When it comes to coloured hair, I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I’ve tried all the brands and every combination under the sun and with no professional experience in hair dye here’s someone who’s first pink experience was as a child with pink hair , so you know I mean business when I say pink hair was always there from the start.
Coloured hair next to bleach blonde hair is the hardest to maintain, but once you’re in a routine and remember to treat it like you did your natural hair it no longer becomes a chore, in fact I’m pretty lazy, and have an incredibly simple routine… maybe that’s because I don’t “style” my hair with heat and let natural be my daily ‘do’, but I want to open the world of secrets in haircare, that don’t just belong in the salons, because information is free and I wish I had some advice when I was sitting in my bedroom with bright pink hands, splashes on the walls and cried because it was gone in a single wash.
DECIDE ON YOUR COLOUR
I think everyone should try something bright coloured once, even if its only a streak, or you’re brave enough to try a full head.
Try and nail precisely what colour you think would suit you, how saturated you want the colour to be, and apply the formula that the brighter the colour, the more lighter the hair needs to be. The only colour that successfully works on a darker head of hair without bleaching is red, its pigment shows up more, so even before you jump in buying all the equipment do all the required strand and allergy tests and I would highly recommend leaving the bleaching to professionals as box bleaches contain lots of chemical nasties and isn’t something that can be easily fixed.
Hair is like a canvas, the darker the background the harder it will show up. I get mine to bleach blonde or a golden colour to get anywhere between a bright shade or a toned down colour. The internet is a great source for colour combinations as a golden pink can be a fantastic combo for summer whilst icier pinks will look beautiful for winter so always take into consideration your existing colour and if that needs to be toned down.
I personally think you should play around with 2 or 3 shades of a colour, unless you’re achieving a block colour mix up a few different hues as all hair starts to turn different colours in the light and by putting in streaks, strands, patches and chunks of subtly different colour it can create volume, depth and dimension (the cheat to bigger hair shhhh!)
One of the most important decisions in the process, I pick natural plant or vegetable based dyes with little to no chemical or bleaches so I can retain the longeivity of my hair. The best brands for quality of dyes are Fudge Paintbox, Directions and Bleach London. I’d preferably steer clear of combo bleach and colour box dyes as preference of shade and strength of peroxide isn’t a controllable factor.
Amazing for diverse ‘paintbox’ colours (Pretty Flamingo is my favourite!)
Large amount of choices both light, medium and dark
Life span of colours last the longest
Colours are mixable
Mixed ‘mermaid’ colours
Colours last moderately
Colours are mixable
The pot lasts a long time if diluted with conditioner
Good for school holidays
Great range of reds and purples
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
If you are looking to take some of those brassy tones out a toner or purple shampoo is required, I flitter between Pro-Voke’s Touch Of Silver Brightening Shampoo and Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo, they both do an amazing job at getting rid of gingery and brassy tones and are inexpensive. Unforuntely this is the upkeep but if you keep to purple shampoos and conditioners the blonde aspect of coloured hair isn’t a biggie.
Prepare to go through 2 bottles of conditioner for every bottle of shampoo! Or maybe that’s just the volume of my hair? But it’s extremely important you keep your hair nourished with all its essential oils. I won’t go brand specific as what I look for in a conditioner is for my curly locks and not colour but a good extra to add to colour treated hair is coconut oil, as it coats the strand from the inside out and in the days of self bleaching, backcombing and straightening when my hair was a birdsnest coconut oil was my saviour, its benefits are endless so much that I’ll talk everything coconut oil in another post very soon!
I did an entire post on maintaining pink hair a year ago so each tip is relevant to all colours but to clarify a few of my hottest tips:
Add a small amount of hair dye to your shampoo or conditioner and let it sit in your hair to give it extra saturation
Wash hair in cooler water and finish with cold to seal in colour
Minimise heat styling
Nourish ends with coconut oil to keep shine
So you’ve got your hair dye, you know what colour you want, maybe you’ve bought yourself a peroxide (boo!) or been smarter and got it done in the hairdressers (yay, support professional artists!) but now it’s time to gather some extra supplies, and yes you will need them to have super sexy fabulous coloured hair! Cotton Buds (Q-Tips), Vaseline, an old towel, plastic gloves, tint brush (not always nessacary)
Mistakes happen, I won’t tell you that it’s not going to happen as we’re all human but here’s a classic few mistakes most coloured heads have experienced:
Hair dye marks on your head, neck and ears? Use Vaseline before application!
Hair went green/dark grey from bleach? Apply red (my mum had a rainbow mohwak and the only colour that took to her head was post box red)
Hair went too bright? Wash it out a few times, most dyes are only temporary!
Hair wasn’t bright enough? Most dyes are vegetable based so it doesn’t damage to leave it on for longer
Want to make a colour pastel? Add a small amount of conditioner to the mixing bowl (dye mix should always be 2 shades darker than intended finished result colour)
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO EXPERIMENT!
My latest creation was a combination of small mistakes, happy accidents and going colour crazy and its my favourite hairstyle I’ve ever done!
I hope this has helped anyone who felt hesistant about going colourful, saved some existing colourheads and take my helpful advice far and wide into the world, and if you have any helpful advice or need more info let me know!