Hey there creatives, hair color post? I have had so many people ask about my hair color that I finally decided to do a hair color post that I can refer people to. What does an artsy blog have to do with hair color? Well, some of the concepts for art absolutely transfers over to hair color; not to mention we creative types always have colorful ideas!
Disclaimer – I can only share my hair color experience. I am not a hairdresser but I’ve been doing this for a long time – so I can share what worked and didn’t work for me. My hair color days actually start in high school, I wanted a purple streak. We lived in Cali, my mom took me to a very trendy salon in Hollywood so they could bleach it and dye it purple. Fast forward, I joined the swim team, the first time I went in the pool I had my beautiful purple color and when I got out of the water it was a hideous white! I went to school in Massachusetts and nobody had purple hair color, the closest they could find was pink (to this day I am not a fan of pink) I ended up going back to black. Fast forward again, fantasy hair color finally became popular and now there are so many options! So, of course, I wanted my purple hair color back…and a little blue …maybe a little lavender or light blue!
(Picture~ colors Pravana Vivids Violet hair color with Blue underneath on the right Pravana Locked In purple)
At first, I wanted to dye the underneath purple and keep the top black, I had a regular hairdresser and talked to her about it and she kept trying to talk me out of it. (* Note to hairdressers, listen to your clients – she is no longer my hairdresser. That’s all I’m gonna say about that!) My hair is naturally pitch black, dry and curly so maybe she wasn’t comfortable but instead of dying the whole bottom like I asked she did two small streaks – more like highlights, I was not happy. It wasn’t bright fun purple, it was very dark and not noticeable at all. She used Ion – it did nothing for my hair. I didn’t see how much she lightened it first but it was so dark it looked more like a black with maroon on top – only noticeable in the sun. I went back and she still wouldn’t do it so I had to take matters into my own hands…literally.
(Pravana Vivids Violet mixed with Wild Orchid ~ I loved the Wild Orchid but it fades really fast into a light magenta ~did I mention I am not a pink person?)
I did a lOT of research and I was a little nervous with all the horror stories about bleach so I only did a little at first, then got a little bolder, when I figured out how long it would take to do it right I went for it! Lots of highlights, I used Loreal Quick Blue, since I started with black hair I ended up stopping after a bit and starting again the next day – you have to be so careful, you can cause a lot of damage! Looking back now I would not recommend doing this part yourself, especially if your hair is super dark like mine. Let a hairdresser do the bleaching! (But if you do bleach it yourself make sure you follow instructions!) Now I go to the hairdresser when it’s time to bleach. My hair grows out really fast, about an inch to an inch and a half every five weeks. I can’t stand fading (note the horrible pic on the right – that was a trial to see how long I could go without touching it up! Ugh! This was right about 7 weeks (never doing that again! UGH!) I can’t go to the hairdresser every five weeks so I do color it myself in between visits.
(Left Pravana Locked In Purple hair color and the right Pravana Vivids Violet and Blue underneath faded at 7 weeks. The blue hair color starts to look really gray and the purple fades to a pretty lavender- I just think it doesn’t look good on me.)
I made sure my hair was in very good shape before bleaching, I used Living Proof restore mask treatment (P.S. if your hair is very damaged or dry this stuff is Amazing, but also very expensive – I tried the shampoo and conditioner, didn’t care for the shampoo, it smells awesome and leaves your hair soft but it also takes a lot of the hair color out! I would totally use it if I didn’t have these fantasy hair colors.
(P.S. these colors are semi-permanent not permanent).
(Pravana Locked In Colors purple and blue)
I did not lighten my hair all the way to white, however, the lighter the color the better your hair color will look. This is where the hair color/art correlation begins if you start with white paper all of the colors look bright, vibrant and their natural hue. If you do not lighten enough you may end up with odd colors – for example, yellow+blue =green, not blue. Pink or magenta and yellow = some shade of orange. (again please make sure you follow the instructions).
I tried the Ion hair color again thinking maybe the hairdresser didn’t lighten it enough but it just didn’t work for me, the color wasn’t right and faded right away. I was not impressed. Then I tried Special Effects and it was AMAZING – the color was bright and sooo cool. I found it online, (if you find the color you love, order more than one bottle they are sometimes hard to find) these hair colors fade into other colors; Electric Blue fades to purple but when I tried to order it again I couldn’t get it anywhere! So I tried Deep purple which was also cool but faded into pink – did I mention I do not do pink? I hated it! The first hair colors were gorgeous and it would have been cool if I liked pink, but I wanted the pink out and guess what happened? I went to order it again, thinking I’ll just keep re-dying it every time it starts to fade and what happened? I couldn’t get the purple/blue colors anywhere! I couldn’t find anyone that was selling those colors, it took months before it came back in stock, by then I moved onto Pravana Vivids.
