Happy Monday, guys! I have gotten SO many questions over the past six months about how to really get your hair to the perfect icy-blonde color. So today I'm partnering up with STYLEbar Chattanooga to discuss, first, how to attain this icy-blonde look and, second, how to healthily maintain the color!
My Hair Journey
So I want to kick off this post talking about hour to attain this icy-blonde color. I spent SUCH a long time wanting this look, and so much time not knowing how! My hair used to be super brassy (see the pic below) and I really hated it! A lot of girls can rock the golden blonde color, but I just felt like I wasn't one of them. At one point, I stumbled upon Emily Rose Hannon on Instagram, and I was completely hooked on her color. She was blonde but in this totally cool and unique way and I wanted that color!
After talking with my at-the-time hair stylist, she told me what I really needed was a toner and a purple shampoo. The toner kind of worked, I had a semi-ashy color for about a month, but the shampoo I was using really didn't feel like it was working. I still had so much gold in my hair. I've come to find that It's important to really look at your hairstylists past works, and her actual hair as well. My hairstylist had a super golden-blonde color, and a lot of her clients did as well!
The shampoo I was using was the Aveda Blue Malva shampoo. I think it took away a little bit of the gold, but I was washing my hair every night (which is soo bad for your hair) and I was still really golden. After doing a LOT of research online, I read that I needed both a purple shampoo AND conditioner, so off to Sally's I went to find one. I ended up purchasing these. They took a LOT more brassiness out of my hair (see the picture above) but I still wasn't happy! It was a big enough difference, however, for me to stick with these for around six months. That was, until I discovered the Shimmer Lights Products.
I switched to the Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner around February, and the effects were almost immediate. I didn't see the changes at first, but everyone around me did! I had several people come up to me within the week asking if I had gotten my hair done, and what I had asked for. I was amazed, I finally found products that worked! But there were downsides as well. My hair had never truly been highlighted correctly for this color, so only the top half of my hair took to the color. The bottom half stayed a dark, bronze color. Plus, the health of my hair quickly went downhill. If I used the product more than once a week, my hair felt like absolute straw.
When I showered, I started putting a regular conditioner in the top half of my hair, and the purple in the bottom half, then letting it sit for ten minutes. It was SUPER tedious, and had absolutely no effect on my hair. I went to a different hair stylist and explained the situation to her. She said that the reason this was happening is because the bottom half doesn't see as much sunlight, and put a few extra packs in. My hair really didn't change, though.
One day, I saw one of my friends and she had the EXACT hair color I wanted! She had this beautiful platinum color, with very little gold coloring in it. I immediately asked for her hairstylist and booked and appointment. When I booked the appointment, I first asked if she used Olaplex or a similar product. For those of you that get any kind of developer in your hair and don't use Olaplex, you need to look into it! It's a bond perfecter. When you put developer in your hair, it strips it, making your hair super fragile and damaged. Bond perfecters are added into the developer and again as a deep conditioner after you've washed the developer out. The second stage re-binds the hair, making it soo much stronger and healthier after you leave the salon.
When I asked the new hairstylist if she used Olaplex or another bond-perfecting product, she said she didn't, but was a blonde herself and knew all about breakage. I didn't know as much as I know now, so trusted that she wouldn't do anything to damage my hair. The first time I went, my color looked great (but not perfect) and my hair felt just okay. It was a little damaged, but nothing out of control. The second time I went, however, didn't go as well. She went into the back to eat lunch while I was under the dryer and didn't set a timer. My hair got so hot the the developer actually started to melt and leak out of the foils! When she started to brush my hair out after rinsing it, clump after clump of hair fell out, and I never went back!
After the hair-melting fiasco, I was terrified to try any other stylist than my one back home, who didn't get my hair perfectly but also didn't fry it! That is, until STYLEbar contacted me a couple weeks ago! The owner, Rose, (who is seriously such a girlboss, you guys) really believed they could get my hair exactly how I wanted it! I bit the bullet, and decided to try it out, and boy was I not dissapointed! Rose is SO incredibly knowledgable about hair. She's been working with hair for 15 years now, and has owned STYLEbar for seven. STYLEbar really focuses on staying super on-trend so they can be prepared to give clients the exact color and style they want. In the past year, Rose has traveled to Arizona and Hollywood to learn straight from the sources of developing trends, so she can give her clients the best service possible.
The thing that amazed me most when I went in was how detail-oriented they were. They used a technique called a foilayage, which is a bit similar to a balayage. Foilayage selects the EXACT pieces that need attention, giving the hair a more even look.
Here's where they stand out, though. Typically when I'm in a salon, my stylist looks at the very first sign of one of my pieces being done, and off to the sink we go, despite the fact that the rest of my hair isn't done.
STYLEbar checked each individual piece. When one was done, they would pull the foil off and wipe the hair, while letting the rest continue to develop. This REALLY helped that bottom and middle section of my hair, which needed to sit longer than the rest! Guys I swear, my hair has never come out so even before in my life.
The number-one thing that helped me feel at ease as Rose and her team worked on my hair was when they mentioned that they would be using a bond-perfecter. They used Continuum, which is super similar to Olaplex, but just a STYLEbar preference.
The washing process at the sink was much longer than I had ever experienced before, because it turns out that there's so much you can do to your hair to get that absolutely perfect look! They started with a lightener wash. This helped to give the entire hair a more even color. They then painted a tap-out on the roots. This kind of gives that balayage-effect so that, when the hair grows, there isn't a super harsh root line. They then moved on to the deep-conditioning bond perfecter. The final touch was an icy-blonde toner! It was insane how much detail they put into getting my hair exactly right!
Maintaining Ashy Blonde Hair
While I was at STYLEbar, Rose gave me SO many tips on how to maintain a healthy ashy blonde color so I could then share with you guys! Here's the list she came up with:
1. Make sure your stylist is using a bond-perfecter. Your hair will break and fall out if they don't!
2. Use a wet brush or comb when your hair is wet. It is at its most fragile state when its wet.
3. While on the topic of wet hair, don't roughly towel dry your hair. Just gently squeeze the water out.
4. Use a salon-quality purple shampoo and conditioner. Rose recommended the Oi Davines Alchemic Shampoo and Conditioner due to how much brass it can get out of hair.
5. Try to also use a clarifying shampoo once a week. Between product and environmental buildup, our hair really just gets full of junk!
6. Try to find a filtered shower-head. You can find one at a place like Whole Foods. The more it filters out, the better!
7. Another thing she mentioned was considering going bronde this time of year. Having a darker color is such a popular look for autumn! This also gives your hair a good long time to recover, so it can come back next season healthier and ready for a bright look again.
Oh my gosh that was so much info! I hope you guys got something out of this, I loved learning some great new tricks from my visit. Thanks again to STYLEbar for having me in last week and giving me tons of new pointers! Be sure to follow them on Instagram for some serious hair inso or, if you're in the Chattanooga area, make an appointment to go in and get a complete hair transformation!
My name's Vikka. I'm a Nashville fashion and lifestyle blogger. I post a lot of fashion, recipes, and home tips and tricks!
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