Hello, this is a surprise post I did not plan to write, but I felt like it, so I'm squeezing it in here.
Haircare! Hair colors! Dye!
Stop it, Saga.
If your hair is already dyed and you have no interest in what I have to say about how to get a good result, if you just want to know how to keep your color and hair vibrant and what to do to keep it strong and healthy, scroll down past the images to point 6. (I won't judge you, just a little bit).
There are a lot of things to think about with dyed hair. How to make it last and not wash out straight away, how to keep it strong, fighting damage and other horrors, etc. Especially with "extreme" colors - i.e. unnatural colors, such as pink and blue. Being a hairfreak I've faced every horror there is to face, believe me.
First time I dyed my hair in an "extreme" color I was tiny and obsessed with An Cafe. I also didn't know what a straightening iron was, nor did I know what eyeliner was, and I used to draw the Nyappy-thing on my cheek, so I don't think I need to even say how not pretty it looked. The hair was the worst part though. Standard emo-haircut, short in the back and long in the front, straight bangs, ear-like sideparts. Dirty blonde in the back, red bangs, pink side-hair-ear-thingies.
I still feel the need to run and scream "NO" just thinking about it.
Luckily I moved out of that phase, and from that first glorious hairstyle it escalated way too quickly. To sum it up; ice blonde, white, white with red and black bangs, dirty blonde with brown parts, dark brown with red parts, all black, black with orange bangs, black with a purple part by the neck and purple bangs, after that I don't even know, blonde again, blue for like an hour, black again, red and black, light brown, lighter brown, blonde, blonde with brown and blue parts, baby pink, white, grey, grey with black bangs and pigtails (actually my favorite hairstyle ever), white, dark brown, orange, brown and pink, and bam, seaweed hair. It's been green once before but that was an accident and it was horrible and people gave me disgusted looks.
My hair has been close to death so, so many times.
But you know with experience comes some sort of wisdom, and I do know quite a bit about taking care of hair - dyed hair in particular - by now. My hair is not dead, after all.
Time to share what I know with y'all!
(Hey, that did rhyme)
Along with grey x black, probably my two favorite colors (so far).
1. Products for dyeing (vibrant, clear colors, like my white hair, or the bottom part of my seaweed hair):
- I usually bleach my hair with Schwarzkopf's strongest bleach, L101.
- Any other bleach from any other brand, works just as well, just know that the stronger the better.
- Look for the number of shades the bleach will lighten your hair. As many as possible, I think there are dyes that lightens up to 11 shades.
There aren't a lot of permanent extreme colors out there, except for maybe red. So going with a creamy dye, that works almost as conditioner, is the best thing to do. It's also less damaging on the hair (actually, from what I've experienced, it actually feels like my hair gets stronger when I use my beloved Directions hairdye). It's not very toxic in any way either, I usually don't even wear gloves when dyeing my hair. I live with the weird colored hands instead.
- Directions is the brand I use most of the time. There's also Stargazer, Manic Panic, and probably some other brands as well. I do think these three are the biggest, however.
- You can usually find these in more "alternative" clothing stores.
- If you don't have any nearby you, use Google, or just search on eBay.
- "Directions hairdye purple" ← it's that easy.
1:2. Products for dyeing (a more washed out tone, like the top half of my seaweed hair):
I actually went straight from light-dark brown with dirty pink ends to seaweed without bleaching in between. Keep in mind though that my hair have been bleached many times in the past, so it was and is pretty damaged. That's why the color still stuck to the hair so well.
The hair must always be a little bit damaged if you want a good result. So;
- Simply use a weaker bleach.
- The hair must still be a lighter shade of brown. Extreme colors will not have any effect on black hair, or really dark hair.
2. Basic things to think about before bleaching and/or applying an extreme color:
Which result you want;
- I repeat: in most cases, your hair must be bleached for the dye to have any effect at all. Like I said, extreme colors will not work on black hair. Your scalp will suck up the color though, just for the record.
- I repeat x 2: if your hair isn't too dark and has been damaged or been bleached before, you might not need to bleach your hair again. That is, if you're going for a more "dirty" shade (unless of course your hair is close to white).
