Husband lottery winner...me.
That first time, I went to someone's house and had them do it for me. They did a shit job. SHIT. They brought over my current favorite hair dye Joico to layer over the top of the crappy dye job, and that product SAVED my hair. I learned a couple of things during that first round of hair color.
1. Don't trust someone you don't know to dye your hair in their house.
2. My hair soaks up a LOT of color.
I took to YouTube to get the skinny on home hair coloring, and fell down a few beauty guru holes. (Shout out to Guy Tang and all the hair besties out there.)
It's taken me a few years to get a routine down that I feel comfortable with. The best part? It doesn't involve leaving my house or having someone I don't know touch my head. All the other social hermits out there know exactly what I'm talking about.
Quite a few people have asked me what products I use and how I do my hair. Here's the thing. I am not a professional. I am no where near skilled at hair. I just don't like other people to touch me, and I know if I want bright color like this to last, it needs to sit for HOURS. Literally. I keep this on my head for hours to get the saturation I do. Could I screw up someday and have my hair fall out? Absolutely. But if you're still interested. Here's how I do my hair complete with selfies of how weird I look during this 8-10 hour process.
***Kids, don't try this at home. And if you really are a kid, how did you find my website? I am totally not for you. Go find your parents.***
I hold out as long as I can before upping my color. My roots are usually around 3/4 of an inch or longer at this point, and my hair has faded to a light silvery color.
I'm usually drinking my coffee and stalling at this point. After enough caffeine, I'll gather all my goodies. Along with lots of other home hair dye folks, I use L'oreal Quick Blue bleach. I pair it with 30 vol developer, because my natural hair color is a dark brown, and unless I wanted to bleach twice (I don't want to.), I need the kick.
I'll grab my hair dye towels, my mixing bowls, and brushes. After I've got as much of my bathroom covered as possible, it's time to start the marathon.
This is a process in and of itself. Because I have a lot of it, and I don't use any products in my hair for a full twenty-four hours to allow the dye to soak in easier. So I've got knots galore. But that's cool. Because up next, I'm going to hack those knots off.
Now that I really have all the professional hair peeps cringing... (Don't read on. It will get worse.)
Yes. I cut my own hair. I have been doing it for a little over a year. All I am doing is cutting off the same amount as my roots have grown out. I keep my hair longer so it's easier to cut. A couple inches off the length, and some long layers around my face, and I'm good to go.
I don't want to bleach over the hair that is already lightened. So I section off my hair to let me get to the base easier when I have my gloved hands digging into the bleach goo.
I start at the bottom and work my way up, because the heat from my scalp will send the bleach into overdrive. And I care a lot less if the hair at the nape of my neck breaks, so letting that section cook the longest saves me a little on the stress.
I start a timer before I put the first drop of bleach on my head. I want to know how long I have had this stuff on my hair. And I lose track of time far too easily to trust my memory. After I hit all my roots, if I want to add some lighter sections, I wait until the last ten minutes of my own time management and run the bleach down any hair I want to lighten.
This time I had a wild hair up my ass and wanted to try to add some blue into the mix. So I pulled a couple of streaks to the front just to see how it would turn out.
As this cooks, I clean up my mixing bowls and brushes, and all the bleach I got on my neck, arms, and face.
After the hair is lightened to a decent yellow color, I wash my hair a few times with a clarifying shampoo, and blow dry.
This is the point in the process where it always looks like I'm going bald. When you've got dark roots and they are suddenly light, you see a lot more scalp.
Without fail, I freak out at this point and assume I have ruined my hair. I use as little conditioner as possible in the shower so the color will soak in. I hit the ends hard and detangle gently with my fingers. No, it is not lifted as high as a lot of people do. That's the beauty of purple hair dye. Purple is a natural toner, and will work even if you don't have platinum hair. Colors like pinks, and blues will distort with a yellow base. Which is why I went purple in the first place.
After a blow dry, and maybe a shot, I get my color mixed and pray for the best.
I don't have any shots of myself mid-color. No one is usually home with me when I'm at this step. And I don't want my phone to be ruined. I slathered my blue streaks first, and made little space buns to pin them out of the way, and then set to work loading up the purple.
My hair EATS color. It took me two and a half tubes of Joico Indigo, and that is with cutting it with conditioner. I keep the mix heavy on color. You can use Joico straight over the hair without cutting it, and the deep purple is stunning. But I don't want to think about how much color I would have to buy to do it. And I like the idea of a conditioner in the mix considering what comes next.
I also eat cookies at this point. Because I deserve a cookie. Normally by now we are into the process for 3-4 hours.
This is the waiting stage. This is another reason I put off re-upping my color. I leave the dye on until I can't stand it anymore. I tend to make it between four and six hours.
I'll wash dishes, work in my office, vacuum, or anything else that has me sitting or standing upright and away from upholstery.
In the last ten minutes before I wash the dye out, I blast the outside of the bag with my hair dryer to lock in the color.
No, ya pervs. I didn't take a picture of me showering.
But the important part of this is NO SHAMPOO. I use a little more conditioner to scrub my scalp and remove as much of the color residue as possible, but if my scalp is purple, I'm not going to stress about it. Shampoo is the death of color, so I leave my hair without a shampoo for at least 4 days after I color it.
I blow dry my hair and straighten it so I can get a good look at the color and see if I missed a spot.
Honestly, I have missed spots, but by this point I'm tenish hours in. Even if I have a band or a lighter spot, I don't care enough to redo the process.
Joico has a beautiful fade to it. So as it lightens all those places where it's not as saturated, or the bleach didn't hit as well, look like intentional highlights or lowlights. (Don't underestimate the power of the words "Mermaid Hair". This is what I call my look when it's faded. You can call any hair color intentional and rock it.)
Indoor lighting, natural lighting, light makeup, dark makeup. Take pictures. All the pictures.
This is the only time my hair is this bright. And I make sure to position myself to hide any purple spots that inevitably get all over my arms.
One of these days I'll be smart enough to get my photographer friend to take pictures of me when I have fresh color, but this wasn't that day.
I don't do the cold shower thing. Because life is too short and I don't want to. So my hair does fade, but with the long soak I give it, I usually get two or three months of bright color before it fades completely.
That's it! When you see me post "It's Hair Day!" on social media, this is what I'm doing. I spend my day locked in my house, not going anywhere. Sooo...maybe it's not that different from a regular day. ;)
Again, don't do this. I hold no responsibility if you destroy your hair. I only have responsibility over mine. And right now, I'm going to have fun with it.