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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).