The Before And After Photos Of My Brown To Blonde Hair Transformation!

The Before And After Photos Of My Brown To Blonde (And Pink) Hair Transformation!I did it! I finally did it. After a month of contemplating WTF to do to my hair, deciding to go blonde, preparing myself for the transition to light hair, and once again asking for advice on which blonde to do, it actually happened! Sam Escobar is officially a blonde lady–but not in a way even I had anticipated.

Yesterday after work, I showed up at Hairroin Salon for my appointment with Artistic Director Luis Payne. The salon is a beautiful space with vertical black and white stripes on the walls, funky decor, and a mix of industrial and vintage decor elements. I was initially intimidated by how cool everyone on the staff looks–people with really nice hair are intimidating, what can I say?–but within less than 30 seconds, I was welcomed by the owner Janine Jarman (who started the salon when she was 24, which is amazing) and felt totally at ease.

First came the consultation. Rather than doing a quick “so what do you want?” spiel and then just going for it, Luis examined my hair at length. He asked me which products I use, what I have done to it over the past several years, what looks I liked, which ones I felt would work best for me. After I showed him the pale, neutral blonde I really loved, he made a few things very clear:

  1. There will be lots of upkeep. Since my hair grows rather quickly, I will likely need to get my roots touched up every four weeks.
  2. I will live in products. I’ll need to do a deep conditioning masque at least once per week, protect my hair, and replenish moisture that has been removed so it won’t look sad or stringy. If I want it to be a pretty, healthy blonde, I need to make sure I’m actually taking care of it properly.
  3. My makeup and wardrobe will change. When you alter your hair, it changes your whole look and therefore pushes you to switch up the shades of lipstick you typically wear, the colors you look good in, and what styles you wear.

While he knew I was doing this partially for a story and had dedicated my mind to the idea of a big change, he also explained that it’s important for stylists to discuss transformations like these at length with their clients in order to ensure it’s not just a spontaneous (and potentially regrettable) reaction to a major life event. You should want the change for yourself, not for somebody who didn’t like your last hairstyle.

A little over two years ago, after graduating college, I went to a salon and had my blue hair turned into brown. It took several hours and lots of cringing (I really, really liked having blue hair but wanted to “get a real job”), but when it was done, I actually enjoyed having brown hair again! I wound up letting it grow out, so since then, my natural hair color had grown down to approximately my chin. As a result, it was possible for Luis to lift my naturally light/medium brown hair to a pale blonde.

However, the parts that had been bleached, dyed and basically torn apart by years and years of coloring were less inclined to change, which Luis informed me right off the bat. Here are a few “before” photos as references.

The Before And After Photos Of My Brown To Blonde (And Pink) Hair Transformation!It was so long! But so many inches of that long hair were just wrecked by the bleach I had inflicted upon it when I was still DIYing my blue hair without fully understanding how to bleach my own hair.

He asked me how short I was willing to go; I said somewhere between my chin and my shoulders, which would make the whole look I was going for much more possible. He picked up his shears and a few minutes later, I had short hair!

Luis did a test strip on my hair to see how much the color could be lifted from root to tip. As he had guessed, the bottom portion wouldn’t budge past a brassy blonde, so he started consulting me on a new idea that I hadn’t even thought of: going pale blonde with violet ends. It solved a number of issues: I didn’t want a golden blonde shade, I didn’t want to cut my hair shorter, and it made the whole thing more multidimensional.

Note: This is exactly why you should go to a truly experienced professional when making a big change. First of all, Luis spent a ton of time determining the best style for my hair that would also allow the integrity to remain intact (whereas some stylists might have just made me a pale blonde without questioning how it would affect my strands in the long run). Second, he brought concepts to the table that I hadn’t thought of, but wound up loving. Just as with a makeup artist, musician, or writer, when you do something all day every day, you simply have a wider breadth of knowledge to work with in formulating new ideas. Long story short: find a pro for this kind o’ stuff.

After we decided on blonde and violet, Hairroin’s wonderful assistant Dutch Foy applied a protective cream to my hairline, ears, and neck (that smelled surprisingly good). Luis sectioned my hair and began applying a powder bleach to my hair.

Click to the next page to see the rest of the bleaching process and the end result!

Share This Post:
    • Heather C

      It looks awesome, Sam! Both colors look amazing on their own, but I LOVE them combined together.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks, Heather! :D I can’t wait to see your new hair soon!!

    • keanesian

      You look like a cyborg from the future!

      • keanesian

        in other words i love it.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks Meghan! :D Also, maybe I should start dressing like a cyborg…

    • Jenni

      Your hair is so magnificent it would put Connie Britton’s hair to shame!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks, Jenni! :D And you know that is basically my purpose in life right? Right.

    • Tracy

      This looks GORGEOUS! Also, dying over your eyeliner application.

      • Tracy

        Ugh… dying. No pun intended…

      • Samantha Escobar

        1) Thank you!
        2) I lol’d. :D

      • Holly

        All puns, all intended, all of the time! I live for puns.

