Any question relating to hair dye will be placed here for ease of access and reference. These are just the questions I usually get asked during day to day life, on forums, or on Tumblr.
This page will be updated regularly (I hope) and if you’re still unsure about anything, feel free to message me via ask (but I may take a while to reply).
I’m not a professional or anything, so please do not take my word as law. I’ve just got a lot of experience from bleaching/dyeing my own/others hair. All of my experiences are from black, virgin, Asian hair, so everything will vary.
* Everything is said with black, virgin hair as the base.
* Writing this in easy to understand English because I’m too lazy to sound smart.
Q. What is bleach and how does it work?
A. In simple terms, bleaching removes the stuff that gives your hair its colour. The actual process of bleaching works through oxidation, and the more heat that is applied, the faster the process works. This is why your roots (which are the closest to your scalp) generally process at a faster rate than the rest of your hair, as your scalp naturally gives off heat.
Q. I want to go blonde without damage, is that possible?
A. Unfortunately any type of processing on the hair will be damaging. To lessen the damage however, spreading out your bleach procedure over a few months or so will help reduce it dramatically. Continually using blonde box dyes will eventually lighten up your hair – this is what I did over about 4-6 months and people are always baffled on why my hair is so healthy despite all the bleaching/dyeing. But keep in mind that while box dyes bleach, they insert colour and the price adds up!
Q. What do you use to bleach your hair?
A. I use Hi Lift Powder Bleach in blue as well as Innovative’s 30vol Crème Developer. I wouldn’t really suggest 40vol unless you’re bleaching virgin hair, and 10vol is just plain weak. This is just what is available to me in Australia (I live in Syd and these are easily available at Priceline).
Q. When I bleach my hair my scalp starts hurting/burning/itching/etc.
A. Some sort of tingling on the scalp whilst bleaching is normal. Burning, however, is not. If you feel a burning sensation, wash out whatever is in your hair immediately!After this, you’ll probably get dandruff as a result of your overly dry scalp, but not to worry; it’ll disappear in a few weeks.
This generally happens when your scalp is too clean (ie. bleaching a day after washing your hair). To prevent this, leave your hair unwashed for minimum 3-4 days prior to bleaching your hair. Your scalp would have produced enough oil to provide a sort of protection during this time, although it may sound a little weird (and unhygienic), it works very well.
Also, don’t bleach multiple times in a day because of the above reasons. I’d feel really sorry for your scalp and hairdryer if you did.
Q. I have virgin black hair and want to go blonde, how can I do this?
A. It is quite impossible to get your hair from black to blonde in one session. To go blonde, it’ll take about 2-5 sessions depending on the strength of your bleach and toner. On your first go of bleaching, your hair will turn a really horrific looking orange/brassy colour and the texture will be dramatically different. On the second, it’ll most likely be a pale yellow or border line orange. After the third and assuming your hair is now a pale yellow, you can start toning, but be sure not to leave it in for too long or your hair may turn lavender. Although this lavender will fade within a few washes.
Q. What is toning? Why do I need to do it?
A. Toner is quite literally a watered down version of hair dye. What they do is neutralise their opposing colour (look at a colour wheel), literally getting rid of unwanted shades. Assuming you’re going to go pink/purple/etc headed, you’ll need to use a purple toner to turn your hair white. This will remove any of those horrific yellow tones leftover.
Not toning is the same as not bleaching – there’s not point. If your base isn’t pure, then your resulting hair will similarly be impure. It’s like using a blue highlighter over a yellow: it turns greens. But just using a blue highlighter over white, it turns into a pure blue.
* Colour shampoo/conditioners also act like toners. If you’re unnatural coloured, simply mix your dye into your shampoo/conditioner and you’re good to go. So while washing your hair takes out colour, using this will put that colour back in.
Q. My hair was ash blonde but now it’s turning yellow, how do I fix it?
A. This just means that you need to tone your hair again. Or you can similarly mix small amount of purple dye (such as SFX Purple Smoke) into your shampoo/conditioner to act as ‘refreshers’.
UNNATURAL HAIR COLOURS
Q. I just used __________ but it didn’t work! What happened?
A. All unnatural coloured hair dyes require your hair to be at level 8+ (light blonde or higher), where 10 (platinum) is the most preferred/recommended. If you’ve used it on darker hair, it will probably show up as a tint.
Q. What did you use to turn your hair light pink?
A. I use a mix of Fudge Paintbox’s Raspberry Beret/Red Corvette and a looooooot of conditioner. Raspberry Beret is quite dark and the red brings in a warmer shade, but mixing in the conditioner turns it into a pastel. So despite it’s small size, it will last a long time when using this method.
Q. What did you use to turn your hair purple?
A. I mixed up Fudge Paintbox’s Raspberry Beret and LaRiche Direction’s Alpine Green with heeeaaapsss of conditioner.
Q. The colour is fading really fast, how do I prevent this?
A. Mix in some of your hair dye into your shampoo/conditioner! This acts as a colour refresher and extender, so while washing your hair takes out colour, this mix will put colour back in.
The more you wash, the faster your colour will fade! Wash your hair in cold water (or however cold you can take) every 2-4 days. Use dry shampoo on the days your scalp feels very oily.
Q. My hair is ____, is it possible for me to dye it ____without bleaching it again?
It is! And you don’t necessarily have to use bleach. If you’re patient, just washing your hair as you usually do will fade out the colour eventually. If not, just substituting body wash for shampoo will strip the colour (you can do the same with dandruff removing/fortifying shampoos) and lather it in until your hair turns blonde, but I really wouldn’t suggest doing this too often.
** You can also use a soap cap/bleach bath. Just mix bleach (developer+powder) and shampoo in a 1:1 ratio and use it like your shampoo. But once you lather it in, leave it in your hair for about 10 minutes and rinse it out. This is like a nicer, hassle-free version of bleaching.
Pretty much, once it fades out completely and your hair returns to a clean base, then you can turn it ____.