SO many people ask me how I keep my hair so vibrant, so I thought I would finally do a blog post to direct them to! I gotta admit, I learned some of the tricks I use from this post from the Dainty Squid. I did come up with a few things on my own though, so read on to find out more!
I gotta get this out of the way right off the bat. Having a bright hair color is not easy. If you are not willing to spend some extra time or go out of your way to maintain the color, it just won't last. You'll be frustrated and end up with dull hair in a week or two. I've seen so many people spend a lot of money on fun hair, only for it to wash out in a short period of time. Nobody wants to waste money just to have dingy hair, so if you are gonna make the plunge, realize that you'll have to make some changes!
#1 - Color brand. I have tried a lot of different brands. My absolute favorite brand is Jerome Russell Punky Color. I can't find it in any stores around these parts, so I just order it on amazon. It's usually a little less than $10 for a tub. My second favorite is Raw which is available at Hot Topic.
#2. - You must bleach your hair. A lot of people don't want to bleach because it's hard on your hair, but it's a must to get true bright color. You WANT your hair to be porous! It's the only way for the color to soak in. Using vibrant colors on healthy hair won't show up as well and will wash out in no time. I get my hair professionally bleached and then do the color at home myself. Bleaching over already bleached hair IS BAD and will destroy your hair. Trust me, I have done it and it will cause serious breakage. As long as you stick to touching up the roots only, you'll be fine!
#3. - The vibrant color dye is basically just a stain. There are no chemicals in it and will not damage your hair! As long as you just do an initial bleach and then keep up with the roots every couple months, your hair won't suffer too much. You can put the dye in your hair anywhere form 20 minutes to like...an entire day! I usually shoot for an hour or more. Just put the dye in and then cover your hair with a plastic grocery bag. I usually put a thin towel on top of the whole thing to hold in the heat. That will help the color penetrate your hair too. Tip: To conserve on dye, mix it with equal parts conditioner. It will dye the hair just as vibrant, conserve dye, condition your hair, and help your hair have less bleeding afterwards. After your time is up, just wash it out in the sink or take a shower. Be careful with the first rinse! The water will have a lot of dye in it and could easily stain your bathroom. If you try to wash it down the drain right away there usual isn't any problem.
#4. - I don't shampoo my hair...like ever. Surprise! I don't do the "no poo" method either! I did that before and it was ok, but I found something that works even better! I use conditioner ONLY! Most people instantly react saying that their hair is too oily for this and it would be a disaster. I beg to differ. If you use a lot of conditioner and massage it into the roots just like shampoo, it will have a cleansing effect! Trust me it really works. I have used certain conditioners that are too heavy and don't work as well, so you may have to experiment to find the right one. I use Aussie conditioner, but I have also used Tresemme and it worked great as well.
#5. - Use cooler water to condition, and then get your hair out of the water. I usually "wash" my hair first thing when I get in the shower. I am not super hardcore with the cooler water, but I try to keep it from being super hot. After conditioning, I get a small towel and wrap my hair in it, you know... turban style! Get your hair out of the water and you can continue on with your shower. The longer it is sopping wet, the more it will fade. This also allows you to turn the heat up and enjoy the rest of your shower.
I think that's about it! After you get in the habit of doing these things, it's really no big deal. My hair DOES still fade a little. I'll dye it the day I bleach and then usually again in about a month. Some colors do last longer than others. When I had green, I only dyed it once the whole cycle! It was super bright at first and then faded to a lovely mint color that I loved just as much. Some other colors you'll like better when they are at their brightest, so that's when I'll usually freshen it up after about a month.
Let me know if you have any other questions!