Hair Color Adventures

For a long time, I’ve wanted crazy colored hair. I’m a graduate student working on finishing up my engineering Ph.D., so I finally decided I was running out of time for which having candy colored hair was going to be somewhat socially acceptable, and went for it!

Mermaid Hair

My hair is naturally a medium/dark brown, so going blue definitely required some serious bleaching. I did lots of research online, and ended up deciding I could do this myself (well, with lots of help from my mom!). I was pretty terrified of bleaching my own hair though, and wanted to do a test run first. I started off just bleaching and dying a few chunks from the bottom layers of my hair and my bangs.

Hair with blue streaks

When the hair didn’t fall out, actually still felt like healthy hair after bleaching and dying, and the color stayed well, I ended up doing my whole head of hair a couple months later!

Multicolor Hair

I really appreciated websites/blogs/forums that gave product reviews when I was deciding how to go about dying my hair, so here’s some a lot of  info about what I used and how it worked. I used L’Oreal Quick Blue bleach and a generic 30 volume developer from Sally’s. The idea behind the blue in the bleach is that it’s supposed to act like a toner to help reduce the brassy tones that tend to show up when brown hair is bleached. This is important because if you try to dye colors like green or blue on top of yellow/orange hair, you’re never going to get a good green or blue color. I bought the small packets for the trial run, but got the big tub for doing my whole head.

Green Bangs

We bleached my head in stages because it was taking a while to apply thoroughly, and the processing time is only 40 minutes. My mom would apply as much as she could in about 15 minutes, then we’d wait until 40 minutes after we started, wash it out, then wait for it to completely dry before doing the next batch. It took 5 batches to get my whole head done, so this took about a full day. My hair ended up a nice pale yellow (I’ve heard that for bright colors, you should aim for the color of the inside of a banana) after just one treatment, and while my hair was pretty dry, it wasn’t in bad shape and was actually in decent condition after dying then some conditioner. When washing out the bleach, I didn’t use any shampoo or conditioner, because I wanted my hair to be nice and porous for the dye.

Mermaid Hair

For the dye, I had my heart set on multicolored hair. After reading lots of reviews and then being tempered by what I could find in town, I ended up going with ion brilliance brights in aqua, sky blue, and magenta and beyond the zone color jamz in tripped up turquoise. We did each color in layers from the bottom of my scalp (mixing the magenta with sky blue to get a purple color). The Ion colors were really thick, so I ended up mixing them about 50/50 with a mixture of white conditioner and water. We just put each color up in a butterfly clip when the dye was all in and moved on to the next color. I’d read several places that the dye stayed longer and brighter if you left it waaay longer than the recommended time on the bottle, so ended up leaving it in for about 7 hours. I put a shower cap on over my head and a towel on the couch then just mostly chilled out and watched tv all day.

Multicolored Hair

I’ve been trying to take good care of it: rinsing in cold water, using color safe shampoos and lots of conditioner, not heat processing often, and the color is mostly still fantastic. The only color I’m not thrilled with is the color jamz turquoise, but its really still pretty bright.

Blue Hair Braid

I completely love it, and am so glad I went for it. I’ve gotten a range of reactions, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised that everyone who’s said anything to me about it have only had nice things to say. I’ve even had a couple strangers come up to me and be huge gushing fans of my hair color(s).

8 thoughts on “Hair Color Adventures

  1. Lovin it Girl!!!! Your right…we only have so much time until we have to act a certain way. My son is in his second year of college and stays on the Presidential list for most part, no lower than 3.5…no drugs, no drinking..but his hair is really long. All my mom can see is the hair…he always said he is keeping it till it comes between him and a job. I don’t see the big deal! You go rock that hair!!! Sally’s does have a “conditioner/treatment” for hair you use like a conditioner but it really helps keep colors bright!
    Good luck..have fun!!!!!
    Jackie P

  2. I love your hair! I’m 49 yrs old and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing something shocking to the bottom layer of my hair. I hopped over from the From Dream to Reality linky.

  3. LOVE the hair! When I was 13 I found out that I had cancer and was going to lose my hair due to the chemo and I decided that I was going to have fun with my hair while it lasted. I got it dyed blue and LOVED it. When I lost all my hair it was sad but I just went with it! When the cancer came back a year later I went purple!
    Now, at (cough, cough) 45, I am thinking that I want to go blue again! Might even add some orange and green streaks just for kicks and giggles! Not sure how hubby will feel about it but sometimes you just have to say WTF and go with what feels right for YOU!
    Thanks for sharing your process with me!

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