My Balayage Journey with Scottfree Salon

Primpin’ ain’t easy. (See what I did there?) If you’ve read 10 Fun Facts About Me, you know that I’m super lazy with my hair. I shower at night (gotta maximize that time to sleep-in), always air-dry, occasionally sleep on damp hair, and rarely use curlers or straighteners…except on blog photo shoot days.

Luckily, my laziness has actually allowed my hair to be extremely healthy. Washing my hair every two to three days allows the natural, healthy oils to remain as moisturizing protection.  Rarely blowdrying, curling, and straightening means I’m not damaging my hair with heat. I even started getting too lazy to visit the salon for hair cuts and began cutting my own hair six years ago. In other words, I thought I’d never set foot in a salon ever again…until…

BAM. I decided to pop my hair’s cherry.

Okay, that sounds kind of gross. Translation: I decided to dye my virgin hair for the first time. After perusing Pinterest for dozens of pictures of beautiful balayage hair, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon.  I researched the best salons in the Milwaukee area and landed on Scottfree Salon, which ended up being the best decision I could have made.

Beyond being an industry leader in hair styling and using only the highest quality products, the downtown Scottfree location also provides top-notch services like complimentary valet parking, concierge services, and in-salon dining. (They’ll order food from nearby restaurants and bring it to you at the salon!) Immediately upon walking in, you’re offered a beverage and robe. That’s my kind of place. If you don’t live in Milwaukee, Scottfree also has a location in Mequon and New York too!

A major shout out goes to my girl, Kishori (pronounced exactly how it sounds). Even though color and balayage isn’t included in her list of specialties in her bio, let me tell you…she is an expert. If you make an appointment with Scottfree, ask for Kishori! Your appointments will be filled with entertaining stories, good laughs, endless patience (I had millions of questions and a lot of hair), and most importantly, AMAZING results.

I first met Kishori at a brief ten minute consultation. I showed her some Pinterest boards, emphasized that I wanted a subtle balayage, asked tons of questions, scheduled my appointment and was extremely excited to come back and leave again with new hair. As confident as I was, I wasn’t completely prepared for a couple of surprises that resulted from the false assumptions I held about the process. What can I say? I was a virgin noob.

False Assumption #1: The balayage technique applied to my hair would be a standard procedure used on everyone else with black hair.
Everyone’s hair lifts differently and you’re not quite sure what the results will look like until you take the foils off. I expected it would be a super straightforward process and that I would definitely leave with hair just like the Pinterest pictures I had saved. Wrong. So wrong.  Instead, Kishori had to play around with bleaching and toning the color to get the color I wanted without getting too light or too brassy.

False Assumption #2: It would only take one appointment to get the color I wanted.
I was confident I would waltz out of the salon with the hair of my dreams after my first appointment. And for some of people, it might only take one session. For me, it took three. I could have squeezed it into two, but I would have done so at the expense of my hair health. To avoid over-processing your hair, it’s best to lighten in multiple session instead of doing it all at once. Either way, my jet black hair didn’t quite lighten enough to where I wanted until the third session. If you have hair like mine, you may end up investing more time and money than you originally had expected.

False Assumption #3: If I bleached my hair, my hair would become unhealthy and brittle.
I was under the impression that we wouldn’t have to use bleach on my hair, as some of my brunette friends mentioned they were able to lighten their hair without it. Not in my case. I was worried when Kishori told me we’d have to use bleach to achieve the lightness I wanted. But she also told me that Scottfree uses a high quality bleach that isn’t as harsh. It’s been over three weeks since I first dyed my hair and honestly haven’t noticed a change in my hair health at all! It also helped that I spread out the bleaching sessions over three weeks instead of trying to lighten it all at once. This goes to show how important it is to find a great salon like Scottfree that uses high quality products and educates you on the best ways to bleach your hair without compromising its integrity.

After three balayage sessions spanning three weeks, I am incredibly happy with the results. Kishori delivered exactly what I was looking for –  a low maintence balayage style subtle enough to look natural, but light enough to notice a difference. One of my favorite parts of balayage (remember I’m lazy?) is that I’ll be able to let the color grow out without any maintenance. It’s great for my time and wallet! The next time I visit the salon will be when the color is out-grown and I want to touch up the top.

Check out the evolution of my hair styles over the three session below!
**Hover over each picture for additional details.

Invest in your hair – it’s the crown you never take off. If you have virgin hair like I did and are contemplating a change, GO FOR IT! I highly recommend paying Scottfree a visit! Consultations are totally free if you want to meet with a stylist to discuss your options. They also have great cut, hair treatment, makeup, and waxing services! I saw a couple bridal parties in the salon during my appointments taking advantage of these.

Do I miss my virgin hair? Not at all. I’ve definitely had to re-think my hair care routine, like using sulfate-free shampoos and finding good hair masks. But I honestly enjoy trying out new products and re-thinking my current regimen (which is basically just buying the best-smelling drugstore brands. Merp.)  I’m thinking of writing a blog post later this summer about my new hair care routine, sharing the products that I love. Stay tuned!

Text picdress: Francescas (similar, similar)
shoes: CL by Laundry
crossbody/clutch: Michael Kors – old (similar, similar)

I love that this dress comes with removable straps. The straps are attached by buttons and can easily be buttoned off!

These shoes are a dream. They are incredibly comfortable to walk in. I have moderately wide feet and the straps didn’t dig in at all. I love the unique embroidery on the heel!

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14 Replies to “My Balayage Journey with Scottfree Salon”

  1. I am the same way with my hair too but in some ways! Lol I haven’t visited a salon for 7 months and have been trimming my own hair! But I still use hair products, flat iron, blow dryer and hairspray! I know my bad! I love your new hair colour, it looks beautiful and I have been wanting to do an ombré for a change! ❤️ Xo

  2. I love your hair! I have really dark hair so waasn’t sure if it would look awful with lighter strands but it seems to look great on you. Also, I had no idea it takes several sessions!

  3. Your hair is so pretty! She did an amazing job so expert next to her name fits. Loving that outfit too. The shoes I want.


  4. You use foil for a Balayage Kishori?

    1. Absolutely, foils are heat conductors, which accelerate the processing time. Foils also keep the moisture of the bleach sealed better as opposed to painting the pieces and laying them in open air. As they say, “when it dries it dies.” Foils are the way to go for darker levels of hair or hair that is resistant.

  5. I’m also super lazy with my hair (shower at night as well). They did an AMAZING job with your Balayage. It looks SO good!

  6. Balayage always amazes me! It looks amazing on you girl!

  7. Aw your hair looks beautiful! They did such an amazing job!

  8. Your hair looks aMAZing! I love the subtle color, which is what I’m always looking for, too! Love your dress 🙂

  9. You have very pretty hair!! Love it!

  10. Oh I absolutely just love your new hairdo 💁 you look so beautiful!! And let me just say, those shoes need to get in my closet asap!!

  11. You look beautiful with your new look! 💙

  12. Your hair looks so phenomenal like this and yes our hair is truly a journey

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