Beauty: Grey hair with L'Oréal #colorfulhair

This week was allll about change for me - I JUST sent out the final version of my PhD to my doctoral jury (omg finally I'm so ready to be done honestly), I signed the contract for my new job (so excited!), and I got myself a shiny new (temporary) hair colour! I was invited to try the l'Oréal in-salon colour process, featuring their new Smartbond and Colorful Hair products. I can already tell you that I am very happy with my unique new colour, so let me tell you allllll about my experience.

If you have followed my blog since back in the day, you know that I have tried a LOT of different colours throughout the years. I first dyed my hair when I was about fourteen, inspired by Republica's red streaked frontwoman. The end result was decidedly less punk and more brassy orange than I had hoped, but I guess that's what your teens are for. Later on, I gave myself ombre tips inspired by Alexa Chung (who else, it was the early 2010s), and then I had some fun with various of dip dye. Oh, and I also went black last year.

Ah, I used to be so interesting. The pink is still my fav. Anyway, I always did everything myself, at home, and while I was happy with the result at the time, I feel like I'm at a stage in my life where I like looking a little less DIY and a little more sophisticated. Being a grown up 30 year-old woman and all. And to get a chic end result, with rich colour nuances that blend in nicely with your own haircolour, you simply can't hack it on your own. Especially if you have long, super fine, super dark brown hair like I do, which makes bleaching both necessary and quite risky.

However, a few years ago there simply were very few salon options if you wanted to try strange hair colours - colorists had little experience with going pink or blue, and the products they used either washed out too quickly or didn't give the brightness desired. Thankfully, things have changed: crazy colours have become a huge trend over the past few years, and l'Oréal has picked up the hype by launching their at-home Colorista range, and now the in-salon Colorful Hair range!

When l'Oréal contacted me with the offer to give their unnatural color services a try, I immediately started scrolling pinterest for inspiration. Initially I was drawn to chocolate mauve, dusty lavender and rose gold shades (don't you just love those trendy, hashtaggable buzz words that make "pink" or "purple" sound super pedestrian?).

Lovely, right? But then I sort of fell in love with thea idea of grey hair, because I had never tried anything similar, and because I figured that grey would be the perfect neutral-yet-striking backdrop for my colourful summer dresses.

So beautiful! I wasn't sure I'd be able to go grey though, because your base colour has to be very light to get grey to "take". I talked it through with Hairequipe Antwerp's Wendy, the l'Oréal colorist who did my hair, and she suggested getting some extra balayage highlights using Smartbond to protect my already dry hair from further damage, as well as lowlights to blend the grey in with my own dark ash brown hair. The grey dye she used isn't part of the Colorful Hair product range, but it basically functions the same, washing out in 5-15 washes. Regardless of the colour you want, you're best off discussing options with your colorist to get the result you want while minimizing damage.

And off we were!

After another round of bleaching, I had some super light streaks in my hair that would pick up the grey dye nicely, and leave me just a little blonder after the grey had washed out. I'm still slowly working towards that perfect beachy blonde balayage on dark roots, so yeay! Another thing I was left with, however, was a rat's nest of my dry, fine hair tangled up into what can only be described as... bushy. Thankfully, Wendy got my hair back to its silky smooth state with the Smartbond after colouring treatment, and a lot of patient combing.

Anyway, *drumroll*, this is the before/after shot!

COOL RIGHT?? I adore how the blueish/steel gray mixes with my own hair colour, how the grey has different nuances, and how surprisingly flattering the colour is! Also, I can hardly believe how soft and shiny my hair still is thanks to the Smartbond process.

Yep, I had to get used to it for a second when my hair was blowdried, but I'm 100% in love right now. The grey is soft and blends gorgeously with my own brown hair, giving the colour a class and depth that would be impossible to deliver by yourself at home. 

t-shirt: c/o Selected - purse: Sincerely Valentine - jeans: Levi's Wedgie fit

Can you tell I'm really feeling myself with my new haircolour? I totally am. Anyway, to try out the l'Oréal Smartbond or Colorful hair range, make an appointment at a l'Oréal salon - you can find your nearest location by entering your postal code on their website. Oh, and obviously you don't have to go white blonde to get grey to work for you. Just be sure to work with a colorist who knows what they're doing.

And if you have any questions, ask away!

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