Monday, November 23, 2015

Perils of Being Blonde

Alright friends, gather 'round because I have a sad story to tell and it involves my pride and joy... My baby... My hair (cue sad violin music). Since going platinum, my hair has been one of my favorite things about my appearance and I’ve always taken such pride in having smooth, long, relatively damage free hair for the past year. My hair stylist from Chicago and I have been bleaching it for years now with the same magic formula- low volume bleach, NO heat, and short periods of time. My hair is naturally blonde so the roots lift easily and transition to that nice, silky silver with little effort or time. Let's get this horror story started...Dundundun.

The Beginning

Since Jake and I moved to San Francisco, I wasn't able to convince my hair stylist to fly out from Chicago to California every 6 weeks to do my roots, so I did my research and found a top rated salon close to the apartment. I booked an appointment and when the time finally came along, I had a consultation with my super nice hair stylist and felt totally at ease in her chair. We talked about the process she would be performing and she got to know my hair by getting a history and by looking through it. Now, I won't talk shit about her because I honestly think she was a great person, and I'm sticking to that, even after what happened next...

The Plot Thickens

Everything was going well and after all my roots were covered with bleach, my stylist put me under some heat to lift my roots faster for roughly 25 minutes. I’ve never needed heat in previous times but I’m not a professional, so I trusted her expertise. After the time was up, we washed and toned my hair and I get handed off to another stylist to blow dry it. Everything seems normal at this time and the color looks great but as we are drying my hair, literally chunks of my hair are falling out… Large sections are hitting the floor and my heart sinks to my ass. A little hair loss during a bleach session is totally expected but large, full lengths were coming out easily and the round brush was completely full of my hair after drying only half of my head. I couldn’t shake the sick feeling I suddenly had so I stopped the blow dry and asked for my original stylist to come back. I asked her if this much hair loss was normal and she admitted I was losing a lot more hair than I should be and that we should stop drying it entirely. As i’m looking at it closely in the mirror, I notice that about 2-3 inches from my scalp my hair is sticking up and completely broken off which I have never experienced before. I start getting really nervous at this time and I know she could see it on my face, so she gave me an overnight hair mask to add moisture and sends me home free of charge with half wet hair. I slung it into a low, loose braid to walk home with and felt sick to my stomach not knowing what just happened. Once I got home, I kept telling myself it was going to be OK but I broke down crying just looking in the mirror. I called my BFF sobbing (who is also conveniently a hair stylist) and she recommended that I slather on Olaplex 3, cover it with a plastic bag and sleep with it.

The Aftermath

The morning after, I gently rinsed my hair under cool water and it just started falling out in handfuls. It was coming out in large chunks all over again and started clogging the drain despite me washing it gentler than a newborn baby. I couldn’t stop crying and I felt stupid as I was reminding myself that it’s just hair. I start telling myself that there are so many worse things that could happen to me and I start listing them but for some reason, it's not keeping me from flipping the fuck out. I'm running a wide tooth comb through my hair with coconut and moroccan oil and long lengths are endlessly falling out and wrapping around my comb and hands. I lost so much hair, it looks like someone actually cut my hair and swept it onto the floor. My hair is broken and sticking up at the crown and in a day, it went from thick and long to noticeably thinner all over. I gently brushed through it a few times to remove all of the hair falling out and collected about a softball sized amount that I ended up crying over some more.


Sorry about the photo quality! These are shot with my phone as it was happening. Dragging out my DSLR didn't even cross my mind! 
I take the day to continuously smooth coconut oil (my lifeblood) into my thirsty locks and I slap what's left of my hair into a hat. I meet up with some friends who are beyond supportive but at the same time give me a reality bitchslap that I need to get over it and move on. I've been putting off calling the salon because I just didn't want to deal with it and honestly, I couldn't even talk about it without blubbering uncontrollably. I had a stiff drink, grabbed my zip lock baggy stuffed full of hair, and Jake and I marched down to the salon to speak to the owner.

