New Year, New Hair - My Balayage Journey

A belated Happy New Year my lovely readers!

I have several exciting projects and blog posts lined up that I cannot wait to share with you all, and perhaps even a holiday in the horizon! So let’s start off with the most frequently asked question, my hair. Not only have I had my Pocahontas locks chopped off but I’ve also ventured across to the blonde side.
Let’s make things clear ladies, please do not try this at home. I’ve attempted to in the past and boy have I failed miserably so let this post be a warning to you ladies to learn from my mistakes!  With jet black Asian hair like myself and dark brunettes out there, removing colour pigment is a nightmare. Many times I have tried to DIY bleach my hair at home and have ended up with a ginger matted mess – sound familiar? After several failed attempts, tears and midnight runs to my local Sainsbury’s for black hair dye to fix my barnet, I wasn’t taking any chances and sought professional help.

Ever since I remembered, I’ve dreamt of having lighter hair. Despite my friends efforts to convince me to stay dark, the constant images of beautiful celebrities with gorgeous balayaged locks kept flooding my Instagram was too much to bear – Kim K I'm blaming you!

  Balayage Hair Inspiration - Jessica Burciaga

Hours of research and a few phone calls later, I found myself sitting at Francesco Picardi’s salon in the middle of Shoreditch excited for the master himself to work his hands through my hair. Italian born hairdresser and a gift from the balayage God’s, Francesco is renowned for his unique balayage technique and is a frequent feature in GQ, The Independent and Evening Standard.

Before getting to work, Francesco warned me that the natural ash brown colour I so desperately wanted was not achievable in one go, but I would have to bleach my hair before any colour was applied, twice.

The whole process took 6 hours in total. I left impressed with the subtle colour change, but still wanted to go lighter.

1st Treatment - Before and After with bleach + colour + toner

Against Francesco’s advice to wait another 4 weeks before touching my hair, being the rebel I am, I sought out another hairdresser who would agree to lighten my hair again. This time, the results were drastic.

Another 5 hours later, I left the salon feeling disappointed, in tears and with a frizzy blonde mop for hair. My healthy locks so carefully treated by Francesco have now been reduced to a frizzy mess. For anyone who have experienced overbleached hair would understand where I am coming from. Your hair turns into a gummy goo when wet and easily rips off when touched.

Thankfully my best friend (who is a colourist whizz) came to the rescue with a bottle of store bought Ash Brown hair dye to fix the bright blonde disaster.

Over-bleached and overly blonde! Before and After using DIY hair dye (Nice and Easy: Ash Brown)

NB. Ladies, if you are trying to go blonde – please purchase a colour that has ‘ASH’ in the name, as ‘GOLDEN’ or ‘CHOCOLATE’ as the red pigment in those colours will give your hair a ginger tint.

An hour later and my hair turned a lovely ash brown that I so despirately desred, but the quality of my tresses paid the price. I did some research and found a product called APHROGEE that helped restore my broken matted hair to a manageable state (I will do a separate post on this later).

Obviously I had to pay yet another visit to the hairdressers to get my damaged ends cut off, resulting in several inches taken from my hair, resulting in this mid length Kim K inspired chop. Finally, I present you the final result - VOILA!

At last - the natural balayaged locks I've always wanted

What are your hair disasters? Any tips for handling dry damaged hair please feel free to leave a comment below!
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