I'm someone who bleached my virgin brunette hair and, predictably, never heard the end of it from friends, family, and especially my mother, who all want to make sure I know exactly what type of havoc I was putting my strands through.
As annoying as those comments were, the sentiments were rooted in fact — when done improperly, bleach can seriously f*ck your life, and your locks, up. Luckily, there are ways to rep rainbow hair without frying your head (what's good, Lime Crime Unicorn Dreams hair dye?). As Allure reports, a London salon has created an "anti-bleach" option, where brunettes can forgo the chemical in favour of a less harsh option.
It's a movement that's years in the making, according to Sophia Hilton, the owner of Not Another Salon. Hilton took to Instagram to explain the process. "We have been using the lightest blonde colours to lift the hair," she wrote, "experimenting and testing to discover exactly which bright shade specifically will lay over the top each lightness and then trained all our staff in this technique."
Hilton was also upfront about who won't see results with anti-bleach: namely, those with superdark hair (naturally, deep blondes and light brunettes are the most ideal colours for this process) and those who have previously coloured their hair. And anti-bleach has its limits: according to Hilton, "you need to rule out pastels and ash tones as we just can't lift the hair light enough!"
However, if you qualify for the process, one thing is for sure: the results will be stunning. Over the course of the week, Hilton and other stylists have shown off final looks achieved with anti-bleach, which range from electric blue to fiery copper. Even ombré is possible, as demonstrated by a fabulous pink-yellow melt colour (see below) that looks like cotton candy incarnate.
As Hilton wrote, anti-bleach and old-school double-process can live in perfect harmony. The salon won't ditch bleach but rather consult with clients on what works best for them before colouring: "Bleach still has a place in our hearts, but as our clients will tell you, our anti-bleach option has been a lifesaver." In fact, the idea was first born out of a frustration Hilton felt when people would show up at Not Another Salon in tears over their ruined strands. "New clients were coming to us with such extreme damage that we would refuse to bleach them anymore," she wrote.
While anti-bleach is still a young process, here's to hoping it will come stateside soon — or else we just might have to cross the pond to test it out!