Ok so last week, after about 8 years of dying my hair various shades of brown/blonde at the ends, I did something I’ve wanted to do for ages and dyed the whole thing black!
I didn’t actually expect to notice such a difference but I guess I never realised how light it had gotten! And I was prompted to write this blogpost because of the overwhelmingly positive response I received on social media! I had 27 DMs about my hair which was honestly so nice and flattering – thanks guys!
One thing I got asked a lot was how to grow it so long and how to look after it. Unfortunately I am not an expert in either of those things so I’ll answer as best I can here.
For me, entirely hormonal. I haven’t always had long hair (my mum made me keep it short until the age of like 16) and I hated short hair on me after that! I kept growing it and got it cut maybe once every 5 months and only a few inches at a time. During my teens, I had layers (who didn’t pls the volume was everything back in school) but as it got really long in my early 20s, I stopped getting layers cut into it. I wanted one-length, straight blunt hair. This was because it looked thicker and at the time, my thyroid troubles had pretty much butchered my hair – it thinned out quite a lot.
As I stopped going to the gym regularly, I was able to get away with not washing it for up to 10 days at a time. This was really helpful in letting my hair grow as I used to just put it up and out the way so it kinda did its growy thing. Once my thyroid was under control, my hair started growing back and it started to look thicker. This, combined with my blunt haircut was a good guise for my hair troubles.
Ok my hair was in terrible condition. As it’s so long, it can look a bit ratty at the ends which is a shame. I intended on dying the whole lot an ash blonde last year and went to the first stage of bleaching it (ALWAYS bleach dark hair in stages to preserve it). Although we used Olaplex, the blonde hair never really shined or looked that great. I decided against going blonde soon after as I just wasn’t feeling that vibe anymore. And I’m SO GLAD I didn’t do it! Anyway, at this point I was left with really light hair on the ends as a result of my continual balayage. I think balayaged hair is gorgeous when it’s first done and it’s really popular at the moment, but for me, it just never really looked that great. My hair didn’t come across on camera as light as it did in person, so it was always a bit meh. As before, the lighter strands lose their shine and dimension so it will always look a little flat once the salon treatment has worn off (and this doesn’t take long). Unless you keep giving your hair expensive treatments to keep it shiny, balayaged hair is really hard to upkeep.
What products do I use? Well until last week, pretty much none. I use kerastase shampoo and conditioner, or Aussie, or OGX shampoo. Nothing hugely groundbreaking there. I have been reverse conditioning my hair for as long as I can remember (condition from the roots to the ends first, and then shampoo it all out) as it helped to stop my hair going greasy BUTTTTT I have been advised by my new hairdresser to stop doing that as the science behind shampoo and conditioner doesn’t favour that routine. Basically, shampoo is supposed to open your hair (?) and clean it and conditioner seals it back up giving it shine. So I pretty much wasted half my life washing my hair the wrong way thinking I was sitting on this mad haircare secret lolz.
I went to Hare & Bone to get my hair done as I really didn’t want it to go wrong with my brother’s wedding coming up really soon. I knew it was going to be pricey but it was A LOT more expensive than I anticipated. I didn’t want to get it cut there, so just assumed I would need a full tint (£87) which is quite reasonable. But after my consultation, the hairdresser said I would need a Glossing treatment to cover the blonde fully. This was another £73 (this did not include a blowdry and that’s an extra £45). Soooo, yeah, it was an expensive trip considering it was an overall colour with no blending or different shades that requires a bit of artistry. Nevertheless, it was absolutely worth it and the glossing treatment was SO GOOD. My hair is so shiny and soft and just feels brand new.
To read more on Glossing Treatments, this is interesting: https://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/985711/gloss-hair-treatment-what-it-is-why-get-one
Fast forward to today, I’m still using the same shampoo and conditioner for now but have recently bought heat protection spray, shine spray and hair oil. I’m hoping this helps me retain the shine from the glossing treatment a little longer than normal. I’m going to get a little trim later this week to keep it looking fre$h for the wedding, but keeping my signature style – long, blunt, no layers except for two short pieces of hair bluntly cut around my face.
At the minute, my hair is darker than it is naturally (I’m a warm brown/black naturally) and this is jet, raven black. I’m intending on going even darker (lol how is this possible hums) in the autumn! You’ll have to wait and see! I’m also going to get a significant amount chopped off because long hair just isn’t very trendy and I have FOMO from all the cool people with shorter hair.
Please let me know if you have any haircare tips or styling tips that extend beyond straightening! I’m rubbish at styling my hair and it holds a curl for approximately 3 minutes. That’s likely due to the weight and length but I’m sure other people have the same issue!!
Here’s some more ‘before’ pics!