As a double-process hair color veteran since 2015, I have chemically scorched my hair to hell and back in the name of platinum blonde, mermaid blue hair, and the chunky, face-framing highlights that I didn't know at the time would become the last two years' favored hair color DIY. I honestly cannot remember the last time I've allowed my hair to grow two inches past the root without accosting it with chemicals at the salon. What can I say? Being a hair-color chameleon is kind of my thing (and a lot less work than maintaining this charming personality).
However, as anyone who dabbles in double-processing knows, it wreaks absolute havoc on your strands — in some cases, melting them until they're the texture of overcooked spaghetti. I've tried nearly every hair treatment out there for breakage and damage control. I've even tried adapting my lifestyle to better care for my gorgeous-yet-fragile hair color. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it tedious? Can be. But so is owning a show dog, and this is a bit like having a show dog that lives on your head.
Before you do anything, find a colorist you trust
Not to doubt your skill and adeptness at following instructions, but there are many lessons box dye just cannot teach you, and really there is no substitute to having an experienced pro painting your strands. I've been seeing Elizabeth Hiserodt at Cutler Salon in New York City for years and she's deftly been able to lift me from my naturally jet-black hair to platinum blonde and plenty of colors in between whilst keeping most of it intact. So, find your own Elizabeth is what I'm saying. Also, if you're planning to lift your hair from very dark to very light, clear your schedule for the rest of the day. This is not a salon appointment that can be completed during your lunch break. Trust me.