Life with the DC team is always a little unpredictable, so it comes with no surprise that our graphic designer Shi Lin and I were thrust into a salon chair for a much needed (at least in Andrea’s opinion) hair transformation!
I’m sure we all know a good hairdo goes a long way so you could understand the anxiousness we felt when we found out that we weren’t going to be able to pick our own makeovers.
Our Hair Concerns
It started out with each of us picking a few styles we thought would suit the other while trying to address each other’s hair concerns. Shi Lin’s been on the receiving end of lots of nagging about her damaged and bleached ends, while I’ve just been letting my hair grow into an untamed mess–so you know we had a lot to work with.
I’d mentioned time and time again that I’m on a mission to grow Kardashian-length hair, so chopping off any length wasn’t really something I was looking forward to. I guess in kindness (emphasis on the guess) Shi Lin only picked out new hair colours for me to try. There was a mix of cool ashy grey tones and some light coppery reds as well, and while I was somewhat concerned with bleaching my hair, I was ready to change things up.
As for Shi Lin, I already knew her round face (which she likes to remind us all looks like a Ham Chim Peng) was a major concern of hers, so closely cropped cuts were out of the question. Instead, I chose a few bob haircuts she could experiment with that wouldn’t see her chopping off too much length. For her hair colour, I wanted to pick something I thought would compliment her fair complexion, and since we’d all been nagging her about her yellowish ends, I opted for brownish red shades and ash blonde ones.
Letting The Professionals Decide
After we’d compiled our choices, we set off to Air Salon, where we were joined by our stylists Steve (Shi Lin’s stylist) and Cecellia (my stylist). We brought our top picks to the table and asked them for their honest opinions on which styles to go with.
Steve quickly decided on Mahogany brown hair colour for Shi Lin; explaining that the deep brownish-red tone would go well with her complexion. I could hear her negotiating how much hair she’d have to lose with Steve, but fortunately, he shared the same sentiments that she did and didn’t want to cut her hair too much to avoid making her face appear too round.
On the other end of the room, my stylist Cecellia was figuring out the best way to tell me she had to chop off the highlighted ends of my hair, but in the spirit of transformation, I let her take the reigns. She also chose an ash blonde hair colour for me to achieve a more drastic transformation. I had dealt with extremely damaged and bleached hair a few years back, so hearing this made me a little nervous, but she assured me that she’d do whatever she could to protect my hair.
The Hair Transformation Process
Though we had vastly different looks set out for us, Shi Lin and I underwent a very similar transformation process. We were both treated to a haircut, followed by a few rounds of bleaching before our stylists set the final colours into our hair.
For Shi Lin, her ends were bleached with a balayage technique to remove the yellow tones in her hair, while I had a full-headed balayage bleach. The balayage technique is a great way to have bleached hair that can grow out naturally because it leaves the hair closer to your roots slightly darker. This way you don’t have to struggle with unsightly grown out roots once your natural hair colour starts growing back out!
The entire process took me about 6 to 7 hours, while Shi Lin’s took 5, mostly because I had a few more rounds of bleaching than she did. I have to admit, I was really surprised to leave the salon with relatively smooth hair. Losing softness and moisture when bleaching your hair is inevitable, but Cecellia took extra care to protect my scalp and hair every step of the way. Shi Lin and I were also treated with bleach from AVEDA, which uses mostly natural ingredients, making this entire process slightly more gentle on our hair.
Though my cut was shorter than expected, I don’t really feel a sense of loss–I guess my Kardashian hair goals will just have to wait. I’ve also experimented with colour a lot, so trying out this ash blonde shade isn’t something jarring for me. I do feel it’s made me more versatile because I can go for a softer more beachy look or an edgier darker vibe depending on my mood.
Cecellia also gave me some helpful tips on how to better care for my oily scalp! One of which is the importance of blow drying your hair. I’d always believed that blow drying your hair damaged it, by exposing it to heat. But it turns out, that if you don’t blow dry your hair, moisture can collect at the scalp and in turn cause sebum and oil to collect, causing hair loss.
Shi Lin’s also really grown into her colour, which has lightened a little over the past few days. It’s slightly more reddish, and really brightens her fair complexion! Now that her hair’s shorter, she likes to style it in beachy waves because it flatters her face shape, and is a great style to wear from day to night.
A good hairdo makes a huge difference to the way you look and feel, so giving your hair some TLC every now and then is extremely important. We’d just like to make a shout out to the people over at Air Salon for giving us this makeover, and especially to our stylists for taking the time to teach us how to care for our hair!
For the full low down on the process and what we learnt, check out our hair transformation video down here!