde) sisters kept stressing the importance of finding the right colorist, but since I was out of town and feeling spontaneous, I ignored their advice. My initial plan was ombre from brunette to blonde, but when I left with bright red hair and brown polka dots on top, I knew I was in for a journey.
I finally took my sisters’ advice and saw their colorist, Phillip Pegues. They have been following him around from salon to salon for years, and he is now located in the Salons of Dallas. He’s the absolute best!
- Your hair will turn red
Yes, you will have red hair. This is the one thing I wish I had known before starting the process – and though I really enjoyed the copper color of my hair on session number three, a glowing orange on session number four wasn’t necessarily what I had in mind when I requested blonde.
- It takes a LONG time
Depending on the color and texture of your hair, the color process will take numerous sessions. I saw a colorist once a month for six months to achieve my final blonde, and though it was WAY longer than I expected, slowly coloring your hair helps prevent damaging it in the process.
- Your hair is much more delicate, so products are a must
As a brunette, I could wash my hair with any shampoo and adding a conditioner was simply a bonus detangler. As a color-treated blonde, I’ve realized products are actually a necessity to my hair routine. Color-treated shampoos and conditioners help repair damage and protect my hair, and hair oils and leave-in conditioners are a must for keeping my hair silky smooth.
- Buy the purple shampoo
If you’re not a natural blonde, I 100% recommend buying purple shampoo. Clairol Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo (the conditioner isn’t necessary) will help cool the red tones in your hair and balance out your color. Though going overboard will give a purple hue to your hair (oops), a weekly rinse will help you achieve the color you are looking for. It’s absolutely a necessity in my opinion – and only $9!
- Clip-in extensions are a no-go
Fun fact: my hair is nowhere near as long as it appears in my photos ;) I’ve been wearing clip-in hair extensions everyday from Sally Beauty Supply since 2009. Though I completely recommend these to anyone without color-treated hair or simply the occassional wear, if you wear these everyday, the clips will cause major breakage on colored hair. Due to this, I recently switched to Halo Extensions thanks to Chris Box at The Beauty Box Salon in Dallas – more on that to come.
- If you’re patient and adventurous (or at least determined), it’s totally worth it
As you can see, going from brunette to blonde is not an easy process. It takes a long time, can be expensive, and can leave you feeling insecure about mid-journey hair colors. However, if you’re like me and enjoy experimenting with a variety of colors, you will have so much fun! Who knows if I’ll stay blonde forever, but I’m loving it for now!
Shop some of our favorite products for color-treated hair below: