Why I haven’t had my hair coloured in four months

I didn’t mean for that to sound so dramatic, but not colouring my hair every 4-6 weeks is kind of a big deal. Especially since it’s the the first time in 15 years. It wasn’t a conscious decision, so I better tell you the story.

Back in December Shelene suggested I try Balayage, and because I was ready for a change we went for it. Over the course of five hours my hair was strategically lightened, rinsed and dried four times. If that sounds rough on the hair, I’m sure it is. That’s why Shelene used L’Oreal Smartbond throughout the process to prevent damage and I swear my hair was as healthy afterwards as when I walked through the doors so very early that morning.

But back to Balyage. Shelene paints on bleach solution using a special technique to highlight certain facial features and gradually lighten your hair. If I’m not describing it well and it sounds like an ombre to you – it’s not.

The bulk of the lightening does take place on the lengths and ends of the hair, but some of it is also taken all the way up to the roots to blend everything together. By the time you’re done there are no harsh lines and you don’t even have pronounced highlights – it just all blends together beautifully.

During balayage application

This picture is probably the best way of explaining how Balayage is done. See how some of the bleach is just on the lower third of the hair, some is focused on the mid-lenghts and some goes all the way up to the roots? This is the first session, you can also see how dark my hair was in this pic (and how tired and puffy I look because we started at 7AM and I wasn’t awake yet).

So how have I managed to skip colour sessions for the past four months? Because it grows out so fantastically, that’s why. I opted not to have my roots coloured in their signature dark brown, so Shelene considered that when she placed the Balayage and then also applied an intermediate colour wash to blend the bits of remaining dark brown with my lighter brown natural hair colour. And just like that I didn’t have a regrowth anymore.

The immediate end result

I’m not sure what the next step is now, to be very honest. I feel that something needs to happen to blend it all together again a bit, but I’m not sure what it is so I’m making an appointment with Shelene today to asses the colour and see what needs to be done.

This is the lightest my hair has been in over 10 years, and I’m going to try and keep it this way for a while. I’ve tried it before and always ended up looking washed out, but somehow this time it works. I do see more and more grey hairs (how very dare they) now that I’m not covering them with colour, but I’ll deal with that problem if I ever feel that it looks scruffy.

Balayage four months later

Four months later. My roots are a little lighter and my ends a little less warm than they look in this picture, but I wanted to leave it unedited.

Balayage four months laterThe initial outlay can be steep – it’s about R1500 per level. My case (four levels) is extreme as not many people will go from very dark brown to this light in one sitting. I do think it’s economical in the long run though – on average Balyage is refreshed every 4-6 months. Do chat to your stylist about your expectations before you start to ensure that you get what you want out of a service like this.

It definitely works for me though. I love that there’s dimension and colour in my hair, but I no longer have any regrowth – when I visit the salon is now up to me.

Shelene Shaer is the co-owner of Tanaz in Illovo.

C x

PS – These pictures are all very much unedited to show you the real deal, so they’re not particularly pretty

PPS – My hair has been sponsored by Tanaz for almost five years now, and it’s never looked better.



  1. Naidene Cooper
    April 26, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    It still looks Amazing! Love it!

    • Chantelle Bester
      September 5, 2017 / 10:35 am

      Went for my second colour a month ago, and I *might* go for a touch up by the end of the year. It keeps getting better and better!

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