    • Elyne

      You look amazing with it! Your eyes are really popping out now and I feel your skin looks a lot brighter too.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! :) It’s weird because I thought my skin might look flat or dull with pale hair, but I think having it be an unconventional shade that was way more muted wound up doing the opposite–phew!

    • Lauren

      This is so beautiful and ladylike and awesome! You look great!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! ALSO thank you for calling it “ladylike”! Even though I personally love it, I have admittedly been a little anxious thinking I look less feminine (which in itself isn’t bad, but I prefer to look very feminine, ha), so it’s good to hear that that is not the case. :)

      • Lauren

        OMG it is undeniably elegant and lovely!! Especially with the soft curl at the ends and I love the “swingyness” of it. Also it’s good to see how nice the pale blonde looks on someone with similar coloring to mine, I’ve been considering it for like a year but was put off by family saying I would look bad :(

    • Meredith Hirt

      It’s amazing! You look beauuuuuutiful! Makes me want to attempt to make my hair look better. I love it!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks Meredith! Also you have amazing hair, girl. Srsly.

    • Olivia Wilson

      Holy HELL, Sam, your hair is flawless right now. FLAWLESS.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks Olivia!! Also I have decided to play “the floor is lava” with my adult responsibilities 4 life. Related: You’re hilarious.

      • Olivia Wilson

        Hahah, same here. And thanks a lot; that’s really awesome of you to say!

    • moonglow48

      I am confused…maybe its just the lightening but the first photo it did look blonde and was wonderful. The other of you inside, your hair looks gray…maybe its just my computer? It looks very, very gray…:( BTW I love your eye brows…so glad you didn’t tweeze them into thin lines. Glad ladies are getting away from that.

      • Samantha Escobar

        It’s definitely a more silver, icy blonde. It’s not as dark of a silvery shade as the latter photos (I have a feeling that had to do with the lighting) but it’s definitely very, very pale. Plus, we’re going back over it next week to polish it!

        And thanks! I’m actually growing them out so I can reshape them a bit (not thinner so much as just a different angle).

    • capoupascap

      Damn girl, you look great! Ps as somebody who was very critical of this site a few months ago, I just wanted to say I think the last month or so things have really turned around and I love reading it again!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! And that made me so, so happy. :) Seriously, I can’t wait to show the other editors and writers this comment.

      • Cee

        As a long time reader, my only wish is that you didn’t have so many Kardashian articles, at times they are on the same page three times! I hope they don’t own you guys too! :/

      • Holly

        I feel exactly the same way! I’ve been here for awhile and there was a point several months ago where I actively started looking for something to fill the Gloss-shaped hole in my heart and lately I’ve been reading and enjoying myself almost as much as years ago. Almost.

    • Sarahphina


    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      Your hair looks amazing! And it looks so good with your eye color!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! :D I was nervous it would be odd on my coloring because I’d never considered myself able to do warmer violets, but hooray!

    • April Dawn Bell

      Wow! So stunning! I love it!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you April! :D

    • JenH1986

      YOU SO PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Eeeee you’re making me blush! :D <3

      • JenH1986

        For real tho. It looks fantastic! Welcome to the light side ;) I shaved my head a while back and now I have a new plan for when it grows. #iblamesamantha

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Oh man, I wish that could be a real hashtag except then some unseemly stuff might start popping up. :P

        Also, keep me updated on yo hair! It sounds like you have some seriously awesome fun with it (shaving your head = fantastic).

    • Kelly

      LOVE IT. This may possibly be inspiring.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! Also if you do get inspired and change your hair, lemme know! I absolutely love hair transformations :D

    • Juliana

      Didn’t you write a bit about being worried about going blonde? If I’m remembering correctly and that is true, I can say you had absolutely nothing to worry about! It looks great! And your skin looks wonderful as well, by the way.

      • Samantha Escobar

        I did! Somebody told me it wouldn’t look good (actually, a few people, haha) and so I was more nervous than I normally would be about how I would look. But now I am much happier. Thank you so much! <3 :)

    • FemelleChevalier

      Wait, so you won’t dye your hair blue anymore? Btw, it looks amazing.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! And re blue: not yet! I am probably going to wind up doing that in a few months though, so that way I can get my desire for pale pale hair out of my system before doing so. I am now debating actually trying for pastel blue for once (I’ve always done deep or bright blues), so that could be fun…

      • FemelleChevalier

        Ohhh, I think it’ll look awesome on you because of your skin type. Plus, it’s your hair so go crazy if you want to. :)

    • Alexandra Mitchell

      So cute!!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Danke schoen! :D

    • Isana Leshchinskaya

      Who told fair-skinned, blue-eyed, young-carla-bruni-doppleganger you that blond would not look good??? The fools! The fools!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Being told I am a Carla Bruni doppleganger is already the highlight of my weekend, holy crap. <3 THANK YOU.

    • Michelle

      nice!! so jealous, you can have any color you want! :)

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! :) (Though I promise, bright bright purple and “natural” orange both look realllll rough on me!)

