Hey guys!! This beast is finally going to be up! I’ve spent days writing this, and I’m so happy to share part of it with you. Here goes, and if you’ve always wanted to go rainbow, read on!
I’ve been meaning to write a sort of guide or just a post noting down my experiences with transforming my locks into all sorts of unnatural hues and shades. So you probably found this because you googled asian + bleach + hair since you wanted to turn your hair blonde or pink. Well hopefully this will be a little help because when I was frantically googling, the info I found was less than applicable 🙁 You should also search relating tumblr hashtags and youtube videos if you wanna know more!
First off, let’s just talk a little bit about the kind of hair (you and) I have. Unlike my lucky cousins (or many non-asians) who have amazingly soft and straight hair (yeah yeah its flat blah blah look at you complaining!), I’ve been stuck with messy, wavy (in a totally unruly and impossible to manage way) and thick strong black hair. So it is really really hard for me to even have a normal looking hairstyle, regardless of its colour. I have been rebonding (or permanently straightening) my hair since P.6, and it will regularly go under this kind of chemical stress annually to keep the newborn strands in line. Also I starting dying my hair when I was 16 while regularly putting it under heat with blowdryers and straightening irons, so hopefully you can imagine what mess I’ve ended up with: coarse, extremely damaged, dry, grassy hair (that is frizzy, wavy and lacks shine and movement…)
Sigh. Anyway… when life gives you lemons you make lemonades, and when life gives you really nasty hair, you take advantage of it! But how!!! You say. Well here’s how. Because asian hair is much stronger and thicker compared to non-asians, even though we have to go through the bleaching process to get it to blonde, we are also a lot more capable of withstanding damaging chemical processes and treatments like dying, permanent stylings, constant recolourings etc etc. So the trick is to get it right when you start, and keep the damages under control.
Section one: How to turn your hair into a different colour
Ding ding ding! So you’ve decided to take the plunge. You’re tired of good ol’ boring black/brown hair and you decided you want to join the My Little Pony army. Or you’ve just been thinking of ombre or highlights or splashlights (the coolest thing yet! A horizontal light shade stretching from ear to ear… here’s one for the hipsters)… regardless of what you want, read on if it involves a light or super vibrant colour… (anything ranging from golden brown to pastel purple)
***If you’re just going to turn it into a lighter shade of brown, or dark red/purple (which is all that you can ever achieve w/o bleaching… oh boring you.) you can skip this whole part and perhaps jump to the next section on how to take care of damaged hair!***
1) GO TO A SALON
Please. I beg you. Go to a salon to get your hair bleached. Do the coloring at home, go to a dodgy salon in some dark alleyway, eat bread for a month… Whatever it takes, please please please go to a salon or seek professional help. (unless you’re related to a hair stylist/someone who works in a salon then you’re off the hook)But why, you ask? It’s because asian hair doesn’t magically turn into this amazing blonde after just one bleach session. You can’t expect to get anywhere near the suitable shade for pink or pastels because it’ll just be this sorry shade of ORANGE. Trust me because I have tried bleach out of a box (even a japanese brand. You would think that it’s made for dark/asian hair right? … nope.) and since then my secondary school friends started calling me Weasley.
2) Should I space out my bleaching sessions?
This might be necessary because you want your hair some sort of platinum blonde or even white in preparation for your rainbow shades. Many people have different opinions regarding this. However, after consulting several different hair stylists and friends, I have concluded that it is far more time-efficient and convenient to do it all at one go. Why? Because the damage is done. And (just imo, please don’t bomb me on this) since you have to bleach it three times anyway you might as well save some time (and probably painful trips to the salon) and do it all at once. So far I’ve been doing it all at one go and it doesn’t hurt more as the process gets repeated on the same trip. (You have to hurt more times but not any more) However, with that said it is very reasonable and common for people to let their scalp rest and go for a gradual bleach effect (orange>light orange>light brown>dark blonde>blonde… you get the idea)
3) Is hair bleaching permanent?
HRM. I just wrote this in case anyone needs it to be explicated stated. YES. Bleaching is permanent. Your hair will forever be blonde/orange. You can dye it black or dye it brown or any other colour but those colours will eventually fade back towards some sort of blonde. (Of course it varies case by case how much it fades depending on the condition of your hair. E.g. my hair is permanently stuck at this sakura faded pink and won’t go back to blonde because the colouring is “absorbed” by my hair so to speak)
4) How much damage should I expect from bleaching my hair?
You should really expect the worst, imho. Although to be very fair a lot of people can and have gone through months, even years of constant re-bleaching and still have a healthy looking head of waterfall locks. For me, I have been lucky I’m guessing, because even after about 4 dyes in my lifetime, my hair is still relatively in shape albeit dry and sometimes suffer from split ends. Most of the time, even after just one time of bleaching your hair can suffer from (in order of seriousness): dry > coarse > split ends > ends breaking off > unable to untangle the ends without it completely breaking apart. Some people find it so hard to manage that they just end up chopping most of it off and starting again (ouch).
PLEASE stay tuned for part two on caring for your bleached hair coming super soon! Sorry if I was a bit more wordy (okay, a LOT more) than usual!