From Blonde to Red…and Back Again! (with Charles Worthington)

Disclaimer: PR Appointments – I have not been paid for this feature. 

PIN IT The last picture of me (that I could find) before going red.

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I started putting together this post with the intention of detailing my hair story over the last couple of years, since I’ve been visiting Jo at Charles Worthington quite a bit, trying new things here and there, and I thought it would be fun to look back at what we’ve tried. As I was pulling the posts from Instagram (that really is like a hair diary for me!) I realised that one element of real interest was my experience of going from my usual blonde to a dark plummy red, before getting bored and getting Jo to return me to blonde again.  Getting red hair blonde is a real challenge that takes a lot of work, so here’s a post looking at how Jo managed it.

PIN IT Getting redder…stolen from my Instagram feed.

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You’ll likely know from my previous posts that I’m pretty much obsessed with Charles Worthington, as it’s hands down my favourite salon to visit.  Obviously a large part of that is due to Jo (Johanne Herald – the absolute best colourist I’ve ever known, and I’ve been fortunate to visit a lots!) as she completely gets my hair, knows me well enough to tell me when I’m asking for something that won’t suit me, but also skilled enough to take my stupid requests and make them work, but the salon visit itself is always a really positive experience as it provides all the elements you’d expect from a top London salon, without being intimidating or unnecessarily pretentious.  I see it as a self-care to make sure that I visit regularly, to give myself a break from reality where I can sit around, drinking coffee (or Prosecco if the mood strikes me…), nibbling on brownies or pretzels (probably both, don’t judge me) and reading magazines at a leisurely pace – it’s like a mini restoration break.

PIN IT Red Head!

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So! Last year, after being various shades of ash blonde for absolutely ages, I arrived for an appointment with Jo with the plan of going for something completely different.  I went through a grunge phase in my teens, so of course, at the age of 34, I felt now was a good time to visit such a look.  In fairness, I did actually really like the plum, but the problem with seeing someone like Jo is that she knows exactly what suits me and the shades of blonde she weaves through my hair are about as flattering as you can get for my colourings, so any other side, whilst still great, just won’t be as good.  Plus, I’m a blonde at heart, through and through, and no other shade will change that.

PIN IT Ready to be blonde again.

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Jo took my hair a deep plum shot through with some burgundy to give the colour life and texture, and the finish was a gorgeous mix of multi-tonal reds, plums and hints of pink and purple.  I’ve said it before, but Jo is the only person who I would trust to do this kind of drastic change for me (she convinced me to have a “Peekaboo Balayage” of pink and purple underneath the blonde a few years ago, and it looked fantastic!) because she knows my needs so well; she knows what sort of maintenance I’m capable of managing, what colours suits me and what my tastes are, so I had complete faith in her and I really loved the hair for a good six weeks or so…

PIN IT Getting blonder, after the cleanse.

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…then I WhatsApped her and asked her if she’d change it back.  Thankfully she agreed, and I was all booked in for my appointment to get me back to an icy blonde ‘do.  Going from red to blonde is much more drastic and time-consuming than going from blonde to red, and if you want hair that’s cool-toned (so, not red then!) you will need to do it over a couple of appointments to maintain the health of the hair.  I was actually really surprised by how healthy my hair was after the transformation (Charles Worthington Salons work a lot with L’Oreal and are big believers in the benefits of Smartbond – as am I) considering the hair was basically stripped of colour TWICE, before more blonde was applied to reduce the red.  As you can see in the images, my hair was still looking and feeling very healthy and certainly didn’t appear traumatised as you may expect.

PIN IT Blonde again!

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After the cleanse, Jo went in with a toner to knock out more of the red and yellow, but even when I haven’t just dyed my hair a drastic shade of plum, I have a battle to keep my hair ashy (purple shampoos people, that’s what you need) so my hair did start warming up a little after a couple of weeks, but that was expected and we had already planned accordingly with my next appointment, with the sole focus being adding all the ashy toners alongside some cooler blonde highlights to get my hair back to the way I like it.

PIN IT Before and after.

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Find out more about Charles Worthington Salons, including how to make an appointment, here – link

Appointments with Johanne Herald start at £45 for a Blow Dry (she’s also amazing at adding texture to very flat hair!) and go up to £160 for a full head of highlights.  Obviously my transformation was incredibly bespoke, so if you’re looking for something similar, I’d recommend booking a consultation directly for a price. 

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