I often get asked about my hair. Not my normal, natural hair of course, that's nothing spectacular at all really. But on the colour that I put in it. They are the same sort of questions every time I meet someone new, and I almost can guess what they’re gong to ask before they open their mouths. I have my answers down to an art form now, so I thought I’d do a bit of Q&A with myself, answering the most common questions I get about my blue and purple hair.
Do you use hair dye or chalk?
I use hair dye. Having said that, recently I’ve been putting a bit of chalk in it, because when it gets to a certain point, it’s so faded and the colour starts to annoy me. I pop a bit of hair chalk in if I’m going out and want it a little bit boosted in colour before I get round to re-dyeing it.
What hair dye do you use?
I mostly use Fudge Paintbox. I use the Blue Hawaii, and the Purple Haze, though when I had pink in my hair too, I used Pretty Flamingo. Sometimes I’ll mix the purple and blue together a little to get a darker colour, but I find that this washes out just as fast as the rest.
Have you tried any other dyes?
Yes. Usually I go for the Fudge Paintbox dyes, but they are really expensive here in New Zealand (and super cheap in the UK), so I've been looking at other options. Recently I've been mixing the Fudge dye with Schwarzkopf Live Colour Ultra Brights (which are only $8 here), and while they are supposedly only an 8 washes sort of dye, I've found it last much longer. I've used the 94 Purple Punk, and the 95 Electric Blue.
How long does it last?
Well, the Fudge stuff I use isn’t permanent. I don’t think there are any coloured hair dyes that are. The tube says it’s up to 30 washes, but it depends on a lot of things. Mine usually goes up to 6 weeks to 2 months before I get fed up with its fading colour and decide to re-dye. The colour will last longer if you avoid harsh sunlight (mine lasts longer in the winter), hot showers (I wash my hair under cooler water (not cold! Just cooler), then turn up the heat when I’m done), and if you leave the dye in longer than it says on the tube. I think the Paintbox dye says to have it in your hair for around 40 mins. I keep my dye in sometimes close to 5 hours. Extreme, I know, but if you want that bright look and want it to last longer that what it suggests it will, you gotta do it. Because it doesn’t have bleach or stripping chemicals in it, it’s not like you’re leaving super harsh chemicals on your head, so all good!
How do you actually dye it?
Unlike a lot of people, including actual real hairdressers, I don’t use a little container and dye brush. I just use my hands to apply it. First I separate my hair into two sections: parts I want to dye, parts I don’t. Because I just have a layer under the top layer of hair on the right hand side, most of my hair gets tied up on the other side of my head, to keep it out of the way. Next I take the section I want to dye, and separate that into the different colours. Usually I do the back bit blue, and the front fringe part purple. Though the last few dyes I’ve put a bit of blue in with the purple, because I’ve found that the blue stays in longer than the purple. By putting some blue in with purple, when the purple gives up and fades out, the blue is still there.
Next I take some tin foil, and place it right up under the section of hair, at the roots, and clip it in place on the sides. Then I squeeze some dye onto my gloved hands, and apply to the hair (which is now sitting on top of tin foil). I apply and spread the dye through the hair until I’m satisfied there’s enough. Then I remove my gloves, fold up the bottom of the tin foil, and then the sides, and another fold upwards so it’s a little parcel on my head. Then I take more clips and clip it in place better, so it won’t fall out while I’m waiting for it to do its thing. Then I do the exact same with the front part.
Do you always do blue and purple?
Yup! Mostly! Like I mentioned, I’ve also had a bit of pink before, but it’s mostly blue and purple. Why? They’re the colours the suit me. I have blue eyes, so I wear a lot of blue, and purple sort of just joins in here and there. Also, next to yellow (which I can wear, but could never pull off blonde hair) purple is my favourite colour. So it makes sense. I could (and would) never do greens, reds or oranges though. I’ll stick to blue and purple.
Do you just apply it straight to your hair?
No. I have to bleach my hair a light blonde before adding the colour in, because my hair is just a tad too dark for it to take and to be bright enough. It's okay though, because I've just done it once, really, and then about every 6 months or so I'll bleach just the roots so you can't see regrowth.
Would you ever do you whole head?
Probably not, no. Having it how it is now is great because it’s there and it’s obvious, but I can also do my parting deeper to the left, and cover it up more if I want it to be more subtle. Also, as it’s fades, it’s not so bad and obvious because it’s under natural hair. If my whole head was dyed, I think I would have to re-dye it more often, and because I have to bleach my hair first to get the colour bright, it would be very bad for my hair. So nope.
And the question Dad sometimes asks me: Why?
And my answer, every time: Why not? It’s fun, it’s a bit different, and it’s my hair. I enjoy it, and, for want of a better cliché, you only live once. Colour your hair while you can.
There we go! I hope I've answered any questions you might have had. If you have any more, feel free to ask!