So 2014 was eventful too right? Not only did I meet Miz, who I’ve been with almost a year now, I also changed my hair colour a gazillion times. Since my hair dye blog posts are so popular and everyone seems to like to know how I got to certain shades and what products I used I thought it would be interesting to do a little round up of some of my hair colour highlights, with details of how I got it and any tips I can give along the way.
My hair colour experiments started when I was still a married lady, back in 2013, seems like a lifetime ago. I had a hair make over from Sinead Kelly and you can read all about it here. Sinead gave me the confidence to try something different and I went for my first red shade and a fringe! After that colour faded I experimented with Directions La Riche dyes in red and orange tons to brighten the base, this taught me that it wasn’t always necessary to bleach hair and gave me bright shades without damaging my hair.
I continued with orange tones for a while as it’s a really easy shade to maintain, I’d normally dye my hair a permanent shade such as Garnier Nutrisse Intense Copper and then tone it with Direction Tangerine, Apricot or Pillarbox Red. The shade below is an example of Directions Apricot on top of a perm copper base. These shades seemed to last well for me and have a nice fade.
For more vibrant shades I also used Directions (I’ve also tried Bleach London) reds on top of a permanent copper base. Directions La Riche Pillarbox Red was my shade of choice for bright, primary colour red and again as with the orange had a nice fade and lasted well for me. I think the longevity was really improved by avoiding bleach and harsh chemicals, so if you can do brights this way, it’s always a good idea.
I’ve always wanted a weird shade like blue or purple but always felt like I couldn’t because of working in a normal office job, earlier this year I finally realised that I could do what I wanted and went for purple for the first time. This time, I have to lighten the base, but again didn’t want to use bleach so opted for the lightest blonde hair dye I could find to lighten my hair before popping on La Riche Directions Violet. I did a pretty horrendous job of this dye job and had to have an emergency trip to my local salon to pick up extra dye, never dye your hair in a hurry!
I stuck with shades of blue, green and purple throughout the Summer and the move to Brighton, always sticking to Directions as I find them so reliable and easy to get hold of for not very much money. I’m very lucky that Miz showed an interest and helped me dye my hair which meant I could do more creative things without the concern of things going wrong. By this point, I still hadn’t touched the bleach! This colour combo was Miz’s own creation and colour choice using Directions Vermillion Red (which worked well to conceal my roots), Atlantic Blue and Apple Green. It looked awesome, but because of the ombre effect they all faded at different rates so it didn’t look fresh for very long.
Now, I want craving REALLY bright hair and was getting curious about what I could achieve with the help of some bleach! I picked up Jerome Russell Bleach from Boots and gave it a go before going my next shade, made my hair super dry but it went bright white with patchy yellow bits within an hour of treatment. My next dye job was meant to be just Apple Green from Directions, but because of the bleach pre-treatment the one tub that would normally suffice did not (bleach makes your hair more pourous so it just drinks up the moisture super quick!) so I ended up blending in the remainder of Atlantic Blue and Plum to fill in the gaps.
The condition that the bleach left my hair in made the hair colour fade SO fast, it was actually quite ridiculous and because the base underneath was pale it means that the fade colour can be a bit strange, so I wasn’t happy with it. So, instead I opted to use Decolour Stripper, which you can read about here. It worked great, but left a bit of blue in there, so I decided to dye it Feria Intense Mango immediately, it took only to my roots and I looked ridiculous. Had to whack on whatever orange dye I could find, which happened to be a mix of Directions Apricot and Tangerine, it looked AWESOME but lasted about two washes. This was because I had used two very strong dye products really close to each other, on already damaged hair.
This orange faded to a weird, patchy peach shade, which I topped up with Bleach London I Saw Red, which was another great shade, but it didn’t last very long, probably about three washes. Again, colour won’t take very well to damaged hair, so it was at this point that I gave my hair a break doing lots of intense treatments, getting a severe hair cut to get rid of the dry bits and treating it regularly with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer.
And finally, where I’m at now, I stripped the left over colour with Decolour Stripper, which worked great again and went back to blue, this time a mix of Directions Plum and Atlantic Blue and it’s lasting really well, I’m treating about once a week with Philip Kingsley Elasticizer and it’s looking great.
So, basically, what I’ve learnt about home hair colouring can be summed up in a couple of bullet points for you, I no expert but these are a couple of things that have worked for me…
- If you don’t NEED to use bleach, then don’t. Dye your hair with a gentle Permanent shade that is close to your destination shade.
- Avoid dyes that have too much silicone in (Live Colour XXL is the main one) as they will make it really difficult to colour over the top or remove.
- If you do bleach your hair too much and/or colour stops lasting as long, give your hair a break. Have a good hair cut to restore condition and use a protein based treatment such as Philip Kingsley Elasticizer to restore your hair.
- If you want a bright hair colour brand I recommend La Riche Directions, which you can buy from selected independent hair dressers and online from places like Amazon or my friend’s shop Yurei.
- If you need inspiration for what shade to go to, head to the Bee Unique Hair Dye Gallery, it’s got swatches of everyone on all sorts of people, props to Beauty’s Bad Habit for pointing me in that directions near the start!
- If you want to fade a colour quicker, mix crushed vitamin C tablets (I used Berrocca) with a good quality shampoo to create a mask which will help colour fade quicker.
I feel more like myself with blue hair and blunt fringe that I ever have done, it’s weird but I love it. I’m sure I’ll try some new shades next year, what shades would you like to see me sport?
Got a question or a tip to share? Want to suggest a colour for me to try? Comment, share or tweet me @JayneKitsch
@wearefoodscouts & @KitschInc. Digital Marketing & Creative Direction. Illustration, writing, creativity & style. Fan of films, TV, cartoons, colourful hair & clean beauty. Blogger since 2009.