August 29, 2012

Hair Adventures I

This is something I've wanted to do for a little while and I've finally gotten around to it. I haven't done anything this ~crazy~ in a while, so I thought I would record my process this time around.

Truth be told, I haven't had my "natural" hair color since I was 10 years old. Yes, I've been dying/tinting/highlighting/bleaching my hair for over a decade now! Within those years I have sought help from salon specialists, my mom and even myself. I have had almost ALL the colors of the crazy color rainbow in my hair at one point or another, in different styles and what not—even colored extensions! Now that I have settled into corporate life, I've had to tone down my crazy hair dying escapades, but after having the solid red for the past 2 years or so, it needed to be spruced up.

I really love the red so much (as did others) and I had no intention of going back to blonde or even attempt my natural color. Mostly because it is rumored that red is a bitch to take out/strip, I decided to keep most of it. I originally wanted to have red, orange and purple, but I thought it would be way too crazy for work.

Here's what I started with: faded red hair + about an inch of grown out roots.

With the intentions of wanting to strip my hair of as much red as possible as a safer alternative to bleach, I bought this: One and Only Colorfix. BIGGEST. MISTAKE. OF. LIFE. Not only did it not work (most likely my fault for mixing the stuff wrong) but it STUNK SO BAD. It wasn't even worth repurchasing to try again! The smell stunk up my whole entire top floor, including my room and bathroom. My mom and brother thought I was smoking dope or cooking drugs! It's a pungent smell which could only be described as "rotten eggs and matches" BUT WORSE. What made it even more unbearable was that the smell would NOT leave my hair, even after washing it multiple times! As the hair dried though, the smell dissipated a bit, but I could still smell it in my hair. It was nauseating! The only way I figured out how to mask the smell in the meantime was to spray hairspray or perfume in my hair, multiple times a day. Eventually however, as I came to dye and bleach it, the smell disappeared!

I eventually just gave in and bought bleach out of desperation. I definitely kicked myself for wasting nearly $20 on that Colorfix crap. Now I haven't ever had trouble or bad experiences with bleach in my past—thankfully—so I still crossed my fingers that this would work.

Normally I have a problem with Manic Panic because their semi-permanent dyes are crap, but I have used this bleach in the past and love and trust its results. The only thing is though, it's not enough for a full head of thick hair like mine. I was at least about to cover a majority of the underneath of my hair. I also love that this kit comes with everything you need!

I started off by dividing up the sections that I wanted to be bleached. I used a pintail comb to help make the separation straight.

Then I pinned up the top section with clips and bobby pins.

I mixed the bleach up and it was quite a nice welcoming, familiar smell. I applied it with the brush that came in the kit, then with my gloves. I didn't really get a lot of coverage since there wasn't enough bleach in the box. I let it sit in my hair for an hour, then rinsed it out. It came out mostly orange, naturally, plus there was a bunch of strands that looked like I missed with the bleach, but it was nothing to worry about since I would be putting the orange on top.

After towel drying my hair, I mixed the toner. This is technically an unecessary step, especially since the color I applied on top of the blonde was going to be orange anyways. I decided that I should try and get the blonde as "white" as possible to ensure for a brighter effect.

For those who don't know much about toner, it's basically a color—usually purple—that neutralizes the yellowness of your hair, turning it "white". Basically, if you know anything about the color wheel and complimentary colors, purple is yellow's complimentary color. Think of it this way, you know how any sort of "redness" blemish reducer for your skin is green? Green is red's complimentary color——so it cancels out the color, leaving it neutral/normal. Same thing goes for under eye concealer—it's usually yellow, since under eye circles are usually purple in color.

After leaving the toner in for 30 minutes (wasn't really long enough), I rinsed it out and dried my hair to prepare for color application.

I applied the orange color first because it needed a longer developing time. I used this orange color by Ion Color Brilliance Brights. I heard a lot of good thing about this brand and it was pretty cheap as well! (around $6CAD or so). I applied the color first to my roots, in front of my head, and eventually applied it to the rest of the blonde. I eventually ended up using my gloves to work the color into my hair. One important tip about applying colors to blonde, it to saturate the tips! You'd be surprised how much people miss that.

After all the blonde was covered with orange, I sectioned off parts of it and put it in foil, so that when I applied the red, it wouldn't bleed into the color. After that was done, I undid all the hair on top of my head and applied the red dye (pictured above) to the top portion of my hair. It was actually a whole lot harder than it seemed. I let my hair develop for 35 minutes and then finally washed it all out.

Some nearly 4 hours later after this process took me, I have this! My hair smells great again and I'm in love.

I managed to salvage quite a bit of extra orange dye so I can maintain the orange part whenever it fades. As for the upkeep, if you're curious, I tend to wash my hair only 1-2 times a week. It may sound gross, but my hair actually gets a lot more oily if I wash it any more than that—which is fine with me because the less time it gets washed, the longer the color will stay.

Also, if you ever wanted to know my secret to maintaining a bright red, here it is:

Color Kro Mask by Ice Cream by Inebrya in cherry red.

Also, I use this shampoo for color treated hair. It smells AMAZING


  1. Looking sosososo good, honey. Not everyone can pull off red hair and even less people can DYE their own hair (me included). I only know you as a redhead and can't imagine what brown or blonde might look like on you haha

    1. Thanks Anna! :D

      true, not a lot of people can even pull off red! I see so many girls who have red, but it looks bad against their skin tone.

      What do you mean you can't imagine blonde? :P I used to have blonde not too long ago during the old LJ days :P



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