Thursday, 3 April 2014

How to go from brown hair to blue hair!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm constantly changing my hair! I've been bleaching and dying it myself for nearly six years now, however in December 2012 I decided I'd give my hair a break from the constant bleach and dying and dyed it dark brown.
I used a Loreal Excellence Creme in shade 04 Natural Dark Brown. 
It covered my platinum hair brilliantly, and two boxes did my hair and half of my extensions (I left the ends blue to create an ombré effect)
I kept it this brown for over a year, without dying it again. I'd planned to go purple again in May 2013 but I found out I was pregnant, and even though my midwife told me I could still dye my hair after 12 weeks I decided I didn't want to! 
So my roots grew out and blended in well with the dye as it faded, and without regular bleaching, the condition of my hair vastly improved! 
However, a few weeks after Rayne was born I couldn't wait to get my colours back, so I dyed it blue.
My most commonly asked question from my friends (after 'Will you do my hair?') is how I get my colours so bright!
So this post will hopefully explain the steps for those of you who want to know, how you can get your hair to go from this... this! 
Bubblegum Blue by Crazy Colour

Picture 1. Before Photo
You can see my lighter root growth better in this picture, and the dyed ends in comparison! I was pretty impressed with the Loreal dye, I hadn't dyed my hair in over 14 months when that photo was taken, and the dye fading was still extremely minimal!

Picture 2. The Supplies
-Shampoo and Conditioner (needs to be thick)
-Bleach and peroxide (gloves and mixing bowl included)
- Vaseline, and paper to protect where you're setting the bleach and dye (not pictured)
I had actually ordered a full box worth of new dyes on special delivery, but they still hadn't arrived by this point and I was too impatient to wait any longer so I gathered up the last of my old dye and used it instead!
To lighten my hair I used two boxes of 
Jerome Russell BBlonde Maximum Lift Blonding Kit, (review coming soon) although I also bought extra bleach and peroxide (also from Jerome Russell)

Picture 3. The Application
I didn't think to take a photo while I was actually applying the bleach, but this one sort of explains how I apply it anyway. As you can sort of see in the picture my hair has been sectioned all over - larger pieces at the front and smaller pieces at the side and back. I mixed the bleach powder and liquid peroxide according to the packet instructions until it's a creamy consistency. I then start from the mid lengths and ends of the hair, applying the bleach with a tint brush, or with my gloves, and do all over my head before I apply it to my roots - as the heat from your scalp makes the colour lift a lot 
I find sectioning my hair off like this makes applying the bleach a lot easier, and is helpful in making sure I don't miss any bits (which has happened before lol)

Picture 4. The After Photo
Once I'd left the bleach to develop for 30 minutes, I washed it well with shampoo and rinsed. (Never leave bleach on your hair for longer than the recommended time on the box)
Do not apply conditioner at this stage.
As you can see from the photo, my roots lifted a lot lighter than the mid lengths, but as I'd used permanent dye when dying my hair brown I expected this. I did a condition check here (I pulled a small strand of hair to see if it snapped - it didn't!) then towel dryed it to begin applying the dye, as it was 3am and I was exhausted!

Picture 5. Preparing The Dye
Because I was so low on dye, I added conditioner and mixed them. This makes your dye last a lot longer and is much better for your hair. I mix my dye and conditioner in a plastic chinese tub, and mix with a tint brush.
Be warned though, adding too much conditioner or not using the right type will dilute your colour and stop it from taking to your hair! A thick conditioner is best, and anything runny should be avoided. 
I usually use  Avon Naturals Almond Oil and Avacado Conditioner but ran out in the middle of applying the dye to my head, so had to use another I found in the bathroom, which is why the back of my head didn't take as well (see picture 8)
I also mixed my left over Stargazer Dye (I can't remember exactly what shade!) with my Pinkissimo Crazy Colour to tone the pink down, which is why it's a purpley colour in the photo.