We get there and every one is sooo nice and understanding. I wasn't mad, just really upset that it happened and I just wanted to move forward and make it right. Afterall, I don't have a time machine to time travel and change what happened, even though I wish I did. The owner stood behind the work of my stylist because she's a senior stylist who's been practicing for 12 years and specializes in blondes. He gives in and mentions that she was crying because she felt so bad about what happened, and that she didn't know why my hair was breaking off. That's all I wanted to hear! In the end, we made friends with the owner (he's actually a great guy) and another senior stylist wanted to help me out by providing free conditioning treatments and a haircut.

The Takeaway 

At this time, I'm really happy with how it was resolved and I've always been understanding that sometimes, shit just happens and the only thing you can do is deal with it and move on. Luckily, I still have thicker hair to begin with, so there's still a lot left and if I part it differently and smooth it down enough with coconut oil, you can hardly see the breakage unless the wind blows. I feel like this experience has been emotionally draining but also I have a totally new perspective on how much hair and physical appearance can really affect someone. Until this point, I actually considered myself to be the kind of person who could shave my entire head on a whim or have all my hair fall out randomly and not give 2 fucks about it but I've learned that my hair was a really big part of my identity. I can't change the past and it would be lying if I said I was over it or I wasn't sad anymore. To be honest, despite me trying to look on the bright side since this happened, I haven't felt like "me" all weekend. I'm insecure, sad, and afraid to touch my own hair for fear MORE will fall out but I keep reminding myself that it's seriously JUST HAIR... It'll grow back! My approach from here on out will concentrate on taking care of myself (mostly to promote faster hair growth hahah), exercising, and focusing on the other things that make me unique. Not to mention I am scouring Pinterest for some cute short hair inspiration. This could be good afterall :)



Here are some inspiration pictures for my new hair I'll be getting out of this. I'm considering a short cut and maybe even a funky color, like pink or lavender again. What do you guys think? Also, has anyone else had a hellish salon experience? What did you do to fix it? Could anything be done? I would LOVE to hear your experiences, good or bad! 

50 comments:

  1. As a person with colored hair I feel for you <3
    That sounds devastating! I personally do my roots myself since I have hair trust issues.

    What I recommend if you plan to do it yourself in the future is to watch some youtube videos to learn the process, and get your boyfriend to do the back of your head (mine helps me with dying my roots ^__^).

    Here are two videos that I recommend:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwC261-RIs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKoOpebjtbI

    I hope this helps<3

    xx Sera | http://stardustbohemian.com

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    1. & On all of your days off wear a coconut oil/argan oil hair mask as often as possible for added strength :)

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    2. Ugh I know!!! I wanted to do my own hair but my hair stylist recommended that I don't because there's a big chance of fucking it up but I mean, I feel like I could have done a better job myself this time with less breakage :( I haven't washed my hair since Thursday and I keep slathering the roots with coconut oil. I'm going to go as long as possible like this until I can't stand being a greaseball anymore. You are seriously the best! I'm totally going to watch those videos and try and finagle some professional products out of my friend hahaah I'll keep you updated ;)

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  2. Gosh, that must've been such a scare, Rachel, but it's good that you're gearing towards optimism. I've got bleached coloured hair but I've never gone full out on my entire head (ombre!) and now I'm quite afraid to go blond. Ah. I hope you're feeling good, and have a lovely week. :)

    May | THE MAYDEN

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    1. Thanks May! It took me a really long time to be able to talk and write about it without crying honestly. It's so silly how much hair can affect you! I would be really cautious if you were planning to go completely blonde.. Ombre is safe because if something goes wrong, you can chop it off and start over. I recommend really researching a salon and paying extra for Olaplex if you ever decide to! Being blonde CAN be fun :)

