I finally did it! I finally dyed the lower-half of my hair dark purple, and I love it so much! The whole process, with a cut and style, took about 3 1/2 hours. And it was totally worth it! I’ve had my hair a couple of colors in the past, but never purple until now. Although lovely in every way, having purple hair (or any bright color) takes a lot of care and it can fade fast. And even though it’s a permanent dye, it won’t last forever. Natural dyes tend to adhere better to the hair and last longer, but unnatural dyes like purple, pink, red, blue, green, etc. just don’t.
Other than my new purple hair, I’m thrilled to have Ms. Twinkie Chan as a guest today! I mean, who knows more about bright and fun hair color than her?! So, here are a few tips from Twinkie and my stylist/colorist to ensure that your purple/colored hair stays glamorous until your next tone session.
Twinkie says: When you’re starting to experiment with bright colors in your hair, you’ll probably need to bleach your hair out first, unless your are a blonde. While a lot of my friends DIY their own hair to save on the expense, I would still highly recommend that you go to a professional. I know people who have accidentally burned patches of hair off of their heads, and while hair always grows back, it’s nice to avoid that situation! I have heard of people getting their hair ruined at salons as well, but my colorist is really bleach-conservative, and I have never experienced any breakage.
One thing I remember back when I had some purple in my hair, is that I felt like I also had to change my make-up a little bit to accommodate the bluer tones. So don’t be surprised if you find yourself in Sephora, cruising some pinky blushes and blue-based lippies! It can be a fun excuse to experiment with different make-up. When I went to the mall for some make-up help, I ended up at Stila and bonding with the gal who worked there. Incidentally, we got our hair colored by the same person!
But when I had teal-green streaks, I realized that greenish hair was not for me, and not even makeup could save me! I think it picked up too much on the yellow tones of my skin, and I just felt like an alien. I couldn’t wait to change the teal out! So if you want to experiment with bright hair, just remember, that some bright colors may work for your skin tone and some may not, but don’t get discouraged if you feel like an alien, because there could be another color that’s great for you!
When I first went 100% pink, I really looked like I was wearing a wig, like I didn’t belong to my hair. I now have a few panels or pieces of black in my pink, and the black really helps add dimension and break up the color a little bit. If you find yourself feeling too odd with your new hair, trying adding some darker pieces back in.
When washing freshly-dyed hair, you also want to make sure you didn’t just get a fancy manicure, because your hair color will definitely dye your polish a little bit!
If you decide to freshen up your color at home, and you accidentally get dye all over your shower, I have found that some spray bleach really goes a long way. Just spritz some on, open a window, and let it soak in for a while. Don’t freak out, especially if you’re a renter!
Okay, so here are the basics:
1. Don’t wear light colors like white or pastels, at least in the beginning, because it will rub off! This is no joke for those of you with long locks. I tested it on an old white tee the night I got it done, and again after the first wash (four days later); it does rub off.
2. Try sleeping with a black pillowcase or an old towel over your pillow, as well. Also, be careful when leaning back on your couch, car seats, and especially other peoples furniture! Eep! I bet you never thought of this, but be sure that your seat-belt doesn’t rub on your hair, because that will stain, as well!
3. Wash your purple/colored tendrils as little as possible and when you do, wash in cold (burrr) water using a color protecting shampoo and conditioner. Chose a product with no parabens or sulfates. Some colorists will also recommend finding vinegar-based shampoos that don’t foam up very much. You don’t want to strip your color. Instead, between washes, use dry shampoo to hold off your natural oils. For me, I can usually get away with wearing my hair down for the first two days, anything beyond that, I put it up in a bun or pony. Then I wash it every fourth day.
Note: Hot water does fade your color faster, so I like to wash my hair separately in the stainless steel kitchen sink using cold water and the awesome sprayer on our faucet. I use the sink for two reasons, first, I’m a chicken and don’t want to be standing in a cold shower, ever. Second, our new shower is white and I don’t want to risk staining it with purple. I think Ron would kill me! If you’re brave or crunched for time, you can shower. Wash your hair in cold water (fast!) and then pin it up. Now, you can shower your body in cozy warm water! Be aware that the purple does run off in the shower and sink, so be sure to rise it away as soon as possible. And like Twinkie mentioned above, bleach spray can go a long way if water alone doesn’t cut it. Also, black or old towels are are great idea, because it will absorb into the towels.
Twinkie says: We pink-haired girls often also boost our color a bit with each hair wash by putting a little hair-dye into our conditioner.
4. Be gentle with heat styling, as well. The more heat you apply, the more your color will break down and fade. This is difficult for me because I love to curl, dry and straighten my hair. I try to heat style only once between washes, unless I’m headed to a Ball or something super fancy! Ha, if only! Make sure that you don’t care about your straightener and curling iron getting stained purple (or any color), either, because they will. You might also notice that your hands will be tinted as well. The heat pulls the color out as you’re handling your hair. It usually washed right off.
5. Avoid too many hair products. If you can, don’t use hair spray, palmades, etc., because it will contribute to the fading. Plus, it takes a lot more effort to scrub those product out when you do shampoo.
Basically, you want to baby your colored hair if you want it to stay vibrant longer. In the beginning, it seems like a lot to think about, but it eventually becomes second nature and part of your everyday (or every third or fourth day) routine. Until the pros master a way to make purples, pinks, reds and blues permanent-permanent, this is what we have to do. The price of beauty, eh?! Anyhoo, have fun with it and don’t be afraid to add a little bit of color to your hair.
Hopefully these tips will help you maintain your color longer! I want to give a big thanks to Twinkie for sharing her tips with us. She’s a hair-colored icon in my book! Oh, and did I mention that she’s the absolute sweetest?! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out her website and say hello! If you have any hair color tips, tricks and stories, we want to hear them in the comments below!