Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Story of My Hair

Edit 29/02/12 // Tweaked the post so it's up to date.

I have pretty much been there and done all that. In this post, I'll cover my trials and errors. Keep in mind that this is based on my experiences and I'm only writing about what I know.

Like all kids, we tend to be stubborn and we do what we want without much afterthought. So I highlighted and layered my hair when I was 12, using a lousy dye in a cheap salon which I've been going to since I was a little girl. The effect? It was disastrous! My hair became like grass due to the fact that I love swimming, I was out in the sun alot and that the dye was a lousy one. Back then we don't have Liese or those good DIY products, all we had was the extremely smelly kinds that will fry your hair. The chemicals used to straighten your hair back then was even worse. It'll leave your hair brittle and totally damaged. Why do I know this? Because I straightened my hair in another lousy salon that my aunt introduced me to after a few months and my hair broke off at the roots! 

I didn't care much about my hair then because I had to tie up my hair for school and I just didn't see the need to do anything to it till I was 15, I was smitten by Gianna Jun's hair in My Sassy Girl so I went to Jenne (Hui Sen, Kuching) and gave rebonding another go. That was probably my best rebonding experience as it left my hair pin straight, healthy as ever and so, so shiny.

But the thing I hate about rebonding is that it leaves the ends of your hair very straight and stiff, which is why it looks very unnatural. If you want to achieve straight, natural looking hair, tell your hairdresser not to straighten the ends of your hair and if you have a fringe, make sure they do not straighten your fringe/bangs aswell! Alternatively, you could tell the hairdresser that you'd like to keep your hair looking natural.

When I was 16, I got red highlights in my hair at Hair Do (Sarawak Plaza, Kuching) which I was quite happy with. Then in a fit of idiocy, I chopped of my hair because I fell in love with Xiao Bei's hair from Magicians of Love. And when it grew long enough, I rebonded my hair yet again! All this in year 2006.

I didn't do anything to my hair in year 2007, except getting a really bad hair cut, getting red highlights again and when it got long enough, rebonded it - which turned some of the highlights into a bronze color. I don't remember dyeing my hair brown, but I must've because my natural hair color is honestly the blackest of black (thinking back, I think I may have dyed it purple).

In 2008, I permed my hair, which made the bronze color even brighter! So then I had red, brassy highlights in my bad perm.

Can you say yuck?!?!
And then came the life changing choice of all. I went platinum blonde for my birthday in 09.

There is only one way to achieve blonde locks if you've got black hair, and that's by bleaching your hair to death. I think I bleached my hair quite a number of times (think 6) to get it to this color. As you can see, my hair was destroyed. If I had bleached one more time, my hair would've all melted to pieces. The texture of my hair was like meat floss! If you love you hair, if you like having hair at all, do not - I repeat - DO NOT bleach your hair.

I didn't know how to take care of my hair, I was desperate, and since my hair has gone to the dogs, I became Ray Salon's (Travillion) model and I got the look below. I really didn't care what they did to my hair lol I just wanted to get rid of it and get a new look along the way.

The long strands were leftover from the previous bleached blonde do and still unmanageable so I chopped it off and got a bob.

Then when I couldn't stand the faded browns and blue, I pinkified my hair. At that point - dyeing my hair pink - was a little fuck you to everyone who was conservative and it was also a little goodbye to hair coloring. I didn't want to do it anymore. I've had enough. I wanted to retire and since pink is my favorite color, I said goodbye with that color.

I initially wanted to just let it grow out but the pink kept fading and fading... So I dyed it back and thought that I have finally washed my hands clean of hair processing. But it was a mistake, because I wasn't ready yet. I haven't had black hair in such a long time it scared the shit out of me. I didn't like it. Ironic isn't it? I have naturally jet black hair and after a year of ever changing hairstyles, black hair no longer felt like me.

After about 6 months of black hair, I went blonde again in 2010 which honestly took its toll on my hair. First of all, dyeing black makes your hair almost impossible to redye, and if you wanna bleach, you gotta start from scratch which means that if you've previously bleached twice and dyed your hair black, the third bleaching will look like the first bleaching. This time I went for an ashy blonde. By this time, my hair has probably undergone 10 bleaches, 6 for the first blonde, 1 for the photoshoot, 1 or 2 for pink, 2 for the ash blonde!

Ultilove this color!!!
Despite the damage, short blonde hair was actually quite easy to care for! But when my friend (who was a trainee at that time - he was the one who did my pink and the ash blonde) touched up my roots, it wasn't the same shade as the rest of my hair... :(

I actually loved the color of my length, it's such a pretty light blonde... Hated the roots tho, so I asked around, and a few stylists/hairdressers told me that it's actually quite hard to achieve similar tones each time you touched up the roots and the only way was to dye a darker color or get a purple shampoo/toner which we couldn't get in Kuching. I was like oh god why. I decided that since blonde hair was such a pain in the ass, I'll get a darker color and grow it out brown instead of blonde! So I went to Ray's Culture (Brighton Square) and got a light brown in 2011.

It faded after a bit and the two tones started showing again, so I went back within a week and they gave me a nice, rich brown which I loved! Just in time for Chinese New Year. :)

I just HAD to use this pic. LOL.
The next thing I did was soft rebonding in May 2011. I was told that soft rebonding will make your hair smooth, soft and manageable, but I looked like something exploded. I kept my hair in a ponytail as much as I could because I couldn't handle seeing the broom-like texture my hair has become. I later realized that I forgot to factor in how damaged my hair already was and I kind of do blame the salon for not warning me and for telling me that I would "love" my new rebonded hair. The soft rebonding also faded the hair color I so loved...

