Lean, Green, Dyeing Machine

So I don’t know if you realized this, but I have turquoise hair.

Heh.

Getting to rock super bright hair has honestly been one of the best unexpected perks of my job with Yelp. I mean, maybe it’s just because I’m a huge attention whore, but I really do think that having fun hair has really made me more, well, me. But, of course, as anyone who’s ever dyed their hair any color knows, dyeing is not forever. Color needs to be maintained. If it ain’t the fading that gets ya, it’s these dang Whasian roots.

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And while I have an absolutely amazing hair guru and colorist — Linh with Be Scene Studios — and I love my trips to the salon, my hair both fades and grows too quickly to be able to have him take care of my locks 100% of the time. So, for the sake of my pocketbook and the mileage on my car, I decided it was time to take things into my own hands.

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I’ve actually touched up my own roots before, and since I successfully managed not to burn all my hair off last time, this time I decided to document it so that I’d have an excuse to take a lot of selfies you can see what the process is like! I should probably note that this really doesn’t replace my necessity to go have Linh work his magic on me, primarily because I can’t see the back of my head so it’s probably still a root-y trainwreck back there. But it does lengthen the amount of time I can go between visits, so it’s definitely still worth it to me!

First up, let’s take a look at my toolkit:

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I’ve got some L’oreal Quick Blue Bleach Powder, Ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Developer, a mixing bowl, some color brushes, combs, duck bill clips, a hair cape, and, of course, some rubber gloves. I personally got everything off of Amazon but if you have a Sally’s Beauty Supply store near you, that’s also a great solution (especially if you don’t want to buy an entire bucket of bleach powder, haha.)

Then comes the prep:

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I parted my hair into five sections (front right, front left, back right, back left, and bangs) and prepped the bleach. I use one scoop of power with around two ounces of developer. You can use a food scale or actual measuring cup if you want, but I just kinda eyeballed it using the measurement markers on the inside of my mixing cup, until the mixture had a frosting-like consistency.

I wasn’t too concerned about the ratio of developer to powder because Linh blasts my hair with 40 volume developer in the salon, so I already knew that 20 volume is like, nothing, in comparison. This also meant it took longer to lift my color, and it didn’t get quite as light as it does with Linh, but hey, better safe than hairless! Plus, as I’ve already said, this process isn’t meant to completely replace my regular salon sessions, just to help bridge the gap between them.

Anyway, from there, it was just about moving through each section, using the end of the brush to left my hair line by line and apply the bleach. Then I waited through exactly one episode of Scrubs and one episode of Switched at Birth (those are very precise time measurements, clearly), and when my roots seemed like they had lifted enough, I washed out the bleach with shampoo — no conditioner! — and let my hair dry… for as long as I could (I’m very impatient.)

Then, it was Manic Panic time! Since I already owned canisters of all my previous hair colors for past touch-ups (I combine a bit of color with conditioner and keep it in the shower so I can refresh my color), I thought about attempting some kind of crazy awesome rainbow hair… but then I realized that if I can’t even properly bleach the roots on the back of my head, how in the hell am I gonna balayage myself myself some rainbow hair?! So instead of using all five colors, I limited myself to doing a dip-dye look with just two.

So I couldn’t exactly take photos of me actively applying the bleach and color (for obvious reasons), but here are some truly beautiful photos of the process, just for you:

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Aaaanyway, after letting the new color sit in my hair through an episode of The Fosters and several episodes of Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta (I basically let it dry into my hair), I took another shower and… went to bed. It was late by then, y’all!

And when I woke up the next morning, I looked like this:


Well, after some makeup application and a bit of PhotoMirror magic, that is. 😉

So there you have it! For those of you who don’t know, Manic Panic is a vegan, semi-permanent dye, which means it doesn’t damage my hair to use it (unlike bleaching, which is obviously awful for it, haha) AND it can go on top of itself (which is why I was able to do the green dip-dye even with turquoise hair underneath.) But it also means that it rinses it out a little bit every time I wash my hair. So, as I’ve discussed in a previous post, there are certain steps I take to maintain my color as well as keep my hair as healthy as possible. These include:

  • Washing my hair as infrequently as I can stand it (dry shampoo is my BBBFF)
  • Rinsing my hair in cold water only
  • Conditioning from root to tip
  • Refreshing my color with dye-infused conditioner every now and then
  • Stop touching it so much (still working on this one — it’s just sooooo preeeetttyyyy!)

Any questions? I love talking about my hair and pretending like I know what I’m talking about so fire away!