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Low Maintenance Hair Colour: Solid to Balayage Blonde

Low maintenance hair: From solid blonde to balayage blonde
Isolation has brought one seemingly frivolous process to light: How to maintain solid bleached blonde hair during isolation. Frankly a full scalp bleach platinum blonde colour only looks good for about 3 weeks in 6 and going to the hairdresser for extended periods is not an option during COVID19 restrictions.

I’ve been blonde since I can remember. I was snowy white as a child until I was about 12 when it started to darken. My natural hair colour is probably light brown. Certainly, my brows and any body hair is all very light. I used to get foil highlights all over so I was very blonde for a long time. I then went to a scalp bleach to try something different when I lost a heap of hair and wanted to blend the new growth in so I went platinum. I did love the look of being a blonde bombshell but the upkeep is pretty heavy duty.

Not only does a scalp bleach absolutely sting and burn the scalp, but it also kills the hair and can break off if your hairdresser isn’t super careful. I’ve been trying to figure out what to do to escape the scalp bleach cycle and decided to head to hair maestro John Azzi. He’s extremely experienced with blondes and uses the latest techniques and technology in his hair artistry.

I booked in with him via his very active Facebook Page, to remedy solid bleached blonde hair with about a 3cm regrowth of what looks very dark in comparison.

diane challis scalp bleach regrowth before
John Azzi checking out my poor fried blonde hair and block of regrowth while we decide the best way to blend the roots into the blonde.

Solution To Soften Regrowth

There were 2 ways that John Azzi suggested we go. The first which would have me in the chair for hours, would be to take my hair back to it’s natural colour and then bring out the blonde. The second, which was quicker and less destructive to the hair was to blend a semi-permanent colour, the same colour as my roots, through from the roots and fading to the ends, creating a balayage effect. This seemed like the best course of action and so we started. The video below explains the philosophy and technique of balayage.

Even though we were practising social distancing, John’s salon is large and there was another lady a few chairs away from me, who was going through the same process. She’d been a solid blonde for years and was looking for something softer and easier to maintain. She and I got chatting and we were both over the high maintenance blonde and were both looking for something more natural and contemporary, less 2000’s

The Transformation Process

Before we got started I was given a John Azzi branded kimono, rather than the ubiquitous, shapeless cape, and offered a range of bevvies, so I chose a glass of wine. I was thoroughly relishing the non-isolation, family free, stress free environment, that was focussed on me. Pampering is so underrated for hardworking lasses, emerging from our COVID19 safe houses, blinking and dazzled by the bright lights and glamour of this city excursion.

Feeling like a pampered woman at the hair salon.
White wine? Yes please.
John Azzi's salon
Feeling very glamorous in John Azzi’s sexy salon

After I was “gowned up” John’s talented team took over, matching the colour to my roots and carefully hand painting the colour over my scorched locks, blending it through, leaving the blonde ends. After years of scalp bleaching it was such a pleasure to not have a burning, throbbing scalp and not having to pray the the colour was too golden or worse, that my precious hair would break off in protest. It was also a good feeling knowing that my scalp would be flaky and scab from the harsh bleach, which is often par for the course with a scalp bleach.

Oh that head massage!

Not only was my scalp not burnt in the process, I could enjoy the basin massage. I remember in my dream-like state if I could take John’s protege home. The massages (yes plural) were so artfully done. Unfortunately he was already married and frankly I don’t think my partner Alex would have been impressed. I’ll just have to go back to the salon for those.

So much faster

Bleaching hair takes forever. But adding colour to the hair is so much faster. Just as I was getting comfortable, it was time to rinse my hair.

Dead ends, be gone

After rinsing, adding a mask, rinsing again, I was ready for a trim, and John is an intuitive, theatrical cutter. Everything had a flourish and despite the fact that I wanted to keep my length I put myself in John’s capable hands, and he went to work. He removed all the frizzy, singed ends, and created a hair cut that kept the length but made my hair look thicker and voluminous.

My hair was blow-dried to perfection and a few curls added for effect. I was absolutely delighted. I was still blonde, but instead of a block of blonde, My root colour faded seamlessly into the blonde, with a faded sun kissed look.

Both the other lovely lady and I were very, very happy. She was finished before me, so I felt confident that the look was going to work out.

My hair after, fading the regrowth through to the roots
My hair “after”, fading the regrowth through to the roots, tousled and natural looking.

The Verdict: bleached blonde to balayage beauty

I absolutely loved the end result. It wasn’t the most expensive hair procedure I’ve undertaken, and took less time that usual, but I felt very naturally sexy and walked out onto Market Street with renewed confidence and a skip in my step. Thanks, John Azzi and your wonderful team for giving me post-isolation confidence and making me look and feel dead sexy again.

diane challis balyage after
After! Solid roots, gone.



(2) Comments

  1. Hi Jan,
    Cannot recommend it more highly, don’t have to fuss with regrowth, purple shampoo is only rarely and it’s much less expensive and damaging on the hair. Di

  2. JAN OLIVERI says:

    Great idea. Now I’m considering doing the same. I’m so impressed with this makeover.

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