Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lightening Natural Blonde Hair

Ever since I moved to Seattle from California I've been pretty frustrated with my hair. It used to be SUPER DOOPER BLONDE. Approaching platinum/white in the summers. Now, while it is still light blond it's just not the way I like it. 

My hair is really thin and fine, so bleaching is a tricky proposition at best. Since I currently lack both the funds and a regular hairdresser who I trust it is totally off the table. So I started reviewing my options....

I decided to start looking at natural remedies since they're typically cheaper and tend to look, well... natural. There is pretty general consensus on the things that will lighten your hair, although they all take some time to make a noticable differentce.
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Honey
  • Lemon 
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
Most of the sources I found said that lemon is really only effective with sunlight, and I have seen products, like Sun-In, in the past that utilize lemon to help create natural highlights. The biggest concern I have with lemon is that it can damage your hair if you use it too often. Honey has small levels of peroxide, when you mix that with cinnamon, cardamom, or olive oil that increase the potency of the peroxide. Chamomile is a very slow way to lighten your hair, but what is really nice about it is that it doesn't strip your hair at all. Based on that information I came up with this:

Allison's Hair Treatment Plan
  • Wash Hair with Chamomile tea, add 3-4 tbs tea to regular shampoo and conditioner.
  • 1x every 2 weeks do the following:
    • Mix 1/3 cup hone, 1/4 cup conditioner, 2 tsp Olive oil, and 2 tsp cinnamon, apply liberally to damp hair. Wrap hair in plastic wrap, cover with shower/swim cap, and leave over night or 8 hours (you could certainly do this during the day, but it would probably drive me nuts).
  • If it's sunny apply lemon to hair and sit outside for 30 minutes, rinse hair, do not do more than 1-2x weekly.
More than likely I won't do that step at all since it's almost October and the gray curtain is going up. My plan is to do at least bi-weekly updates with pictures. We'll see how that holds up. 

If I don't notice significant results, or if my hair starts to look discolored or brassy I'm going to try a toner to see if that helps lighten my hair, I may also consider using a 10 lift and see how that works, but that will be an unnatural hair lightening post.

Belletto Studio Airbrush Ultimate - Skin Secrets Starter Kit

I'm going to start out with a disclaimer: I got this system HEAVILY discounted it normally retails for $430 (not including tax/shipping) and I got it for $129 using Leesha's discount code (xsparkage). However, this code will continue to be active for approximately 1 more month, so if you're interested in purchasing an airbrush system you will probably never find one this cheap. There is another system that is cheaper, I think $99, that this discount also applies to (links at the bottom). I would encourage everybody to spring for the more expensive one. Here's why:

1. The more expensive one has a dial operated flow control rather than just simple presets. This gives you more control over air flow and application.

Clean Moisturized Skin
2. The more expensive one has a life time warranty, instead of a (I think) 2 year manufacturer warranty. So if your compressor breaks at 2 years and 1 day you'll have to buy a completely new one. Eff that.

Even with the discount this is a huge non-essential purchase. But. But, but but... dear god am I glad I bought it. Holy crap how did I ever live my life without airbrush foundation? Seriously.

 I can't stand wearing heavy foundation, but I really like the way my skin looks with medium-full coverage as long as it's applied well and doesn't look cakey. I've never been able to handle actually wearing medium/full coverage on anything except special occasions, cause it feels like I'm wea
ring a mask. So in my day to day routine I almost always use tinted moisturizer or thin out foundation with additional moisturizer or a primer. For those of you who hate wearing foundation because of the weight or the feel of it, do yourself a huge favor and switch to airbrush.

Airbrush foundation is incredibly light. It really is the equivalent of a fine mist of water. It literally feels like I am not wearing foundation at all. My skin also has a tendency to be red and blotchy (thanks a lot Ireland), and this pretty completely neutralizes it. I don't have to wear any concealer except under my eyes. I can use all my regular moisturizer and primer if I want. The biggest downside to my mind is that I lose spf coverage, so just make sure you're moisturizer has SPF or you apply sunscreen (and let it dry completely) prior to airbrushing.

I was a little intimidated but I practiced a couple of times with just water to get the feel of it. I'm still having a hard time with making blush and contouring look even. But each time I do it it looks better, so I feel confident that will improve. I'm also still getting used to doing it on other people, but I'm getting better with that too.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty: what's in the kit?

A lot of stuff. You specifiy your complexion shade (Light, Medium, Tan, Dark) and they give you 4 foundations within that shade range. If one isn't an exact match you can mix them till you find yours. I'm just straight up Creme de La. You also get a blush and luster drops (highlight).

I also want to mention that Belletto Studio's customer service was FANFUCKINGTASTIC. I accidentally ordered the cheaper kit, without realizing that it's not a dialed compressor and doesn't have the lifetime warranty. I immediately contacted their customer service, They unfortunately didn't get my message till after the order had already been processed, but they were still incredibly helpful, they just had me refuse shipping (YAY for no return shipping costs) and as soon as they received it refunded me!

For Questions ask me or watch Leesha's Air Brush FAQ

Ultimate - Skin Secrets Start Kit (Mine)
HD - Skin Secrets Start Kit (Cheap one: