I didn’t choose the bleach life, the bleach life chose me. After eight years of a full-on bleach obsession, Layered Online’s Eve wanted to transition to a more natural blonde. She needed a colour specialist, STAT!
Other than a few flirtations with some dodgy brunette box dyes, I’ve always been some shade of blonde. I’m naturally fair but as I got older my hair darkened so I turned to every colourist’s mortal enemy: Sun-In Spray-In Hair Lightener.
Fast forward years later, with my damaged hair somewhat recovered, I embarked on a love affair with highlights that continued until I cut my hair into a pixie crop and had it bleached and toned to a super pale, clean-as-a-whistle, white blonde. It was glorious.
Since then I’ve continued to have a scalp bleach while growing my hair into a bob, but I’m ready for a change. I want my hair to be healthier, stronger, and, dare I say it, a bit more natural-looking. Part of this is because I’m desperate to grow it long, and I don’t think that’s going to happen while I keep bleaching it every six weeks…
I headed over to Kensington in west London to meet Jordanna Cobella at her salon, Cobella, to find out how I could achieve my desired look.
Jordanna has been surrounded by hairdressing from a very young age thanks to her award-winning parents, Beverley and Anestis. Now working in her dad’s salon as creative director, Jordanna’s skills, expertise and knowledge makes her the go-to for brands such as Wella Professionals, L’Oréal Professionnel, and regularly working backstage at London Fashion Week.
After explaining what I was hoping for, Jordanna suggested we could achieve this by smudging my roots and bringing the colour down to create an overall darker look. She also recommended toning the rest of my hair to an ashier hue, and made it clear to me that this wouldn’t be a one fix-wonder; it would take time to create a more natural-feel in my heavily processed hair.
Armed with several bowls of colour, Jordanna divided my hair into four quarters and began applying Colour Touch by Wella Professionals (a demi-permanent oxidative colour) in a dark ash shade, the same depth level as my roots. To create the melt/smudge effect, almost immediately after application Jordanna used her fingers to blend the root colour into a light ash shade mixed with a clear dye.
Jordanna worked quarter by quarter so that the root colour did not have enough time to create a demarcation line once applied. To frame my face, Jordanna created ‘money piece’ areas – lighter parts around the front – by isolating a half inch section on either side of my parting.
The colour only developed for around 30 minutes before being washed off, during which I relaxed in the chair reading magazines, drinking tea and soaking in the salon’s glam interior.
Once the towel was off I thought it looked really dark, but as Jordanna began the blow-dry it lifted quickly.
The overall effect is subtle and I love it. I’ve had so many compliments from people who can’t quite figure out what I’ve changed. It’s not drastic but it is noticeable. I’ve been told I have more colour in my face and that I look healthier – I’ll take that!
Two weeks on and it still looks great but I’m definitely going to need to go darker to make it last longer. I can’t wait to grow my hair out and get an even darker, more-natural hue.
For all you colour geeks out there who want to know what Jordanna used…
On the roots: 7/97 and 7/86 and 7/1 all Colour Touch by Wella Professionals with 1.9% Developer.
The ends were toned with a combination of 10/81, 10/6 and 9/16, also in Colour Touch by Wella Professionals, also with a 1.9% Developer.
Book your appointment at Cobella by visiting cobella.co.uk/kensington where prices start from £41