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Legally ash blonde

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Since my skin is on the neutral side, I could both go for a warm or cool tone. We decided ash blonde would be best

Having one’s hair professionally color-treated is a decision most women regard as a game-changer. As a woman’s hair is considered her crowning glory, anything done to it, any drastic change, is noticeable and outright affects her look. A haircut, perm, straightening and coloring are carefully planned and supposedly done to emphasize or complement her facial features and the look she wants to convey.

That’s why a hair treatment day is much-anticipated and, for this writer, a change badly needed. What more if it’s a change in hair color one has never considered before?
“Your hair need not be long, thick or lush to color it. Coloring is for all kinds of hair. No special preparation is necessary,” says Michael Godalle, creative director of Studio 546 at the 5th floor of Shangri-La Mall, where some members of the media were recently invited to an Amazing Hair Day with Lakme Inspired Haircare.

The long way
While a haircut would have taken an hour or less, coloring takes longer and is more intricate in its steps.

First, the hair coloring decision. Michael observed that my hair was a “virgin” or untouched by any hair processing for a while, which makes it easier for the color to be absorbed when applied. He suggested that a lighter color for my hair would be best (to which I agreed) and that since my skin is on the neutral side, I could both go for a warm or cool tone. We decided ash blonde would be best.

The process took the usual basic steps in hair coloring but to uncomplicate things, let me guide you through the coloring steps my hair underwent.

First, they blow-dried my hair to make sure it’s all dry and for the color to absorb better.

Then they applied color toning or highlights since the color they did to my hair was two-toned; they used this square cut out foils and wrapped it around every few bunches of my hair but left alternating sections of dark hair for contrast.

HAIR coloring is recommended to people who are ready, craving and up for a change in hairstyle.

Gladys Ramos, brand manager of Lakme Philippines branch, assured me that their products prevent or won’t cause any damages to my hair. “At Lakme, we make sure the ingredients used are natural, will not cause any hair fall, breakage or dryness after coloring.”

Highlights, lowlights
Out of curiosity (or boredom), I asked Michael what’s the latest in color treatment, especially for the youngsters nowadays. “Millennials go for platinum colors, silver-hued or light-colored ones. Di na uso ang one color lang, kailangan may highlights and lowlights na (One color is no out, you need to have highlights and lowlights nowadays),” he says.

They rinsed, shampooed and blow-dried my hair again after the highlighting process. The resulting black-and-yellow contrast made me a bit unsure and it probably showed on my face. Admittedly, I was alarmed of how yellowish against the black, the alternating highlighted portion of my hair looked like. Seeing my expression, Michael said that the next process would be toning down the yellow by warming it up.

Then on to the roots and overall coloring. They chose the color best-suited for my skin tone, which they classified as neutral. They timed 20 minutes for the first layer and 10 minutes for the second layer after application. The second and last one was shorter as Michael explains: “The scalp supplies its own heat so color application and absorption is faster.”

Lakme products
Then they shampooed and rinsed again and afterwards, applied keratin (Lakme i.plex bond strengthener) on my hair to close the cuticles. Michael says this is “an important process and should not be skipped since it closes the hair cuticles which were opened when colors were applied.”

The Lakme i.plex bond strengthener has an “age-defying keratin complex that restructures capillary fiber by 94 percent, hair is 44 percent more resistant to breakage, long-lasting results and paraben-free, pegs-free and mineral oils-free.” This product has three variants, namely, Keravis (the one they used on my hair), Keratch i.power for reconstructive treatment with Keratic and Hair Perfection, a protective mask to maximize the result.

They also used K.Blonde powder, but I am not quite sure whether it was the Bleaching Cream ammonia-free, Bleaching Clay or Compact Bleaching. There’s also the i.plex (bond builder) with non-ammonia bleach that protects the hair for different chemical services like bleaching, permanent/semi-permanent color, super blonding color, perming and straightening.

I was also advised to follow up treatment after one week, not to go swimming in a pool as chlorine makes the color fade, and not to wash my hair for three days since my hair was keratin-treated. To preserve the hair color afterwards, they recommended the sulfate-free Lakme Teknia Color Stay Shampoo.

So far after a week, my hair has not shown any signs of trauma from the hair coloring. There’s no hair fall, dryness or split-ends at all.

Takes time
To tell you frankly, I am not a hair specialist or someone obsessed with her hair so this all sounds Greek to me. But thankfully, it is not something I have to do on a daily basis as the coloring would last up to five months before retouching. “But if you feel like retouching anytime, you can,” says Michael, who later declared, “Perfect!” with a satisfied gleam on his eyes as he viewed his handiwork, which was, well, my hair.

Thinking it through, I would recommend hair coloring to people who are ready, craving and up for a change in hairstyle. Or for women whose hair have started turning grey and have that salt-and-pepper look.

But it’s a lengthy process. If you plan to have your hair professionally color-treated in a salon using Lakme products, you do need to bring reading materials and something to occupy your time while the coloring process is being done (mine took almost four hours!).

So prepare your music, make sure your phone has enough juice, bring something to munch on or a companion to chat with you to pass the time.

To make it sound magical, coloring your hair is literally like being stuck in a black and white movie for so long and suddenly finding yourself in a technicolor world. You wake up the next morning amazed and pleased specially if it turns out way better than expected.

MICHAEL and Gladys of Lakme Philippines promised that Lakme’s ingredients are all natural and won’t cause any damage.

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