I bought Liese to try to tone it down and to touch up my roots. But it didn't work. After a few days the color faded again so after a month or so I decided to hell with hair coloring and chemicals! I bought a box of black hair dye in Sept and that's that. I quit the hair game!

I may have regretted doing shits right after I did them and I may have the worst judgement when it came to hair, BUT looking back, I'm glad I went ahead and did all that shit because I never will have to regret not doing what I wanted to. Also, I don't have any urge to have any sort of wacky hairstyles anymore so I can finally grow my hair out and look shu nv.

HAHA. I'm being sarcastic. Anyone who knows me would know that I am anything BUT. It makes me shudder to think that it's actually me in the pic above. I GET GOOSEBUMPS! Haha...Yeah! So that's that. I'm now on a slow and arduous journey to long healthy hair. End of story! There will be (hopefully) no more edits to this post! :D

Lesson one: Find a good salon that is reliable and has had satisfied customers.
Remember that it takes time to grow your hair, it doesn't hurt to spend more (both money and time) so that it can stay healthy.  If you aren't happy with the salon you've chosen to do your hair at, there's nothing wrong with voicing out and telling them you've changed your mind. There is no shame in it!

Lesson two: Never ever bleach your whole head if you want to have long, healthy hair.
Bleaching kills your hair, even if you only do it once (depending on the fineness/coarseness of your hair). No amount of repairing, protein or shampoo will ever restore it to its original state. Not to mention, bleaching really hurts your scalp, so if you don't want to become bald when you hit 30, don't touch up your roots with bleach too often.

Lesson three: If you have really bright hair, never go straight to black, you won't get used to it. Darken your hair slowly instead so that you can go back to bright hair with minimal damage.

Lesson four: Don't do anything to your hair unless you're absolutely sure.
Practice the one month rule, give yourself at least a month to think about it before you do anything drastic. Research on whatever you want to do beforehand and ask people who have done it before and get recommendations from them. Always keep in mind that nobody knows your hair like you do, let your stylist know what has been done to your hair in the past. If in doubt, ask them to do a test strand.

Lesson five: Keep track of the damage you've done to your hair.
Even if your hair still feels soft and healthy, there is only so much it can take. My breaking point was the soft rebonding. I can't believe how impulsive and destructive I have been with my hair, giving it no rest or a chance to repair itself.

Tips on how to keep your hair healthy:
1. Use a mask/treatment every week.
2. Wash and condition hair every two days (or longer if you can stand it) otherwise you'll really dry out your hair.
3. Let your hair air dry as much as possible, leave the hair dryer for days when you're rushing for time.
4. When your hair is wet, it's very fragile and prone to damage, so use a wide toothed comb to detangle and smooth your hair gently.
5. Do not use your fingernails when you're washing your hair, it's damaging to your scalp! Use your fingertips instead.
6. Massage your scalp and brush your hair towards the floor while bending over to improve blood circulation and to encourage your hair to grow faster.
7. Both olive oil and coconut oil is great for the hair. Olive oil moisturizes and coconut oil repairs.
8. Clarify your hair every now and then because products can and will build up over time.
9. Buy a good pair of scissors and keep it sharp by only using it for hair. Trim off split ends because there is no way to repair split ends! They will continue to split up the shaft of your hair, so it's better to just nip it in the bud.
10. I usually tie a loose bun on the top of my head (youtube sock buns!) and sleep with it cos it'll protect your hair from damage (friction causes damage too!), tangles (which in turn may break hair and cause split ends), and best of all, when you take it off... You get long lasting and natural curls. :D Alternatively, you may braid your hair etc.

For more information, you can go to long hair community forums and learn more about how to take care of your hair. Although they may come off as a little hair-obsessed, they give great advice and you can learn tons! 


  1. hmmm I am glad that I read this "chapter" and I am still confuse :P

    anyways why do you scared that you dye your hair to black? XD

    If u know this person >> his hair is dam keng hahaha

  2. kian fai - hey, i'm 'scared' of dyeing my hair black cos i'm too used to bright hair. lol..

    ronaldmohoni - thx :)

  3. I hv gt my hair damaged after 1 year of rebonding..nw hv got hair my hair r not dat much straight now.nw i used hair straightener evry day before going to ofc..i thnk its risky..i dnt knw wat shud i hair dnt luk gud without using straightener..can u please suggest me wat shud i do nw

    1. it really depends on your hair's original state & the quality it is in now. for example, rebonding strips the protein from your hair, so i'd suggest using joico's kpak protein treatment to strengthen your hair. since you straighten your hair everyday, invest in a heat protectant - i use liese iron make. this is to minimize damage. lastly, get a serum like sunsilk's weather defense serum to protect your hair & to make it look tidier!

      hope i helped. but i strongly suggest going to a few salons for advice.


  4. Wow! I am really impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It is really going to help me a lot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly.

  5. Hi thanks for sharing! May I know where you did your soft rebonding? Was the service good?

  6. Hi Shing! The soft rebonding I mentioned in this post was horrible, I would not recommend it at all. I wrote another post on my hair and how happy I am with it here! My hair has remained manageable, straight and smooth to this day. Hope that helps! :)