As some of you might have noticed on the wonderful world of social media, I have blonde hair now. Now, I know technically I always had blonde hair because I’m naturally blonde but I have to tell you, changing from red back to blonde was not an easy process and dramatically altering your hair colour is not for the faint hearted. Happily, my transformation was overseen by Johnny Ramirez of Ramirez Tran, a man known for his beautiful, natural looking, lived in blondes. After falling down a very deep Instragram hole, I was sold on his vision, beautiful ombrés with perfect baby blonde highlights and gorgeous texture that had every single woman on his page smiling.
SMILING LIKE THIS! Only without braces.
And so, at seven o’clock in the morning, I trotted up to the salon where everyone was far more awake and far more chipper thanI, and we began what would ultimately turn out to be a seventeen hour process that took place over two days… Like I said, not for the faint hearted. Johnny and his spectacular team took me from this:
Man, I turned into a ghost between those two shots, didn’t I? This is what happens when one is taken at seven in the morning when you’re full of coffee and fresh make up and the other, um, isn’t. Nana was tired.
But still, dramatic, non?
It’s a strong look.
Obviously my hair was a little fragile at the end but it wasn’t wrecked and it hasn’t fallen out and that is why those seventeen hours were given willingly. You’re looking at the results of seven rounds of painted-on foil highlights, two rounds of Johnny’s special technique highlights and beautifully painted in roots, as well as a clear gloss. That’s a lot to put your hair (and your backside) through but the team at Ramirez Tran made it feel like a breeze. Funny bunch. Also ridiculously good looking. And someone brought in a dog. It’s a good time, you guys. By the end, I wanted to invite them all to be part of my wedding and I’m not even getting married. I think I fell in love a little bit when Johnny sat me down, looked at my hair and told me ‘we’re going to bleach the shit out of your hair’ and bleach the shit out of it, we did. J’adore.
It’s five weeks since I went blonde and I have to say, I love it. Johnny’s trademark Lived in Color is so easy to, well, live with. I don’t have to panic about my blonde roots spoiling my shiny red and the sun is a friend to my sparkling highlights, instead of an evil hair-colour-fading enemy. And the creepy man who shouts at me outside my local Starbucks didn’t find it too tough to go from shouting ‘Hey, Red’ to ‘Hey, Blondie’ so that’s a relief.
Making the change to blonde is a huge commitment, financially and emotionally – no, really, I mean that. Here are my top tips:
- Do your research and find a colourist you trust. I asked a ton of people and looked at as many before and after pictures as I could find before reaching out to Johnny. You can make an appointment with Ramirez Tran HERE. They’ve got so much parking. In LA, that should be reason enough to book in.
- DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME. Please file ‘home bleaching’ under the same category as performing wrestling moves on each other, setting of fireworks and plastic surgery. You do not do these things to yourself. Bleach has the potential to be hugely damaging and getting the right colour requires a lot of knowledge and practice. Do you want yellow hair? Do you want orange hair? Do you want your hair to fall out? No. You don’t. Probably.
- Communicate with your stylist. Johnny asks all his clients to fill in a lengthy questionnaire and send current photos of your hair as well as ‘goal pictures’ before he even meets with you. That gives you both a clear idea of what you want to achieve and how realistic that is. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be vocal about what you want, otherwise you’re going to go home in tears and no one wants that.
- Be prepared. Even though I’m naturally blonde, I haven’t had blonde hair for about ten years and seeing myself in the mirror was a huge shock. For days, I kept jumping every time I saw myself. Add to that the number of helpful people who will have an opinion on how you look and it’s a recipe for stress. More than one person took it upon themselves to tell me they preferred my hair red and that I had made a huge mistake, including my hygienist. PEOPLE ALREADY DON’T LIKE YOU, HYGIENIST, WHY MAKE YOURSELF MORE UNPOPULAR? To those people, I say, well, nothing. I love my hair so eh, whatevs.
- It’s just hair. Worst case scenario, you absolutely hate it. If that happens, tie it up, keep it conditioned and speak to your colourist as soon as you can. No one wants a client to be unhappy with their work and they will almost always want to help and make sure you’re happy. It’s only hair, it can be cut, it can be coloured again and it will grow back. It’s not so bad.
Actually, worst case scenario is all your hair falls out but THAT’S WHY WE GO TO A SALON FOR THIS, PEOPLE. DO NOT BLEACH YOUR HAIR YOURSELF.
*full disclosure – I received my services at Ramirez Tran free of charge although some would say I paid dearly enough when my phone battery died and I had to sit in silence with nothing to pretend to read for the last hour and a half while the lovely receptionist charged it for me. Come with a charger, people.