Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Hair Dye Series: Funky Colours and Maintenance!

Funky Colours!

Ok, so you've bleached your hair, its been toned and is the right colour base for your colour... what now??

If you've just done your last bleach and hair is still dripping wet from the shower..GREAT! DO NOT CONDITION!! I know, this is going against every fibre of your being, you've just ravaged your hair with chemicals and it needs the soft silky goodness of conditioner! 

Too bad! For optimum results, semi perm hair colours stick better to just bleached, unconditioned hair. 

Now by semi perm i mean the true semis such as Special Effects, Manic Panic, Adore, Crazy Colour, Directions, Stargazer, and so on... they wil come in just a tube or tub, with nothing else to mix with, and usually say 'conditioning hair colour' or at least Directions does!

I generally use Directions, or Crazy Colour as i know these work well on my hair and i can guess pretty accurately how much/many tubs ill need!

Now hopefully you will have read this before you'd conditioned! If not, wait a few days then apply. 

Remember what i said about getting the right base? Heres why...

Hair before last bleach using XXL Max Blonde HD

After the last XXL, was a light blonde, some yellow still remaining, and a bit darker underneath.

I conducted a strand test of 3 different shades on the darkest parts of my hair, this way id know what colour they would go on the darkest parts and so ensuring i get the colour result i want! I left it on for about 20 minutes.

Atlantic Blue

As you can see Atlantic Blue went a bright blue on the ends where is was lightest and a murky green where is was a yellow/light orange.

Neon Blue

Neon Blue went a very dark inky blue, this appeared very purple in the tub, so i believe this one to be purple based. It was a nice colour but still too dark for my liking!


Plum went on perfectly! Full coverage, bold colour and the right brightness! I also sectioned off some bits on the underside to put Flamingo Pink on them.

I left the whole thing on (whilst wearing a bag on my head!) for about 6 hours.
The result?

Ultra Violet hair that looks Blue under certain lights!! Im so happy with it!!!


When you first wash your hair a lot of colour will come out, and the water will not run clear. These veggie semi dyes stain like a mofo so ensure you wear gloves, old clothes and be ready to scrub the bath!

You can shampoo straight away of you wish but bear in mind, the more you wash your hair the quicker the fade, and less bright it will be. 

Rub off is another issue...ignore this warning and beware! You will wake up the next morning with your ears, face, neck and arms the same colour as your hair!!

To solve this do a vinegar rinse (or vodka rinse, whichever you have handy!). This is 1 part vinegar, with 4 parts water. Use white vinegar, as this is colorless and wont affect your hair. The smell wont linger either, as soon as your hair is dry you wont smell it. Pour this mix over your hair after you have shampoo'd and conditioned, right before you get out the shower, don't rinse again, leave this on as this will stop rub off. 

As ive said, to keep hair bright as long as possible, try to cut down on the amount of times you wash your hair. I wash mine once a week and use dry shampoo towards the end of the week to keep hair fresh...sort of!

You can mix these dyes to make your own custom colour too! 

Thats about it really! Use the time it takes for the colour to fade to nurse your hair back to full health!!

Good luck and enjoy funky hair!


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Hair Dye Series Part 2.5 DAMAGE!

Damaged your hair?
Thought it would be a good idea to include a mini help guide after part 2 if you've accidently damaged your hair!

Oh No! Your hair feels all weird?! 
Is this damage and how the hell do i get rid of it?!!

Right...its ok, take a minute to really study your hair both when wet and dry. Rule number 1: Do not put another bleach on your hair!

I know, i know, your stuck with a multicolored mess of ginger and yellow and have to do something!!

Do NOT do what i did and carry on gonna go off on a tangent here and tell you a little story of my hair...

