For the past month, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on my new long luscious blonde locks. As much as I’d love to say its all natural (because a blonde asian is natural right?), it is fully due to my wonderful new stylist and her magic hands. I’ve seen the gorgeous asian blonde hairstyles done by famous hairstylists such as Guy Tang since I was in high school and only dreamed of having such hair for my own. That’s not to say I haven’t gone blonde before. During my time in Reno, we had the wonderful Amy that was the blonde whisperer for our small asian girl community that continued to talk of her awesome work turning us into all different shades of blonde and colors. We were lucky to have someone that knew how to lighten dark asian hair in such a small city because most of the stylists who worked there were accustomed to white girls and their easily lightened locks. Thanks to Amy, I’ve been able to achieve pretty much every color of the rainbow on my hair with a very affordable price and less damage.
Ever since I moved to Southern California however, I knew that I could no longer get my hair done for less than $300. Everything is expensive down here and beauty is no exception. Since moving down from Reno, I decided to leave my natural hair to grow out and I did not touch it after going darker for about two and a half years. Majority of my hair and any previously lightened bits were pretty grown out from the shoulder length Amy had last cut it to and I had invested in some Luxy Hair extensions that I used for about a year and a half. I had met some new friends down here and asked them for recommendations for hairstylists since I was always wishy washy about going dark and light. I follow an awesome photographer named Virisa who shared her new look (which I was obviously obsessed with) and automatically checked who had done her blonde. I started following Victoria Sam (@thehairprodigy on instagram) and after a few months of completely falling in love with her work, I decided to take the plunge and send her a text to try and book.
I sent her a quick message with some pictures of my hair in natural lighting and the photo of Virisa and her recent session and asked for her quotes for heavy babylights and beaded extensions. She is currently still not taking color only clients but I was okay with that since I was interested in extensions as well.
At that time (November 2020) her rates for my hair were:
- $550 for the heavy babylights for my hair and extensions
- $400 for the actual extensions
- $150 for the main row install
- and $125 for the second row install
I decided it was worth the investment and I had already been saving up for this big purchase and booked for January 4th at her salon.
This money was my big treat for myself for working my butt off through this pandemic and surviving and I knew she was going to get me the results so it was going to be worth it. I do have to admit through the next month I was debating if I wanted to put my dark healthy hair through all the damage but as the appointment day drew near, I just got more and more excited and couldn’t find myself backing out.
APPOINTMENT DAY! I had set an alarm the night before and had called for the whole day off of work since she doesn’t work on the weekends and I was up by 8 am. I didn’t want to look like a total mess since she would probably take pictures afterwards so I dragged my butt out of bed to look presentable with some quick makeup. It was going to be about an hour drive to Hawaiian Gardens from San Bernardino so I tried to leave as early as I could just in case there was traffic because your girl did not want to be late. As I got closer, I had a good extra twenty minutes so I had to go grab some starbucks and an impossible breakfast sandwich (if you haven’t tried it yet you’re missing out!) and fueled up before I sat in the chair. When I got there she took some before pics and got to work! I knew I’d probably be sitting for a long time since she would be taking finite sections of my hair to babylight so I brought my laptop to get some work done.
I somewhat lost track of time but I believe the babylights took about three and a half hours for her to apply and somewhere between 30-40 minutes to process. Some of that time included being under a red heat lamp to speed up the processing so I got real warm and toasty for a minute and almost fell asleep. She rinsed me off and I was able to see bright pale yellow starting back at me in the mirror. It’s pretty unbelievable that she was able to get my hair from a dark level two to a bright level ten. I was already giddy from seeing my hair in a completely different shade. She added a shadow root to make maintenance a little easier since I couldn’t come in regularly for touch ups.
By this time, her assistant had already processed my extensions and it was time to tone and then install. She decided my ends were still healthy and didn’t need a cut so we moved on to the next portion. She dried my hair after toning, blow dried, and WOW was my hair long already, even without the extensions! She started to install the 22 inch extensions into my hair and I could begin to see everything coming together. The installation itself was not painful at all and took less than two hours for her to finish. I went with two rows and she blended everything in at the end. She and her assistant finished my hair off with curls and I was absolutely blown away by the results.
She had gotten my hair from dark brown/black to a light ash blonde - IN ONE SITTING! It was pretty miraculous. We took some after photos and when I tell you I was OBSESSED. Not only that, my hair still felt healthy with barely any damage. I paid with my card and the total came out to about $1225 for just the services and extensions so with her tip and the assistant’s, I paid about $1375 in total. Definitely did not think I would ever in a million years spend the cost of a designer handbag on my hair but here we are. Victoria had achieved the hair of my dreams and I still have absolutely no regrets on this big purchase. THANK YOU VICTORIA. She really is the hair prodigy tho. Can’t wait to see her again next week to have my extensions moved up and a fresh tone!
While it may be unfathomable for some people to believe I spent $1.3k to get my hair done, I am personally happy with my decision since I spent my hard earned money for me and only me and that is all that matters. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. The end.