When I was 14 I chopped my hair off and bleached it platinum blonde.
And that was that. At 23, it’s still the same – save a touch of lilac.
This is the first half of my hair care routine series, my hair history; I thought before I babble on about how I colour and condition my hair, I best show you what states it’s been in over the years and how I have managed (and, at times, rescued) it.
So in the vaguest terms I have a pixie cut, but a pixie cut has many variations: fringe length, fringe shape, choppy or sleek and – the-be-all-and-end-all for me – the length of those bits that fall in front of your ears.. My first style (top left) was heavily influenced by my eternal girl crush, Agyness Deyn, who had just hit the big time with her signature über short choppy style with a mini fringe.
By the time I went to university, my fringe had grown to an asymmetrical style. Though this is my personal favourite, there’s a fine line between it looking funky and old-fashioned. In the second photo, my layers were still quite choppy. While this is great and quite ‘modern’ looking, I like a bit of poof to my hair. The issue with wanting poofiness is clear in the third picture… hair bear bunch, anyone? This was taken in my paranoid phase, when I was anxious that super short hair only made my face look bigger.. Eventually my layers became so long that, once I had blow-dried it, I looked a bit like a mushroom 😦
Another issue with this look is those bits in front of my ears – they’re just too long. Over the years, I’ve realised just how much difference these wisps make to your overall look. Too long and you stray into ‘mature woman’ territory, too thick and the whole style becomes a bit confused. It’s very difficult to get these pieces to lie flat to your face, so they often kick out, which can make the cut look unfinished and outgrown, imo.
It’s only in the last few months that I’ve really started to love my hair, the length, the style and the colour. I think I’ve finally found my style: choppy layers cut tightly around my neck and my ears with a sweeping full fringe.
This cut (left) was for a hair competition that focused on new angles and sharp lines. The section above my ear was cut to a straight edge while the piece underneath tapered to a super precise point (I should also add that that huge mohawk was not my own, but a considerable bunch of extensions). I loved this hairstyle because it was so different and almost futuristic looking, but ultimately it proved too hard to maintain.
My paranoid phase culminated in this block fringe (right). A fringe like this is a great way to mix up your pixie cut style with a youthful, modern edge. It also provides a great frame for your face, which is ideal if you like to showcase your make-up.
For years and years I bleached my hair with Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL 00A Absolute Platinum. £4 and forty minutes later my hair was white blonde and I absolutely loved it. But during my first year of uni, I fancied a change and agreed to take part in a hair competition that involved having these huge tiger stripes added to my fringe. The stripes came out a lot darker than the hairstylist was happy with, so just a day later, they massaged (or should I say scrubbed) bleach into my fringe in an attempt to lighten the dark brown to an auburn colour.
Though this worked out for the photo, it absolutely ruined my hair. I remember brushing through my fringe and having my hair stretch like elastic; it completely lost its shine and took hours and hours to dry. If you’re thinking of bleaching your hair at home, particularly if you want to go from brown to white blonde, please please PLEASE remember that it carries risks. Dark hair won’t lift to an even white colour in just one sitting, but repeatedly bleaching will ruin the condition of your hair. Bleach breaks down keratin – the element that gives your hair shine and strength – so try to space out bleaching to avoid ending up with a dull, gooey mess.
My hair was in such bad condition that I had to grow the bleach out to give my hair chance to repair itself. This meant living with my natural hair colour 😦 I have naturally ashy hair, which felt a little bland after having Draco Malfoy-esque white so, with all the bleach gone, I snuck in a few subtle highlights (left). Annnnnnd, not long after, I had it bleached again *face palm*… I couldn’t resist.
That brings me up to last summer and my latest obsession with toners! I’ve tried pink and peach, but – as with make-up – these warm colours work better with skin that has an equally warm under-tone. For me, cooler hues of blue and purple suit my fair skin best, but my ultimate favourite is my current lilac colour. Toners are becoming a lot more popular now with great, cheap brands available in most drugstores, i.e. Bleach London. There’s also a growing trend for colour-depositing shampoos and conditioners, which provide a gentle, non-evasive way of adding colour to your hair – the colour/conditioner combination is a particularly good way of maintaining smooth, shiny, rainbow, locks.
So there’s a potted history of my hair! To see what products I use to keep the colour and cut looking as fresh as possible, watch out for my second instalment of my hair care routine – coming soon!
Hope you like!