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  3. Oh no, Rachel! This sounds absolutely horrifying! I'm so sorry! It sounds like you dealt with it really well though and plus, you're so kind with how you dealt with the stylist and salon. Andddd...I must add that I think you will look so stunning with short hair. If anyone can pull off a fun hair color, it must be you! :)

    Mallory // Perhaps Bananas

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    1. You are too kind Mallory! I honestly believe that sometimes, people just fuck up even though they are more than qualified to do something. When I worked retail, I HATED it when people would scream, cry and be nasty for no good reason. It made me not want to help at all and I would go out of my way to make sure they didn't get what they wanted, haha! I'm happy the salon is on my side and wants to make it right, to be honest. That's more than what I could ask for in this situation. Thanks so much for your kind words :) I'm looking forward to getting it chopped off now more than ever!

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  4. I can totally feel for you right now. I cry when a hairdressers cuts off too much hair & I can easily break down over stuff like this even though it really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I hope your hair gets healthy soon & that you get the perfect short hair cut :)

    TFM BLOG

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    1. I know right?? I would too! I never show it at the salon but I would go home and have a meltdown if they "trimmed" even an inch more than what I was willing to part with hahaha I hope you found a good hairdresser who listens to you and gives you what you want... Also, I just peeked at your blog and holy shit, your style is incredible! Super happy we found each other so I can start stalking your blog ;)

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  5. OH MY GOSH that is so scary! I have really dark black hair and dream of getting that nice, light blonde/platinum tone and always ask my stylists for it but they refuse to. you are so positive to look at the situation in that way, and I give you lots of respect for that. I'm still trying to imagine how I would respond and I think I would be in such a shock I wouldn't have much to say let alone go back!

    I would do something similar and go for a super cute and edgy short haircut! literally, a fresh start after moving to san francisco. :)

    xoxo,
    Winn | ♥
    winscribbles.blogspot.com

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    1. It's such a magical color but I don't know If I would risk it if I were you! I've heard some crazy stories involving black hair going to blonde... I know that it takes a really long time in the chair and several appointments to lighten it. Maybe we should both just stay our natural color and get a bunch of wigs :P
      I'm totally excited to mix it up now and you're right, It will be a nice fresh start!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment Winnie! I hope you're having a great week so far!

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  6. omg! How awful! I am so sorry! I really hope your hair grows back soon
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

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    1. I bought some Biotin and more moroccan and coconut oil to help with that. Fingers crossed that it works!

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  7. I am bleached too, or at least was until two years ago my hair started breaking off as well and I decided to go with my natural color for some time to let it recover. I agree with you these things can happen and the salon handled it very well, but at the same time it is a horror story! Our hair is linked much more to our self-esteem than we usually admit, and it isn't something you can easily hide, unless you want to wear hats and beanies all the time.
    I hope your hair recovers quickly.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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    1. Bleaching your hair is such a slippery slope, isn't it? It looks great but there's so much room for things to go wrong. I totally agree- Hair is so important sometimes and you don't know that until something terrible happens! Our neighbors in the apartment probably thought someone had died by how I was crying hahaha. Thank you so much for your kind words! Also, I think your natural hair color is absolutely beautiful on you!

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  8. I totally get your worries and fears! Hair is not something you can easily hide, but I am sure that yours will grow back to looking amazing in no time! :)

    https://everydayfacts.wordpress.com

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    1. THanks boo! I ordered all of these vitamins online and I'm greasy with coconut oils at this time. Fingers crossed!

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  9. I'm so sorry that you had such a bad experience, but completely agree hair becomes such an important part of your identity and its perfectly reasonable to get upset over losing that. I'm really glad that it all got resolved, and for what its worth those long bob looks are completely gorgeous!
    Definitely a wake up call to remind me to appreciate my hair more though

    What Raj Wants

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    1. You're right! It really does and up until now I was taking it for granted. I thought it was soo strong since my history with bleaching it was great. Before going to the salon I told my boyfriend, "wish me luck! however it's probably impossible to fuck up my hair you literally just throw bleach on it" :( I guess that's not true... I'm so happy you like the short hair pics! Btw your blog is beautiful!

