The above photo is my hair for prom.
Hello! I have always wanted to have a full head of coloured hair. In primary school, my mom bought me a box of red dye, which I thought would turn my black hair bright red just like that. Oh silly me. I didn't know about bleach at the time, and needless to say, I was quite disappointed when my hair looked a dark red-brown in the sunlight. But you know what, I'm glad my hair didn't turn bright red because after doing a ton of research in preparation for this transformation I learned that red is a pain to maintain. Plus, I think blue suits me better.
This is going to be a fairly step by step post on what I did and the products I used. I found maybe one post about dying Asian hair pastel blue and figured I'd contribute my two cents. Keep in mind that the colour in some of these photos may be a bit skewed because of the lighting.
I was working with a very narrow timeframe because my play performance ended May 11th and my prom was June 1st. I was using prom as an excuse to really push myself to dye my hair. I started to really consider blue hair as an option the beginning of May. My friend Ashley told me when she got her South American, long, dark, brown hair dyed red it cost her $400. So going to a salon wasn't really an option for me.
Then my mom found out about Aveda Hair Institute. It's a teaching salon with several locations across Canada and America. They've got different experience levels and the more experience you want the higher in the price you will pay. I'm only mentioning all this because maybe this is a viable option for you. A lot of people go there for affordable haircuts. I went in for a consultation (they only do walk-ins) and asked if they could dye my hair a light blue/turquoise colour. They told me they can't guarantee that my hair will turn out the colour I wanted in only two sessions and then recommended that I only dye the hair on the bottom half of my head. I left the salon thinking that I'd probably take them up on that offer, but ultimately, I'm glad I decided to stick to my original plan.
Off to Sally Beauty I went (for the second time after I returned everything thinking I'd get my hair done at Aveda).
This is what my hair looked like before.
The night before I got to bleaching my hair I covered my hair with coconut oil and wrapped it in a plastic bag so I could sleep overnight in it. The longer you can leave the oil in your hair the better because it allows more time for your hair to be moisturized. Yes, I look silly and yes I still decided to post this picture of myself on the internet.
The next day I woke up early to get started. I had my younger sister help me because my mom was out of town.
Most people I've seen use the l'Oreal quick blue bleach from Sally Beauty, but I also learned that using professional grade bleach will lift your hair lighter, faster, and do less damage to your hair. I can't actually attest to this because I have only ever used the Wella Blondor bleach powder I got off Amazon. Even then, I read multiple reviews comparing Wella to other salon brands. I think it's totally up to you and your budget. The Wella worked on my hair, but maybe another brand could have worked better? I am super happy with my result, but I know there are many things I would go about differently next (if ever) I bleach or dye my hair again, which I'll mention as we go through this process.
The first thing I would have done differently is to roughly cut my hair so there's less of it to work with. I wanted extremely short hair, so cuting away excess hair wouldn't have been a problem. I didn't do this initially because I was told my the hairdresser at Aveda that bleaching your hair after cutting it is like bleaching an open sore; it will damage your hair even more. This makes sense if you want to keep your hair length, but cutting my hair shorter made more sense in my case. This would have saved me a ton of product. I'm lucky I had enough bleach and then some. (but my greedy ass could have had more left over if I cut my hair).
I've seen plenty of videos where people will go by scoop ratios, however, I heard that a scale is more acurate. I used a random plastic container and got out my kitchen scale. Like I said, I used the Wella Blonder and combined it with the Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 volume developer. Ion is supposed to be better than the Salon Care brand. I would never recommend using a 40 vol. developer. I've never tried it myself, but I've hear horrible stories about it frying off your hair if you leave it on too long.
My first bleach ended up requiring 5 scoops of Wella!
Here's what I could have done differently:
We didn't have a proper hair brush to apply the bleach. When we got one later down the road we realized that it uses less product. Again, having cut my hair would have used less. And in the long run, leaving the bleach on longer than I did would have lifted it in fewer sessions (though may have caused more damage). The Wella instructions state to leave the bleach for a maximum 50 mins. Even wrapping my hair strands in aluminium foil, I left it in my hair for over an hour. Wrapping strands in aluminum foil keeps the heat trapped in and develops your hair faster, aka preventing more damage. Since this was our first time bleaching, it took us a long time, which meant I washed the bleach out in sections.