(Picture – Special Effects Electric Blue hair color – first week of color. I loved this color but the Electric Blue hair color fades quickly to purple the purple is nice but not as striking as the blue. If you are looking for a bold blue that stays Blue Mayhem stays blue. I’ve also used Pimpin Purple – it has red undertones making it more of a plum- I prefer blue undertones. Deep purple was awesome until it faded into pink ~ and you know how I feel about that. But I have not been able to order it again, it’s always out of stock.
(Pravana Vivids hair color in Violet, Blue, and Teal mixed with blue)
I love Pravana Vivids hair color – I mix the Violet with a little Blue, and I have blue and light blue (mixing teal and blue) highlights. I love that the hair color doesn’t change and it takes about 5 weeks before it starts fading, then I do it again at home. It looks super bright outside and indoors it’s more toned down. I only get the roots and some highlights bleached about every four months so my color always looks fresh. My hairdresser does an amazing job. (If you are local and need her number let me know!)
When the Pravana Locked In hair color came out I was so excited to try it because all of these hair colors have some bleeding – onto pillowcases, towels, your shower (no white collars at least the first few washes!) The Pravana Locked In hair colors rinse clear every time! However, they are not as bright and don’t pop like the Vivids. I guess if you don’t mind it not being as bright it’s ok, but after using Pravana Vivids and Special Effects hair color I wasn’t going to be happy so I went back to the Vivids.
(Special Effects hair dye Pimpin Purple and Virgin Rose. After a week touch up)
UPDATE – After a year or so with Pravana I went back to Special Effects, my hair looks healthier (I say looks because anytime there is bleach involved you are killing your hair!) I noticed after a while the Pravana made my hair look dull and now my hair is always shiny. Also because the colors fade into other colors you can go longer between touch-ups.
Update to my update:
There is a game changer in town and it’s called Pulp Riot!
The reasons I love this – bright, bold, beautiful color but not the mess! (The Pravana locked in had this capability but it the color wasn’t as bright.) They don’t run every time you wet your hair, it rinses clean and I even have a white pillowcase! So no staining my clothes :O !!! My hair is super shiny, with deep, rich color! I get compliments and questions about what I use all the time.
So if you are still with me here are some important tips for fantasy hair color!
- Clorox bleach spray is your friend especially if you are touching it up yourself! It takes the color stain off counters, sinks, and showers!
- When I first get my hair done the first time I wash my hair I do it in my stainless steel sink – there is a hand held shower attachment so it’s easier and there is usually a lot of colors running so this way it doesn’t get all over me! KWIM?
- You should not wash your hair color with hot water! It causes your hair color to bleed more.
- Condition, condition, condition! I also use Olaplex and Redken Cat Protein treatment once a month. These colors (well the bleaching) really takes its toll on your hair.
- Get regular trims-
yes there is breakage.OK, now that I have been using the Olaplex and the Redken Cat for a few months I no longer see a bunch of breakages! (Now if you have gorgeous healthy hair don’t do this, get extensions dyed instead!)
- There is a sandstone soap from Lush that is amazing for taking hair color off of your hands (yes, these colors make your hands bluish when you shampoo).
- Sulfate free shampoo and conditioners are a must! I finally found one I love it’s called Caviar (Amazon) it smells amazing and my hair really does look healthy now. Which is amazing when you consider how many times I have bleached my hair!
- Always use Heat protecting spray before flat iron, curling iron, hair dryer. I like “it’s a 10”.Oh, I also tried Overtone – yes, it did refresh my color but it was really uneven and spotty, I won’t be buying that again. Maybe if my hair was all one color I would use it.
So that is my hair story, it’s a lot of work and $$$ but I love it and can’t imagine going back to a normal hair color!
Is fantasy hair color for you? I don’t know, but it is fun!
Yes, I am that girl, purple and blue hair color, burgundy combat boots or cowboy boots.
I am an artsy girl.
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Have a great weekend!