Since the age of 14/15 I have had dyed hair. That’s over half of my life! I love having bright hair, and feel much more ‘me’ with pink or red hair. The longest I’ve gone without dyeing it was during my pregnancy. A few weeks after giving birth I was back to bright. Growing up a lot of my favourite films or tv shows had people with unnatural hair colours. Frenchie in Grease, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Jem and the Holograms, Angela in My So Called Life.
My hair is naturally very dark brown, almost black. At first I used a wash in wash out hair mousse which obviously did nothing to my hair. It just turned the bathroom red. Then came hair mascara and finally I could have the bright hair I wanted. Surprisingly it didn’t work very well. It was clumpy, and would wash out straight away. However, 15-year-old me thought I was so cool. My school were pretty strict on hair so this was all I could do.
Once I left school and started college I was free to dye my hair any colour. The first time I had my hair dyed professionally I had red highlights put in, but after spending a lot of money they barely lasted a week. I was so upset, and so was my mum who had paid for it! I had a part-time job in a shop, who weren’t that keen on the bright colours. However I somehow managed to get away with it. Until the time I turned up with green after a slight accident so I ended up working in the stockroom for the day which wasn’t a bad thing.
The first time I bleached my hair I just went for it, which I do not recommend but my thinking was that it was just hair. I had no idea about how much damage bleach can do to hair. Now admittedly I still lighten my hair myself but I know the signs of over doing it and I try to limit the damage I do. I will never the forget the time I over bleached it and my hair started breaking off and felt like straw. It ended up with a visit to the hairdressers and one very short hair cut and a stern telling off from the hairdresser.
Top tips for keeping dyed hair bright
One of the main things I’ve found is using a good shampoo and conditioner. Also deep conditioning masks become your best friend when you have dyed hair. I recently discovered Organic Shop products and they have really helped my hair. I have been using the Argan & Amla products and I’ve really noticed a difference since using them. My hair feels nice and soft, plus they only use organic and natural products. They are all 100% cruelty free which means the products are not tested on animals. The best thing is they only cost £2.50 per product! They also have different ones for different types of hair, including dyed hair. I usually spend a fortune on hair care products so these are great. They are also available in Tesco which means I can pick them up when I’m doing a big food shop.
When I do wash my hair, I try to keep the water cool as I find hot/warm water tends to make the colour fade quicker. I also mix a bit of the colour to my conditioner so that I am constantly refreshing it. Obviously you can’t do this with permanent colour but then I find that the best way to achieve bright hair is to use semi permanent dyes. Directions and Special Effects are my go to brands that I have used since I started doing this. I usually get them from BeeUnique which is based in the UK. Directions is cheaper than Special Effects, which is a product from the US, but Special Effects is worth the price. It’s probably the best dye I’ve ever used. It lasts a long time and some of the colours even glow under black light.
If you are thinking of dyeing your hair a bright colour then I would definitely recommend visiting a professional to get it done, especially if you have naturally dark hair. There are some great salons that specialise in bright colours, including Rockalily and Not Another Salon. I am not a professional, just someone who doesn’t mind damaging her hair. I also don’t mind having short hair cuts, I’ve even had one side shaved before.