I had been desperately wanting to dye the tips of my hair for years and years, but kept telling myself I had to wait until after my wedding (which was in 2009). I back burnered the whole thing under the duress that was my marriage and didn’t think about it again until I managed to catch my breath in 2011 about 6 months after we split. By that point I was reinvesting in my career (hello change of life plans!) so I decided to start a bit smaller and just do a partial blue “halo” underneath.
I first tried a small, local salon but wasn’t thrilled with the results. The color was a light blue and faded out to a chlorine tinged green shade. I think I scared her too much by mentioning I worked in a corporate environment and wasn’t sure how alternative hair color was going to play out in the office.
When it started fading out I bought some dye at the local beauty supply and redyed it a darker, more purple shade of blue.
Several months later I tried a bigger, “trendy” salon and had the color extended to a full “halo” underneath and went hot pink. I LOVED the first colorist I had there. She lifted (bleached out) my natural color to a nearly pure white so the pink was vibrant, true, and lasted longer. It would fade out to a lighter shade of pink (no starbursty orange). I, again, bought additional color at the beauty supply and refreshed the pink every few weeks. As the halo would grow out I’d have to go back to the salon every couple months to have the new growth lifted and color reapplied. Sadly, the colorist I liked had left and I ended up with a different colorist each visit and I was more and more disappointed with the results. They’d often rush lifting my natural color leaving a brassy tone and sometimes it was down right uneven (think cheetah spots).
On top of this I was never thrilled with my hair cuts either. I was spoiled with an awesome hair dresser/friend/studiomate in California. So, so sad to not be near him anymore. So even with me saying ‘do what ever you think would look best on me’ I kept getting the basic trim and layers and sent home with a blow out (I have naturally wavy hair!).
All of this was costing about $200 for each service including the poor hair cut. The grow out necessitated follow up visits. I started getting very frustrated.
Enter… How To Hair Girl! I now constantly get compliments on my hair styles and color. Getting compliments from sales folks in Manhattan was definitely a boost! It also costs me pennies compared to the salon and my hair has never been healthier or more fun.
I started out with her 5 DIY haircuts to try today post and after loading up on supplies I struck out on my own and continue to maintain my hair using her #2 cut. While my hair is up in the pony tail I use her Ombre Hair technique to first lift my tips and then to color. I still mostly do pink, but occasionally play with multiple shades as well (something a colorist told me she couldn’t do because they’d bleed, uhm, nope!). I redo my color and cut my hair about every 3 months and I lift it again if I want to change out colors. I’ve been able to switch from pink to blue and back to pink with no issues.
I haven’t really gone Shamphree like Roxy, but I’ve switched to a sulfate free shampoo that I only use about once a week. The rest of the time I don’t wash my hair, or just rinse it. This has resulted in much, much healthier hair and my color lasts a very long time with out being touched up. It also holds styles like a champ.
Here’s my supply list which came to a whopping $68!
- L’Oreal Quick Blue Powder Bleach 1 Lb
- Paul Mitchell 30 Volume Cream Developer 32 oz.
- Applicator Bowl for Color Treatments
- Applicator Brush for Color Treatments
- Utopia Care 6.5″ Professional Barber Razor Edge Hair Cutting Shears
I mix the bleach powder and developer in the color bowl with the brush until it makes a paste that won’t run. I wrap the sections of bleached hair in kitchen foil and pin it to my head while it’s processing to keep it out of my way (and off the furniture). I can leave it on up to 30-40 minutes with no discernible damage to my hair and the result is a pretty neutral white. Sometimes I’m tempted just to leave it white because it’s so pristine but then my love of color takes over anyway.
I let it air dry or hit it with the blow dryer to get most of the moisture out before slathering on the Jerome Russell Punky Colour Cream Flamingo Pink. I use foil again to keep the color off everything else and to separate multiple colors if I’m going that route. Although don’t be afraid to layer colors too. I’ve gotten some cool results that way as well. I leave the color on for as long as I can tolerate it before rinsing it out. By applying the color in the pony you get that dip dyed look so it’s very forgiving.
I try to avoid washing or rinsing my hair for a day or two to give the color time to really set, but then that’s normal for me now anyway. I do find the Punky Color brand works best. I’ve tried several and for me it holds the longest and if I’ve done everything else right, like not getting it wet again for a couple days, then there’s no color transfer on clothing or bedding and only minimal transfer when I do get it wet or wash it. My go to is the Flamingo Pink, but I also love the Punky Colour Turquoise and Punky Colour Purple.
Oh and as to how the color has gone over in the office? No one seemed to notice for quite some time… I work with all men so I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised 🙂 My only regret? That I made myself wait so long to do it in the first place! The hardest part was the first cut.