''My hair was dyed black, it was a Schwarzkopf XXL Deep black black or whatever it was called! Now mini fact here, a lot of dyes particularly XXL dyes, contain a lot of silicone's and these little evils melt under high heats such as using hair straighteners!! Which i did, regularly. This means that sometimes this will actually 'stain' the hair making it even harder to get rid of! Ever bleached and still had a section of hair thats the same colour even though you know you covered it? Yeah, probs silicone damage! So anyway, I was ignorant to advice, i didnt care less about damage and i wanted blue hair!! And so the nightmare begins... I used Colour B4, then bleached it straight after using 40%vol. It re-oxidized and so being disappointed, i used another bleach, same %vol as before. It made it so ginger and patchy and still ahd black bits from silicone damage, i couldnt stand it so i took the box of XXL Absolute Platinum thinking this would do the job. All in the same day remember! My hair ended up a medium ginger, with bright yellow roots... and it was fried. It was so dry and crispy i knew it needed a cut but i didnt want to admit it. So i left it for a few days, hoping a conditioner would sort it out. Alas it didnt! So i did the best thing i could for my poor ruined hair and scalp... i shaved it all off.
Lesson Learned.
Growing it back was the worse experience ever, i had a mullet for months and i thought i looked horrid, didnt wanna look in a mirror and my scalp was really cold...
Never. Again''

So if you dont want to end up shaving your head, heed my warning, dont double process, which means, dont use a bleach then a permanent box dye or another bleach, only use a product that contains no peroxide such as a true semi permanent dye such as Directions, Adore, Stargazer..ect...

Dont assume the damage is repairable with conditioner... it more than likely needs something better suited for the damage occurred.

If your hair is wirey/frazzled ends/dry or snapping... theres no doubt about it, you NEED a haircut. The thing with split ends/damage this bad is the split travels up the shaft of the hair and so it may start snapping at the middle of the hair or even, at the root if the damage is that bad.

If your hair feels gummy/ overly stretchy when wet, its lost a lot of protein, a trim will help but invest in a good quality reconstruction shampoo/conditioner with protein in it! Joico K Pak Reconstruction conditioner is great for this. It will help your hair but do not overuse. Like most things, too much of a good thing can be bad, and in this case, too much protein can cause dryness, so use once or twice a week at the most. This can be expensive, but its that or having a very drastic new haircut! Quick tip! Mayonnaise  although not as effective, does contain protein and coating the hair in that can help improve the condition of your hair...although it can smell a bit...

If your hair is on the dry side, your hair is lacking moisture...invest in a coconut oil, Superdrug sells one for under £5.00. It solid, but you have to melt it in some hot water then apply to the head and leave for a few hours. Again, use once or twice a week.

This will help with a few problems but remember, be careful with bleach, it is a chemical and it can burn the scalp, its best to apply it on 2 day old hair (hair that hasn't been washed for 2 days) as the natural oils from your scalp will help protect your head from chemical burns.

Dont panic if damage does occur, but be sensible and realistic...a reconstructer will help the hair somewhat but nothing beats removing the damage completely with a haircut...even if it is just a trim!!

Hair dye & Everything Else

Part 2

Bleaching/Lightening & Toning

Now holaholaholahola HOLD UP!?

First things first...

Now what you're gonna wanna do is see how much colour build up you have.. *this doesn't apply those who have virgin hair* (hair thats never been colored) some? A lot? Invest in a Colour Remover and use that first. I've used these a couple of times, including Colour B4 Max and Scott Cornwall Decolour. 
Here's the lowdown...they are not miracle workers, they wont 'completely remove colour' at all and they stink like rotten eggs and decomposing fish when applied to hair.. oh and the smell lingers...for days. However if used they can help remove some colour build up. Its certainly better than an extra bleach! Personally i had a better experience with Colour B4 than Decolour so id have to recommend that one! The only downside? After using this you shouldnt bleach straight afterwards, as chances are, it will re-oxidize. Even though the packaging does say you can colour straight away 9/10 times it will re-oxidized turning your hair orange/back to original colour/wont work at all. This of course applies to dyes that contain peroxide such as bleaches, permanent and demi dyes...oh and some semi's depending on if they contain peroxide. 

Okay so after the colour remover you need to decide if your hair needs to be lifted more levels. This is where bleach comes in! There are many things to consider... what vol to use, what brand, how long to leave it for, full bleach or just a bleach bath?

