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Tip Tuesday: Hair Lightening

I feel pretty sheepish whenever I talk about my hair color…
cause it’s been quite the miniature saga. One I’d like for other people to be able to skip the crappy parts of (if they are brunettes or fake brunettes who are wanting to go light like I did) so I want to share my experience of doing it the wrong way and then doing it the right way. For those of you who haven’t been following along, I’ll catch you up real quick!

I was born blonde. Dyed it dark in my 20’s (REALLY DARK) stayed that way for 7ish years and decided I wanted to go back blonde.
I was rash and impatient. I bleached it all at once and toned it all and when we were done it looked really good! BUT.. it didn’t last. I spent the next few months fighting the orange that came rushing back in as soon as I’d shampooed my hair. I tried taking it lighter to get rid of the orange which didn’t work but did give me a chemical haircut. Meaning I lost about half my hair.
Finally I got sick of fighting and feeling like my hair was going to fall out and by then it was way too light for my comfort so I colored it back dark so I could let it recover.

darkhair

I gave it a year in a half, didn’t touch it with a blow dryer or lather, and slept in coconut oil weekly.
I still hadn’t given up on getting back to my natural color but I was determined to be extremely patient this time and do it the right way.

This time we started by putting fine highlights through the whole thing. This way we could get the color past the orange point without damaging all of the hair at once. After that I didn’t love the color because it was a little streaky and unblended but I knew that was part of the process. I then waited a couple of months and we did the same thing again (avoiding the prior highlights) Now it looked a little more blended but still wasn’t great. I decided to wait as long as I possibly could hold out to do the process again and nurture my hair in the meantime (which was pretty easy because I’d been pregnant and pretty sick anyhow so not having fantastic hair wasn’t making me that stressed.) After a few months I felt like my hair was ready for another round. So I had and amazing stylist Danielle White  work her magic with the blending and lightening.
We made a little video of the process:

Here’s what she did:
Heavy bleach weave 2 inches off the scalp to avoid hot roots and give a smudged look. Tone at the shampoo bowl, leave of the ends around the face.
Tone 5 minutes with 8n and 7nb. After you rinse you may need to soften any line or smudge roots more with 6n, 7nb

My advice to anyone trying to go light who is terrified of brass do it with foils the old fashioned way and HAVE PATIENCE! You might feel like you’ve been transported to the Britney era for a while with your not-so-cute streaks but it’s only temporary. If you lighten too much at once and end up orange it’s gonna take a miracle to fix it.

wheathair

Funny thing about mid-toned colors is how much the lighting can change them! The photo below looks more blonde than it does in real life I think.

wheat

Before and after Danielle did her Magic (and added some LacedHair Clip-ins as well the Ombre 3/8 are SUCH a gorgeous wheat color that look so natural and the ombre blends really well!)

hairtransformation  wheathaircolor

Danielle is based out of Laguna Beach CA but she also does online education for stylist get all the info here.
I also made Danielle over while I was there, I’ll post that beautiful before and after next monday!

I’m so excited about the low maintenance upkeep of being able to grow my roots! When it was dark I had to touch them up every two weeks or else I’d look like I was balding:)

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60 Comments

  • Reply
    Stacie
    August 12, 2014 at 4:21 am

    WOW! Your hair looks great!! Danielle is amazing! Enjoy. Stacie xo

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:46 am

      Thank you so much!! She really is huh!?!

  • Reply
    Maria
    August 12, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Hi Cara, what did you use to get that beautiful curl in your hair?

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:49 am

      Hi Maria! She used a babyliss 1 1/4″ curling iron 🙂

  • Reply
    michelle
    August 12, 2014 at 4:21 am

    absolutely gorgeous!I don’t completely understand the details but the finished picture is just beautiful! A sped up tutorial to go along with if she does someone else this way wouldn’t hurt. Great color and highlights and tone and style!

  • Reply
    michelle
    August 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I am back just saw the video clip that i suggested in above comment- feelin foolish over here for not seeing before my comment but loving your hair!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:50 am

      I just read your mind! Haha thanks Michelle!

  • Reply
    Darcie
    August 12, 2014 at 4:32 am

    BEAUTIFUL! THANK YOU for promoting having your hair colored by a professional. As a salon owner, we see so many women who believe the DIY hair color commercials and have ruined their hair and hair color, and end up spending hundreds of dollars to get it back to a “livable” color. Hairdressers don’t dislike box color because it takes business away (no one becomes a hairdresser for the money) – we dislike it because it ends in disaster for so many people.

