What internet user hasn't fallen for a fun, flirty pastel hair style? Move over brash, rebellious, punky colours, it's all about soft candy colours now!
My sister is finally free of her school rules shackles and ready to embrace the diversity of college. So what do we do? Dye her hair. She has been drooling over this purple-ish/pink lavender colour for at least 2 years after discovering countless Instagramers and YouTubers who, coincidentally, all had purple hair. You'll see one of her Instagram inspirations, Alien Creature (@AlienCreature) below.
My sister has never dyed her hair before so it was a breeze to work with. Also purple is a great starting colour because when you bleach your hair your left with a lot of yellow so it counteracts the brassy-yellow tones left.
Aoife's hair before (a grown out pixie crop):
Aoife's hair after (re-cut and styled by me!):
I used the same bleaching kit I bought from Superdrug when I went blonde (the highlighting and "blonding" kit is the same thing except the highlightling kit comes with the little cap for highlights). We picked up 2 boxes because as you can see she has very short hair. I used two boxes to coat my long hair once so we were hoping to bleach her hair twice to get as white as we could.
***I am not a professional, I've had zero training. I know what I know from self experiences of my own hair. I have also been cutting my own hair for about 6 years so I'm pretty practised with the aul shears. Please seek professional advice if needs be. I can only help you as far as my own knowledge goes but still feel free to ask!***
Step 1: Prep + Bleaching
I began by separating her unwashed hair into 4 workable sections: down the center and from ear to ear. If you prefer, part your hair in your normal position then across ear to ear. We went down the center because of the end cut and style. I'd highly recommend splitting it into managable sections. I also did an allergy test behind her ear as recommended by the box.
Step 2: Application + Timing
I mixed up the bleach following the box's instructions. If using powder and developer you bought from a salon shop then mix 1:2, 1 scoop bleach powder to 2 scoop developer. Always follow the manufacture's instructions or ask the sales assistant for help as this ratio varys from brand to brand.
I applied it to the lengths of the hair, leaving about 1-2cm of roots at the top. Make sure to work quickly and to completely saturate the hair with the bleach.
Make a note of the time you started applying. I don't have a definite time for you to use, it depends on your hair personally. But what I do is watch it like a hawk! The first section I applied the bleach to will be a good indicator. Keep it on as long as it takes to achive a colour lift. If your bleach starts to dry then its not going to lift any more. Keep hair covered loosely with a pastic bag/wrap/showercap and DO NOT HEAT. Also be aware that you may need to bleach it several times to get a lift. Take your time and don't rush it!
Watch the hair lift and when it's a little darker than desired start applying to your roots. These will lighten the quickest so when these are done wash it all off. Avoid applying the bleach to your scalp or leaving it on longer than 30 minutes on your scalp skin. Follow the box's time/test guide if your unsure. I think the max time is an hour (60 minutes) for bleach to be left on but I think it depends. I try to avoid anything longer than an hour.
You can see in the above picture that the front half have the roots covered and the back aren't. WELL! Those 2 boxes we decided to use to bleach the hair twice? both of those boxes were used in that picture and I still hadn't the back roots done. Cue a frantic phone call to daddy to stop in Superdrug on the way home from work!
Of course we had to go ahead and rinse out the bleach before my dad was finished work. So we rinsed and dried the hair and this was our result:
We sent dad a quick picture because we were in actual fits of laughter thanks to Aoife's uncanny celebrity resemblance. Dad whipped up a quick PhotoShop job and sent it back:
But anyway back to the bleaching. As you can see the hair is still very yellow and the roots nice and white (thanks to the heat of your scalp). Perferably I'd want to bleach this a second time in about a week or so but my sister had already spent the rest of her money so I had to work with what I got.
Step 3: Pasteling
At this point it was like midnight and we were deliriously giggly and running on sugar and caffine. I was a little dissapointed with not getting it as light as I'd liked first round but I'd put that down to the lack of bleach in the kit(s). We decided to go on a whim and apply the purple for an hour (all the time it really takes). I dampened down the hair and mixed up the dye.
The purple dye I used was the Directions dye in the colour Violet. We ordered it off of Amazon. I filled this container about half way with pure white conditioner. This is hugely important to get the correct shade of pastel dye. You also want to mix it about 2-3 shades darker than your desired colour. Just add a tiny scoop of colour at a time using a plastic spoon. Keep mixing until you get your desired colour.
I applied this to the hair using my tinting brush and sectioned the hair, working form the neckline up. Aoife put on a showercap and wrapped her head in a towel to keep her warm while we watched an episode of Pretty Little Liars and stalked Instagram.
An hour later we rinsed it out, bundled it in a towel and went back to my room to dry it off. the Big reveal? The colour didn't change to purple, instead it just went a more cool/silvery blonde. The laughing fit followed as Aoife looked a little less Draco and a little more Lucius. I knew this would happen because the hair was so yellow that the purple woould try to tone the hair before it would colour it.
Now what you see in this picture is the result of a second pasteling . We thought maybe it wasn't on long enough or strong enough so we got up early, made up a darker purple solution, repeated the application process on damp hair except this time we sat for six hours playing Life Is Strange and watching The Big Bang Theory.
We washed it out all excitedly and well you can see from the above picture how purple it went. The white roots were vibrant but the rest...still toning! We did apply a streak of undiluted dye just to see how it would look. We left it on for 5 of the recommended 15 minutes.
We made one final stab at the purple before we were going to strip and re-bleach. This time we made the colour darker again and applied it to dry hair for an hour. Not entirely sure if it the wet/dry hair made a difference but we gave it a go anway. This time we were on to a winner. Here is our result:
As you can see, it's a really vibrant purple with some pastel purple and silver highlights and some more pinkish tones through it too. I cut in a short, blunt fringe as well as shaping the back but after a few days she decided she wanted it all one length and very square. Although this colour is a lot darker than she wanted after a few washes it actually lightened up to a beautiful pastel lavender. You can see this here:
Aoife now washes her hair only twice a week. She uses the pastel conditioner/dye mix once a week as a deep, conditioning mask for an hour. She styles it as she pleases and will re-bleach her roots as needs be! Her hair is soft, healthy and whiney with very little damage.
We're both really pleased with how her hair came out. You can see more pictures of her hair and how she styles it on her Instagram @Ryuucriedwolf.
Would you ever consider a bright colour like this? Tell me about your hair dying experiences below!