If you love fashion, you’re probably also into beauty. I know I am. Since my illness, I’ve been forced to slow down and it’s taken about a year to grow into my new skinned slower life. At first I was constantly feeling pressure to rush because I had to get to something else even though my schedule was now empty. A year later, I’ve happily adjusted to this new life, never thinking that I could before. I fill my time easily with creative projects as well as more meditative pursuits like cleaning and gardening which are mindless and provide excellent thinking time.

Thinking time has allowed me to evaluate who I am and what makes me happy. I’ve never had time to do this before, as a mother, always thinking about everyone else, putting myself last, even when it meant lack of attention to grooming. I’ve learned that I am a very aesthetic person. I need to be surrounded by beauty, color, calm in order to feel happy. This applies to my home, my personal appearance, even my pets.

So for me to forgo my personal beauty in order to take care of others first is a big sacrifice, but one that I happily did for years because the happiness of my family topped my own needs. But now that I have time, I can indulge in my playful, fun side and that is exactly what I am doing.

For instance, I got a second piercing in my ears. I would have never done this except for the fact that both my daughters have 3 ear piercings each. I was initially against this, but they wear their earrings so tastefully, that I started to think about it myself. What fun it would be to wear TWO sets of earrings at one time! I kind of timed it wrong though, as I had just started a very dangerous medicine that completely knocks out my immune system and I am supposed to be very careful about avoiding infections. So for the six weeks it took to heal, my new piercings were constantly infected. Fortunately, as a doctor, I had on hand a very powerful antibiotic ointment which took care of the situation.

I also decided to go blonde all the way. I’ve had gold highlights most of my adult life,never actually going all the way blonde, however. But why not now? I don’t have to go anywhere, don’t have to worry about being judged or evaluated in my old conservative hospital environment, so I took the plunge. The process actually took ten months to do properly, keeping my hair healthy, but I’m finally there!

finally blonde!

And here’s how I did it:

  • Level 1: Black
  • Level 2: Darkest (almost black) brown
  • Level 3: Very dark brown
  • Level 4: Dark brown
  • Level 5: Brown
  • Level 6: Light brown
  • Level 7: Dark
  • Level 8: Medium blond
  • Level 9: Blond
  • Level 10: Light blond
  1. Bleach- my base color is a level 5 if you go by the above chart (https://www.byrdie.com/hair-color-101-3517630) and I wanted to lighten it to at least a level 9. That’s 4 levels which really should not be done all at once, as the hair could become damaged enough to break. I love the ION products . I mix the ION creme lightener (bleach) with the ION 30 volume developer in a 1:2 ratio (2 oz of bleach for 4 oz developer).

I applied the mixture to my hair by parting it into four sections and securing each with clips. Then with the sharp end of the applicator brush, parted each section into one inch pieces and applying bleach from the scalp to the ends until my whole head was done. In retrospect, this was a mistake as I did not know that the hair near the scalp lightens much faster due to the heat generated, and it is better to apply to the roots last.

So after about 30 minutes (times are different depending on your own hair and you must check a small area every 5-10 minutes by removing the bleach with a damp washcloth and then reapplying to that area if it is not ready. Not having any prior experience,I thought I was done. But I ended up bright orange. In fact, we went on a road trip shortly after that and in all the pictures my hair was orange! I was actually too sick to care and laughed it off. Then I started reading online and watching You Tube videos. I love http://www.youtube.com/user/Ellebangs. She is a blonde expert and gives great advice and explanations.

I used coconut oil every day liberally which smells heavenly and made my hair so shiny and healthy looking. I buy this stuff in packs of two and have gone through at least 3 bottles so far! It is a lifesaver

2. Every time my roots grow out, I repeat the bleaching at the roots but then either use a toner to remove the brassiness or my current favorite, a demi permanent color: ION 9NA which got me to my current color.

3. I only use this process on the new growth and crown, trying to avoid rebleaching already blonde hair. The demi color goes over my entire crown and starting at around ear level, I apply ION creme oil lightener which contains argan oil and is very gently to already-bleached hair.

4. I leave the lightener for only 10-15 minutes, as it works super fast!

5. Shampoo time with ION cool blonde purple shampoo and conditioner. The purple is what keeps the brass at bay with each washing, and it works superbly!

6. Style as usual and finish with that marvelous coconut oil and you can do it too! Save money, have fun and indulge your creative side!

Have fun…


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