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  10. Wow, that is such a sad story. I can almost hear your cries of sadness. This sounds so traumatic. Regardless if we like to admit it, long hair/short hair, we pride ourselves on our hair & appearance. This is just another ladies life lessons that many have had to experience. Here in NYC it's not in to have white blonde hair. You see a lot of southern blonde at most. Even in those blonde cases, many have damaged hair. As you spoke of, split ends that are super dry. Tons of fly-aways at the crown of the head. This can happen even with dark hair if you process it too much. A similar situation happened to my best friend about 6yrs ago. She really is a natural dark blonde. She's always lightened up her hair about 3 shades and it was fine. really long and crazy thick. Her salon actually had a fire just around the time she needed to get her hair done. She went to another salon that was recommended by her regular stylist and .......her hair started to fall out as well. Because she has the mos amazing hair, it actually made life easier for her. She could blow dry her hair in 10min instead of the usual 20-30min every morning. I guess the take away is, blonder isn't always better? Hoping all is right with your hair now.

    www.stylegonerogue.com

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    1. Sometimes it makes me wish I wasn't a girl that had to put up with this stuff! But then again, it's not like anyone is forcing me to be this blonde hahaha It was self inflicted! Hair is so tricky isn't it? I had no idea how fragile it was until something bad happened to me! I totally feel for your friend and I bet she was soo upset at the time. I'm really happy she was looking at the bright side of things however! I hope she's doing OK now and her poor hair is growing back. I plan to stay this blonde (I must be crazy) because I think it's just unique and flattering... Not a lot of people have platinum hair in SF and I think I know why now, because there's not a salon to do it! Thanks for your kind words Shoshana :) I'll keep you updated on what happens from here on out haha

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  11. I'm so sorry about what happened! I would freak out just the same way, but I'm sure you're beautiful this way too! I love the short hairstyles you found, they are so cute!

    xo, Esther

    http://bubblesther.com

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    1. Thanks so much Esther! I'm really loving the length of hair you have, so I'm really excited now to get it cut since it looks sooo cute on you! Maybe I'll hit you up for some styling tips once I get it chopped ;)

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  12. Oh no! Sorry this happened to you♥

    summerdaisy.net

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    1. Thanks Summer! It's OK, I'm getting over it and i'm ready to move on ;) Hope your week is going well!

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  13. Aww babe! Im a hairdresser so this kills me to read! This is why I don't do scalp bleaches at all.. They can be quite unpredictable. Looking at the colour, its super ashy and she prob left it on too long and it probably didn't need heat! Anyway, just keep treating it, Try Redken extreme and living proof restore shampoo conditioner and treatment :)

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    1. I knowwww my friend (the hair dresser back at home in Chicago) AND hair dresser back at home were both so upset... I wish I was more assertive because I knew that the heat was a bad idea as it was happening and I saw her overlap the bleach at the roots with the previously dyed hair. I just trusted her and thought it was going to be OK. Thank you soo much for your suggestions! I am willing to try anything. I took a look at my scalp today though and I have a few millimeters of dark roots already growing :) I'm going to look into the Redken and Living proof once I start washing my hair again. Thank you sooo much Jenni! I should ask your advice from now on!

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    2. Of course! Your more then welcome to ask me anytime. :) To bad I'm all the way in Australia or I'd do it for you.. Good luck with it oh and I think those short hair cuts would look super cute on you!! xx

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  14. I literally felt my heart beating as I was reading this since I also have a strong affinity with my hair! I know you'll look good with a short hair do too and you'll rock the shit out of it.

