Monday, October 8, 2012

All About My Bright Hair Color (Long Post!)

 I have received many request in the past weeks for me to do a post about my colorful hair. I get so many questions about what products I use, maintenance, and just my overall experience with bright hair colors. Here, I will try to be as thorough as I can. I think to get the best idea of the products I use, it is easier for me to start from the very beginning.

The first time I decided to have bright hair was when I was in high school, but that was a long time ago and I already forgot what products I had first used. My desire for purple hair resurfaced in the beginning of this past spring. I have naturally very dark hair and of course I had to bleach it first before I could even think of having my hair purple. There are many different bleach options, but I went for the Jerome Russell Punky Colors Bleach Kit (shown below). This is a great, easy to use bleach for beginners. It is only a one time use though, but it has everything you need to bleach your hair. I like it because I am such a noob with bleach and it is hard to mess up with this kit. This bleach turns my dark hair into a pale yellow (it still has some orange tones to it though) withing about 25-30 min. This is the only bleach I have used, and for the time being, I will stick to this one.

Not my image. Found through Google Images.

Purple Hair Dye
My main goal for bright hair color from the beginning was to achieve a bright purple color. I was recommended the Pravana hair dyes by a friend of mine and that was the color I decided to obtain. That is the Pravana Chroma Silk Vivid in 'Violet'. This is a professional hair dye, and it will be hard to get. I know you can buy it online, probably through eBay or something similar. On the other hand, if you know someone who is a hair dresser and can buy this for you, that would be your best option. I get mine from my hair dresser and the tube is pretty cheap (about $7). 

How I Use Pravana 'Violet'
'Violet' is a dark blue based purple, and worn alone it comes off way too dark for my taste. I use one one tiny squeeze of hair dye and mix it with a lot of conditioner. This conditioner trick dilutes the dye and makes it more of a vibrant purple. Below are three photos of the Pravana Violet on its own:

 Below is an example of using too much of the Violet dye. See how it looks more blue-based than the pictures above?

 Problems with Pravana 'Violet'
 I find that if you use too much of the Pravana dye, it can stain your hands and clothes for a couple of days. That is why I suggest that you only use the smallest amount when you dye your hair. Using a small amount prevents that phase when the colors rub off on your hands and clothes.
The other problem is that Violet is a blue-based purple, and thus has no pink tones to it. When it fades, it turns into a gross gray-toned color. You can see some of this effect in the two picture below. The solution I found to this problem is to add a drop of a pink hair dye into the mixture of Violet and conditioner. This will add a touch of pink into the hair and prevent the grey-tones in your hair. I recommend using a pink like the Pravana 'Pink' or the Special Effect Atomic Pink (only use the smallest amount of this!).

Coloring My Bangs
Recently, I decided that the section of hair that I had colored was not enough for me. So, I impulsively decided to bleach the bottom part of my bangs. But I didn't want them to be purple, I wanted them to be pink. I took the same steps that I did with the other hair: I bleached it using the Punky Bleach, and then I used Special Effects Atomic Pink. But, the color didn't turn out the way I wanted it to. I didn't leave the bleach as long as I should have so it resulted in it being not blonde enough and the pink didn't really come out bright enough either. So, I decided to bleach it again for about 10 minutes. The result was a faded color of the Special Effects 'Atomic Pink' Hair dye. The result is a pinky, orangey, weird color. That is because Atomic Pink has some red and orange undertones to it, and the bleach made some of the hair more blonde than others. I actually love how it looked.

How I Use Special Effect 'Atomic Pink' Dye
Atomic Pink is a very dark pink in the bottle, but is actually a super hot pink with red undertones. I did eventually put the Atomic Pink again on my bangs, and it turned out more red than pink. That is because I used the dye on its own, without using the conditioner to dilute the color. If you want the hot pink color, you might need to add some of the conditioner so it does not come out looking red.
Note: see how the purple is faded here but now it looks more pink than grey? That is because, like I mentioned before, I added a tinge of pink dye into the mixture of the Pravana Violet.

