So I’ve covered how to care for blonde hair, and how to fix damaged hair, but I wanted to address a personal favourite of mine – rainbow hair. By this, I mean any unnatural/pastel/crazy/bright/unicorn/mermaid/add-your-own-adjective hair.
I’ve been MOST shades of the colour wheel over the last 12 years (in fact – I think I’ve now come full circle!) and every week I have more clients requesting brighter shades, so I would like to pass on a few tips on what to expect, and how to extend the life of your colour.
- GO TO A TRUSTED COLOURIST. Now, I’m not saying this to promote my services, but I’ve seen way too many botched jobs in my life to not stress this fact. Even if it’s just to apply lightener/decolouriser (bleach, in non-salon terms) to your roots every 6 – 8 weeks. I often do my own colour, but I’ll always have the roots done in-salon. Once you overlap bleach onto already lightened hair, you run the risk of a chemical cut (i.e. your hair snapping off!), and your hair will have the consistency of chewing gum. Niiiice. So step away from the box.
- Your dream Pinterest colour might not be achieved. Sorry to burst your bubble. It could be that your hair is too damaged, too porous, too stubborn. BUT! If you’re willing to be patient, and really treat your hair (refer to this post for product recommendations), you might be able to get Pin-worthy hair after all! Your colourist will suggest lifting your hair in stages, and then toning brassiness down after each session until you get to the desired lightness to go all out bold. Trust them on this! As a side note – loads of Pinterest hair pictures have been digitally altered and does not look like that in real life.
- Expect to pay for quality. These colour processes usually take up to 4-5 hours, in which your colourist could’ve seen other clients. This is also where experience comes in, especially when it comes to advanced techniques such as balayage.
- To get the purest colour, your hair needs to be lifted to the colour of the inside of a banana peel. ANY stronger yellow, orange, or red in your hair will affect the result, and you could end up with a murky colour. You’ll then need to lift it lighter. I’d always recommend waiting at least 6 weeks, whilst doing intensive protein treatments, before going for another lifting process if the first session haven’t done enough.
- Lavender/silver/light blue and generally all other pastels are sometimes the hardest shades to achieve (and incidentally the most sought after shades). This is because your hair needs to be lifted to an almost pure white blonde, Khaleesi style (same reasons as the previous point). These tones are very delicate, and would need to be re-toned quite often.
- Your hair might be a bit more sensitised. Be gentle with it.
HOW TO MAKE IT LAST LONGER
- You wouldn’t throw a £20 000 couture gown in the washing machine, would you? Stop washing your custom coloured hair with the equivalent of dishwashing liquid then!! Make sure you use colour safe professional products, (the no sulphate shampoos and conditioners from Pureology are ideal) and definitely boost the protein levels by using strengthening treatments – Redken’s CAT still is my favourite.
- Maintenance. You will most probably need to do touch-ups quite often. Depending on a few factors, your colour will start to fade after a few washes. An easy trick (for a straight-forward colour) is to fill up a small bottle with conditioner, and add a few drops of your colour. Shake, and use once a week instead of your normal conditioner – you might want to use gloves for this!
- Step away from heat. This includes the sun, excessive blowdrying, other heated tools, and hot water. Also, try to stretch your shampoos out as far as you can to keep the colour stronger for longer.
Treat your hair like the delicate fabric it is, and it will reward you with double-takes, a confidence boost, and the best ice breaker there is for awkward events where you don’t know anyone. Have fun with it!!
For the bright-haired babes out there – what do you wish you knew before you went bold? Any tips you’d like to share?