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!

Eggs & Lightning

As you may already suspect based on the title of this post, this is very likely to end up as a bit of a haphazard and non-sequiter post. But seeing as how it’s been quite a few days since my last post, and I find myself slipping dangerously into non-blogging mode, I figured I’d at least update you on a few things.

So, obviously Valentine’s Day was Friday. Let’s talk about that. Sean took me to Me Jana, a lebanese restaurant in Arlington, and dinner was delicious – you probably know very well by now that I love sharing food! So tapas, mezze, small plates, family-style dining, sushi… anything sharable is pretty much the key to my heart. I know, I know. I’m sure that some of you are shaking your heads at me talking about yet another occasion where I went out to eat and indulged, and I’d totally come up with some sort of justification or provide my reasoning (which is basically just that it was Valentine’s Day, duh) but ehhhh, at this point, what am I really gonna say?

I’m always gonna go out to eat, I’m always gonna want to celebrate occasions at restaurants. But I promise, I really am learning. I mean, sure, there was not a small amount of cheese involved in dinner that night, as well as a glass of delicious and sweet white wine sangria, but aside from that I was actually quite restrained and ate relatively well. Seared scallops, a salad with salmon on it, I resisted the siren call of the pita bread basket (well, I mostly resisted it)… really I think I did quite well! Snaps for me, hehe.

The other bonus points for the evening, of course, come from the fact that it was the perfect occasion to wear my latest Stitch Fix acquisition:

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I really love the wrap dress that I was sent in my box this month — the neckline is kind of vintage/forties-inspired, and the pattern is like part-chevron, part-Mike & Ike. Plus it went perfectly with the Seychelles heart shoes that have been hanging in my closet, yearning for their V-day release.

ANYWAY, back to the food thing: Aside from Valentine’s Day dinner, as well as a late-night post-Valentine’s dinner grocery store run to get dessert which resulted in me purchasing two things of Lunchables, I’ve actually been feeling pretty good on the food front! I’m really into eggs lately, which is semi-weird for me, because I used to hate eggs (except the fried egg sandwich that only my mom knows how to make perfectly, of course). But I pretty much throw an egg on errrrverything now, which is an amazing way to turn any kind of leftovers into breakfast food, by the way. I’m really not sure why I went so long living without thinking of breakfast pasta.

It actually really works out that pretty much every time I wander into the kitchen looking for something to eat, I just end up putting a bird an egg on it, since eggs are good for you (protein!), crazy easy to make (microwaved egg sandwich, anyone?), and easy to fit into my daily intake (70 calories per egg).

The protein thing is particularly important, since I am basically clawing my eyes out trying to maintain a good protein ratio in my diet. Even on days when I feel like I’ve eaten really balanced meals, my protein percentage is still at like… 20%. I don’t get it! Aside from having like an entire steak for dinner every night, I don’t know what else I can do to increase my protein ratio. Aside from, well, eating less carbs to lower that part of the formula, I guess…. hahahahahaha. Please. C’mon, serious suggestions only.

Other updates from this past weekend include starting and, subsequently, finishing my newest video game — Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. (Just in case you guys forgot, I am a HUGE nerd.) And I somewhat suspect that all that binge-playing may have had something to do with my other news, which is that I changed my hair color… again. And I did it aaaall by myself this time.

Don’t tell my hairdresser.

Lol, JK, he already knows because we are friends on Facebook and there is obviously no way I can prevent myself from posting every single thing I do on social media. He said it looks good. 🙂 Anyway, it’s kind of hard to see with the bad bathroom lighting, but I bleached the purple out of my hair (bye for now! I’ll be back!) and now it’s a super pastel, soft pink. Just like Lightning.

Going about dyeing my hair on my own this time was very interesting, incredibly educational, and SUPER scary. This is probably deserving of a longer post at some point, but suffice it to say that I had no idea what bleaching the already bleached-then-purpled parts of my hair would do. Well, as it turns out, putting bleach on already bleached hair, even if it has color over it, takes like half a second to get it back to the pre-colored blonde. Seriously, it seemed like the SECOND I put the bleach over my lengths, the color lifted out. Which kind of made me freak out, because I didn’t want my hair to snap and fall out from being over-bleached, so I ended up washing it out after only like 10 or 15 minutes, and so my roots only lightened a tiny bit. But oh well — consider my lesson learned! #themoreyouknow

Aaaanyway, and that about catches us up! In addition to a post on the necessary magic needed to dye yourself some pastel locks, I also owe you an update about how my lingual braces are going (they are MUCH, much, much, much, much better), as well as some exciting things that will be happening soon for my job. Plus, you know, all the regular weight loss stuff and pictures of my food and definitely some humblebragging about how many times I made it to the gym this week (twice so far!). So, you know, good stuff ahead… stay tuned!