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    1. Awww thanks Kirstie :) Your hair is soo gorgeous, i'm happy it happened to someone like me who was pretty much asking for it instead of you with your beautiful long locks! Lesson learned. Don't EVER dye your hair. Luckily I'll only have to say goodbye to 6-7 inches but either way i'm getting pumped for this sudden and unexpected change :) Maybe I'll do pink or purple to ring in the new year

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    2. Gahh, you're to sweet, I swear. Buttt back in my high school days, I had a platinum blonde streak in the front of my head before and had it colored blue and then purple and loooved it. But I've decided I want to donate my hair more often now so this hair has to stay pure for now. Purple or Pink would look good on you but purple is my favorite color so I'm gonna have to say if you go towards the color direction, I'm all for purple! hehe =P

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    3. Omg I can't even imagine that! I bet the funky blue and purple streak looked soo cool on you but ever since I've known you, you've been all natural. I wish we had the same hair color so you could donate your hair to me HAHA! That's soo amazing and selfless of you to donate your hair though. I know you have to part with a LOT of it each time you donate, so that alone would be a real shock! Regardless, it's life changing for someone else :) I literally have little 3mm long dark roots poking out everywhere, so i'm getting pretty excited about the little growth! Maybe I'll do a purple pink? Or I'll get crazy and do one side purple and one side pink hahaha Who knows!

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  15. ouggghhh... I wanna cry looking at the hair lost!
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    instagram.com/grace_njio

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    1. Arghh I know! I finally threw the baggie of hair out because I couldn't keep it around any longer. It's totally OK though, I'm finally getting over it :) Buttt i'm moving on to a serious case of wanderlust now thanks to your blog! Dang girl! you've been everywhere!

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  16. Oh my goodness, I cannot believe this actually happened! You handled the situation so well, whereas I would completely lose my shit, because a person who is supposed to give best care to your hair, ruins it. I still have my natural hair color and I was considering to dye my hair blonde, but now I'm reeeeaaaally having some second thoughts - I don't wanna suffer any hair loss, as I already have fine thin hair. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

    TRENDGALORE
    BLOGLOVIN'

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    1. Do not be fooled! While it was happening I was stone faced and sweating. I literally felt like I was going to vomit and was too shocked for tears. I got home and literally felt like I was going to collapse and faint hahah It took a LOT of time and crying to gather up the strength to talk about it openly and in a light way because my initial reaction was to burn down the salon and shave my head, Britney Spears style. Mayyybbeeee reconsider dyeing your super beautiful hair hahaha but I mean, i've been doing this for YEARS and this is the first time something went wrong. Maybe do an ombre or start with highlights so it's not all of your hair at once? Or you know, just leave it alone and buy some wigs like what I'm considering doing from here on out hahaha

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    1. I already see little baby roots growing in :D Part of me is like "damn that's fast" but the other part is super happy. It'll come back! Hope your week is going well!

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  18. Oh NO! I feel you so so much! I've had my hair "burnt" and I felt so horrible after it. I must say it wasn't exactly an easy recovery but with a lot of care and hair masks I'm now finally very happy with my hair. So don't worry too much, it will grow back :)<3 as for going back to the hairdressers, I'm still so scared every time somebody I don't know cuts my hair! Mind that, it doesn't happen very often because of that :D
    Emma xxx

    www.wellemma.com

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    1. Your hair is super long, healthy and gorgeous! I would be really skeptical of having ANYONE touch it as well! I'm soo sorry you had a horrible experience before too. It only takes one fuck up to destroy your trust forever. I hope you have found a great hairdresser you love and trust! Once you find a good one who understands you and your hair, NEVER LEAVE THEM lmao! Also, super congrats on getting 100 Bloglovin' followers Emma! You deserve it!

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  19. Oh this is not good dear. Hopefully things start to get better for you :)

    ARedLip&Love

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    1. Thanks Tash! I'm certain it'll be OK :)

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  20. Oh my gosh, I can't believe that happened! It seems unreal, but then again since bleaching my hair I guess it's not too far off considering how much hair I lost (over a much longer period of time though). It is hair, so it will grow back obviously, but you handled the salon very well! I think I would just be tucked away in bed crying the whole time honestly. BUT, at least you're thinking positively, and the short hair pics are super cute! I've been debating about going rose gold for a while, but I think I'm going to wait. Hopefully the next time you go to the salon things will be better!

