Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hair-Brained? Part 3: The Colour

In my quest to save some serious coin and learn a new skill, I’ve embarked on the adventure of becoming my own personal hair stylist. My hair is now re-pixified. Hooray!

So… on to the second challenge: colouring my own hair! I shaved my head back in October for our school’s Cops for Cancer fundraiser and was amazed: my new-growth hair erupted in a dark, thick, curly mop. My natural colour now seems to be a level 5N like this:

It used to be a level 7 medium blonde like this:

While I was growing it out, I used a Semi-permanent 5RV like this:

A lovely medium mahogany. Then spring came, well, at least on the calendar – not so much weather-wise. I needed to freshen things up and change my look a bit.

I’ve always enjoyed having blonde hair, and I know that certain shades go well with my skin-tone and eyes, so I decided to bleach out my hair and aim for a level 10v like this:

The first time around, I went to a local stylist who accomplished my 10v gial via the bleach and tone method, a two-step process: the colour is first stripped, then the shade is corrected using blue and violet, as desired, by using a toner. Why the blue and violet? If you’ve ever had your hair bleached or been intrepid enough to do it yourself, you know that bleaching results in shades somewhere between Ronald McDonald orange and Electric Lemon Yellow. This is because the keratin in hair is naturally yellow/gold/orange pigmented – it’s the hardest colour to strip out of hair! Anyhow, this method worked fabulously, but was both expensive and time consuming – not very “sustainable” considering my roots need touching up every 5 weeks or so.

I wanted to avoid the two-step method, not only because of the finickiness and stinkiness of bleach, but also because of the time it takes – likely at least 2 hours all told. I looked into high-lift colour and tried ION’s High-lift 12 Neutral, which I bought from Sally Beauty Supply. It lightened me to about a 9, but has left me with some golden brassy tones. Wanting to know why it didn’t work out the way I had intended, I did some research and discovered THIS AWESOME SITE, which says that a salon-quality high-lift blonde can work, but only up to 3 levels. I'd love to find some of the L'Anza or X-Factor products locally, but I'll try what's at hand first. Back to Sally Beauty Supply. I’m now aiming for a level 8 blonde like this:
More realistic for a home job. I'll be using an ION High-lift 12 Blue-violet combo to deal with some of the brassiness that’s currently in my hair: Wish me luck! I’ll post the results when I’ve run a batch through.
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