- Think of it as applying a transparent layer of color onto your hair. Darker hair, darker shade.
Hair quality (please don't kill your hair);
- Simple thing you can do to check if your hair is fit for fight, pull on the ends when it's wet. If it's kind of elastic and rubbery, don't do anything to that poor sucker. Hair treatment (scroll down a little dear friend), now.
- Depending on how dark your hair is, you might need to bleach it more than once. Bleaching is probably one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair.
- If you have to bleach it more than once, wait at least two weeks between each attack. Because of reasons I will write right down below.
Let me quickly explain what the bleach actually does to your hair. It will "open up" the texture of the hair, and suck out as much color as it can during that "opening" (here's where the number of shades plays a part). Once the bleach has done it's job and you've washed it out, the hair will still be "open" for a while. Which means, that it will be a little tired an unwilling to let go of more color. So even though you might get rid of some more dark tones if you bleach it for the second time on the same day as the first time, the result will be so much better if you wait until the hair is "closed" again. And, it will be less damaging.
When you get roots;
- Just bleach the roots, then apply the dye over the bleached part to "fill in the gap", so to speak. Simple as that.
4. Dyeing and how to create colors:
I've already mentioned hairdye sticks better to damaged hair. This is why it'll be most effective on hair that has been bleached recently, preferably on the same day. It'll suck the dye right up. Unless, again, you're going for a darker shade. Remember what I said about that transparent layer of color that you apply over your current shade? Good.
There's also some other things to know about the colors and shades;
- If you want a color that doesn't exist, you can mix already existing dyes to create new colors. Blue and red becomes purple, that kind of thing. That way you can pretty much control every little detail about the color.
- If you want a lighter shade than the colors that exist, simply mix a dark shade of the color with white dye. Or, if you don't want to buy white dye (that might give it a more purplish shade), mix it with some conditioner before applying it.
- According to Mashyumaro, it's perfectly safe to mix colors from different brands. Like mixing a purple shade of Directions with a pink shade of Manic Panic, for example.
How do you do it Saga-senpai?
- I cannot believe I just wrote that, I am sincerely sorry.
- The easiest way is of course to simply follow the instructions that comes with the hairdye you choose.
- That said, given that dyes don't do much damage to the hair, you can leave it in for as long as you want. The longer the better, I'd say. I usually make a whole day of it and leave it in for like 5 hours.
If you choose to do what I do and just leave the dye in for as long as you feel like; there is no exact number to go after. So don't worry about it!
If you look at my seaweed hair, the top half is darker;
- The top half was light brown, the bottom half was dirty baby pink.
- The top half was dyed with a Directions Atlantic blue and Turquoise-mashup, not mixed with conditioner.
- The bottom half was dyed with Turquoise and a little bit of conditioner.
If you're going for an half and half-style, like this one (ruthlessly directing you to the already mentioned Mashyumaro, because she is a hair goddess), then I'm afraid practice makes perfect. But it's all about dividing your hair into parts and applying the different dyes carefully where they're supposed to be. Be careful if you have a dark part in an otherwise light lump of hair; when you wash it out it might bleed onto the light part.
Try to wash out separately, one part at a time. Same when you refill the color, which is what I will talk about on the next step.
6. Keeping the color vibrant:
Now here's the fun part. Keeping extreme colors vibrant can be a real bitch, pardon my French.
- The more damaged your hair is, the slower the color will fade, I'm afraid.
- Some colors fade more quickly, while other colors - such as red, for example - is a nightmare to wash or bleach away.
Heads up: I had to bleach my hair five times to get rid of my red Stargazer experiment. It was still very, very light pink.
What you can do;
- To start off simple, re-dye as soon as you don't like what you see. This might not have to be so often, if you...
- Each time you wash your hair, grab a cup or a bowl and mix some hairdye into your conditioner. Use it like you would use conditioner normally, but maybe leave it in for an extra minute or so. This will keep the color fresh between each "bigger" refill.
