Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Journey to Grace: Phase One
In the years I've been hosting my Youtube channel, I have always expressed my admiration for certain icons of beauty, most significantly-Grace Kelly. Her presence on film notwithstanding, she was also an offscreen ispiration. She conveyed style and poise, even in the most casual of circumstances.
Having been a redhead for many years now, I have been toying with the idea of going blonde again for some time. It's a huge step, because as a platinum blonde, the monthly root touch ups can be very expensive. I have always enjoyed emulating the casual glamour of Grace Kelly's waves, so with my 'blonde ambition' in mind, I decided to take subtle steps toward my goal instead of attempting one crazy move from red to blonde.
Grace's hair color seems to change a bit from famous photo to photo. I think many times this was due to a specific role she was playing, but there is no doubt that our natural hair color is similar...a darker blonde. I've always found my natural hair color boring, but since my 'Journey to Grace' is to be a slow one, it made sense to me to start off easy and make 'phase one' of this adventure a return to my dark blonde. The following photo was my reference point and I made it my mission to fid a stylist locally that was up to the challenge.
Going from red to blonde is no easy task, especially if you have been red for a while. Layers of color build up over time and must be stripped before the lifting and lightening can commence, especially if you are going for a beige blonde.
The stylist I chose is Robin Tucker, famed for her work on stage and screen, as well as her photography. She travels worldwide to work her magic but is proud to call Memphis home. Because she maintains a busy schedule, booking an appointment with her required a little bit of a wait, but it was well worth it. See her astonishing resume' and inspiring photographs here:
Her studio is in her home, and it's a lovely airy space that doesn't try to be edgy or industrial, like so many upscale salons, but also doesn't feel like a home based business. Her photographs make a bold statement against the clean white walls and an impressively stocked jukebox rocks you through even the most tedious of appointments. Which, this was, I'm not going to lie.
Robin doesn't take short cuts. I mean, she can certainly create a phenomenal short CUT, but as to taking an easy way out of a process...no. So I was prepared for what was in store for me, getting this red out of my hair.
First we stripped the hair, which was a process of about three different applications and dryer sessions. The last step sealed the hair and prepared it for lightening. None of these applications burned the scalp or smelled strong, but they had to be watched carefully. The next step was the lightening. Robin used a 10 volume bleach; she doesn't like to use a stronger one, opting instead to do several applications if necessary. We only processed once, since my desired hair color was a darker blonde.
The bleach was ROUGH. Even the 10 Volume burned me badly, rendering my scalp so sensitive that we had to apply the color at a later time. For a few days, I boasted brassy long hair and pale yellow roots. Not a pretty look. But I did have fun with my Ann Margret styles:
Two days later, I was back in Robin's comfy chair, applying color. It felt nice and conditioning and cool...not painful at all. Thank goodness!!
After the color, Robin worked her magic with my cut. I had it cut a little above shoulder length and will progressively go shorter with it, the lighter it gets. The final outcome was fun and shiny and healthy feeling! Even all over with no red...exactly what I hoped for!
I have to say, I'm thrilled with Robin, thrilled with the result, and increasingly more thrilled with my move to this great old town of Memphis, Tennessee! Can't wait to go on to the next phase...
So Long, Dearies!