beauty

The Chop: Dye, chop, repeat...

Image: Ashley Chegwyn (supplied) I’m bit of a Rachel McAdams. I’ve had every hairstyle under the sun, and that’s since I graduated high school a year ago. But uni is the time for experimentation, right? Around the time of my 18th birthday, I decided my hair needed a change. I was no longer a high schooler – I was an adult who had this new sense of maturity that I wanted to display through my hair and the decisions I made about it. My long golden hair was no longer needed for a fancy up style I had planned for my formal and it was constantly up in a ponytail due to the extreme heat anyway.

22 problems only girls with thick hair will understand

So, I was ready to make the chop. Inspired by Taylor Swift’s bob (who wouldn’t be?), I went to my hairdresser with the following picture in hand and cut what felt like all of my hair off.

The results? Something that suited the small amount of fine hair I have and could still be pulled back on days when I didn’t feel like holding a hot straightener to my head. But that wasn’t enough of a change. The next time I visited my hairdresser, I came up with the idea of adding a few red foils to change up the look a bit. If only I knew what I had started.

The Chop: “I suddenly decided to cut my hair. I blame Taylor Swift.”

I had become addicted to changing my hair. Over the red, I asked my hairdresser to put in a few more blonde foils, which meant I was now sporting a colour that looked kind of blonde but also kind of red. We also switched up my hairstyle, keeping it short but introducing a more concave shape. She gave me a few layers that I could texturise and add a bit of curl to, which suited the messy trend. And I didn’t mind the extra bit of effort that was needed in the morning to achieve that look.

Check out Ashley's hair transformation here. Post continues below:

That style only lasted a month. I mean, adding foils was something I’d always done. Why not try an all-over colour? Taking my desire for experimentation one step further, I decided to go platinum blonde. I loved it. It was lighter than anything I’d imagined myself ever doing and even earned me the nickname of Elsa (from Frozen), but it gave me an icy look that was suitable for the winter trends and brought out my blue eyes. Not to mention most of my uni lecturers and teachers picked up my name pretty quickly (how could you not notice the girl with the bright blonde hair walking into the room?) Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done it. My hairdresser hadn’t gradually introduced the bleach to my hair through foils, which helps reduce the damage that it can cause.

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The Chop: “A hairdresser fried my hair, so I had to cut it all off”

A few weeks later, I was sitting in her chair complaining of frizzy dead ends. The hair that I had tried to grow had to be cut again. It wasn’t just a light trim either. The bleach had damaged my hair to the point where I was back to sporting a bob that had a slight concave (which would stop me from looking like Dora The Explorer before her makeover, as my hairdresser put it). I felt like crying. I had post-chop regrets as this point. The problem was far from fixed, though. I returned a week later with the desire to take my hair back to my natural colour, hoping that would fix everything. How naive was I? My natural colour is a dark blonde that is on the verge of a mousy brown. That meant I had to put a red dye over the blonde, otherwise the dyes would’ve reacted and turned my hair green.

"I had gone from Elsa to Anna."

I spent eight hours at the hairdresser that day and my hair was dyed three times. The first time it had come out a dark pink, the second time it was still wishy washy but a strawberry blonde was achieved on the third go. I had finally managed to go from Elsa to Anna. My hair had been put through the ringer but the ordeal wasn’t over yet. My hair was trimmed again. There was no real improvement to my hair and I felt like I had breakage everywhere. I bit the bullet and returned to one of my old hairdressers, who put my hair on a strict diet of rinses (that matched the strawberry blonde colour) and treatments. She adjusted my cut to remove all of the breakages and evened it out to get rid of the short layers that I just couldn’t manage. By this point, I missed the versatility that long hair offered and didn’t see my hair returning to its former glory any time soon. So, my hairdresser cut-in clip in extensions that I could use whenever I needed to go out. My hair has been on quite a journey this year. While I really love the colour right now, I wish that I could go back to the first time I sat in my hairdresser’s chair and ask her for my usual ash coloured foils. I’d still have my long hair and I wouldn’t have to worry about damaging it with my styling tools. Moral of this story? Beware the bleach. Have you ever overdone it on the hair dye? Do tell... Check out the rest of our The Chop series here.

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