White and grey hair;
White and grey are the trickiest colors to maintain. Silver shampoo, white and grey dyes, bleaching and bleaching, you have to work it. Writing this separately to just put emphasis on the fact that these two are bitches, sometimes.
7. Health, dammit, don't forget to keep your hair healthy:
The hair is, to keep it simple, a mess of nutrients and other things that is left over when your body has taken what it needs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's what I've learned, both by experience and from working briefly at a salon and going to school.
This is why you lose hair when you don't eat properly - your body will give all the good things to the rest of the body, and will refuse to waste nutrients on the hair. I know this from experience and it is not fun in any way.
Keep yourself healthy;
- Eat food rich in vitamins. We're talking veggies and fruit, people.
- Eat food rich in protein. Like eggs. And avocado (I'm allergic so I'm going to leave that one for you).
- Drink plenty of water. And by that I mean p l e n t y.
- Don't drink too much tea and coffee (I'm afraid I'm not doing this, but it's a tip).
- Learn what's good and bad, which I will talk about right away.
Enemies / things to be careful with:
Silicone - If there is silicone in a bottle of shampoo, no. Bad shampoo.
Shampoo - Don't wash your hair so often. Wait as long as you can, wait until it really needs it. Every time you wash your hair, the shampoo does damage to it. So obviously this is a simple way to keep your hair a little happier.
Styling - Teasing, for example. Something that the hair doesn't like. I'm not saying you shouldn't, I'm just saying maybe you shouldn't do it if your hair is falling off.
Styling products - Hairspray in particular, makes the hair dry and sad. When you go out to stock up on supplies, go somewhere where there's staff that can help you pick out products that are better for the hair than other products.
Styling tools - Straightening irons, curling irons, blow-dryers, etc, you may use them, but keep in mind that they are not your friends. Heat dries out the hair. If possible, at least avoid to blow-dry your hair. And when you do use these things, you might want to consider using some sort of heat protecting product. There are sprays and mousses, for example.
Keratine - Look for products with keratine. Like shampoo and conditioner. The hair is part keratine and therefore loves keratine, so giving it some extra to munch on is always a good idea.
Simple things - Oils, conditioners, good food, nutrients I've mentioned, hair masks, etc. You can buy hair masks where you can get shampoo, or if you want the real deal, at your hairdresser.
8. Some do-it-yourself hair remedies
In general, just rubbing oil into your hair, wrapping it up in plastic or just a towel, leaving it in for as long as you want and washing it out with water, is a good thing to do.
If you know what's good for the hair, you can pretty much whip up simple hair masks with what you have at home. Oils, mayonnaise, eggs, even beer, soy, avocado, and so on. There are tons and tons of recipes online that you can try out. Me and Alex tried one out though, so I'll use it as an example.
I don't have the exact measurements, but it's not that important either. So here goes:
Measure and mix the ingredients so the result is not too thin and not too thick. Divide it evenly and rub it in all over your head (not the face, just the hair, but you get that). Use a good amount, don't be shy. Wrap it in plastic foil and wrap a towel around it - the heat will help it absorb the goodies. Leave it in for at least 15 minutes, or longer if you want to. Maybe don't sleep with it, but otherwise there's no set time when you need to take it out unless you want to die.
1. Bleach and dye until you're happy with the result
2. Keep the color fresh with the tricks I mentioned
3. Bleach roots and / or re-dye completely when you feel like it's needed
4. Eat properly, dammit
5. Don't wash your hair so often
6. Avoid enemies, welcome friends
7. Use hair-remedies and masks once a week or every other week, as often as you want
(maybe not every day, though)
This was meant to be a short post, but I suppose I had more to say than I thought. I'm sorry. Or not sorry, depending on how helpful or not-helpful you found this long rant.
Of course I do really hope someone found this helpful in some way!
And as usual I hope someone made it to the end of this mountain of text. If so, thank you very much for reading and thank you for not throwing your computer out the window with a loud roar of frustration. I love you very much dear person who I can't possibly see through my screen.
Have a great life until next time,
Chu chu ♡( ᵕ̤ɜ)ᵕ̤ૢᴗᵕ̤ૢ )♡