Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pink hair - success!

Well, it worked! Not without a couple of scares though. First, my husband looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was going to sleep with the dye in. He said, isn't that going to damage your hair? I said, who knows? It's only the ends, right? He said, it's like half your hair. Look on the internet to see what they say.

So I looked on the internet, and everyone was like HALF AN HOUR AT MOST OR YOUR HAIR WILL DISINTEGRATE LIKE THE BAD GUY IN INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE! All right, they didn't actually use the Indy reference, and thus their advice was not worthy of being listened to. So instead I took it out of the plastic bag and tugged on the ends, and they were kind of crispy but it was a "you have sugary cooldrink in your hair" kind of crispy and not a "your hair is turning into powder" kind of crispy. So I put the plastic bag back on and went to sleep.

The second scare was when I was sleeping, I dreamed I woke up and washed my hair and all the dye came out and it was no different from before, and I was all AAARGH THAT SUCKS and then I woke up again and realised it had just been a dream, so then I went and washed it out for real this time, and conditioned it, and dried it in the sun, and now it looks like this:

I am exceedingly happy with the way it's turned out. My husband likes it, my mother is amused/shocked, my father amused/indifferent, and I've got one non-family compliment so far. Can't wait to see what people think at the gallery, since I am in possibly the only field where pink hair will enhance my professional image.

Action shot (I can't model):

Oh, by the way, what do you guys (anyone out there!) think of the etiquette of posting photos? Narcissistic to show my face? Creepy not to? Are outfit posts irredeemably shallow, as I've been thinking of starting to do them occasionally?  Help me out here, please!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pink hair! In which I destroy my hair in several ways so you don't have to.

I've been thinking about this for a long, long time, and today is the day that I'm finally going to try it. I want to dye the ends of my hair pink. And I'm going to do it myself, using only random household materials like hydrogen peroxide, food colouring, powder cooldrink and, um, swimming pool chlorine.

Please note that I have really long and healthy hair, because I never do anything to it. I'm going to be dyeing the ends only, so if anything goes horribly wrong then I can just cut them off. I wouldn't be messing around with unknown chemical processes if they were going to go anywhere near my actual scalp, or if I couldn't afford to lose a bit of length if I decide that I hate it and the only remedy is to cut my losses and run.

Why do I want to dye my hair pink? Well, I have really long hair (did I tell you that yet?) And I want to do something really dramatic to it. But cutting it all off is just out. Like, I really don't like those makeover TV shows, and I really don't like the fact that whenever they come across some poor unfortunate soul with long hair, they immediately leap on her and chop it all off, usually making it sound as if long hair is some kind of dreadful psychological issue that she needs to overcome.

And don't get me started on the freaky compulsion to straighten people's hair, they seriously act like curls are some sort of mark of Cain. I've literally seen someone write that you have to have straight hair to look "professional". Professional? Seriously? I smell a rat, and it smells like racism. I mean, have you noticed that with any female character in a TV series - if she makes it to the second season, her hair always mysteriously goes dead straight.

...Ahem. Pardon the digression. I just have a lot of feelings about that issue. Getting back to the matter at hand, why pink? I actually think that a sort of blue-green or turquoise will be a better long-term colour for me, but I'm doing this to punctuate my life and tell myself that things are looking up! and pink feels to me like the ultimate feel-good, statement-making, optimistic, exclamation-markish colour. Besides, Art Student Owl says Must Have Pink Hair.

Here are my materials:

Honestly, I wasn't planning to use the chlorine after every search I did for it came up with a lot of people screaming DON'T YOU DARE! The aim was to lighten the hair first with peroxide, and then to dye it with a mixture of more peroxide and food colouring. But after I doused my ends in peroxide and it dried off after half an hour and did precisely nothing, I decided to break out the big guns. As it seemed that the peroxide didn't work so well because my hair is too healthy (#firstworldproblems #humblebrag) I figured that the chlorine might at least damage it enough to absorb the peroxide later. I used about a tablespoon of chlorine in a glass bowl of water (between a half and one litre, I suppose) and didn't put my hands in it, just dipped the ends of my hair. I did it outdoors and made sure the bowl was downwind from my face. I did this twice, and still I don't think the colour is much changed. I dumped the rest of the mixture in the pool after I was done (recycling, guys!) Again, note that all this is going on about 80 centimetres from my scalp. And here's the result:

It doesn't look particularly different from before, but I asked two people and they say it's definitely lighter. Now I could keep on bleaching it and drying it over and over, but that would require patience.

So instead I decide to move right on to the colouring stage. Now, apparently if you are right and virtuous on the internet you only use products designed and marketed at great cost for your specific purpose, and the product that everyone recommends for this purpose is something called Manic Panic. However, if I just started ordering and importing everything I wanted, I would be living in a nest of art materials while not eating anything. Which would not be good. So instead I decided to go the kludge route, and found that this tutorial was very helpful.

I'd also heard that Kool-Aid is supposed to be better than food colouring. Unfortunately, Kool-Aid, like Manic Panic, is not available where I live. So I went and bought a random packet of powder cooldrink called Amila in the hope that it would be similarly virulently coloured. I got the "mixed berries" flavour 'cause I figured it would be sort of purplish.

I mixed some of the Amila powder with two brands of "Rose Pink" food colouring (liquid and gel) and some of the peroxide (That's what "developer" is, when talking about hair colouring) in the glass bowl and squished the ends of my hair about in it. Then I worked the sticky, sugary, peroxidey, red mixture up a bit into the rest of my hair, hoping that it would create a sort of ombre effect. I looked like an advert for Dexter.

After that I tied my hair in a knot, put a plastic bag over it and secured the whole thing with a hair elastic.

And I'm planning to keep it on like that as long as my patience holds out. My hands are currently bright pink and the sensitive bits under the nails hurt from the peroxide, so definitely use gloves if you do the same thing. And tomorrow we'll see how it turns out!