Thursday, 12 June 2014

So you want to dye your hair pink? (Or blue... or green... or bright red...) A short novel of information...

Lots of people ask me how do I get my hair that colour? What brand's do I use? How long does it last? So many question's, and so many variable answer's. See, pink hair could last weeks longer than blue would before needing a re-dye, and at the same time, the base colour for blue could be different to the one needed for pink! If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, then read on! 

Let's start at the start! 

First, I want to explain something. You can have an unnatural colour like blue or green or purple without your hair having to be blonde. However, you do need a light base colour to get your hair vibrantly bright or a pastel shade. For example, purple dye over dark hair could turn out something like this: where you would see the purple in the sunshine or under a bright light, but otherwise it may not be noticeable. In my experience, this doesn't last very many washes either before it fades out. On the other hand, if you put a blue over blonde hair, it would end up something like this:

So, let's pretend you want to dye your hair pink. But your hair colour is either a dyed or natural brown, red or black (if you're blonde, you're lucky and you probably won't need this bit!). How do you do it?? Well first thing's first, dying your hair from a dark colour like black to anything lighter is going to be both highly damaging to your hair and is going to take a while. If you want it to happen overnight, it is possible, but then you're going to really damage your hair! 

Your only form of attack is bleach, which basically removes all of your hair's natural pigment and you're left with anything from white hair to a gingery colour (depending on your natural- or dyed- hair colour. Bleach over darker hair tends to go kind of gingery, but if you bleach lighter hair it will have a more neutral tone.) If your hair goes gingery then you can either colour over it with an ash blonde shade to normal it out a bit or use a silver toner in your hair to neutralise the ginger (That is also the very short explanation as to how to get your hair to silver or white. You will probably need at least 2 bleach session's to get your hair light enough for this, even naturally blonde hair and it is very time consuming and damaging). If you decide to bleach it again, you can, but I would highly recommend waiting a week or more, or at the very least using a deep conditioning treatment in your hair first.

Here you can see what bleach did to my
fringe over purple hair
Silver toner shampoo (available in Boots and some supermarkets): 

An example of a Deep Conditioning Treatment:


So now, your hair is either naturally blonde or bleached blonde, but either ways, it's a light colour. You're halfway there! 

What do you do now? Get your hand's on some hair dye of course! I prefer to go for brands like Direction's, Manic Panic and Crazy Colours. These are all considered conditioning colour's, so basically they're just conditioner's with pigment in them! So they have no ammonia or damaging ingredient's. Don't let that fool you though, they have staying power! Where can I get these amazing dye's I hear you ask? Well, a lot more places than you could years ago!

Mostly, I get my blue's and pink's etc in Sally's Hair Salon Supplies or in another salon supply store who's name eludes me right now. Yes, even simple civilian's like ourselves (not qualified hairdresser's I mean) can go into these store's and buy stuff! I usually get the brand "Crazy Colours" and choose whatever colour takes my fancy. You can also buy some of these colours in chemists and supermarkets now! But I don't think these brand's are as good, they're damaging to your hair unlike the vegetable dye's and also you can't play around with them like you can with the vegetable dye's (more on that later!)

Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL in Shocking Pink, available in chemist's and supermarkets: 

My current collection of dye's! 

You can also buy these brands in an abundance of places online, from their own websites (Crazy Colours website: Manic Panic website: or from other site's (Hair Crazy website: Beeunique website:, among many more!) And even on Amazon and Ebay! 

You have the dye, your hair is ready and your body is ready, what now?? 

This is the moment that you have been waiting for... it's time to dye!
First, cover your floor with newspaper or something, believe me, chances are that you'll drop a dollop of dye on your bathroom floor and not notice! And while you're protecting the floor, throw on an old t-shirt too, or an old towel over your shoulder's! This, you will need!

You can either use these dye's on wet or dry hair! Some say wet, some say dry on the bottle. Personally, I think it works best on dry hair, but whatever you choose to do yourself, I've tried both methods and I really don't think it matter's that much. If you decide to wet your hair, go ahead and give it a quick run under the shower, there's no need to soak it and shampoo is a no-no as far as I'm concerned. Day old hair seems to work best.

