Boy gone blonde.

I just never thought it’d be me. The last time I did anything - color wise - to my hair was way back in 2010 when I dyed my hair auburn red with a wavy perm. It was even featured on a Tumblr blog at one point (link is now dead - thank god). That experience left me a bit hesitant overall, due to constant dryness and frizziness. It even made my skin significantly more prone to break out.

Then serendipity strikes. In the best way possible - it brought me to

Benjamin with Negin Zand


It all started with a casual conversation with my boothang -

Taye Hansberry

- whom graciously introduced me to

Chad Kenyon

, a famed colorist and Balayage specialist at Benjamin in West Hollywood of Los Angeles.

After a brief but thorough initial consultation with Chad, I was confidently reassured of the process and swiftly made an appointment to embark on my own balayage journey. Here’s what happened to me personally*, step by step:

- First off, the lightening process. This took several applications to finally begin lifting the color off my virgin hair. Not going to lie - the latter applications were a bit more sensitive and at times painful but Chad and his assistant, Mia, did their best to rinse away the lighteners, condition my hair and reapply to ensure that damage to my scalp was minimal.

- To expedite the lightening process, I was under a few heat lamps, roughly at about 5-10 minute intervals. Chad and his team were constantly checking up on me, brought me tea and even helped fill the meter where my Mini was parked! Talk about attentive, 360 service. After a couple more rinses and lightening applications, my hair was finally beginning to transition into platinum blonde status and ready to be colored!

- This next step is what truly sets Chad and Salon Benjamin apart:

the Balayage technique

, which essentially means to "to sweep" in French. And Chad swept away magically, leaving me with a customized, platinum blonde color that felt instantly natural and sun-kissed.

- Chad then took the sweeping part further by adding a gloss finish to ensure that every part from the root to the tips were just ***flawess. This was finished with a gorgeous cut by resident hair stylist extraordinare,

Alan Martinez


The entire process, from lightening to coloring then cut, took roughly 6 hours. Although this may come off as a shocker for most guys, I believe it was all worth it.

I was treated with the utmost care at Salon Benjamin, starting with Chad's expert color formulas, which contained


, a component that prevented my hair from any breakage whatsoever, to the consistent, upscale level of service from the staff overall.

The outcome simply speaks for itself:

As for maintenance, it is as simple as 1, 2 and 3.


is the apothecary component of Benjamin with Negin Zand, where you'll find a high-end, boutique products that'll keep your newly-blonde hair healthy and shiny. The products I ended up choosing are the R+Co Gemstone color shampoo and conditioner.

It's important to note that your hair and scalp will be dry afterwards, so a weekly mask is highly recommended to restore optimal levels of moisture.

If you are interested in going platinum blonde or want to learn more if the process is right for you,

contact and ask for Chad Kenyon

at Benjamin with Negin Zand to get started!

*This experience was conducted in partnership with Chad Kenyon at Salon Benjamin with Negin Zand, but the decision to move forward and words are my own. Please also note that the coloring process varies from person to person.