Sections: I sectioned my hair into four quadrants. One line down the middle part and one line from ear to ear.
Be sure to bleach your ends (1 inch from roots) then your roots because roots are closer to your head, which produces heat and will, therefore, lift your roots faster. If you do your roots use a 20 vol developer.
This is what my hair looked like from the first bleached section we did.
I recommend checking out Alex Jayne's video on how she bleached her Asian hair because her's lifted more than mine did the first and second time. Plus I believe she only used a 20 vol. developer!
The first bleach made me look like a Korean. My hair still felt extremely healthy.
Before the second bleach, I again put coconut oil in overnight. I believe we did this 2 days after the initial bleach. The second bleach was done by my mom. I think I still ended up using 4 scoops of Wella. I was hoping the colour would lift more than it did, but I was still scared to leave the bleach in for too long.
I didn't bleach my hair again until 5 days later. But I made sure to put coconut oil in my hair every day, even to school. No shame in that.
This is the craziest split end I ever found. For the majority of my hair, I didn't get any split ends.
When I wash out the bleach, I used the Schwarzkopf shampoo and John Frieda Sheer Blonde conditioner. I don't think the purple conditioner did anything to lift any yellow from my hair.
By this time I decided to go ahead and cut my hair.
I also believe at this point I had done my third bleach session, which is when I also decided to do my roots. My hair was looking quite blotchy, uneven, and yellow at this point, hence the hats.
Finally the weekend rolled around and I could get back to working on my hair. I went for a second bleach of my roots and this helped to even out my hair colour a lot. Although my hair was looking very yellow, I was hoping the toner would help fix that.
Finally, it came time to use the toner! Everyone is absolutely right when they say it smells horrible. After I washed the toner out with just conditioner, I was a bit disappointed by how yellow my hair still looked. It could have been because my hair was still wet because as my hair started to dry, I began to look more and more of an ash blonde. So don't worry too much if the toner doesn't seem to take on any effect at first.
Yes, I also have blue eyebrows in this picture. I was trying out a look.
Next up was the haircut! We went to a place called Hair City. The hairdresser was surprised to hear that we actually bleached my hair at home and got this result. I am absolutely in love with this length!
I kind of miss being blonde especially with this short hair.
Okay, so now it was time to add the blue dye. I was really nervous because I really liked my blonde hair and didn't want to regret making it blue. Alas, I went for it. I was originally going to use the Manic Panic Atomic Turquoise dye because I wanted a turquoise colour, but after doing a couple test strips (before getting my hair cut) I found that the Voodoo Blue gave the turquoise result that I was hoping for. This is due to the fact that my hair still had a hint of yellow in it. This is something to keep in mind when choosing a colour. If you still have yellow in your hair, it will turn the blue more green. Plus, blue dye naturally fades into green if it has a green undertone (which most do), so going for a blue shade may in the end just turn turquoise.
Let me reiterate... PLEASE DO TEST STRIPS!
Test the colour with white conditioner in it (conditioner lightens the colour) and test it without.
We coloured my hair very late at night so I woke up the next morning to see what my hair really looked like for the first time.
Here's a quick selfie I took before heading off to school. It looks greener under certain lights, and blue in others.
I would say this is a pretty accurate representation of the colour.
Initially, I was going to use two shades of Manic Panic to give my hair dimension, but I'm glad I chose not to because since my hair wasn't the most even in tone, the dye naturally reflected that and I actually like that some strands are more green than others.
I would suggest that when you apply the dye, you apply it to the front quadrants first and all the hair that will be seen because if you want to be stingy like me and not have to buy too many bottles of Manic Panic, you can use conditioner to increase the amount of dye you have and apply it to parts that no one really sees. By doing so, I managed to only need one container of Manic Panic.
The great about Manic Panic is that it is vegan and cruelty-free.
I thought I'd finish on a hgih note and feature my free Krispy Kreme donut I got on National Donut Day.
Thank you for reading. I hope this post helped you, and if you have any other suggestions or tips for others leave them in the comments!