Back to Blonde

So this happened over the weekend…

I’ve been thinking about going bleach blonde again for a few years and since my scalp finally seems healthier since quitting gluten (amazing!) I decided to go for it.

For a few reasons, I decided to DIY it:

  • Hairdressers in Switzerland are $$$. My last trim, only a trim on short hair was $100!
  • Instant gratification: I wanted to do it ASAP one Saturday
  • I enjoy dyeing my hair myself

That said, this did not go so well. Switzerland is kind of strict about professional hair products and they don’t sell them in stores here. Leave it to the professionals and go pay $300 for your dye job!

The best I found in Migros and Coop were box bleach kits, but it looked like I would be able to order my own bleaching ingredients easily off Amazon, so I bit the bullet and did it.

This was a bad idea for a few reasons:

  • Splotchiest bleach job I have ever given myself. I didn’t catch all my roots because I ran out of bleach mix.
  • I didn’t leave the bleach in quite long enough to process
  • I realized in my Amazon checkout that even though the items said they would ship to Switzerland, they would not in fact ship to Switzerland
  • I had no idea what bleach powder or developer were called in German, let alone where to buy them ASAP in Swiss land

I started the timer when I began the application and from start to finish I only left it in for 45 minutes. I took a little longer applying than I usually do, so the top layers especially did not have enough time to process.

It was so patchy that I immediately blow dried my hair (bad, I know!) to survey the damage thinking, “OMG, what have I done to my pretty natural hair?! What have I done? Crap, crap, crap!”

After I blow dried, I immediately opened up the second bleach kit I bought (even worse, I know!) and went for the patchy stuff. I worked quickly and left it on for 30 minutes because I was afraid of frying my hair. The results were still much too buttery, but I deep conditioned and resigned myself that I would have to go to work on Monday like this.

After a lot of searching and some German learning, I found a place where I could order 30v developer, 13v developer, bleach powder and Wella toner. I couldn’t buy the same American brands as I wanted to on Amazon, but they were at least professional salon grade products.

My hair needed toned like WHOA and I had to go to work on Monday and Tuesday looking like a butter head, which didn’t invoke the sort of reactions I was hoping for. I mostly hoped people would ignore my drastic change until I could fix it.

Tuesday afternoon my weapons arrived and that night I did another very small round of bleaching to try and address my patchy spots again, only leaving the bleach in for 28 minutes because I was super afraid of literally melting my hair off.

After that I toned with Wella’s Color Touch Relights 18 and left it on for about 7 minutes after application. It has the tendency to turn grey, which I was reading about while I was applying, so I rushed to the bathroom to wash it out before I started looking like an elderly woman.

It’s SO much better in person with the toning. I am never bleaching my hair without toner at home ever again! Never bleaching with a bleach kit again! I really missed mixing my own developer and powder and lord knows what happens if you run out of your mix while you are working. With developer and powder, you just mix some more!!

I still think I could fix the patchy spots a little bit more, but I will wait and do that later. I might look into bleach shampooing to try and even out the level a little more before re-toning after I do my roots, but overall I am pretty happy.

Not sure how long I will stay blonde, but I now have a big tub of lightening powder and bottles of developer.

Lesson learned: Never bleach your hair with box kits. It turns out poorly whether you are 16 or 27.

Have you ever gone bleach blonde?

8 thoughts on “Back to Blonde”

  1. I’ve never gone lighter with a box, but I don’t blame you one bit after hearing how expensive your local stylists are! $100 for just a trim? NO THANK YOU. The end product is lovely, even if it took you a few extra steps to get there 🙂

  2. I’ve only ever done blonde highlights that light (but made the mistake of putting one smack-dab in the middle of my hairline and looked like a skunk for a while–brushing in mascara helped it blend better, lol) but I don’t think I’d ever be quite brave enough to bleach it all. The finished color looks quite good on you!

    1. Well blonde is quite a change in hair as dark as yours! 🙂 I knew a lady who did a shock of blond hair even in her 60s and she loved it, but some of her male colleagues were very traditional and didn’t like it. 😛

  3. Hi! Where did you find bleach powder for sale in Switzerland? I’ve been looking for it for ages, but I guess I haven’t learnt the German word for it yet 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Hi there. You cannot really get it from brick and mortar stores. I got mine from Basler Haar-Kosmetik:

      Bleach powder is called Blondierpulver and developer is usually called something like Oxyd-Lösungen. I got the Wella Welloxon Perfect developer from Basler and the Basler Strähnenblond staubfrei extra stark mit Keratin for bleach powder.

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