    Sam | http://mybeautycloud.com

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    1. I seriously still can't believe it either! I tried to call the salon to schedule my haircut they promised me for next week and the senior stylist is totally booked up for 3 weeks! >:( I'm 5 mins away from just chopping it off on my own because I am so desperate to just start over hahaha. Oh my gosh, did you go completely bleached? Or just sections? Your hair looks super healthy and natural right now. If you're considering rose gold, I would find a salon that specialises in bleaching dark hair over the course of a LONG time or you should just get several wigs hahaha! That's kind of what I'm considering to be honest ;) Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Sam! I hope you're having a good week!

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  21. Oh girlie, I have just come across your blog and what an emotional post, babe! My heart totally sank with yours while reading what happened after that bleach & during the blow dry. Oh boy! I would probably burst into tears right there and then or be sick. Dear me! You are so strong, girlie!
    I understand the struggle so well with trying to maintain blonde hair. Since we relocated I also had to find a new hairstylist and it hasn't been easy. First time one place decided to give me highlights even though I specifically asked for root touch-up. I am often so polite and shy that it totally goes against me in the end. So I walked out with hideous highlights and just made a different appointment in a different salon immediately. Quite happy with that place now but it still can't compare to my hairstylist I've had for years.
    I love the shorter hair styles, hon. Don't worry about wearing it short, and yes, it will grow out :) Blonde bleached hair grows slowly but it grows so yay to that! Big hugs your way, girl!
    Will be following your blog hon.
    xox Nadia
    http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I Love how I am just talking to you through different social websites, haha!! I appreciate your comments soo much and I'm really happy that I found you and your blog! Omg while it was happening, I swear I had this huge knot in my stomach but I kept quiet and didn't want to say anything because I didn't want to be THAT girl... More just kept breaking off and the blow drier wasn't saying anything about it! What the hell? I had to stop her because I was just watching it all come out and KNEW it wasn't right.
      OMG I would have been SO angry! I bet you she charged more than just a root touch up too! Gosh, that probably was soo expensive to have fixed too. I am so sorry that happened to you! Now that you've found a salon, NEVER CHANGE! Hahah Sometimes it's hard though when you have to move away for work or other reasons. I totally feel your pain but I'm happy it's worked out ok in the end! My hair cut is tomorrow so I will definitely keep you updated! Thanks so much for your support :) Once again, I am so happy we found each oher!

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  22. That's so awful, I would have been just as upset as you are! At least it can to an okay ending...maybe it will make you feel a little better in knowing that I cut my hair short and I absolutely love the length! It really sounds like you had a traumatizing experience though...
    xo Kiki
    http://colormekiki.com/

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  23. OH my gosh! What an ordeal...totally crazy but I'm glad you're okay and still have some hair left ;)

    XO
    Molly
    www.trendychickadee.com

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  24. Omg, I was so sad reading this post!!! It's a good learning opportunity I guess... My hair falls out so easily and I am always worried about excess hair loss, and if this happens to me I would be so sad!! Your hair is gorgeous and I hope lots of hair grows back soon!

    xoxo Emily
    http://www.ditchtheheels.com

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  25. The exact same thing happened to me! I have natural black hair, but I lightened it to platinum myself this year. The first time, when I did my whole head, it worked out pretty well and my hair wasn't that damaged. The second time, when I was touching up my roots, I left the bleach on for too long, and I ended up with breakage 2-3 inches from the roots like yours, and my hair fell out as well!

    It was nowhere near as much as yours though, and I've been really gentle with it since, so it's almost gone back to normal. These things happen, and I'm glad that you're looking on the bright side! (:

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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