Black to Ash Blonde Transformation

Oops, I did it again…

So being blonde doesn’t come naturally to me (Duh!), and after many trials and errors, I think I finally got the shade just right, thanks to The Cure Salon at Greens Community. My colorist’s name was Marina and she did a tremendous job at getting the orangy-brassiness off and give me a gorgeous ashy color. I’m going to walk you through my hair history and the process to achieve this color. Here it goes.

My Hair Background:

Well, the sucker that I am for change, I had red-black roots (because yeah I tried that at home!) and there was a lot of product build all over my ends with brown hair-dye. This made my hair very dry but also a tricky candidate to get the original lightness that I had in mind for my ombre/balayage.

My hair texture is soft in mediocrity and my hair length is at an awkward LOB.

The process:

I’ve done this a lot of times and I’ve never had a colorist pay so much attention to details. The process  required a tedious 7 hours, but I think that achieving this color slowly to keep the integrity of my hair was crucial and it was all worth it in the end.

Since I had red in my hair already, Marina mixed shades of brown and red to create a deep, warm, almost chocolatey base for my roots. This was kept over 45 minutes. After a thorough shampoo, my hair was dried and thus started what I like to call it – The Artistic Part! 

Here’s something to know about how I like my hair to look – Messy, crazy and full of dimension. My vision matched with that of my stylist’s! She created multiple strokes in my hair, 2-3 cms away from my roots till the ends, where the most concentration of lightener was, since the transition went from balayage to ombre. I love how free-hand this was, it really gave my hair a more lived-in, effortless look. The strokes towards the top of my head were executed on a vertical angle of the brush which gave it more subtleness in concentration to create the perfect transition to a lighter blonde.

This wasn’t your average bleaching process, my colorist had mixed in the bleach with Olaplex, a product that’s quite imperative when it comes to protecting your hair during this process. In layman’s terms, it’s pure hair protein, that is used during and after coloration to build the broken bonds in your strands. There are three types of Olaplex available in the market – No.1, No.2 and No.3. No.1 is catered towards chemical processes and should be used during the bleach process. No.2 must be used after rinsing the lightener as immediate damage control. Lastly, you can take home the No.3 and use it every now and then, when your hair feels too dry and brittle to manage. I’d just fore-warn you that this product takes a while to activate the bleach or any color you mix it with, so you WILL have to leave it longer than usual. If you want to read up more, just click here. I would highly recommend going to a salon in UAE where they use this product as my hair doesn’t feel any different in texture than it did before these shenanigans.

After a couple of hours, my hair was thoroughly rinsed from the bleach and roughly dried. Post which toner was applied through and meshed in with each strand for 30 minutes. This is just another heads up, toner really does need some blending into the hair, as your hair becomes quite porous after coloration and requires an extra push.

Now, the recommended practice is to cut your ends ever-so-slightly after coloration to have a fresher cut, but I really wanted to keep my length and we dived straight into a quick blow-dry and curls. I adored the final product because it really is how I’d style my hair – messy, big curls with tons of volume!


My experience at The Cure was quite amazing and I’m definitely going back there and trying my hands at something lighter in a couple of months. As after multiple failed attempts, this process taught me a lessons along the way on how to get it just right and I’m going to leave quick tips for you to follow through, if you’re looking at changing your hair color!

My Top 5 Tips  

  1. Research the hell out of the internet, take pictures of before and after of celebrities or people you know, who have the same base color or hair history like you. I showed my stylist a picture of balayage and ombre blended with black roots. My expectations were in check when it came to taking a drastic step, which is imperative!
  2. Choose a fairly good salon/stylist that comes with positive recommendations. This isn’t the time to save your bucks. Trust me, I’ve been there, laughed at and regretted my very first orangy blonde moment. Not CUTE!
  3. Ask questions and communicate through the process so you’re assured that your colorist is on the right track. It is part of their job to keep you comfortable and talk you through your concerns.
  4. Don’t try to do it all at once. If you have dark hair like I do, remember that slower and steadier will get you great results, as opposed to turning your hair into trash in one sitting of black to blonde.
  5. Be prepared for after-care. My previous attempts failed too soon because I didn’t have it in me to follow through. This time around, I made sure I grilled my stylist to give me quid pro quos on toning my hair at home, what sort of shampoo and conditioners to use and how to style my hair, decently.
  6. Bonus tip: You can tone your hair by mixing Manic Panic’s Ultraviolet Shade and a conditioner of your choice. Mix enough amount to get it to look like a lavender shade. Apply for 30 minutes and viola! (Thank you, Marina for this tip)!

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Heena Mak

I believe in changing mindsets, changing the world, not with the power of a sword, but with the power of a word...

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