A lot of people ask me about my hair. It’s not very common for a blue/green haired person to exist, especially in the UP. It helps when I say I’m a creative person: a photographer, designer, blogger. Somehow, my career choices allow me to have mermaid colored hair and get away with it.
The same way an ink spill pools over everything it touches, hair dying does the same. I came to camp this summer sporting beautiful locks of bubble gum pink hair. Halfway through training week, I was approached by not one, not two, not three, but nine people who wanted me to help them dye their hair. Everything from natural blonde and auburn with black tips, to purple streaks, to flaming red, to purple with orange tips, to peacock ombre. I was excited to say the least. If there’s something I love to do, it’s dye hair. Let me repeat: I LOVE DYING HAIR! I think that using your hair as a canvas is an extremely fun way to show off your personality. Getting to transform your hair into something exciting, is a way for me to be a part of that “unveiling”.
As someone who dyes hair a lot, I have tried a lot of different brands and colors, compiling a lovely little list of what works best. I rate hair dye on vibrancy, fade, and bleed. Vibrancy is the color you get right after you dye it, fade is how your color fades over time as well as washes, and bleed is how much rubs off on clothing, pillow cases, and in the shower.
DISCLAIMER: The products mentioned are purchased (usually) through Sally Beauty Supply, which I am a huge fan of, and can easily be found in just about any town. I don’t receive any compensation for the products I recommend. I recommend them because they’re good products that I’ve tried that I love. If I haven’t tried a certain product, I’ll give no comment. There is a very long list of things I want to try that I just haven’t done yet. I promise that as I learn new things, I’ll edit this post, or maybe write a whole new one!
First, let’s talk Hannah’s hair.
For me, the most important part of getting my hair to the color I want it, is bleach. I don’t mean the bleach you keep in your pantry. I mean hair bleach. I mix of powder and volume 30 developer. I use that combination because that’s what I’ve tried on my hair and what seems to work well for the level of lift I want. (If you want some more info on bleaching, read this lovely article. Usually it takes me 2-3 bleach jobs to get the right amount of lift. As you can see from the picture above, my hair is a pretty white-ish blonde. Since I knew I was going for an orangey-pink color, I probably would have been fine with just once or twice instead of the three times it took me to get this.
Now onto color. In the second picture (the one with the strawberry vanilla caption), I used Ion Color Brilliance in the shade Flamingo. Now, I was really excited about Flamingo, because I was hoping it would give me the right kind of pink that I wanted. I didn’t want bubble gum pink, and I really didn’t want that bright Barbie hot pink either. Unfortunately, Flamingo came out more like melted ice cream, and since that WASN’T what I was looking for, I tried again.
Next I used Flamingo mixed with Ion Color Brilliance Brights in the shade Magenta. This gave me a little bit of an in-between that melted ice cream and Barbie pink.
Thus, my third picture. I wasn’t sure about the fade, but so far I like it! The top fades first (since it’s closer to my scalp, and is what gets washed the most), and melds into a blonde color. Here is an example of that fade.
I really love the Ion brand, and have found it the most flexible in hair colors. They have a lot of options with not too much fade, and very minimum bleed. Also, one box/tube of Ion costs about $6, which is perfect for my price range. It takes about a tube and a half to do all my hair, which means I can redo my color for about ten dollars, which I redo every two weeks. The key to good fade is cool showers. If your color fades super quickly, and you’re so surprised that your hair is fading, understand that the hotter your shower is, the faster your color will fade. Now, in the summer, I don’t mind taking cool showers. But once we kick into fall and winter, all I want to do is slip into a hot steamy shower.
Another thing I want to mention is Overtone. Overtone is a conditioner that has color in it, and every time you wash your hair and use the product, it adds color back into your hair.
I bought myself a bottle of daily conditioner in their Vibrant Pink and have been using it every time I shower. The best part is that they encourage you to shower with warm water instead of cold. YAY! After using the product (and hearing so much hub about it), I have to say I was a little disappointed. It kept the color even, which I appreciated, but didn’t keep the vibrancy. In the picture with the sunglasses, you can see the color is an even light pink (which is CUTE!) BUT I isn’t that bright pink I wanted. If you want a pastel color, this stuff is awesome! You can purchase the conditioner through their website, and the bottle is around $17 for 8oz. “Use our Daily Conditioner every time you would normally condition your hair in the shower, especially after shampooing. These mild formulas will deposit just the right amount of color while moisturising your hair to help it healthy. Some colors might stain your hands a little, so be sure to look for our “wear gloves” warning in the product description.” (Overtone.co)
As I’ve researched dye, I’ve developed a long list of colors to try next, and I’m “booked” for color all the way through next spring. As I try new products I’ll write about them and figure just WHAT works best in my opinion.
Farewell, my fellow mermaids!!!