If you are mixing the dye with conditioner, do this now. You don't need much dye, just use a tiny blob at first and a good amount of conditioner, slowly adding more dye to get to the colour you want. Mix these together in a plastic mixing bowl using a dye brush or a plastic spoon or something (you can get these dye mixing bowl's in pound shops now and they come with a dye brush, for about €1-€2!) or in a Pyrex bowl. If you're not mixing the dye's then you could either squeeze it out of the bottle as you go, or you can pour it into your mixing bowl.

And here we go!

Pop your gloves on (this stuff stains your hands) and starting at the roots, start putting on the dye using the brush or your hands, working down the length of your hair. Section your hair off as you work and when it comes to the back of your head, hold a mirror up behind your head while facing another mirror or rope in someone else to do it for you! Once you have it all on, tie your hair up with an old bobbin to keep it out of the way. You can then cover it in cling film, a shower hat or a plastic bag to both keep it out of the way and keep in the heat to help it develop that little bit better.

Leave this on for anywhere from 15 minutes to 2hours- since there's no peroxide or ammonia, it's safe to do this. I left it on overnight once and it turned out the most vibrant and bright, shiny colour I've ever had!

When rinsing it out, wet your hair a little, then massage it to loosen up the dye and rinse it thoroughly, until the water runs clear- which may take a few minutes! You can use a little shampoo of you like. It's a good idea to have gloves on for this, and rinse your shower or bath out well when you're done as it can stain.

Then all that's left to do is dry, style and enjoy your gorgeous new hair! 


Bonus info and Tips!

1. If you want a pastel shade, you can either go for the exact shade you want, or go for a darker shade of pink or blue or whichever colour you're going for and dilute it with white conditioner or a mixer/ pastel-iser (I haven't tried the latter myself yet) to a slightly darker colour than the colour you're going for- since it will turn out lighter when you rinse it out.
Manic Panic Pastelizer:
Also, if you want a pastel shade, your base colour will need to be very light- almost white. The lighter your hair is, the more pastel it will turn out. 

2. Diluting the bottle of dye makes it last much longer since you're only using a fraction of the bottle and also means you get the exact colour you want. 

3. Since these dye's are just like coloured conditioner's, you can also mix different colours of these dye's to get another colour, like blue and yellow to get green, or dark blue and light purple to make a purple with a hint of blue, the colour world is your oyster.

4. These are conditioning colours, they won't damage your hair as they do not contain peroxide or ammonia! They're actually good for your hair,just like a conditioning treatment.  

5. The cost of these dye's varies slightly, but you're looking at a bottle costing around €6 to €8. 

6.  If you don't dilute the dye, it could last any time from a few washes to a couple of months. It all depends on your hair dye and how often you wash your hair, what shampoo you use and how much time you spend in the sun. If you do dilute it, it may not last as long. If you're looking to dye your hair green for the weekend and want it normal again by Monday, these are definitely not the type to use. 

7. On the other hand, if you find your hair is fading too fast for your liking, mix a little bit of the dye into your bottle of conditioner and use this in the shower as your normal conditioner. This helps maintain your beautiful colour. Also, wash your hair as infrequently as you can bear, and use dry shampoo's in between! 

Not my hair, but it's so pretty!
Fade scale, or how long a colour will likely last, from my own experience: 

Red: I have always found red hair to fade extremely quickly! As in, 2 washes later and it's dull and turning orange... However, I have only tried box dye red's, so I cant say how a Crazy Colour Red will last.

Orange: Has usually been from a faded red for me. I find it lasts quite well and can look beautiful! 

Green: I think lasts very well, it seems to stay a strong colour for a bit longer than is average, and even when faded can look quite nice.

Blue: Definitely one of my favourite colours to have, but I find it needs to be re-dyed every couple of weeks or a little more than that, otherwise it can look like an unattractive grey colour. I also found it very hard to get a dark blue colour, even when using the deeper colour dye's!

Purple: Purple has some serious staying power if you go for a dark shade, especially with a box dye, but if you try a lavender or lilac, I find it lasts only slightly longer than a red would before it fades and looks dull. 

Pink: As you probably already know, pink is by far my favourite! It's got good staying power and it looks beautiful no matter how faded it is. So even if it is starting to fade, it looks nice. Also, with pink, I feel it's not as *in your face* as some other colour's and I think it's nice and subtle, not too extreme, so I think it's a good colour to go for if you're a bit apprehensive about trying an unnatural colour. 

