Balayage Hair: The Pros & Cons, Including My Before & After!

I was a little nervous to try this part of my February Bucket List this month…but I was finally ready to take the plunge and try something new! My entire life I would say I’ve pretty much prided myself on never coloring or highlighting my hair. 
I even distinctly remember a time when I was around 12 years old that my dad very strictly and explicitly told me that I was never to do that – not. ever. At the time, I remember taking him very seriously but also laughing to myself because I thought that was the silliest thing…why would I ever want to do that? I love my hair!
I still absolutely love my hair – this was more about me being extremely curious about a trend, seeing a lot of friends try it, and finally feeling comfortable enough that this was such a subtle change that it wouldn’t really matter. The great thing about Balayage hair is that you don’t have to touch it up, your roots stay natural, and its really only the lower ends of your hair so it will just grow itself out naturally. To me, that made it feel no different than random colorful streaks we used to put in our hair for Lady Gaga Concerts or Field Hockey Games (just lasting a little longer…)
I was literally debating back and forth up until the minute I walked into the salon. No seriously, I had about 7 text conversations with friends I had been annoying about it for over two weeks, who by then were all yelling at me to just “do it already and stop worrying – it would look great!”

Here were the pictures I provided as my inspiration:

It helped that I really trusted the salon. I did a ton of research, and I’ve never seen a salon that had a 4.8 rating and literally pages upon pages with paragraph long reviews absolutely raving about the place as if it had changed their life. After a few recommendations from friends and a lot of scrolling on Yelp – I chose Salon V Chicago near my apartment and made the appointment. 
Naturally I had snapchat updates going the entire time…
Officially laughing and realizing why I hadn’t done this before…

Playing the waiting game and trying to mask my panic over what on earth could be happening under all of that foil!

And somehow, because I decided to do this only days before I left for my trips to Washington D.C. and New Orleans – The only picture I have where there is a genuinely noticeable difference is in this one:
Although personally I think it looks a lot blonder here than it really is!

My overall verdict: I don’t really think that my hair was done Balayage so much as just regular and subtle highlights that start lower than my roots – and it took me a few days to adjust and decide whether or not I wanted to go back and have her make it more like the pictures…but what I decided was that my absolute biggest concern was that I wanted this to be really subtle and just a fun change. 
My stylist nailed it when she said to me, “So you want to look like you spent a couple of weeks cruising around the Caribbean, right? Some natural highlights from some extra sun!” And that was exactly the level of subtlety I was looking for. 
I really love it now that I’m used to it, and truthfully unless I am in certain types of lighting you really can’t see it which is fine with me! Most importantly – I stuck to my guns and tried something new and out of my comfort zone, which is what the Bucket List Spirit is all about. 
PS – the after picture is also at Mardi Gras, which was also on this month’s bucket list post! Keep them coming, I have loved hearing everything new you have all been trying this month!

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