First off:

What vol % do i need?
If your hair is still very dark/ either brown/black/dark ginger id go for a bleach with 40%vol. 
If your hair is a brighter orange/yellow id say a 30%vol will suffice.
If a very light orange/pale yellow/blonde a bleach bath will do for you...
however all this depends on what colour result you want, the more intense the colour you want, the lighter your base needs to be!
Refer back to Hair State post.

What Brand is best?
Well..this depends on you and your preferences. I can personally recommend Jerome Russell Bblonde. Thats always worked well for me, but i actually prefer to use a very light hair dye!
Schwarzkopf XXL Max Blonde 00B is an excellent lightening product which i find isnt as harsh as a bleach, wont strip all the colour molecules from your hair and smells a lot better!
It works really well and this is what i always buy nowadays when i want my hair lightened. Now even though this isnt what XXL claim to be the lightest blonde they do, (they go up to 00A Absolute Platinum) but 00B Max Blonde has the most lifting power and is the strongest of the 4 shades of blonde they do. Oh and word of warning! Stay away from the Absolute Platinum, it made my hair yellow!

How long do i leave it for?
ALWAYS follow the time on the box. Never leave it on for longer than what they state on the packaging or it may burn/damage your hair and scalp. The only thing to consider here is, does it need just a little lift? Or is it needing a full 45 minutes of bleach as your hair is still pretty dark? You decide, just keep an eye on your hair, and the time and if you start to feel an itching or burning sensation, wash it off immediately.

Full Bleach or Bleach Bath?
Okay, again, dependent on your hair. If its dark/ too dark for the colour you want, a full bleach is best.
If it just needs to be lightened a few shades, try a bleach bath.

What is a bleach bath?
This is when you normally use a lower strength bleach such as 20%vol and mix it with shampoo and add this on your hair for the amount of time stated on the bleach package or until desired colour is achieved. It generally a lot gentler on your hair and scalp as the bleach is diluted without taking away from the strength of peroxide, hence why you use a lower %vol of bleach. For a more in depth tutorial see here:
This is a great way to lighten your hair without doing a full on bleach.

So you've bleached/lightened your hair but its still a bit yellow/brassy but dont want to go for a full bleach? Toner is your new best friend.

What is a Toner?
It wont lighten your hair as its basically a shampoo! But its special! Normally blue or purple these shampoos are designed to cancel out yellow/orange tones in hair leaving you with a neutral head of hair! Voila! A great solution to those pesky bits of yellow that wont go away! If unsure, refer to the colour wheel!

See how purple is opposite yellow?
Yes, refer to this whenever you want to neutralize a colour.

Achieved the colour you want? YAY! Your ready to dye! Stay tuned for Part 3! Hair dyes, brands, and the truth about semi's!


Friday, 1 November 2013

Hair Dye/ Care/ Bleaching and everything else!!

So quick intro! Im going to me redyeing mine and a friends hair soon so i thought id do an informative post on how to do... pretty much anything...! Stay may turn into a series!!

Part 1
Hair State
(Pre dye prep!)

So you want funky coloured hair? Fabulous! Having bright/alternative hair makes you a heck of a lot easier to spot in a crowd and your friends will thank you for it.... but lets start at the beginning... What is your colour right now? I think the best way to do this is a sort of list as the colour of your hair right now will determine how long it will take you to achieve the colour of your choice. 

You can go any colour of your choice! Really, you can, you can have a damn rainbow if you like! Dont let anyone tell you differently...the catch is...the colour you want? Yeah it may not be achievable right away. Thats because not all colours will cover all bases, and by bases i mean, your hair colour.

For instance your hair is are not going to achieve a wonderfully bright blue or pink on that base. Heck no colour will be bright on a black base you might get a sheen of colour if your lucky! Let me just make a list...

Currant Hair Colour:

Black: Any bright colour you want to achieve will not work on this base. You will need to bleach/remove this colour. More information on this later.
Brown: Depending on the shade, most bright colours wont go over this base, or at least wont stick to the hair meaning it wont be as bright or last as long. 1 or 2 bleaches are recommended depending on shade and what hair colour you want to achieve.
Blonde: Lucky you! Again depending on the shade most hair colours will go well over a blonde base, the darker the blonde the less intense the colour result will be, a low volume bleach or even a bleach bath will suffice for you lucky blonde haired people!
Red: Your hair may need a bit of bleach to help non red toned colours to go over your base, again depends on your shade and the colour you wish to achieve.