Picture 6. The Application
First off, I applied Vaseline all along my hairline/ tips of my ears. This stops the dye staining your skin (and believe me when I say, it does stain!)
Then I separated my hair into small, manageable sections, and working from side to side, front to back, applied the dye with a glove! You can use a tint brush here for a neater application, but I was going for a messier vibe, so applied the dye quite roughly, and randomly mixed the dyes together on a few sections to see what they'd turn out like (as you can see by my scalp lol!)

Picture 7. Doublechecking!
Once I've coated all the sections on my head, to the back, I go through them all again touching up bits I've missed with the last of the dye! I always mix a bit extra dye and conditioner here, as no matter how careful I am initially, I always find bits I've missed! 
After dying all my hair, I twist it and clip it onto the top of my head and relax for a bit, usually about 30minutes! 
This is a good time to clean up your work area and wipe away any dye on your forehead/ears with a baby wipe while you still can!

Picture 8. The After Photo
After waiting 30 minutes, I rinsed my hair out with a small amount of shampoo, and  COLD water. Cold water seals the hair, and stops the dye from running. Then I added a tiny bit of leftover dye to a large amount of conditioner, let it sit on my head for five minutes and rinsed well. This was the result. 
As you can see the hair at the back of my head is still quite white/pale - this was because I ran out of my usual conditioner and had to substitute to a more runny one! If you want pastel hair - this is the way to get it lol.

Picture 9 and 11. The Result 
This is how my hair turned out after it had dried and been straightened. I absolutely loved the mixture of colours that I ended up with, and the more I washed it and it faded, the more colours that showed!

Picture 10. More Supplies
The dyes that I ordered to originally do my hair arrived the next morning - two days after I'd ordered them, despite me paying for next day delivery! However once they arrived, I decided not to use them straight away, and allowed my hair to gradually fade...

Picture 12. The Before Photo
...To this! The perfect base for my next project - and even better, the blue tones had helped tone down the yellowness of my mid lengths and ends :)

Picture 13. After Bleaching
After repeating the bleaching process (see pictures 3 and 4) (but with medium lift bleach instead of maximum lift, and for only 15 minutes instead of 30) to strip the old colour, I washed my hair with shampoo and allowed it to dry until damp.
If you want to go blonde - now is the time! Your hair should be light enough now to get a light blonde with a toner to remove any lasting yellow tones. However this time, I didn't, so moving on!  

Picture 14. Preparing The Dye
This time I wanted a stronger outcome, so I only added a small amount of conditioner (a dollop or so), and used two tubes of dye. 
This is one of my favourite dyes - Bubblegum Blue by Crazy Colour. 
It comes out purple - but drys blue and is one of the most vibrant dyes I've ever used! 

Picture 15. The Application
Once again I sectioned and coated my hair in the dye, then repeated my spot check and went back over, making sure I'd gotten every strand. When you want a strong colour it's important to do this, as any tiny bits missed will stand out against any kind of vibrant colour, and you don't want your hair to look patchy!

Picture 16. Cleaning Up
After I'd gone over my hair once again with the left over dye, I made sure my dye bottles were properly closed, and stored them away along with my papers that I'd put down to protect my work area. I waited 30 minutes before I washed my hair with cold water, then left a deep conditioning treatment in. I then towel dried my hair and tied it up loosely to go to bed.
After bleaching my hair twice in just under a few weeks, I wanted to heat if I could - so no hair dryer usage and as little straightening as possible!
This isn't only better for your hair, but it'll make your colour last longer as well! 

And the final result...

I love this colour! The more I wash it the lighter it gets - which I don't mind as I like a fresh canvas to redye, however, if you want to keep your colour vibrant, putting a small amount of dye in your conditioner bottle helps a tonne! Just make sure you don't leave it anywhere that someone with blonde hair might use it, as blue dye stains blonde hair and trying to get rid of it can be difficult! 

And that's it!
I've a review coming up on the dyes and bleach I used, and a post on hair care and maintenance in the future, if anyone's curious. 
If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and I'll be happy to help.

Sarah :)

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