Over the Christmas holidays, aside from having deep thoughts while cleaning, I also headed to my friend’s salon to get my hair done. It’s been a while since I’ve done a non-natural colour (hot pink a few years ago), and I was getting restless to try something new.
As laughable as this may seem, I think pastel purple hair is a step in a more mature direction (as compared to hot pink), and a little more fashionable too. I was also thinking that in several years my face won’t be so young anymore (I’m 29), which will make pulling off any colour with grey tones more difficult. Not to mention that my job, working for myself as a piano teacher, doesn’t come with a dress code. So I figured, no time like the present!
I wanted to take you on a journey of my hair dyeing process today, from blonde hair to pastel purple hair. Since I had it done at a salon I don’t know all the details, so this won’t be so much a tutorial as a guide. The hardest part is getting it bleached – maintenance can be easily done at home with some Manic Panic or Special Effects, which is what I plan to do. More on that in a moment!
The pastel purple hair journey
The first and most time-consuming step was to bleach out my hair and cancel out some of the golden tones. My hair started at around a level 7 (level 1 being the darkest and 9 being the lightest), so my stylist was able to get it light enough in one trip, without using super-harsh bleach. Those with darker hair will need a couple trips to the salon to get that white-blonde colour.
I’ve bleached my hair at home many times, and while it’s totally doable, I wanted to get a whiter and more even base, something that I haven’t been able to do on my own. I also didn’t want to use level 40 bleach that totally fries my hair.
We ended up doing two bleaches – the first round was level 20 bleach, and the second round was a very gentle conditioning bleach (I’m not sure what it’s called, but it was great).
The ends of my hair are a little dry, which means they didn’t take to the bleach as easily. Otherwise, my stylist achieved a very even base.
As you can see, I was devious with glee for the next step – purple!
I didn’t get any pictures of the purple dyeing process since my phone died, but it was pretty straightforward – she mixed some purple dye with conditioner to get a pale purple shade, applied it, then we let it sit for a good long while (30+ minutes). The result?
Pastel purple hair! Some parts of my hair were more porous than others, so I ended up getting a highlight effect – silvery strands intermingled with purple, with some ash blonde at the ends. I actually like it more that way – it’s more dimensional, less flat. I think part of that is also because we diluted the dye, so it wasn’t as potent.
To maintain the colour, I’ll be putting just a teeny dab of purple dye in my conditioner to get the desired colour. About once a week, I’ll let that colour sit on my hair a bit longer (15+ minutes). I know that washing hair in cool water is the best way to keep a colour bright, but I hate cold showers and I refuse to have them. Since purple fades so nicely, it’s not really a big problem.
The one thing I’ve noticed, after having this hair for about a week, is that because it’s so faded-looking, it makes me look REALLY frumpy when I’m wearing lounge clothes and no makeup. I’m talking way more frumpy than I did as a blonde. As soon as I tidy up my appearance (nice clothes, some makeup, a little hair styling), it looks great. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Thanks for hanging out with me on my hair journey, and let me know in the comments if you’ve ever coloured your hair a “fashion colour” before. How did you like it?