About a month ago I did something ridiculous. I dyed my auburn hair blonde. I don’t know if you have any experience with dying red/ginger/auburn hair but it is hard. The pigment is very resilient; I’ve dyed my hair black twice (phases, don’t ask) and in the sun, my hair would still shine red.
I decided I would bleach my hair myself. I am an idiot. Do not do this. Go to a salon. I used a selection of different bleaches and rinsed and repeated about 6 times. Over 3 days. STUPID. DO NOT DO IT.
The first thing I used was this Color B4 Hair Colour Remover Extra Strength because I had used three Lush Henna treatments on my hair, and read that if you tried to dye that blonde it could turn green. Color B4 in intended for use of chemical hair dye and to be honest I am not entirely sure if it worked or not to get the Henna out. It was a bit of a faff to use to be honest.
Once that was done I was on to the bleaching. I have extremely thick hair, and it’s about boob length, so each bleach attempt, took two packets of bleach. The first attempt, I used two boxes of Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde Maximum Lightener Bleach D+++. It worked, kind of. It lifted my hair ever so slightly. It was kind of…. Bright ginger, instead of auburn at this stage.
So I went to the hairdresser just for a regular cut at this stage (I’d had a bit of a 2007 Britney moment a few days before and my boyfriend woke up at about 2am to find me hacking at my hair with paper scissors). My regular hairdresser was fine with it, but the salon manager was much less understanding; “oh good god what have you done?”. So I went home and used two more boxes of Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde Maximum Lightener Bleach. At which point it went disastrously.
It looked like the orange bit from the inside of a Creme Egg. And that wasn’t an observation I made myself.
So at this point I decided “I need to crack out the big guns.” Enter Jerome Russell B Blonde High Lift Powder Bleach, and Jerome Russell B Blonde Max Cream Peroxide 40 Volume. Again, to cover my mass of hair I used two bottles, and two sachets.
The results were better. One hell of a lift compared to before, but still, not light enough to move on to the toning stage. Still kind of orangey, rather than brassy blonde. So, I repeated this step again, but with the Jerome Russell B Blonde Med30 Volume Cream Peroxide. Again, two sachets, and two bottles to cover my hair.
Aaaand I was finally where I needed to be! BLONDE! Albeit a terrible shade of blonde, but It was finally light enough for me to manipulate it to the shade I wanted it to be. First of all I tried to just use the Live XXL HD Blonde Toner Mousse in both the Champagne and the platinum shade. Both worked, but didn’t have enough of an impact. So I moved on to my last resort; Nice N Easy Permanent Colour in 9A Natural Light Ash Blonde.
It was lovely. Until the next day when I thought I would try and counteract some of the damage by doing a deep conditioning treatment. I put it on dry hair, left it on over night and rinsed it off in the morning. Along with the conditioner the colour all washed away. I turned to the Reddit Board for hair to try and find out what was happening and how to make the colour last longer.
The general consensus was that my hair was too damaged from the bleach for the colour to stick to it, and that it would take up to a month for all of the damage to show, and that basically my hair was all going to snap off and fall out. I was told to lay off the colour for a long time, and just to work on getting my hair into good condition…
I knew my hair was a little bit damaged because my curls were completely gone. I have very very curly/frizzy hair, and even when i dried in naturally my hair just dried kind of straight and lifeless.
For the next 2-3 weeks, the day before washing my hair I made a mixture of argan, coconut, almond, and olive oil and saturated my hair in it, then put it in braids over night. Then I would wash it with purple shampoo and leave it on for 5-10 minutes to try and at least salvage some dignity and not turn into a complete yellow head. Then, purple conditioner for a good 20 minutes, and a deep conditioner for 20 minutes. Then I would go to town on the argan oil before styling. My curls have bounced back, and look like they did before!
The next time I dyed my hair it adhered a whole lot better! I’ll be doing a post on the upkeep shortly!
So, here’s a timeline (in pictures) of what happened (I have a towel on in the 4th picture!):
So, my hair didn’t fall out, or snap off. Or turn into a gummy texture when it was wet which is another thing I was warned about! I think mine was only this resilient because I have naturally curly hair. Very course, thick strands.
It can be done. but to save on damage, go to the salon.