RAINBOW: Takes a lot of time and effort and is probably best left to when you have a buddy to help you, but boy would it be worth it! I haven't tried it myself though, because as you can see above, colour's fade at different rate's so your pink and green could be crazy bright but your red and lilac could be dull and icky. If you're patient and don't mind re-dying frequently though, then I say go for it!

Final Word: 

I did say it was a short novel! I really hope this was helpful! I realise it is an abundance of info, but I tried my best to keep it simple and all in order! I will likely add more and more to this as time goes on and I remember or discover new tips and tricks, so keep an eye out! Please feel free to comment, ask a question, correct me if I have said something incorrect, tell me about something you have tried that has worked out or show me how your own colour has turned out! I love to get feedback on my post's! 

Now, what are you waiting for? Go dye your hair that wonderful crazy colour you've always longed for! 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Colour B4 success story! From brown to blonde in one step.

This is the story of how I went from a "Semi-Permanent" brown that wouldn't wash out, to a gorgeous natural blonde colour! 

Back in January, I dyed my hair from it's beautiful pastel pink to a semi-permanent brown, in an attempt to let my hair relax and eventually get it back to it's natural state. So I used Clairol's "Nice n Easy" Non-Permanent dye in brown (I can't remember what shade!) over the pink.

The brand of brown dye I used (Image from Google)

From a faded version of this
To this! 

Anyway, I kept this brown in my hair until April- it was fading very slowly even though it was supposed to last just 24 washes and to be honest, I really didn't like it at all. So when it was a light brown, I used a "Garnier Olia" in "Intense Red" that I'd had from last year on top of the brown. All this did was slightly tint the brown with a very light red... This was a permanent Red dye so I expected much more of a tint- not to mention the fact that 2 washes later this red was practically gone altogether! 

The red that I put on top of the brown. (Image from Google)

Now I didn't know what to do- I hated the brown, it was very patchy and not nice to look at, red wouldn't take over it at all and I wasn't about to bleach
it! I spent a week or so hating my hair and yet not knowing how to fix it! Then one day, the solution came to me from YouTube! 
Colour B4!

My hair right before I used Colour B4

(Image from Google)

The next day that I had money, I high-tailed it to my local Boots Store and picked up a Colour B4! I had intended on getting the normal strength but all they had was Extra Strength. It wasn't cheap either- it was €14! But, I couldn't stand the brown any longer, so I bought it and trotted on home. The next day, I followed the instructions and popped it on my hair.

Now, two things, first, I remember this stuff stinking to the high heavens last time I used it a few years ago, so I was prepared this time- bathroom fan was on and windows spread wide- but it smelled fine! Don't get me wrong, it was no summer flowers scent, but it was very bearable! The second thing is that it didn't look like there was much in it, so I was worried it wouldn't cover my whole head, but there was more than enough. In the end I was trying to find spots on my hair to use up the excess! I left it on for the designated time under a plastic shower hat (30 minutes I think, and by this time I could see my hair had turned blonder) and then went and stood for the next 25 or so minutes in the shower, rinsing and buffering and rinsing again (this is the not so fun part, but it's essential to follow the instructions!)

Once the rinsing was all over and done with, I towel dried my hair and was shocked when I looked in the mirror- it was blonde, and a brighter blonde than I ever remember my natural hair being. I was astounded and very happy! 

The resulting colour

It's been a month now since I used the Colour B4, and the initial brightness of the blonde has faded somewhat, perhaps due to my hairs natural oils coming back, but I do have a re-growth at my roots that is darker than the rest, making it look like I've dyed my hair. It also took a while for the smell to go away- it was fine normally but when I wet my hair I could smell it again. 

All in all, I honestly can't believe it worked so well, I had expected my hair to go a gingery colour if anything. Prior to the pink, I was trying to get my hair to platinum blonde using Live XXL bleach, before that it had been blue since the summer time and before that was my natural blonde hair. I would definitely recommend giving this a go to remove unwanted hair colours, it can work on multiple layers of dye and on build-up. However, if you have bleached your hair recently, it may turn your hair gingery, if this is the case, you can dye straight after using the Colour B4 with a light ash blonde dye or similar. If you are wanting to remove blue, pink or any unnatural shades from your hair, the results can vary greatly with this product, but it may be worth the try!

If you have any question's, I will gladly answer them! I am not a professional (yet!) but I have done a lot of research and experiments with hair. Please feel free to chat and comment below!