Going Lighter: Colour Cleanse at Rush

After having dark brown hair for around 4 years now, I fancied a bit of a change. However, seeing as I've been dying my hair for the past 5 or 6 years, I knew going lighter wasn't going to be an easy feat. I get bored so easily with my hair, so thought I'd take a leap and try and go back to my natural medium to dark blonde. This post will detail my first step in this journey to blonde, a colour cleanse to strip all existing artificial colour from my hair.

I have always fancied getting my hair done at the Rush salon in High Wycombe. Situated in the middle of the Eden shopping centre, its sleek shopfront and glamourous studio-esque lighting has countlessly grabbed my attention. There's nothing quite like a salon which exudes luxury and professionalism. I arrived for my appointment at 3pm, and was immediately asked if I would like any refreshments. A super-cute filter coffee set appeared in front of me a minute later, which I sipped gratefully until my hair stylist, Laura, greeted me.

We had a colour consultation there and then, although this can be done prior to the appointment. The years of dying my hair, and dying it a really dark colour, had left it extremely damaged and also meant the process to going blonde was neither guaranteed nor easy. Considering the darkness of my ends (my old hairdressers put dye over all of the hair instead of just the roots) meant not only that there was no promise of the cleanse working as we would hope, but that I was very limited in which colour would be suitable to go over the top.

In the end, I went for a warm medium-ish brown on the recommendation of Laura. As dark colour cleanses to a red/orange hue, warm colours work better over the top of it than cooler colours. Medium browns cleanse to an orangey colour, while light brown/dark blonde has more yellow undertones. I was taken through into a smaller open-planned room to have my hair washed and the cleanse applied. The basins were nicely tucked away from the rest of the salon, giving it that expensive, spa feel, while optional mood lighting relaxed you into the sliding, recliner-style chairs.

A normal cleanse was applied for 20 minutes, washed off, then my hair was dried. While there was no guarantee it would strip much colour from my hair, luckily it had worked a treat on my roots and ends. You can see the difference the one cleanse made, although it had left a darker band around the middle of my hair. This indicated the area where the most dye had been applied over the years. While a fair amount had been stripped, I really wanted to push for that lighter colour, so we opted for another, stronger cleanse. This was left on for another 15 minutes, before the rinse-dry process was repeated.

The transformation after the second cleanse was astonishing. I never thought that much colour could have been taken off my hair, especially after the damage I had done to it AND the darkness of the colour I had been choosing. By this point, my hair was bright yellow-y orange, so it was time to apply the warm brown colour. I still had a slightly darker band around the middle of my hair, but luckily the colour we had originally chose was dark enough for it to blend in.

The colour went on and the waiting began! Once it had had sufficient time on my cleansed barnet, it was washed off and given a conditioning treatment. When the colour is stripped, it opens the hair up, so it is vital to maintain it properly at home by replenishing the lost protein. Professional brands such as Redken, Shu Uemura or Kerastase are best for this, I was told, as many high street names simply pump a lot of silicone into your hair, but not many nutrients.

Now for the chop! My ends were absolutely bloomin' awful, but I opted to have a bit more than just the ends off. I went for a much shorter length and layers, with my hair falling just below my shoulders. Laura also kindly cut in shorter layers which framed my face and what could be fashioned into a side fringe from my fast-growing straight fringe. If your switching the colour up, why not the cut too?!

I cannot begin to explain how happy I am with the new 'do. While it does have some very ginger undertones (due to the orange nature of the cleanse), the warmth of the colour does not make me look as pale as my dark hair did. The spruce up of the length has left my barnet feeling so much lighter, easier to manage, and frazzled-end free. It's all-round brilliant and feels super-soft too!

Laura was so knowledgeable and gave excellent advice on how to maintain the colour, and what my next steps should be in going blonder. She also told me to step away from the home dyes; I guiltily nodded and promised to do so after a stern telling-off. My next move is to book in again with Rush for a half-head of highlights, and I can't wait to go back. A salon which oozes chic with lovely, knowledgeable staff who actually listen to what you want and advise accordingly. The cleanse, colour and cut cost £102 in total (you get 50% off one treatment on Tuesdays), but it's so worth spending this and getting it done professionally if you're going lighter.

These pictures don't really do the 'do justice; it is a lot lighter than this. Different lights make it look different colours!

Thanks Rush in High Wycombe (and Laura) for such a wonderful service! 

What are your experiences of going lighter?


  1. Your hair looks lovely! I'm so jealous haha. Also its funny because you're wanting to go a lighter colour, and I'm contemplating going a darker one ha!

    Also, I've nominated you for the Liebster Award! I know you've done it once before, but I absolutely love your blog so I thought it would be okay as my questions are different to the ones you answered before? Check it out on my blog :)


    1. We're switching hair haha! Thank you, just worried I'll want to go back to dark straight away! Aww bless you, thank you so much! I'll have a look at it now :) xx

  2. I'm so glad i've come across this post, I'm wanting to go back lighter towards my natural warm/light brown colour. My hair is only party dark brown (4) as I've got ombre ends. I've gone in for a consultation at my hair dressers so hopefully I have a similar result. How long was the treatment all together and how long did the colour stay in your hair that they added?

    1. It wa at least a couple of hours I think, mainly because I ended up having two colour cleanses to get it to the lightness I wanted. I can't remember how long the colour lasted, but I used L'Oreal's Sunkiss Jelly after that so it kept getting lighter. Rush colours usually last about 4 weeks for me usually though. Hope this helps! X


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