This isn’t the “ta-dah look at my lovely new highlights” post I hoped it would be. Sadly my DIY balayaye turned into a hair disaster but I wouldn’t be a very honest beauty blogger if I didn’t share the good, the bad and the downright patchy!
If you’ve been visiting these parts for a while now you’ll know I’m a fan of the L’Oreal Wild Ombre Kits. I’ve used them on myself twice before (see it here) with pretty good results, even my hairdresser was impressed. With two successful DIY jobs under my belt, me and my inflated confidence thought we were ready for the next trend, balayage. Cue L’Oreal #GoBronde. Have you seen the adverts? My hair queen J-Lo – I’m not a blonde, I’m a bronde! Yes, me too J-Lo. It’s a sign, let’s do this.
A bit about the kits and the how to…
There’s five kits in the Glam Bronde range (£6/Boots), No 1 being the lightest, No 5 the darkest – I plumped for the “safe” middle option No 3 for light brown hair. They’re designed to give a brush-on balayage effect, adding subtle, blonde layers all over the hair for that just-back-from-holiday look. Similar to the Ombre kits they’ve very easy to use, instructions are clear, come with a “handy” triple-action expert brush designed to do the work for you etc. I even watched the recommended youtube video to pick up some tips, sadly I didn’t read any reviews!
Application was tricky! Unlike the ombre kits where you’re basically colouring in the bottom sections of your hair, balayage is designed to add small amounts of colour all over the hair. Application near the roots requires way more skills and I didn’t have a clue what the back looked like – it was a “reach-n-drag and hope for the best” approach. The brush ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. It does NOT distribute the product evenly, it dolloped the majority of the product at the roots, a patchy residue of colour in the lengths and by the time I got to the bottom there was nothing left. This meant I had to go back over at the ends, causing more patchiness. The instructions tell you not to apply too much pressure at the roots, and not to start too close to them, even with a light pressure and staggered starting points I still ended up with giant blobs of colour near the roots. Recommended development time is between 25 and 45 minutes, after 20 minutes my hair was already looking YELLOW! Sh*t, Sh*t, Sh*t – I quickly washed it, towel dried, looked in the mirror, gasped at the yellow/orangey streaks *Stay calm, stay calm* dried it, OH DEAR!
Brassy, patchy and way too light. Bright blonde near the roots, orange/yellowy in the lengths. Obvious blonde clusters near the roots and around the back where I applied the product first, bright orangey blonde streaks near the front where my hair was already a bit lighter. All in all a complete disaster. Looked nothing like balayage, looked nothing like the box!
Did I mention this was on Friday night and I was going away for “surprise” weekend on Saturday morning! Cut to me spending the next hour panicking, asking google what do to, calling around hairdressers, texting my friends, more panicking. My regular hairdresser couldn’t get me in until Monday (and there was no way I wanted to go away for the weekend looking like THAT) thank heavens for the Metrocente (out of town shopping centre open until 9pm for those that don’t know). I actually went there with the intension of buying a hair colour stripper from Boots (worst thing I could have done) but fortunately stumbled across a hairdressers Sherlocks that managed to squeeze me in. They put a darker colour through my roots to disguise the blonde and a temporary toner through the lengths and ends to tone down and even things out. I was so grateful I nearly kissed the girl that did it. All in all I spent 5 hours and over £50 to end up looking, more or less, like a did before. Overall I’m a little lighter and a touch more “ginge” than I was to begin with but you live and learn and I will never do-it-myself again! NEVER!
Sorry about the lack of after photos – understandably the last thing on my mind at that point was a photo shoot. I did manage a dodgy quick snap in the hairdressers before the fix up began.
Read the reviews – I can’t believe I didn’t do this! I guess I was feeling falsely confident after my previous positive experience. I’ve since checked out the reviews and discovered most people have had a similar experience!
Don’t do it the night before you’re going away for the weekend!
Don’t leave it on for the full recommended time.
Don’t apply near the roots.
Leave it to the professionals. There’s a reason hairdressers train.