1. Live XXL Permanent Colour in Mystic Violet £5.49
2. Adee Phelan Hair Colour Remover £14.95
3. Bleach London Total Bleach £7.00
4. Bleach London Hair Colour £5.00 x 3 so £15 (I mixed 3 colours and will show which ones later)
5. Directions Toner £3.50
I brought all of the products used apart from the Directions toner when Boots were running their 3 for 2 promotion. Making the total cost around £34. This sounds pricey BUT pales in comparison to the cost of stripping and bleaching then colouring at the hairdressers. That and the Bleach London colours and toner will not all be used up in one application but I'll keep for top ups.
This is the colour I started with. I originally had orange ends but I had these cut out and waited until my hair was long enough again - as I didn't think the ends could take another bleaching session!
A week before my project, I washed my hair every other day with a clarifying shampoo that I knew would fade my current colour. The best shampoo for this is Head & Shoulders. So when it actually came to dying my hair it was quite faded from this colour but meant I needed to work less hard!
I also did a lot of coconut oil and conditioning treatments to prep my hair for the damage, I'll go into this later in my tips.
First thing I did, was apply the LIVE XXL purple all over. I didn't strip my hair first as when you use a hair stripper - it will make any colour you put on go waaay darker than you may want - and I didn't want to end up with black hair. That and I figured dark purple over red wouldn't be too hard a task.
The dye actually looks pink on my hair here but it did darken over the 30minutes required. I put it over every strand to get an even coverage as I was going to be stripping the ends later anyway.
Below is the colour I actually ended up with.....
My hair doesn't look all that purple here, and still has a few streaks of red in. It was darker than I was expecting but this turned out to be a blessing, for which I will later explain when it comes to the stripping process!!
I left my hair like this for a couple of days with the intention of stripping the ends when it came to my next hair wash. If you have the time and patience, it's really better to colour your hair in stages like this - it gives it a rest in between all the washing and processing.
So two days go by, and it came to using the Adee Phelan hair stripper.....
I tied my hair into pigtails, and applied the colour stripper to the ends. The reason for using this, is so the bleach doesn't have to work so hard on my hair later on.
The stripper needs to be left on about an hour. Then when washing it out you have to time yourself for 10 minutes, yes TEN WHOLE MINUTES of rinsing under the shower. This is why my hair on the upper half of my head being darker than I wanted was a blessing in disguise. I think had it gone the perfect shade originally, it would have faded with the rinsing process.
After the rinsing and buffer process (like a shampoo you use at the end to restore the PH level of your hair) this was my hair at the ends....
The Bleach London Bleach hair kit is beautifully put together, and totally worth the £7 price tag. For this you are not just getting the components for the bleach, you're getting a tray, an application brush and a small tube of their Reincarnation hair mask, which is an absolute miracle worker on dry hair, I have the full size tube too!
I put coconut oil in my hair for an hour before applying the bleach, as this helps protect the hair from too much damage.
I applied the bleach both to the bottom of my hair, and grabbed a few strands through the top, just to break up the colour later on. This pic was taken about 30 minutes in so as you can tell the bleach got my hair pretty light. I left it on the max 45 minutes then washed off.
I don't have any photo's of my hair dry after this as as soon as it was damp I applied some Directions Toner to take out any orange tones in the hair. It goes on blue which can be scary but all the blue does is offset the unwanted tones and voila, a lovely blonde colour.
Here is a picture of the Bleach London colours I used. I mixed the three equally to get a purple shade I was happy with, and obviously didn't use all of the bottles so have enough left over for at least another 3 applications.
I applied the mixed colour all over my hair, so the ends would go a light purple, and the colour of the top half of my head would have more depth. This was the result!
Overall I'm really happy with the colour, funnily enough every time I wash it, the top half gets lighter and the purple shows even more - although I still have a few unwanted bits of red when it hits the light. I'm not going to redo it for at least two months now as I think it needs to rest and recover. It feels in great condition, and I want to keep it that way.
When I come to redo it I'm considering doing a bleach bath to completely eradicate the red tones and turn the bottom half white so I can make it lilac - before you ask what a bleach bath is, I'll be doing a separate post for that when I do it and show you!
My Top Tips
1. Go for a well known brand, Adee Phelan or Colour B4 - don't use a cheap substitute, if it damages your hair you'll regret trying to save that few ££ when your getting your hair chopped off.
2. Rinse for the full length of time recommended, set a timer on your phone if you have to as 10 minutes feels like a lifetime in the shower.
3. As long as you've used the buffer correctly and rinsed, you can bleach or colour straight after. However with colour choose a dye at least 3 shades lighter than you want, it WILL go darker on your hair than you expect after stripping.
4. In regards to point 3, if you can I would recommend only temporary dyes for a month after stripping, to avoid an unwanted colour.
5. There are also many other ways of stripping your hair if you just want to fade your colour such as Head & Shoulders, washing up liquid, and making a hair mask out of crushed vitamin c tablets.
1. Coconut oil is a god send, saturate your hair in it overnight before bleaching, and don't rinse out! In my case I only soaked it an hour and it still did wonders for protecting my hair.
2. Never leave bleach in for longer than 45 minutes, even if it isn't the colour you want. It will not go lighter after this time, it will just continue to fry your hair cuticle. You're better off washing it off, and reapplying another batch.
3. Use a stripper before bleaching, the bleach won't need to fight through layers of hair dye to work.
1. When using permanent dyes for retouching, only retouch the roots if you can. Layering permanents over eachother every time you do your hair will damage it just like multiple bleaching sessions.
2. Normally I use a permanent dye to get one big colour change, then top up with semi permanents when my hair needs recolouring, semi's provide much more shine and often fade a lot less quicker.
3. For natural shades, I highly recomment Garnier Olia hair colours (permanent) and Loreal Casting Creme Gloss (semi-permanent)
1. Bleach London hair dyes are great, but they only work on very blonde hair - the positive effect being they don't stain other things as much as Directions.
2. Directions colours will work on anything from blonde to medium brown hair, they are messy as hell but have so much more staying power.
3. Vaseline is your friend, rub it on your ears and anywhere hairdye may land to prevent a scrubbing session later.
4. Bright fashion wash in/wash out colours like Bleach London, Directions, Manic Panic, Crazy Colours can all be mixed to get the colour you want. You can apply them as much as you want, they condition your hair and cover bleach damage fabulously.
5. The longer you leave these colours the better, I let mine sit in for hours before washing out.
6. For lasting power, you can mix your chosen colour in with your shampoo.
On a final note. Conditioner is your friend! As are regular oil treatments. Most of my tips come from mistakes made and lessons learnt, but you can change your hair regularly as long as you treat it well in between the sessions. If you're ever really unsure of how to go about a drastic change, then just go to the hairdressers and watch and learn, ask questions as they do it - then you're free to go wild at home the next time ;)