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Thanks Darcie! A few of my sisters are stylists and they have seen the disasters you speak of many times!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 12, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Your hair looks amazing! She did an awesome job!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:55 am

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Christine
    August 12, 2014 at 4:36 am

    Ah!!! This is the PERFECT post for me! I’ve been trying for a year to allow my fake brunette hair fade out and slowly put in the highlights. I have been discouraged so many times about how I hate my non-blonde hair. So many times I have been tempted to just go back to brunette, but I have been patiently waiting it out. I trust your opinion and experience so much–so thank you for sharing! It gives me hope that I will be able to make it work soon!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:58 am

      I totally feel your pain!!! I have felt pretty discouraged from time to time as well during this process but I’m so happy I did !

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 12, 2014 at 4:39 am

    This is so weird, I have been researching how to lighten my hair. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 4:59 am

      Thank you!! Good luck with the lightening!!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    August 12, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Oh my gosh! I’m currently battling this right now. I have natural dishwater blonde hair but have been dying it dark dark for almost seven years. I’ve gone in twice to try and get it lighter and right now I’m stuck with a dark orangey red mop. Exactly what I don’t want! Thank you for posting this. I was ready to just due it back dark and deal with the balding roots (;

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 5:01 am

      Oh you poor thing!! I know how you feel!! Good luck and hang in there!!! <3

  • Reply
    Tammy
    August 12, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Wow. I was nervous about your outcome (because I LOVE your dark hair and light eyes) as I read your blog BEFORE looking at your photos. But WOW it looks amazing! GREAT job! So nice to see you not go full-on bleach blonde! You are so pretty!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 5:02 am

      Thank you so much! It’s nice to have some good feedback since I loved the dark too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Johnston
    August 12, 2014 at 5:04 am

    Your hair is gorgeous! Love getting your tips on how to keep bleached hair healthy!

    http://lifeofbrookeandjane.blogspot.com/2014/08/peplum-perfection.html

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 5:10 am

      Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Lidi
    August 12, 2014 at 5:18 am

    I absolutely loved your dark hair but I I think this color is quickly becoming my favorite! It looks sooo good and natural on you! Although the dark and be a little mysterious and makes your eyes pop, it can also be a little harsh. This color is just perfect on you! I hope you’re loving it too!

  • Reply
    Emerald Earrings
    August 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Cara, you’re so gorgeous!
    I’m at the same place right now too – I’m going to have to make a decision soon whether to go darker or lighter! Would absolutely *love* some input, I don’t know why this is such a hard decision for me to make! 🙁

  • Reply
    Ashley H
    August 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    This is such a fabulous hair color on you. You look so gorgeous with the dark hair that I never would have guessed that you’re a natural blonde, but it looks absolutely amazing! Welcome (back) to the blonde club 🙂

  • Reply
    Bonita
    August 12, 2014 at 5:57 am

    She is a genius. Your hair is beautiful.

  • Reply
    Emma
    August 12, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Absolutely beautiful! You look great with any hair color, but I think this one is my favorite.
    You’re giving me the itch to add some highlights into mine!
    – Emma

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 6:29 am

      Thank you so much!!! Highlights are always a fun change up!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Helmers
    August 12, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Your hair looks amazing and so does your skin! Next generation IIID foundation? Any updates?

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 6:29 am

      Fingers crosses for next month!!! Aghhhh the delays!!!! It’s gonna be so perfect Thoth when it finally gets here!

      • Reply
        JNJxn
        August 13, 2014 at 3:48 am

        I love perfect Thoth!!! Kidding…sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I love funny autocorrects.

  • Reply
    Tori Venable
    August 12, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Wow that looks awesome!

  • Reply
    Emerald Earrings
    August 12, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I just watched the video, and Danielle looks so much like Kristen Chenoweth, whom I adore!

    • Reply
      Cara
      August 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

      She totally does!!! I love your hair dark but those highlights are stunning on you!!

  • Reply
    Kyla
    August 12, 2014 at 6:53 am

    I’m fairly new to your blog, but I just love it. I got my IIID foundation over the weeks (via Brickyard Buffalo) and it is wonderful! This hair color is amazing. I am a natural brunette and am seriously tempted. My question is, over the 1 1/2 years that you let your hair grow out, did you keep darkening it? Or let your own color come though?

  • Reply
    Hailey
    August 12, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Cara your makeup here is perfect! Tutorial?!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

    My hair is dyed black but I want to go lighter. I’m seeing a colourist soon. What should I ask for? A fewhighlights to start with? I want to take it slowly to minimise damage but still want my hair to look pretty.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 12, 2014 at 8:57 am

    It looks amazing! You look awesome as a blonde!