The general rule is, bright/alternative colours will stick better to bleached hair (though not damaged hair!) as it is lighter and so colours will come out more vibrant/true to whats on the tub!

The lighter your base colour, the better result.

Certain colours such as blues, greens and lighter shades of pinks and purples, will not cover hair that is black, brown, or orange. Hair will need to be bleached to a very light blonde using toners also to help minimize damage. Putting a blue, for instance, over a ginger base will result in hair going green... and not a pretty one at that! 

With all that in mind, be realistic in your hair expectations! Dont decide to go blue today and expect to walk out with blue hair tomorrow. Theoretically, it is possible... in reality, your hair will be ruined and will more than likely start snapping off and then you will have no hair left to dye...

Lets begin with care...

Feel your it now! Hows it feeling? Healthy? Strong? Dry? Damaged? Just feels like hair?? Yeah...thats what i was always like! But after dyeing it for a while you begin to notice and feel the differences in the condition of your hair...

If your hair feels healthy then we are good to go! If however its already had years of abuse and feels somewhat on the damaged side... take the time now to take a step away from the hair dye/heat/god knows what else and nurse your poor fried hair back to health...oh...and get a helps. Then come back and learn how to dye your hair properly... :P

Decide what colour you want to go... Here are the colours and the bases they will cover...

Reds: Reds will cover oranges/ blonde bases. The more orange the base, the more orange the red will fade too! Red is probably the easiest colour to go as you can achieve a bright result on a relatively dark orange base. Keep in mind however, reds stain a lot and can be difficult to remove!

Pinks: Like reds, pinks can be rather forgiving when going over a ginger/yellow base. However pinks wont cover dark orange bases and light pinks will need a lighter base. Deep pinks or pinks with a peachy base will cover better on gingery bases.

Purples: Another forgiving colour! Goes well over gingery/yellow bases, however only darker shades of purple will cover this. Stay away from blue based purples on orange bases, it will not end well.

Blues & Greens: Ive put these together as the same rules apply, and orange base will not work for this colour. You will need a very light blonde/almost white base for blues and greens as any orange/yellow tones will make the blues go green. Greens will go more yellow toned over a yellow base but you could get away with it. These colours will take the longest to achieve if starting from a darker base. 

Yellows & Oranges: Considering whats been said so far this should be pretty obvious! An orange will cover orange/yellow bases very well as will a yellow, but take into consideration that a yellow on a orange may turn more orange than yellow!! Ensure if you want a true yellow/orange that any red/brown tones are gone from your hair (particularly if bleaching from black/brown, you'll know what i mean when you bleach it!) otherwise it will affect the end result.

Black: Most *true* semi permanent blacks are either blue or green based, more often than not, there green based. Therefore when dying your hair with a black semi perm, bare in mind it will fade to a green...

Whites, Silvers & Greys: Again, put together because same rules apply...this time, any ounce of orange or yellow will end up with a less than perfect result. Achieving these colours is a long process and takes time and care and a whole lot of patience and effort. Want one of these colours? Toners are your new best friend...

You're gonna need some equipment to achieve these colours...that will be explained in my next posts... but for now 

If you are blonde/already have bleached blonde hair/ a light enough base for the colour you want... Congratulations! Go grab yourself a pot of hair dye and slather it all over your scalp...or alternatively, wait for my end post where i explain how to dye, how long for, how long it lasts, how to prevent rub off and how to care for your newly colored hair...

If however, you've found yourself not ready for the colour you want, read my next post as your going to need to Bleach, Lighten & Tone your hair!

Stay Tuned


*All of the information above is sourced from my own mind and experiences in dyeing mine and my friends hair many colours. I am not a trained professional/ hairdresser, however all of the information i have provided is to the best of my knowledge and i accept no responsibility for any hair disasters that may occur as a direct result of following my guide. However if used appropriately and common sense prevails, no disasters should occur. Good luck.

Need any information in the meantime? Visit: