I feel like every time I take pictures for a post, my hair is a different color. I was never the person that dyed their hair every month, but that’s who I’ve become in the past year.
I was really attached to my bleach blonde hair, and after seven years, it became a part of my identity. I never thought I’d be in a hair salon for anything other than a root touch up, until last summer when I decided it was time for a major change.
When I first made the desicion, I wrote about my experience and thoughts that led to it, but now that some time has gone by and I’ve done some experiementing, I thought I would do an updated version about what I’ve learned, and what you should know if you’re thinking about dying your hair an unnatural color.
But First, Bleach
Before getting into the colorful dyes, your hair needs to be bleached, or at least very light. If it’s not, the color won’t turn out and hold like it should, and you’ll end up wasting time and money. I happened to be lucky enough to be way past that step, but if you currently have dark hair, lightening it is a must before you can get to the fun stuff.
The thing about bleach is that it’s really harsh on your hair, and you have to be careful not to damage it too much. There’s no way to completely prevent damage, and once it’s done, you can’t undo it. It’s definetly something to think about, and you should definitely go to a professional, especially if you have long brown hair that’s never been dyed.
If you do decide to go through with bleaching your hair, you should know that getting to the color you want might even be a longer process. Depending on how drastic the change is, it might take a few trips to the salon before you get to the blue or pink shade that you desire. It’ll take patience, time, and money, but your hair will thank you for it in the long run.
If you’re on the fence about it, you might want to test the waters by dying a small section of your hair first, like a streak or the ends. That way you can get a feel for how harsh the chemicals are on your hair, how the color looks on you, how fast it fades, and what it looks like when it does fade.
Before I decided to go completely silver, I would just do the ends, so that I could still have the blonde I loved so much. I actually really liked the silver color, and well, you know the rest.
It Will Fade Fast
Speaking of fade, if you’re planning on having a funky hair color for awhile, then you also need to plan on getting it touched up regulalry, because it WILL fade, and fast. When you first walk out of the salon, you’ll have the vibrant color you were aiming for, but after the first wash you can expect it to become much more dull, and maybe even completely gone. However, if you stick with the same shade long enough, you’ll start to notice that takes a little more than two washes for it to disappear.
When I first went silver, you could barely tell after the second wash, if not the first, but as i kept getting it redone, my hair started to build a base and it would stay on longer every time. Eventually, by the time i went back for my next appointment, a lot of the silver was still there. I feel like that also helped pave the road for the rainbow colors I have now, because after 2 washes, it is still very much rainbow, and I don’t think that would’ve been the case if I had done it a few months ago.
You should only wash your hair every other day anyway, but if you want to keep the color bright for as long as you can, you should replace a couple of washes with a dry shampoo. When it is time for a real wash, using a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically for color treated hair will also help to keep the color from fading quickly.
Two other major things you want to stay away from are sunlight and chlorine, so if you’re planning on getting blue hair right before you head out on a tropical vacation, just know that it probably won’t be very blue by the time you leave. Last summer, I had a fresh color right before my cruise, and by the end of the 7th day I was definitely considered a blonde. To give you a side-by-side comparison, the first picture below was taken on day two, and the second was taken on day four. Of course that’s after being in the sun all day, every day, but there’s still a pretty big difference.
It’s an Investment
If you haven’t figured it out already, then going, pink, blue, green, multicolored, or whatever else, is an overall investment. How much of an investment depends on your hair now, what colors you want, and how long you want them for, so it’s different for everyone. Going silver, and then rainbow, was actually easier for me because I don’t have to worry about my roots as much, but it’ll be harder and more costly for someone who currently has jet black hair.
If you’re thinking about using a box dye to save money, you might want to think twice, especially if it’s been colored before, because you could end up ruining your hair and spending much more trying to repair it than you would’ve for an all over color. Whatever method you choose, I strongly suggest doing lots of research and at least getting a professional consultation first.
But the color itself is only half the investment, the other half is the care and maitenence. Like I mentioned before, if you’re going to want to find good hair products for color treated hair, and you want to make sure any products you’re using won’t cause damage, strip the color, or turn your hair green. If you love to swim, you’ll probably have to sacrifice going underwater without a swim cap, because chlorine is bad for the color too, but if you’re up for the challenge, then go crazy!