Readers, I’m having a mid life crisis. As I write this there is a glinting sheaf of pink visible at the base of my Sunday morning top knot. Yes, in an effort to stave off middle-aged boredom I have dip-dyed my hair pink, and it took some doing. I have very dark hair, with little white or grey. Very lucky at 43, you might say, but since my somewhat failed teen experiments with bleaching, dyeing and straightening, I had resigned myself to my natural black-brown frizzy curls. Until earlier this year, when I started getting Keratin treatments on my hair.
Now I don’t love poker straight hair at all, like most people these days I favour a natural looking wave and after a week or two this is exactly how my keratin treated hair behaves. There is less body, definitely, but it has a nice shiny easy wave to it. And even better, I don’t really have to do anything to it except comb it and put a tiny blob of serum on it every few days. So far, so easy. But then I kept seeing people with great colours on their hair, marshmallow and pomegranate and mermaid blues and minty greens. A close friend dip-dyed her blond bob deep pink and purples and I was introduced to Bleach London by a friend on a forum. So pretty soon, I was dreaming of rainbow tresses, mermaid stripes, blue tips, pink and apricot waves, I wanted pastel colour, dammit.
I was due to have a keratin treatment in a few weeks and had done some research and knew I had to bleach and dye before the treatment. When I bleached my hair, I realised that pastel was going to be a bit of a task. I used Bleach London’s DIY dip dye kit. It was really easy to use, I recommend it, the blending lotion that you apply before the bleach really helped get a gradual effect from lighter to dark. Since my hair is so dark though, my first attempt made the ends a lovely auburn. This look great on it’s own, but it didn’t satisfy my need for bright colour. And when I put Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Purple Punk over the auburn, it turned the ends a bright but deep cherry red, which was lovely but not exactly what I wanted.
After a couple of weeks letting my hair rest, I used another Bleach London kit to bleach the ends again. They turned out slightly brassy and wouldn’t really take a pastel dye; I tried Bleach London’s Rose and it just went from candyfloss pink to light orange within a few hours. So I chose Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Shocking Pink to go over the top. Hey presto, proper bright pink ends. Probably, too soon, I had my usual keratin treatment with Alterity Studio in Covent Garden, and now I have straight hair with pink ends. My dip-dyed ends are now soft and shiny, and considering how worried I was that my hair might break after all the bleaching and dyeing, I think it looks pretty good. Not the neatest dip dye in the world but good.
I will continue to use a deeper colour while this keratin treatment wears off as bleaching can remove the effect of the keratin, I understand. I was also told by the lovely Carmen at Alterity Studio that it’s not recommended to dye your hair within two weeks of a keratin treatment either, so be warned, if you’re going to get some colour in your life. I may head to Bleach London and get something more pastel done before my next keratin treatment. If you want to see the results follow @Tindara on Twitter or @tindaras on Instagram.
Bleach London DIY Dip Dye is £7 and Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL is £4.
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