Tag Archives: bleach

Burning for Blonde: Don’t try this at home.

Well folks, I really overdid it this time. A couple weeks after our sunny weekend in Athens, I decided that almost seven weeks of regrowth meant that it was time to do another root job.

May 3rd in Athens:

IMG_6314After sectioning off my hair, I mixed up my bleach and developer and got to work as I always have with my roots, but this time it was different. About 6-7 minutes into my application, my scalp started to burn fairly intensely.

I became nervous because this has never happened to me while bleaching my hair before, but it’s obviously a very, very bad sign. I was nervous of two things: giving myself a chemical burn or stopping immediately with half of my roots half-developed. Neither are really lovely hair situations to deal with later on.

Since I was almost done getting to the top of my roots and finishing application, I decided to at least finish applying the bleach and then see if I should rinse it off if the pain persisted or got worse. At 8.5 minutes I was done applying, but my lower scalp really burned. I was going to rinse it off right then, but then it sort of stopped hurting around 10 minutes developing time and seemed normal again.

I let my hair process normally and then I showered and conditioned as usual as well, but it was clear that my hair and my scalp really did not care for this last root job. When I got out of the shower, it was clear that much of my hair was breaking off all around, leaving me with tons of little frizzies and the rest was fried to straw.

May 15 after a LOT of hair oil and wax:

Not only that, but my color is still uneven. It’s darker yellow in some spots, but I cannot take the orange out without adding in too much purple or gray to the lighter, whiter parts. It’s a mess. My hair is a hot mess and it depresses me. I don’t even like the fact that my skin is so tan right now from all the time outdoors. I don’t like my platinum blonde, tan look. I hate it!

Now is the part where regret is sinking in: My scalp did not really hurt the rest of the evening, but I could tell that I did chemically burn it slightly. The skin on my head felt tight when I flexed my face muscles.

The next morning I woke up with very slight scabs in many spots where it had burned. It doesn’t seem to be bleeding (My advice, don’t ever google “bleach scalp burn”!) or continuing to seep, so I am treating it as a regular burn by applying neosporin and aloe vera. It’s kind of like having a bad case of dandruff that’s been scratched too much, so I’m trying very hard not to touch it at all and realizing that I will need to be extremely patient to get out of this blonde mess.

Part of me wishes that I could go back in time and decide to never bleach my hair. The other part of me vows that this is the last time I bleach my hair at home DIY style. If I want platinum in the future, I will have to face the facts and pay up at the salon. While I continue to be terrified of Swiss salon prices, I think I will have to go visit one to figure out how to grow my hair out from here. I really want to just go back to natural brown and let my whole head of hair grow out, because this straw left here is just pitiful and makes me sad.

My plan now is to grow my hair out for at least a month before I think about dyeing it at all. It’s sad, but I am not even happy how the color turned out, but I know that it would be healthier if I wait at least two months or more to try and address my root problem by then. Sigh. This was a big, fat fail.

Have you ever had a chemical burn from hair products? Did you ever immediately regret coloring your hair? Please tell me I am not alone!

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?