My hair has been the same nice but safe brown shade for a couple of years now and I wanted to lighten and brighten things a little bit for summer. Highlights perhaps? I think the closest I ever got to getting highlights was a botched bleach job back in college. What can I say? Coco Lee was pretty hot at the time. (In an interesting turn of events, I got to interview her shortly after I started hosting on TV. But I digress. And I can’t find photos.)
Last Monday, I swung by Franck Provost at The Peninsula Manila to see what they can do for me.
I first met Franck Provost stylist Celine Prunevielle about 3 months ago when I went in for a cut. On top of my hair going through that awkward growing out phase, I was losing volume around the sides as my strands grew longer and heavier. She remedied this by snipping what looked like quite a bit of hair very close to the roots. I was horrified. But Celine explained that the shorter strands underneath would lighten the load + hold up my longer ones. She was right, of course.
A little bit about Celine. She’s French and has studied hair since she was 15 years old. She says she’s always liked hair and played hairstylist in her head while looking at random strangers for as long as she can remember. After studying at a hair academy for 4 years and working at different salons in France, she had the opportunity to open her own salon but opted to style hair while traveling the world. So at 23, she flew to Mumbai to work with a reputable French brand and has worked with celebrities and models in fashion and advertising. After five years, it was time to move on to another destination and it had to be a tropical one. I guess the stars aligned for her because here she is in sunny Manila still doing what she loves most!
When I told Celine about wanting to lighten things up a bit, she recommended a procedure called Balayage. Balayage is French for ‘sweep’ and it refers to a highlighting technique that literally sweeps strands of hair with ammonia-free bleach in a V-shape to achieve a more natural look. Keeping things looking natural is right up Celine’s alley so I wasn’t surprised with this choice. The interesting thing about Balayage is that the bleach doesn’t touch the roots which means constant retouching isn’t necessary and there’s less damage to hair. Celine says you’ll need to retouch maybe twice a year and only if you wanna maintain the look. You can absolutely just let it grow out and it’ll look fine.
So here I am before we got to working. It’s grown since I had it cut and this is the longest it’s been in a while. Bangs are an awkward length. Color is pretty one-tone.
Celine and I both liked my shade of brown so we decided to keep it and even touched up my roots. As for the bangs, I thought I wanted to grow it out but I decided not to at the last minute and had it trimmed. My love-hate relationship with bangs begins again.
Balayage time! V-shaped strokes of bleach were swept through sections of my hair. When done, my hair was covered with a huge sheet of cling wrap to keep the heat trapped under it.
After maybe 10 minutes, the bleach was washed off so Celine could check the color. We were aiming for golden blonde and she seemed happy with it so I was sent to shampoo. And tada!
Subtle natural-looking highlights, achieved! So this is what it’s like, hihi. I like how it gives my hair dimension and also how a lot of the highlighted strands are inside so there’s a peek-a-boo effect when my hair moves or when I put it up. Celine tells me that Balayage can be entirely personalized to suit the length, style, and texture of one’s hair so that’s a huge plus, too.
The downside is how bleached hair looks a little parched. Will hoard leave-in conditioner.
Photo taken by Mikey Bustos this morning. Clearly, I’m feelin’ it.
Franck Provost is located at Lower Level The Peninsula Manila 1226 Makati. If you wanna Balayage it up like me or just go and see the fabulous Celine (She does makeup, too!), you can call 843 7629 for an appointment.