  • Reply
    groceryshrink
    August 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

    You look fabulous! Love it.

  • Reply
    Amy F
    August 12, 2014 at 10:30 am

    You look stunning– but you did with dark hair too 🙂 I’m DYING to try some clip-ins!

  • Reply
    Marjorie
    August 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Cara, I have light blonde hair, but was thinking about going with a color like yours. What would you suggest I do to get similar results as yours? Btw, you look absolutely stunning with this color.

  • Reply
    Meghan
    August 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Wow! These pictures are STUNNING! That color is perfection on you. So flattering and natural. LOVE!!!

  • Reply
    kristen @ glambunctious
    August 12, 2014 at 11:45 am

    She did an amazing job, your hair looks beautiful, Cara! I too went completely bleached blonde (from dark brown to hot mess yellow blonde) and had orange ends in no time. I hated it. I’d never previously dyed my dark hair EVER so this was the craziest damn thing I’ve ever done to my hair. I had it dyed back to dark brown and now I’m dying it dark myself at home every 4-5 weeks until the dark color holds (fingers crossed). Thank you for sharing your story with us! I am so sorry you lost a bunch of your hair during the process, but it’s looking gorgeous now and is SO flattering on you!

  • Reply
    Kaycee
    August 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

    This color looks great on you! One question… I bought the Laced extensions based on your recommendations, but for the life of me I can’t get them to look right. I’ve tried to follow the video you did a long time ago, but I feel like you speed through the parts that I’m having trouble with. I feel like I’ve wasted $200 since they now just sit in a drawer 🙁 Could you possibly do a more detailed video on how to use them??? Pretty please!!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Cara! Your hair looks absolutely gorgeous – love the color, and especially the loose, effortlessly beachy waves. I’m dying to know, which size curling iron was used? I have a 1-inch, will it be too small? Would 1-1/4 be large enough? I can’t wait to try to re-create this!

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    August 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    So pretty! Glad you’re back to this color 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Woah! Cara! Loving the new hair! 🙂
    I’ve been feeling really blahh about my hair lately and have been wanting to change up the colour slightly. Thanks for the helpful post!

    http://marydoesbeauty.com/blog

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Did you put coconut oil throughout all your hair overnight? How did you avoid making a huge mess? Did you just shampoo it in the morning or did you do anything else

  • Reply
    Mallory
    August 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This is absolute perfection on you! I’ve been following you for a long time and I remember last time you wanted to go blonde and you did it all at once, this looks just so perfect!

  • Reply
    Dale Janée (@Savvy_Spice)
    August 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    You hair looks so gorgeous and I’ve definitely made my own mistakes lightening my hair, but I’m trying to take better care of my hair every year now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jean
    August 13, 2014 at 2:46 am

    You look stunning!!! Thank you for all the hair tips! My hair has been a million colors. My husband always says he has no idea what colored hair wife he’s coming home too………..lol

  • Reply
    Julia S
    August 13, 2014 at 4:17 am

    You look gorgeous with that hair! You’re very lucky that you can pull of so many shades, Ive definitely accepted my status as a brunette for life. Love your blog! xx

    djinofecstasy.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Whitney W
    August 13, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Hi Cara, I love that you addressed the “chemical haircut” and how you lost about half your hair. About a year ago I had major surgery and all of the drugs and anesthesia made about half of my hair fall out too. It is an awful thing to go through and I sympathize with you, even if we didn’t lose our hair because of the same circumstances. You mentioned putting coconut oil on your hair to help it get healthy, but do you have any tips, besides waiting it out, to help your hair grow back and look fuller and and nice again?

  • Reply
    Jordan
    August 13, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I think this shade is gorgeous and it really fits you!

  • Reply
    JL
    August 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    love your hair but LOVE your eye makeup in the above photo! Any possibility of a tutorial on it? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Olle
    August 15, 2014 at 12:49 am

    This is absolute perfection on you! I’ve been following you for a long time and I remember last time you wanted to go blonde and you did it all at once, this looks just so perfect!
    http://www.webbyra.com

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    August 16, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Wow your hair is stunning I’m so tempted to ask my stylist for this

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

    I LOVE YOUR HAIR LIKE THIS!!! I think this is my favorite look on you ever. Excited to see the changes as you continue to lighten.

  • Reply
    Allee
    September 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Oh my GOD it’s so well toned! That hair stylist is a genius!

  • Reply
    Hannah M
    March 4, 2015 at 11:48 am

    How did you get your hair to stop falling out in such mass amounts? I lightened my
    Hair the same way you did and now have the same issue of my hair falling out 🙁

  • Reply
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