From blonde to brunette - 6 things I wish I knew before going back to my roots
Changing your hair colour is a big deal.
Changing your hair colour from blonde to brunette is an even bigger deal.
It's a drastic change, one that most of us don't delve into without considering all of our options, variables, and using a variety of apps to figure out exactly what we're going to look like with new hair.
There are plenty of things you should know before going from light to dark.
As someone who made the jump a few years ago and never looked back, I was delighted that I finally got over myself and decided to stop bleaching my hair to death.
A few years on, it's now fuller, it's healthier, and it doesn't require half a bottle of conditioner when being washed anymore.
And it doesn't look like a heap of straw anymore - basically, ideal.
Still though, there a few things that I wish I'd known before going back to my roots. This is them.
1. You need to get a professional to do it
No, seriously. You do.
I spent about eight years throwing bleach into my hair whenever I felt like it and it destroyed it. It then, of course, made sense to me that I could go back to brunette without professional help too.
I, however, could not.
Eventually, I got over myself and just booked an appointment in a salon.
Not used to spending more than €8 every time I dyed my hair (I know, I'm a disgrace alright), forking out to go back to my natural colour wasn't all that appealing to me, but in the end I managed to get in somewhere that wasn't too expensive.
As long as you have somebody who's actually trained and who knows exactly what you want, you should be grand - there is no shame in wanting to try things yourself, but there is a lot of shame in f*cking up your hair because you couldn't be bothered to get professional help.
Most people though, unlike me, aren't stupid so it's highly unlikely that they're going to chance this themselves.
If you are considering a quick and cheap DIY job though, do yourself a favour and have a little reconsider.
Your hair deserves better, after all.
2. It'll probably take a long time
If you're thinking that someone can just throw a load of brown hair dye over your head and leave it there for a while and you'll be sorted, think again.
Going back to brown from blonde took approximately four and a half hours for me.
I had of course underestimated the length of time the process would take and stupidly not eaten before my appointment.
It was horrific. Do not recommend.
3. It involves far more hair dye than you'll ever know
Being the naive and stubborn I-can-dye-my-own-hair-forever-I-don't-need-your-help person that I am, I assumed that bleach was destroying my hair, and therefore, all I needed to do to achieve healthy hair was have the bleach removed.
I was wrong.
As it turns out, going 'back' to a more natural colour actually means going 'forward' into a load of deep reds and browns dye-wise.
As already stated, it took the guts of four hours and the amount of dye used could probably have filled a small swimming pool.
4. Your whole face will change
Without the risk of sounding dramatic, when I went from blonde to brunette, I was basically unrecognisable.
Yeah alright, I threw a fringe in there to achieve ultimate shock factor but still, if you're going to go from blonde to brunette be prepared for an entire new look.
While blonde hair tends to make some people (me) look washed out, brown hair provides enough natural shadowing to frame the face.
While I was initially nervous that my features would become lost among all the dark tones, the opposite actually happened and suddenly I had a far more defined look than before.
Was fairly ideal.
5. You'll need to keep topping it up for a long time
Anyone who has ever dyed their hair before will know that hair dye fades. A lot.
This goes for brown hair dyes too. If you've got years of bleach under there, it won't be long before your blonde locks start creeping back into the picture.
Your head won't turn white or yellow or whatever colour you had it before again, but the dark colour will certainly start to fade the more you wash it.
Unfortunately, the only way to stop this from happening is to keep getting your dye topped up - at least until your hair has grown enough to stop this from happening.
Ideally, you should go back to your hairdresser and get them to do this for you. They'll know exactly what products won't further ruin your hair, and what will make your hair look as natural as possible.
6. Your hair will not automatically become more healthy
One of the prime reasons why people give up the peroxide and go back to their roots (ha), is because the condition of their bleach blonde hair has deteriorated so much that they just can't keep dyeing it.
Whether you've been getting highlights or dyeing your own hair for years, chances are your hairdresser will casually mention every now and again that you should stop whatever you're doing and go back to your natural colour.
After all, the healthiest hair is hair that hasn't been coloured.
At the end of the day though, the vast majority of people are going to have stuck some kind of colour in their hair at some stage - the key is to recognise when you're hair is becoming brittle and know when to stop.
Still though, going back to a more natural colour doesn't automatically mean that your hair is going to be back to its healthy self.
All of the hair that was killed by years of dyeing is still on your head - it's just going to be killed significantly less going forward.
Once I went back to a more natural colour, my hair still felt like straw - but, more importantly, it didn't look like straw anymore, and after time, it eventually outgrew all of the dye that had ever been stuck in it and got back to its healthy self.
Basically, it's a lengthy process, but the sooner you stop bleaching, you quicker you'll sort yourself out.
It's worth it, after all.