I’m not a professional. I like experimenting with new ideas and hobbies, changing my hair color being one of them.
I’ve been dying my hair blue/purple for the past few years on and off, gone back to blah-brown, and come right back to the blue.
I’ve been to professional salons, I’ve bleached and dyed my hair myself, and I’ve had friends help me bleach and dye it.
I’ve watched youtube videos on techniques and tricks for bleaching my hair.
Really, it’s trial and error for me.
-Working fast and thoroughly
-Coconut oil on my hair prior and while bleaching. Do it. My hair felt immensely better after bleaching and using it DID NOT affect the bleaching process for me. Slather on a nice hand scoop full and run it through your hairs to make it nice and greasy. Do not rinse it out. Leave it in for as long as you can (some people leave it in for 1-4 hours prior to bleaching to let it saturate more). Apply bleach directly to the coconut oil. I found that by *just* coating my hair with a small amount of coconut oil was enough. The bleach wasn’t hard to apply and my hair didn’t clump up. I used a fine tooth comb to comb each section of hair prior to bleaching it and that worked for me.
-DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Dividing my hair into at least 4-5 sections with clips and working in small sections is INVALUABLE. You keep track of what you want to do and what you’ve done. DO IT.
-Being prepared if not excessively so. Have all your tools, gear, and products ready to go and prep your workstation. In fact…
-PREP Your work station. Lay down towels on the floor, counter, and wear a button up, tube top, or spaghetti strap shirt. I’ve ruined every shirt I’ve worn while bleaching and dyeing my hair. I’ve done towels around my neck (a little bulky and hard to work around for me), I’ve taped plastic bags around my shoulders and neck (got REALLY hot), and I’ve done absolutely nothing and not cared if I got dye and bleach all over myself (usually ends up with me looking like a smurf for at least 2 days after dying).
-My favorite tools: a 2-3 inch application brush, a long handled sharp comb (to divide the hair pieces I work through), a wide plastic pick or comb (to brush the dye through my hair), a mixing bowl, a squirt bottle (optional, but it does help to squirt/squeeze the color into the hair, though the roots catch most of it). Black reusable gloves!!
-MIRROR. If you have two stationary mirrors, it really helps. I don’t so I have to hold a mirror to reflect the back side of my hair while bleaching and dying. It would be so nice to have my other hand free!! If you can, stack up books or something on chairs or boxes so you can have both of your hands free. Otherwise, you’ll be working with one hand which can stress you out a little on such a time sensitive deal.
-Bleaching is time sensitive. Dying isn’t. Spend all your energy and thought into thoroughly bleaching and getting an even coating.
-Sticking to adjacent colors on the color wheel. I’ve wanted to try fire red hair but getting there after blue would be tough unless I did a few bleach jobs over the course of a month or so. I haven’t felt comfortable bleaching twice within such a short period of time, so I’ve stuck with moving from blue to purple, purple to magenta, magenta to pink, etc.
-DO YOUR RESEARCH. I’ve googled just about everything that relates to bleaching and dying my hair blue. Use other people’s tips and tricks. Watch videos.
Check out Hair Crazy for inspiration and directions on color mixings.
Check out MelonLady for tutorials and just to listen to her awesome voice and watch her be goofy.
Read tutorials and don’t be afraid to try something new (Like putting coconut oil on your hair before bleaching, or checking out the dainty squid for hair inspiration and a smile.)
– Processing with heat: Could go in both categories…it kind of helps me but I haven’t noticed it really helping. Do it or don’t.
What didn’t work:
-Going to a salon and asking for red hair and coming out with jungle green hair.
-Paying loads of money at the salon
-Haphazardly going at my hair with bleach/just painting it on my hair. It comes out uneven and sloppy. Take your time and section it out.
-Not having enough bleach or dye and having to stretch it and freak out about it.
-Improper ventilation of the room. I’ve kept the door shut while bleaching and being lightheaded is not cool while dying your hair.
