With the final days of WAG-dom finally biting the dust, and the recession in full swing women have realised that the up-keep of things like gel nails and uber-coiffured hair is not only out-dated but also un-realistic. Mixed reviews of her X-Factor wardrobe: dresses; ‘okay’, hair; ‘maybe not’ have signified a certain amount of disenchantment toward queen-WAG Cheryl Tweedy, Cole. I’m not suggesting that women aren’t taking care of their appearance, if anything making an extra effort when times are hard, can make you feel a million dollars. It’s just that we need to find more sensible ways of maintaining a well-kept appearance.
What I find the hardest to maintain on a budget though, is blonde hair. I’ve nearly always dyed may hair a lighter shade than its nondescript ash-blonde / light-brown natural ‘colour’. From adding Sun-In when I was in high-school to going full-on bleach blonde in my late teens / early twenties, I feel better and more confident when my hair is lightened. When I was having a fully bleached ‘do, I was in the salon every 4-5 weeks. Right now though, I have found myself at a crossroads with the whole bleaching thing. The up-keep of having a full head of blonde is very time-consuming and very, very expensive if you want it done properly. At the minute I can’t afford it so I’ve opted for foil high-lights; a set of which I am in the growing-out stage of. A half-head of three-tone-blonde high-lights that I had done in June, to be more specific.
This is where my problem begins; as unnatural as bleach blonde hair looks, it has a certain edge. From Marilyn Monroe to Christina Aguilera; Britney Spears to Sienna Miller, blondes have a kind of seductive power and no-one cares if their hair colour is real / looks real or not. These women have the resources to maintain their brilliantly blonde locks perfectly. As I said, I don’t and have therefore had to opt for foils which are supposed to be a more natural-looking way of lightening your hair and one that needs less maintenance. Using two or more colours, in fine sections across all or part of your head, is supposed to give a naturally highlighted look. The problem is that, it doesn’t. Not at all, every time I have gone for these foil high lights I have paid extra for the most qualified hairdresser in the salon and specified that I want the finest high-lights possible. She has sighed and rolled her eyes sky-ward, I have sat nervously for hours 0n end and walked out later looking like Geri Haliwell at the height of Spice mania. For the next two months, until my hair has grown out a little, I cringe at my zebra-like crown and angle numerous mirrors in front of mirrors atop my bonce to see how bad the damage is. A disaster all round, nearly 6 months after my last striping session, it’s time to get high-lighted again but I’m determined to do it differently this time.
I spent hours at the weekend searching for “natural-looking high-lights” on the internet and I found a process called Balayage. It is said to give a more natural look because the colour is painted on to your hair in individual strands. So rather than the regimented effect of foil high-lights, Balayage high-lights are applied where they will look most natural. The colour isn’t applied right to the scalp so you automatically get that on-trend grown-out / ombre look, letting your natural colour shine through as much or as little as you want. The majority of the lighter colour is concentrated on the ends and around your face, mimicking the way that your hair would naturally lighten if you spent hours in the sun. It also means that you only need to have the colour applied as little as twice a year, because you don’t get that tell-tale line of bleach so it’s also a money concious way of maintaining your a lighter hair colour. According to Primped.com.au, celebrities like, Gisele, Jessica Biel, Erin Wasson, Alexa Chung and SJP among others all have their high-lights added this way. The technique, sometimes Anglicised from the French, to Balliage is also recommended by Elle.com. Although the process was developed in France in the 197o’s, it didn’t become popular in the US until 20 years later and is only even more recently finding its way to salons this side of the pond.
Style Club on South William Street do the technique, I’m booked in tomorrow! I shall post before and after pics, wish me luck and pray I don’t end up looking like a depressed Spice Girl!