Dye Hard

Stage 1 of my – accelerated but still lengthy hair change process – lifting the semi-permanent dye. There are a lot of different methods you can find online but this is what I did and the results I got. This was the first time I’ve done this because I usually go bright/dark in colours that cover what’s underneath pretty well, but this time I’ve decided to do something a little different and I’m going to need to go a bit lighter.

Most of my hair has been some variation of blue or green for the past two years, which means starting out I couldn’t expect too much because at a point layers and layers of semi-permanent become pretty freaking permanent. My hair is most likely stained and will have to be bleached out, but a little lifting attempt treatment is worth a shot. What I used is bicarbonate of soda. Vitamin C powder is also supposed be really good, but that would have required me to actually buy something and that’s just not the experimental way. I’m not using a colour remover because in my experience they are more drying than bleach and are barely effective.

Here is the part where a good blogger would give you the recipe and quantities of what they mixed. I can’t do that. I smushed approximately “some” bicarb into a cheap shampoo. Gun to my head, I would say the ratio was maybe 60:40 in favour of the shampoo. Then I put in “a bit” of water and shook it up to mix it. I read afterwards that its’ much better for your hair to dissolve the bicarb first and then add it to shampoo, but live and learn.

This was going to be drying so I soaked with coconut oil for 24hrs first. (Shouldn’t need an explanation, I slapped the oil on my all my hair, put a shower cap on it and spent 24hrs frustrated that I couldn’t scratch my head.) The next day I washed my hair with the bicarb mix then with a Head and Shoulders shampoo, then conditioned twice.Then I forgot to take a photo. I have since bleached so visual evidence of the results are lost forever.

I don’t know if it would show much in a photo anyway but I would say some of the deeper blues have faded, the older turquoise and greens are stuck fast but I was kind of expecting that. The purples and pinks are mostly gone. My ends feel fine, but seeing as I recently hacked about 20cm off them that’s not really surprising. I might have got more of a result if I’d left the bicarb mix sit for 10-15min before rinsing and it’s a process that is meant to be repeated over a series of washes, but I would qualify this as a success and I’d do it again.

With bicarb being alkali I did rebalance my pH afterwards with some vinegar. A lot of people will tell you apple cider vinegar is life. I can’t speak in health terms because I think drinking vinegar is gross, but when it comes to hair, this is bullshit. White vinegar is just fine. I couldn’t find a free spray bottle so I put maybe 2Tbspns (?) into my half empty bottle of Mane and Tail leave-in, which hasn’t impressed me massively as a conditioner, but smells nice. I put a good dose of this over all my hair when it was damp.
Tune in next week for the the bleach-ening.

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