Some of you may know I've been contemplating a new hair colour for some time now and I finally took the plunge last week. I say 'plunge' but actually when it comes to colouring or cutting my hair, I am surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing. I'm not someone who will cry for days over a botched fringe or bad dye job. Yes I would like 'perfect' hair every day and yes I often have 'bad hair days', but it's not the end of the world, it will grow back and if it's bothering you too much, there's hats and scarves and all sorts of pretty disguises! I know you were interested in a step-by-step guide for how to go about a big change like this and what to use, so here it is. My main tips are:
*if you're looking for a vivid 'unnatural' colour, it's likely you'll have to use bleach first to get the desired look unless your hair is already light blonde (colour on dark brown or black hair will just add a sheen/tint). When your roots grow in, just bleach this regrowth avoiding the previously bleach hair.
*when bleaching; you want your hair to be the palest lemon bordering on white or as light as you can go before adding the colour.
*if it's too yellow or orange, try a toner to take out the brassiness or else consider that your dye colour is technically mixing with orange and the end result will often be different to what you were hoping for.
*when bleaching, work fast (to cover the hair before the bleach stops developing), don't bother protecting your skin as bleach doesn't leave a tint behind (but don't get it on clothing etc), do pay attention and only leave on for the stated time.
*when using the colour, you can work slowly as the dye doesn't 'develop' like bleach, avoid getting on the skin as it will stain (use vaseline around the hairline, the ears etc), leave on for hours for optimum colour results.
*some colours can stain badly (like Special Effects 'Atomic Pink'), wash off the bath,walls, shower etc immediately or they will be stained forever (I used to coat the bath in shower gel before rinsing my hair and ran my hair under the taps first to get the majority of colour out before showering). I've never found another dye quite so potent since, thankfully.
*use hot water on your hair to fade colour
*use cold water on your hair to protect the colour
*add a little dye to your bottle of shampoo to 'top up' colour every wash
*do not use conditioner before applying the coloured dye (the dye does not 'stick' to conditioner), so shampoo only.
*consider mixing colours on your head, rather than in the bowl (for months, over faded Atomic Pink-I've been applying Atomic Turquoise and it turns those sections purple, AP is so strong that it would've stayed pink had I mixed the two shades together before applying to the hair)
*if you need to wear glasses when colouring your hair then cut a couple of 'fingers' off plastic disposable gloves to cover and protect the legs.