Sass and the City

My Balayage Breakthrough

After nineteen years of steadfast and intractable determination to hold off on hair coloring for as long as possible, I did it! But of course, with baby steps. Baby balayage steps, to be exact. Before I dish out all of the juicy, chemical details, I’ll debrief on my hair history.

A ‘blooming beautician’ from the start, I was always weary about fussing with my hair. I steered clear from color and imagined it as something in the very far, distant and intangible future. Aka in my mature twenties, when I’d be running around under the glistening sun from office to party to market; naturally, I would need to fully get my hair done just like the other big girls.

The most I ever did was a cellophane treatment- some with red/light brown, some with just a clear coat. Plus, I always loved my dark yet multi-dimensional hair, with an ideal range of reds and browns. Colorists, stylists and friends alike always told me to keep my natural hair, so I figured I would.

Lately my aunt has been particularly intrigued by beauty blogs, a newfound passion and hobby of hers. Her thorough searches and favorite YouTube videos introduced her to balayage. Balayage is a freestyle French highlighting technique, as opposed to systematic streaks. One day she randomly told me that I should do it. While I immediately fell in love with it (after a successful Google Images search), I went back into my comfort zone and said no.

While checking my email at work one morning, I serendipitously received a Gilt City Miami offer for…Drum roll, please… Balayage! Something in me told me it was fate and more importantly, time for a change. I messaged my hair stylist to arrange a cut with her beforehand and she told me she could do both the cut and color; I was ecstatic when I decided to do everything with her. Seriously, I don’t trust anyone with my hair like I trust her. She’s brilliant.

On that fateful day of firsts, I arrived at Creato to cut my hair with Kristine. I stressed the importance of 1) not touching my roots 2) not losing my natural color and 3) not bleaching. As always, she understood me perfectly. It turns out that the perfect pictures I had in mind of Jessica Biel, Olivia Palermo and Lily Aldridge were actually ombré and heavier highlights. So Kristine worked with my preferences and chose balayage highlights on top (with lighter pieces to frame my face) and light ombré on the bottom (with some streaks on the inside).

Although Kristine went 3-4 shades lighter with the highlights, they took a little long to set in and work for two reasons. The first was that the salon was cold so the heat couldn’t concentrate the color. The second was that my hair is so dark and has never been colored. After highlighting and then retouching, my hair was finally done!

It has been four days and I love it! I’m so glad I did it because I get to keep my natural color but still vamp it up a bit. Although I don’t want to get in the habit of coloring, I might do it again lightly in the future, in different shades. Here’s to changes and breaking out of your comfort zone!


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