Dying My Bangs with Pravana Violet
One day I was faced with the fact that I had an interview to go to, and I didn't want to have in-your-face pink bangs. I thought it would be better to have a more subtle purple color than a bright pink. Thus, I decided to dye my bangs with the Pravana Violet dye. I just put some of the purple over the existing pink hair dye. The result was a burgundy sort of color.
 This is a faded version of that:

Bleaching My Roots
And now we come to the most recent part of my bleaching and dying hair experience. Yesterday, I bleached my roots, and ended up bleaching the already-colored hair for about 3 minutes  just lift some of the exciting color. Here is my hair after washing the bleach off. You can see that the purple turned into a light pink, but my bangs still have some of the orange-pink of the SE Atomic Pink dye.

Here is a closer look at my roots. You can see where I bleached the fresh roots and where I already had my hair dyed.

I have been too lazy to dye it again, so I have left it as is for now. You can see how it looks on my dry hair below. You can also get an idea of how my hair is sectioned off. Contrary to what most of you all think, they are not streaks, but sections of hair underneath that are colored.

This one below is the best representation of how my hair color is now. Also this makeup is for a contest but I want to do a post of this easy-to-do, last minute Vampire Bride Halloween look :)

My Experience
My overall experience with bleach and hair color has been positive. It is difficult to achieve perfectly white hair, or even color throughout all your hair. It is a lot of fun though. I just love changing the hair color and experimenting with it. I know that I will eventually have to get rid of my colorful hair due to my job, but I want to enjoy it for as long as I can. My hair has not been overly damaged because I use a lot of hydrating conditioners and hair oils to keep my ends from drying up. I strongly suggest to get professional advice if you are unsure about how to proceed with coloring your hair and if you are worried over damaging your locks. I personally am a DIY type of person and I like the adventure of trying to figure out how to do something, so at-home-coloring was the best option for me. I think everyone should have the experience of having colorful hair at least once in their life! It is something I will always remember and smile about!


  1. cool hair! btw, your makeup is fun and beautiful like always... ^_^

  2. Wow!I love the purple dye!Im actually planing to color my hair (ombre style).. hope to get good results! :)

    pls check out my blog if you have time!=)

  3. Wow. Just wow. SUPER LOVE THE COLOURS OMG :D I love how you make it look/sound so easy to bleach and dye your hair with all those amazing colours! XD I also have an upcoming post about my recent pink+purple dye job. :D

  4. Ah, love this! Like I've mentioned in several comments on different posts of yours, I have been wanting to add color to my hair and I've always been a bit wary about bleaching. But your instructions and comments have cleared up any doubts. I love how your violet comes out. I'll definitely be trying something like that in my hair soon-ish! :P

  5. Hey i just got my hair dyed at a salon and wanted the purple color but it turned out the dark blue color is there anything I can do to fix it:(

    1. Hm it depends on what purple dye you used in your hair. The one I used to use (Pravana Violet) was really dark so I only used a pea sized amount and mixed it with conditioner to get a very pastel color. You can either 1) use a color removing product, 2) wait until it fades away with hair washing, or 3) go back to the salon and tell them you are not very happy with the color.

  6. Nancy, you are absolutely amazing! I have a faded out brownish faded red hair color. I googled if I need to mix developer with the Pravana ChromaSilk Black shade. It brought up a few links and I am so happy I clicked on this one. Thank you so much for this information. You went step by step on everything I wanted to know. I am going to use the black hair color and possibly the violet for streaks. I am so appreciative that you showed the underneath bleached section of your hair. I thought it was streaks and I have created major hair disasters trying to do my own streaks! You helped me so much by showing that you bleached under your darker colored sectioned hair. In additional, you showed the phases of Violet from fresh out the tube, diluted to faded out. I have been looking for this information everywhere. I can't thank you enough. By the way, you are absolutely stunning :-)

  7. Hey! Love your hair! I just dyed my hair using pravana vivids in wild orchid. I have very dark hair so I bleached them and dyed my hair twice but the color didn't show up! It is still a light red! What should I do to get the color? Dye my hair again or bleach them again and then dye them?


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