    • Nicole

      This looks so gorgeous! I think you need to tone the blonde a little more and obviously apply more violet to the ends to keep up the color (put it in a small amount of conditioner in a small container so that way you can just do it in the shower). It contrasts beautifully with your skin and eyes.

      • Samantha Escobar

        I’m excited to see what it looks like with more violet! And thank you! :)

    • loser_sneeze

      It looks so good. I’m jealous of your rad hair!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks girl! :D

    • Little Bird

      Oooh I like iiiiiiit! You could easily go even blonder! The violet is an awesome little touch I’d never thought of.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thank you! :D I’m so excited to play around with these shades!

    • Julia Fielder

      I also love the pic from the salon, and your face/skin/makeup look great…but yes, the grey look, I’m not digging. please give us more pics when you are in other lighting/locations and after the touch up. glad i came back to browse here :-)

      • Samantha Escobar

        I’ll for sure keep you guys updated! :) And I’m glad you’re back, too!

    • Holly

      Holy Shit! That’s amazing. I got so excited when you said he suggested the lavender. Unexpected! Why did none of us suggest that? I had talked myself out of going platinum (which I was really only doing because that would make it easier to do some fun colors later) but now I have serious hair envy.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Honestly I had NEVER thought of lavender as something I could do. Jen, our former Editor In Chief, once thought about doing pale lilac hair and I remember rooting for her to do it SO MUCH because I think it would look beautiful on her, but I never thought I would be able to try it! Thank you! :D

    • Kim

      Your hear and your head, so you decide, what you will do with it, but no, it’s not flattering at all. Sorry.

      • Samantha Escobar

        You’re right–it’s definitely my hear!

    • diane kaston

      you look marvelous congrats

      • Samantha Escobar

        Thanks, Diane!

    • TheRoseHipster

      You were already super pretty, but I am now DYING at how excellent you look, and how much this suits you.

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Oh goodness, thank you! Seriously. <3

      • TheRoseHipster

        Also, thank you for being the person who gave the last nudge (via the magic of the internet) to my long-secret desire to get two nostril piercings. Yours looked so good, and I finally did it recently.

        The blonde is so, so amazing on you, and the violet is perfect.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Seriously? That makes me so, so happy. I swear, my nostril piercings always makes me feel a little more polished because even if I forget to wear jewelry, they add a little bit of extra shine to my outfit. I am so glad you did it! Did you wind up doing jewels or solid metal?

        And thank you again, that is so nice of you.

      • TheRoseHipster

        Solid metal, and I love them so much. I always sort of wanted to go for it, but yours look so great, and that kind of convinced me to go for it.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Love it. That sounds amazing. And thank you!

    • rayrayeeeeee


    • J_Doe5686

      Omg! I just love your hair!

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Eeee, thank you SO much! :D

      • J_Doe5686

        You inspired me. I wanna do something about my hair but I don’t know what. But you’re new look is so dramatically different I might go that route instead of the safe, inside the box idea route. And this look is SO you!

      • Samantha Escobar

        Yay! I am so excited you want to try something fun! :D Let me know what you wind up doing, I’m always interested in new hurrstyles. And doing subtle changes is always awesome–you can always go more dramatic, so whether you just start subtle or stay there, it’s easier and safer to do that! Perhaps add some hair chalk when you’re extra bright-feeling ;D

      • J_Doe5686

        I will. So far I’m playing around with chalk. But I still want to get the same haircut pink has.

    • Filmes Online

      good post, thx!!

      Assistir Filmes Online

    • vivacity03

      OMG you look SO GOOD!! Your brown hair was soo pretty but this is rockin!

    • LynnKell

      Stunning!! I love when people dare to fanstasy.color hair!! Plus, your brows are the perfect brown shade to be noticeable and frame your face without looking “fake” with your new hair color. Big applause to your hair stylist.

      I was feeling a lot like going to the salon and chopping the ends of my boob-long hair and get a crazy color dyed at the tips (in case I totally regret/get lazy with the mainteniance) and this inspired me even more.

      P.s. I’m still waiting for all the crazy-colored hair pictures :D

      • Samantha_Escobar

        Oh goodness, thank you so much! And y’know, we discussed me lightening my brows but I wanted to try out the contrast-y sort of thing. :D So I’m glad it works! And yes–he deserves all the applause, I am just so grateful to him for being so creative and trustworthy and brilliant.

        I hope you do wind up trying out a new hairstyle! I think that the beauty of dip-dyed hair is that yeah, you can just chop it off later if you feel like it and never have to deal with the dreaded root issue. Guhhh.

        P.S. When I wind up going blue in the future, I will fer suuuuure post so many photos :D

    • J

      Honey you were meant to be blonde.

    • Emma

      Oh my goodness, your hair looks amazing! I know it’s been two months but how’s it been? I’ve been thinking about going blonde for a while now (I have naturally thick, straight dark brown hair). I wanted to know how the maintenance process of it all is. Do you get used to it with all the conditioning and stuff? Also, how’s your hair putting up? And how about your routinely root touch ups? Thanks in advance <3