The first time I read a really nasty comment about myself, it was pretty early in my blogging days.
At the time, I was obsessively studying my Google Analytics to see who and what was bringing any sort of traffic to my blog. I remember clicking on a link and going down a rabbit hole of what gave me one of the worst feelings I’ve experienced in this industry. It was a site dedicated to bashing people and within that site, there was a post about me. I clicked on it, something I knew I shouldn’t have done, but like a bad car accident, I couldn’t look away.
Most of the comments were dedicated to talking about how awful my hair looked. How blonde, how processed, how I’d "look so much better with different hair…" It was truly awful and at the time, I was in my 20’s and cared way more about what people thought and said about me. I vowed to never return, even if the temptation was there and I stayed true to my word.
The thing is, as horrible as it was to read people dedicate their time to talk crap about others, I couldn’t even disagree with what they were saying about me. At one point, my hair took a turn for the worse, but I didn’t know how to fix it. I joke and say that I had "blonderexia," something I really believe is a thing. I was in the mindset that "lighter is better," despite the overlapping damage it was causing to my hair. I was going between getting it highlighted in various salons to doing my roots at home, between highlight appointments. This basically means, I was a double process blond. Frankly, I didn’t know how to NOT be so blonde. I remember asking one of my close friends "how did you not tell me?!" and her reply "It was not always like that!" Which I do believe to be true. There was a particular period where it took a really bad turn.
It was when I met David at one of Avedas amazing salons, FOURTEENJAY, when my hair truly entered hair rehab. Initially, I started seeing him because numerous people raved about how good he was at color. I knew I’d be in good hands, but it was his warm energy that I noticed before anything else. In general, going to a fancy salon in NYC can be intimidating, but there was none of that snobbery. When I first went to David, I didn’t have the intention to grow out my double process because again, how am I not going to be blonde?! I figured, if I’m in the hands of an artist, he’ll at least make the color look top notch. We started chatting and I started venting about how unhappy I was my color, with my condition and overall, the look of my hair. I’ve had the same conversation with past colorists (of some of NYC’s best and fanciest salons), but David was the only person that gave me the tough love that I needed. He said something along the lines of: "look, if you want to be very light, I can continue doing that for you. I won’t overlap new highlights on top of old (as many stylists end up doing), so that will help a bit, but if you continue to use bleach, your hair will never be the way you want it to be." In general, bleach will be damaging, but for me, because I’m not that light to begin with, the bleach needed to pick up a lot of color. Also, after years of coloring, overlapping and doing some serious damage, my hair wasn’t at a place where it could really handle the bleach without paying a price.
THE PROCESS AND QUITTING BLEACH:
It was after that conversation, almost a year ago, that I said "I want to stop with the bleach and get my hair back into shape." David continued adding dimension and highlights to my hair, but he started doing it without any bleach, just Aveda color. Many of you have asked "what do you tell him you want?" and I know this is probably not the answer you all want to hear, but I’ve never told him anything. He just knows what to do and I 100% trust him. Now, for those of you who don’t live in NYC or cannot afford David (he’s expensive – over $500, but worth it if you could swing it), don’t give up. Being able to achieve dimension without bleach is possible, you just need to find the right person. My hair will never be as light and bright, but I’m okay with it. I’d rather have healthier hair that’s darker than lighter hair that looks haggard. Especially as I get older, I don’t want to age and cheapen my look.
Another thing I want to mention, during one of my conversations with David, he asked me a question to which the answer shocked me:
"Do you know what causes the most damage to your hair?"
Of course I thought it was bleach or heating products, but his answer shocked me.
Yes, you heard that correctly! When you think about it, it makes sense! Do you know how many times I’ve went to a colorist that has rushed through the process, overlapping bleach on beach, resulting in more damage than ever. Obviously bleach is not good, but when it’s not done the right way, it’s 10x worse. Just something to be mindful of.
These days, I see David about 3-4x a year. Like I mentioned above, he mixes Aveda color to weave through a look that has dimension, without compromising my condition. I love that as it grows out, the color "line" is not harsh and I can get away with going longer between appointments. The bottom of my hair is still older hair, but I see such a huge difference from roots to the middle of my hair, which we call "David" hair. Of course, I could get a shorter cut to get rid of all of my older, damaged hair, but I’m not ready for that. I like my hair longer, so I’m going at it with a bit more patience.
In addition to quitting bleach, I am still taking Nutrafol supplements and incorporating the Aveda Invati line. Now, I don’t use the line every single time I wash, but every other wash or so. I really believe that the combination of these things have resulted in much healthier hair.
I still have a long way to go and my hair will never look like Blake Lively’s (genetically, I will never have that type of hair). I know I’ll still have plenty of bad hair days, but overall, I’m much happier and more confident with how it looks and feels. Before, it was such a source of frustration and insecurity and being able to come to a place where I’m actually happy, is the best feeling in the world.