-Bleaching my hair too fast with not enough product. For my long hair (6 inches past shoulders), I would need at LEAST 3 boxes of bleach (flash lightening from manic panic used to be my go-to, the 30 vol). My short hair (shoulders) uses 2 but could easily use 3. You don’t want to get halfway through your bleaching process and realize that you don’t have enough to finish your hair. If you DO run into that issue, I’d recommend sectioning off the pieces you won’t be able to complete and do what you can. Go back and bleach those other parts when you have your friend or wonderful dear husband run to the store to grab more bleach. Or wear a hat. Or rock the look.
–Flash Lightening: Worked well in the past. Very little product, you’ll need at least 3 boxes to get the best coverage. Strong odor. Strong stuff. You can buy it at Sally’s Beauty.
–Splat hair bleach and dye kit: This blue (Blue Envy) is STILL my favorite shade of blue. It is an irridescent and multi-faceted blue. I LOVE IT. In fact, I’ve bought the kit just for the color. The bleach is pretty good, but you’ll need at least 3 boxes, as I said before. I can only find it at Wal-Mart.
–Color Zap from Loreal: I’ve liked this one as well. One box won’t get you far. In the past, it’s removed a lot of the hard to kick GREEN color from my jungle green dye job. It does work nicely. Buy at Wal-mart or Sally’s Beauty.
–Clairol Kaleidocolors Neutral/beige (powder tub): The latest in my experimentation. This is powder alone and I mixed it as directed with the Pure White 30 Developer. I chose the beige tint to try to counteract the blue/purple tint I’d get after bleaching. Turned out really well. SMELLED LIKE GREEN APPLES. It was a little scary to mix my own, I didn’t want to get it wrong. Even my husband said “Wow, that’s the biggest difference in your hair” after bleaching it one time. Started application at 7:14 and rinsed at 7:56. After it all got on my hair, I used a blow dryer for about 15 minutes. Buy it at Sally’s Beauty.
Blue Hair Dye Review:
I’ve used Manic Panic, Ion, Pravana, Beyond the Zone Color Jams, N-Rage Demi Permanent, and Splat.
Ion and splat have been the best colors for me. I’ll continue to rave about the Splat blue. LOVE how shiny and sparkly blue it makes my hair. Can’t say if it’ll do that for you, but it’s done it for me in the past. The Pravana was nice but I’m not a professional and can’t get my hands on it. Manic Panic has some awesome shades of blue and I liked it but it does wash out with relative ease. Beyond the Zone and N-Rage were okay but I didn’t feel like they saturated my hair like I really wanted for that STRONG color.
Now. Onto actually bleaching my hair and dying it.
Hair background: Mild damage due to prior bleaching. My hair was a dark blue and purple/brown shade, uneven.
Here’s what I’ve done with my hair in the past:
BLEACHING AND DYING TUTORIAL!!!
So. Here’s what we do!
I washed my hair aggressively the day before with dandruff shampoo (any clarifying or stripping shampoo will work) to wash out as much of the color as I could. You want your hair dirty.
Unwashed hair, faded, ready to go.
I set up all my ingredients and tools and grabbed the coconut oil.
Grabbed a dollop of coconut oil (I used unrefined). It melts quick with your body heat, so work fast.
After I ran a comb through it a few times, I was ready to start bleaching.
I also will note that I sectioned my hair off at this point into manageable areas. Back bottom, sides and top, and top front.
Opening the bleach and getting ready to mix.
Pouring the developer. I used 1/2 cup of developer for 8 scoops of powder bleach (as directed). the container suggests 1 ounce of developer for 2 scoop. 4 ounces = half a cup. 8 scoops of powder. I’ll also note that the amount I mixed only coated about half of my head…I had to mix more halfway through dying.
Mix it well. It is a creamy consistency without clumps (as best as I can) and not runny. If you don’t have any more bleach or are using a small box or two of bleach mix, you can stretch it by using shampoo in the mixture to create a bleach wash. “They” say it is a gentler way to bleach. Honestly, bleaching is bleaching. It’s all damaging. I’ve used shampoo in the past to stretch my bleach and it works just fine.
Time to put it on.
