hair-brained idear: or how I went blonde in a day – life+running

hair-brained idear: or how I went blonde in a day


last weekend I got the itch to change my hair. yeah. that happens quite often around these parts.


I decided to go from brunette to blonde. In one day. Anybody who knows anything about hair knows that you can’t do this with box color (yikes) and that you really probably shouldn’t do this in a day, unless you have ultra-resilient hair.


 So I looked like this on Friday at work …

… and came in on Monday like this.

… I wish I wouldn’t have chickened out and gone ONE shade lighter.

Anyway, here’s how I did it. Mostly for those who are interested in the gory “inbetween” photos.

First, if you are going to damage your hair with color or bleach, it’s best to start with an unwashed mane. I knew this was going to be killer on my hair, so I may have gone a few extra days between washings. Yup.

That happened.

And so did this.

So here’s the equipment. I repeat, don’t do this at home unless you’ve had some experience with professional products or at least somebody with knowledge (thanks mom) to help you along the way. I, fortunately, did not have to call my mom on this one.

Clockwise starting with the kitchen timer we have:

– A PROFESSIONAL deep conditioner masque — I say professional because if you truly don’t want your hair to fall out when you’re bleaching it, professional products provide much more moisturizing than non-professional. Trust me on this one.

– Quick Blue bleach. Not sure if I’d use this one again. It took two bleachings, which was scary. It was recommended by the lady at Sally’s, and I’m not sure how much I trust that recommendation.

– Color mixing / applicator bottle (not for the bleach, sorry, that’s confusing)

– 3o developer … using non-box color requires a little bit of science and measuring, which is kinda scary

– color — which I ended up changing after 1 bleaching

– 20 developer — which I should have gone with another 30 on this, but again, lady at Sally’s said no. Result? the color is darker than I wanted it because my hair sucks up color, esp. after a processing treatment. This I know from experience.

SO let the games begin!

After one bleaching, I got this. Not as light as I had wanted. And I used the maximum process time. Plus, it was orange — which I had anticipated.

So I had a choice here. I could try getting a high-lifting blonde with a 40 developer (which lifts the most color out) and a packet of red-out … or bleach it again, get a neutral blonde and some red out.

I was kind of worried about the high-lifting + 40 because I’d not tried that before. So I went for option number two.

Side note, I used the deep conditioning masque after both bleachings and colorings. In case you were wondering. And I’ve not washed my hair yet, and have been using that masque in the shower daily. My hair was kind of sketchy after this, but has gotten back to normal in just a few days.

After the second bleaching, I had cotton candy hair. If the ends weren’t so red, I might have kept this color because it was kind of fun.

Holy hot roots, Batman! I was really worried that my roots were going to end up being noticeably lighter than the rest of my hair. They didn’t, well, except to well-trained professionals, but not to normal peeps.

Also, the damage is quite noticeable in this photo, but partially because I blow-dried it and it looks a little fuzzy / dry after a good blow-drying.

SO. Now the moment of truth. I was really worried. And while I had the color on I was pissed off because I didn’t get the 30 developer that I had wanted to get or the LIGHTEST blonde (next time). I was sure that it was going to come out as dark as it was before I started, but now with damage.

The result?

A somewhat believable blonde. Again, I wish I would have gone ONE shade lighter. But, I can do that next time.

5 Comment

  1. Doris says: Reply

    I used to do crazy hair experiments when I was your age. God, how old did I just sound?!?

    As I recall, you were a blond the first time we met.

    1. chimes says: Reply

      ha! Not old at all. I used to do crazier things when I was younger.

  2. […] Yes. I realize I just spent 8 hours blonde-ing it. […]

  3. […] also trying not to color it because I remember how hard it is to get it back to blonde, or a semblance of my natural color. But I’d love to go red again — and a different tone […]

  4. […] Last year I went from this: […]

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