Beauty: Caramel Balayage Hair Transformation

After much deliberation, I went ahead and got my hair cut and had a balayage treatment. Here are some of my before and after pics!

So the reason why I wanted to get my haircut was because it was taking me almost 2 hours to wash – okay no not wash, it was taking me 2 hours from the point of washing my hair to blow drying it, then either straightening it or curling it. I was finding that I would curl it and it wouldn’t really hold the curls and they would just end up becoming soft waves. Now that I have shorter hair, I miss those soft waves because now when I curl my hair it stays curly for two whole days before my next hair wash.

It had reached to the point that my automatic curler wasn’t working in my hair anymore because of the length – it was becoming tangled and then I was worried the curler would tear my hair out! And I had purchased a really nice set of heated hair rollers and they having no impact on my hair. With my hair being the current length, I can start using these heat stylers that I hadn’t been able to use in the past.

I got my hair cut at Elem hair salon in Chesterton (in Cambridge). My stylist name was Ashleigh. She paid so much attention to what I wanted and during my initial consultation, she did my skin test to make sure I wouldn’t have an allergic reaction to the products. During the consultation, I showed her some pictures that I had seen online and she was able to advise me on what colours and styles would best suit me because I was so unsure about what to do to my hair. Being indecisive seems to be such a huge part of who I am at the moment. For example, I can’t even go to a restaurant with a group of friends without asking them first of all what are they ordering, so that I can decide what I want to order. This said, it means that I can be easily influenced into a decision especially when I feel like the other person knows a lot and Ashleigh clearly did. Luckily for me, this worked out in my favour.

Here’s a few of my hair before:

front view

The bottom sections did have some split ends because I do heatstyle my hair regularly (almost every day). At the moment, I’m trying to be really careful with my hair because it is much shorter than it was before so I would like to preserve the lengths to make sure that they don’t become too damaged.

rear view – having recently cut 3 inches off the length

My hair grows really quickly anyway and 3 years ago I had my hair cut to a very short bob just below the ears and this was my hair growth after 3 years with semi regular haircuts. In total this year I have had 10 inches of my hair cut away.

With my hair being so long and cut in a v shape towards the bottom, I found that it made me look as if I had less hair than I actually did. At the moment it’s got more of a blunt finish at the bottom so I feel like my hair look fuller and more volumized.

cheeky last pic on my way to the salon

Then here are some afters:

in bright sunlight

Because I am so hesitant about change, especially when it comes to my appearance, I love the fact that my balayage is subtle. I feel like the caramel tone of the balayage really suits my skin tone. I think going lighter at this stage, would have been too drastic a change for me. This is especially true because I haven’t even ever had my hair highlighted or had lowlights put into my hair.

subtle caramel balayage

As part of my hair appointment, I got my hair bleached using a specially formulated bleach did the least amount of damage to my hair. After this I had my hair washed and treated with a defy damage treatment. Following this my hair was toned and then treated with an Argiplex treatment to make it more shiny and silky. After this it was cut blow dried and curled. I also received a Joico heat protection serum for free at the end of my appointment.

washed and styled myself

In the past I’ve only ever had my hair one colour – so it’s either been its natural black colour, or I’ve been dyed it all a different single colour. I haven’t ever had a crazy/wild hair colour. It’s always been in the caramel or mahogany range. I always wanted to dye my hair red, but I just know that it would see me myself in the mirror and I just wouldn’t feel like myself with a different hair colour.

softer waves instead of curls

At the moment it’s been a couple of weeks since I got my hair cut and balayaged and I am still adjusting to my hair length and style and colour. I am still trying to figure out which products I love for my hair and developing a new hair care routine to preserve the ends to prevent split ends comma and to keep it looking healthy and shiny.

few days later at a wildlife park
with the lynx – my spirit animal 🙂

I have no regrets about cutting my hair because actually it’s always lovely to have a change and one of the best ways, at least one of the fastest ways, to have a glow up is by getting your haircut and coloured.

Overall, it was such a brilliant experience! I would really recommend it!

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