From the age of about 14, I wanted to be blonde. Really blonde. I tried all the ‘natural’ methods as a teenager, lemon juice and plenty of sunshine, Sun-In (remember that?!) and a DIY highlights job by a friend in her back garden which resulted in my head catching fire. I kid you not. We were teenagers, had smuggled in some cider and completely forgot about the time and the pure peroxide on my hair, wrapped in foil, sitting in the harsh South African sunshine. I lost a LOT of hair that afternoon. After that experience, I started going to the hairdressers and paying for highlights and that was the start of my very long battle with colour.
For years and years, I played the ‘can I stretch to 8 weeks’ game, as highlights in London were expensive and took a very large portion of my monthly earnings. Those last two weeks were agony, trying to hide those seemingly black roots with experimental hairstyles and hats. And after years and years of using chemicals, my hair had completely lost it’s lovely healthy shine. My mum would say repeatedly, what I am sure I will be saying to my daughters before long, ‘why don’t you grow it all out and go back to your roots, you have such a lovely natural colour.’ Of course, I never listened to her, and said I hated my mousey brown hair and truly believed in the cliche that blondes had more fun!
(Photo from my ‘blonder’ days 4 years ago)
As I got older, and perhaps a little bit wiser, I realised my mum was right. (Aren’t they always?!) But by this point I was so blonde that the task of going back to my roots wasn’t going to be easy. And then I met Sally…
I had read about Sally Northwood in various glossy publications after George Northwood‘s salon opened and decided to bite the bullet and save up my pennies to pay her a visit and see if she really could work magic. I remember sitting down with my bleached and damaged mop of very, very long hair and Sally said something like, ‘Ooh, I love a challenge like this! ‘ I knew immediately that I was in good hands. Sally’s plan was to grow out the block colour and those awful dark roots, and to get my hair looking natural with a sunkissed look again. That result couldn’t be achieved over night, but after several visits, I had my natural shine back and my colour felt just right for my skintone. Sally used a mixture of foils and balayage and watching her work was like watching an artist at work. The balayage takes much less time too, so gone are the days of sitting in the chair for 4 hours. I am in and out in under 2 hours, and I have a lot of hair!
And here’s the best bit. I haven’t seen Sally since the end of April. I am booked in to see her in a couple of weeks time, but it will have been 5 months since my last lot of colour, where I just booked in for ‘The Enhancer’ . For someone who needed to find 4 hours spare every 6 to 8 weeks, whilst working full time with 3 small children, this is a complete life changer. I also still feel a bit ‘blonde’ as Sally magically paints colour into the ends and around the face.
(My colour today -5 months since my last visit)
I feel I should mention that I have not been asked to write this post. I just wanted to share my journey with colour and if there is anyone out there that has been thinking about going back to their roots, perhaps it will be the nudge you need to take the plunge. But it IS important to find a brilliant colourist like Sally, who knows what they are doing.
As always, thank you for reading.