Did y’all know that once upon a time I was a stylist? I graduated from a cosmetology program in 2012, and while I’m not licensed now I still use all the tips and tricks I picked up just about everyday. It’s been particularly useful (and money-saving) to know how to color my own hair!
Back in highschool I was using drugstore box dye which worked really well the first time. But, then it kind of turned into a series of disasters that left me perpetually coloring my hair black to cover up all the weirdness. Hair school really opened my eyes to how much of a science experiment hair color can be, and suddenly all my mistakes made sense. While I’ve still had a couple not so perfect results in coloring my hair over the past few years, I at least know exactly what to do to fix them.
So, back to present day. For the past several months I had been lightening my hair in order to go blonde. I was at a brassy orange shade when I needed to take a picture for the DIME store’s website. After trying to edit the picture to become more flattering, I was fed up and ready for my mop to look like anything else. In comes purple!
The purple was fun, but quickly became a greyish brown in many spots due to previous color of my hair and it’s poor, brittle state. Despite receiving an unbelievable amount of compliments on my weird grey hair (one gal took a pic!) I just couldn’t live with it and didn’t want to continue coloring it purple. I knew it was time to go back to red.
Red and I have been “involved” for a long time. I think one of my first hair colors was a cherry cola kind of shade, and I’d been copper, auburn, magenta, and fire engine red since then. I’m a pale lady and very Irish, so maybe it’s just destiny that red is a flattering color on me but it can feel a little defeating to go back to it…it’s hard to keep vibrant but also hard to get out. As a color jumper I know it will be a pain if I want to change it again. But I did it anyway, and it wasn’t an easy process.
First off, I had to bleach my hair again. Since I’m not licensed my options are Sally’s or online to purchase hair products, and I don’t have the time or money to order “fancy” brands online. I had a tub of Kaleidocolors Bleach leftover from attempting blonde, so I mixed up a bleach bath/shampoo cap. Basically, it’s equal parts bleach, developer, and shampoo (or conditioner in my case.) By diluting the bleach with the shampoo/conditioner you won’t have as strong of an effect, but it’s a little safer for your hair and can be applied more haphazardly. I will say, I have very thick and coarse hair which means mine can resist more damage. ALWAYS TRY A TEST STRAND OR RISK LOSING YOUR HAIR! The purpose of this particular bleach bath was just to open up the cuticle so some of the purple could get out. I kind of accomplished it…
As you can see, the top of my hair lightened pretty well, while the bottom is, um, one of those unimaginable colors that isn’t supposed to be seen by the human eye. “Good enough!” I said and went onwards with the next step.
This tiny little bottle contains several applications of miracles. I can’t praise it enough! When bleaching your hair you are purposefully eating away at the pigment in each strand. Hair is a protein, so after bleaching using a protein filler can help restructure the hair enough to get a new color on. The bottle above is applied to damp hair and left to sit and absorb, then color can be applied directly on top. In my case, I wanted something demi-permanent- demi’s will be generally only be depositing color and not lifting/opening the cuticle like a permanent will do. I chose Wella Color Charm in Fiery Red (the only nice red option I could find.)
After letting the color sit, I rinsed it out and let it towel dry only to find the bottom part of my hair was still a bit of a dusty reddish-brown. Not too surprising considering it was a lot more purple/grey to begin with. Thankfully in my ever-increasing store of hair color at home I had some orange glaze- a glaze is a deposit-only color that requires no developer, unlike a demi-permanent.
EVO Fabuloso is a brand new to me, but pretty great in my experience so far. I mixed the orange color intensifier pictured above with some of my red protein filler and applied to the ends of my hair. And I waited. And waited. And waited! I wanted my little strands to soak up as much warm/red pigment as possible. Guess what…
It worked! My hair is actually MORE red on the bottom now, which I don’t mind at all. I think it will start to blend as I wash and continue to use the glaze and tinted conditioner. It’s still a heck of a lot better than where I started!
Haircolor is truly an art, and also a pain in the ass. If you get your color done professionally, be sure to tip your stylist if he/she does a good job! They deserve it. I’m sure this won’t be the last hair color post you see from me, but I do think I’ll be taking a break from coloring it for a while. Pretty sure my locks need it. What are your favorite products to keep your hair looking great?