Design Mom Blonde

Image and text by Gabrielle.

Oh my goodness! It’s 9:30 at night and I’m finally sitting down to post on my blog. Olive & Ralph got home yesterday and as you can imagine, all my attention has been completely family-focused. But I thought I’d stop in for a quick post to update you on my hair change. I have a completely new hair color!!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have watched as I live-grammed my hair change last Friday (I used the hashtag #designmomblonde). I hadn’t originally thought to do this, but I shared the first image, and then decided to keep on sharing! That was more selfies than I typically take in a year, all shared in one day. Hah!

My lovely friend Rubi was coming to town and helped set up the whole thing. Rubi is friends with the owner of Barrow Salon in San Francisco, and she helped me arrange the color, and then she cut my hair when the color was finished. The colorist was Barb and she did a fabulous job. She knows my original intention was to go for an ashy white, and she is considering this phase one. I have to say, until I went in for my consultation, I had no idea it would be a multi-step process. Bleaching is quite new to me! Apparently it can go faster, but doing it slowly gives your hair the greatest chance for remaining healthy and viable. So slowly we go.

I’m getting lots of questions about the upkeep and experience so I thought I’d answer them here.

Is my hair fried?
Friday was very successful — after the color was done, Rubi cut my hair (I had like 3 inches of ratty ends chopped off. Hooray!) and gave me a blowout. And she said it didn’t even feel like it had been colored. Which was totally unexpected. From the beginning, Barb warned me we might have to cut off most of my hair. So I was prepared for a short bob, or even a pixie cut. But my hair responded well to the bleaching, and Barb used a product called Olaplex that’s supposed to be really good at preventing damage — and apparently it worked! Which is awesome news. And it means I get to try long blonde hair — at least for awhile.

I’m scheduled for the next bleaching day on January 2nd. And Barb is expecting to be able to get me to platinum at that point. We may need to do a major cut at that point too — we’ll assess hair damage after the next bleaching. But so far, so good.

One thing: it’s been crazy rainy and humid here, so as usual my hair is frizzing up, and I can’t tell how much is normal wet-weather frizz and how much is damage. : )

Did it change the curl?
Good question. And I don’t have the answer. I haven’t washed and styled it myself yet. But I’ll let you know in a future update.

If it did damage the curl, will I have to wear it straight?
Possibly. But that’s kind of been the thing since I moved to California. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I haven’t loved my curls here (not sure if it’s the weather or my hair length or what), so I’ve completely changed my hair upkeep. I get my hair washed and styled at a drybar weekly and then let the styling last a week. This generally works beautifully for me. (I use a hair powder between stylings as needed.) Yes, it’s more expensive, but outside of powder, I no longer need to buy hair products (no special curly girl shampoos!, no gels!), and my morning routine is way faster — depending on the length and style, curly hair can be a beast to upkeep.

Regardless of the color, while my hair is long, I plan to continue the weekly drybar visits. So I’m not worried about the curl changing.

Will it take me eight hours every time I need to deal with my roots?
That’s the best news of all. The first session of bleach (more detail here) was applied to everything but my roots. And it stayed on for a long time. My stylist described it as trying to remove sharpie from a canvas. But the second bleach session was applied to my 3 inch natural roots and they went platinum really fast! In fact they went so light, so fast, it took two toner sessions to get them to match better with the rest of my hair.

So if I make it to the white-hair goal, getting my roots done will be a cinch! Easier and faster than dyeing my color-resistant greys dark.

Why blonde? Why don’t you like being a brunette?
Oh my. I love being a brunette. I’ve loved being a brunette for 4o years. If I didn’t like it, I would have changed my hair color long ago. This experiment isn’t about being blonde, it’s about trying something very different, and white blonde was about as different as I could go. Also, once it’s white blonde, I can try any color more easily.

What is it like having a new hair color all of a sudden?
It’s only been a few days, but so far, this has been my experience: First, as everyone who has ever drastically colored their hair predicted, it’s such a trip to catch my reflection in a window or a mirror! Second, I knew this was a temporary color, a step to another place, and didn’t expect to really like it. But I do! It’s a lovely warm honey color. And I totally match Ben’s beard now. : ) Third, when it’s down, sometimes the new color is overwhelming to me — I still have long hair so it’s a lot of new color!

But when I pull it up in a top knot I adore it. It’s just the right amount of change. I know I’ll get used to how it looks down, but for now, I’m glad I have the easy updo as an option.

I’d love to hear about your own hair color experiences, or color changes you’ve considered. Feel free to chime in!

P.S. — I have a couple of fun posts scheduled for tomorrow too. See you then!