The coconut oil on my hair prior to bleaching was a new thing for me. I had never applied oil to my hair let alone right before bleaching. It worked well for me and I’ll do it from now on! Just make sure you apply the bleach thoroughly. You don’t want to just brush on the bleach to the stringy portions of your hair–you’ll end up with an uneven mess. Comb your hair!
Because it’s hard to take pictures while I’m applying (I don’t have three arms, ya know), I’m just sharing what it looks like after.
Took me about 20-30 minutes to apply the bleach. It’s brown because of the powder I bought (the neutral/beige kaleidocolors). Usually it’s white. I applied a little bit of heat at the end just because.
I also realized “HOLY CRAP I’m gonna run out of bleach, I didn’t make enough.” So, halfway through bleaching I had to mix up another batch. Kind of sucked, but ya gotta do what you gotta do.
I got a little nervous about the bleach being on my hair, as usual, and decided to rinse after 10 minutes of letting it chill on my hair. From first application to rinse, about 35 minutes passed.
DO NOT condition your hair in the shower. Shampoo the bleach out and rinse very well. Treat your hair gingerly. It’ll be dry, crunchy, and hard to comb.
Here is my hair fresh out of the shower. I had toyed with the idea of using a toner on my hair at this point, but decided against it. Maybe I will next time.
Blow dry your hair (or air dry). I comb my hair with a wide tooth pick very gingerly while I blow dry it. You want your hair to be completely dry.
Yea, my hair is unevenly colored and it was dry–but I’ve got some deep conditioning planned with coconut oil and I’ll be applying my dye right over it to protect it.
It’s important to apply the hair dye to dry and UNCONDITIONED hair.
Between bleaching and dying, I double washed all my tools and combs to prep for dying. Also cleaned up any bleach spots that had gotten on me and the floor.
So. Section off your hair again and have your tools and dye ready to go!
*NOTE* You don’t HAVE to section off your hair if you don’t want to when you’re dying. In the past, I’ve just started squirting and brushing color all over my hair when I wanted just one color tone all over. Sectioning off the hair makes multi-coloring SO much easier and manageable. I recommend it.
I mixed my colors up. Lavender with light blue and a dash of blue.
Added in some conditioner to stretch the color. I realized that I wouldn’t have enough color to fully saturate my hair so I wanted to stretch it as much as I can. Conditioner is added to mute down colors as well. Same idea for bleach can apply but instead of conditioner, use shampoo.
Now for application!
The sides of my head were the lavender light blue mix. The top and back of my head were the blue, light blue, and dash of lavender mix. The bottom part of my hair right above my neck is just the regular blue.
Comb through the color.
Let it sit. You can put a bag on your head, sleep with the color in your hair, process it with heat, or just hang out with your hair all sorts of awesome colors.
I let my hair sit for roughly 2 hours.
Time to rinse!
I rinsed thorougly and didn’t condition. I probably should have. You probably should.
I wasn’t feeling like blow drying my hair especially since this was late at night and I wanted to sleep. So.
Here we are the next morning with dry hair!
You can see the different shades and tones of my hair. If you didn’t want the different shades, I’d recommend bleaching your hair down to one color and getting it as light as possible. You could also modify the color you dye it. For example, with my different shades, I could have gone with a deep blue or purple to cover evenly. Still wouldn’t have been perfect, but you wouldn’t notice all the different tones.
I love it. LOVE it.
I honestly wanted to go for a light blue and light purple mix, but I didn’t want to damage my hair too much by bleaching again. This is perfect and I’m hoping for it to fade into a really nice blue and purple.
I plan on slathering coconut oil onto my hair for a few hours tonight to give it a nice smooth healing treatment. Coconut oil is awesome.
Speaking of, on a different note, I’ve made my own facial moisturizer with coconut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin e. I’m wanting to buy some essential oils to add in. I get +100 points for trying to improve my skin health and dye my hair to a funky new shade.
Moral of the story: TRY it. If you like the idea of red hair, go for it! You can always change it back. Remember, the worst that could happen is you don’t like it. Big deal! I figure if I don’t like my hair after dying, I’ll just shave it off. My husband probably wouldn’t like that.
Color on, dear friends.