First off, I'd like to share that during this process I had a RANDOM allergic reaction to a hair bleach that I've used for the past 5 years, I couldn't believe it! So please make sure you run a patch test if you attempt any part of this "How-to" -- even if you've used any of these products in the past!
Through the years I've been caramel blonde, platinum blonde, redhead, dark haired with various highlights, and lastly a look that I've liked the best, contrasting color blocked hair, especially in my fave Nuclear Red! Here's a pic from when I first switched it up to the look that stuck (circa 2005) with one of my favorite buds, Kris (who is currently Cher's makeup artist, YES, THE CHER, for her Las Vegas show)...
|(Btw, in case you were wondering, the teal in her hair is Special Effect's Fish Bowl)|
-Nuclear Red from Special Effects
-Raven from Manic Panic
-Radical Bleach Kit from Beyond The Zone
-disposable gloves ( I use these snug blue ones, try to track these down, most gloves don't hug the wrist)
-hair foil (you could use household foil but you have to be careful, most of the times its too heavy and slips)
Steps to DIY...
1. First off I section off the area of hair I want to dye. Also, I make sure that the area being bleached isn't super clean, I basically make sure if I'm dyeing it in morning I wash it the night prior, and if I'm bleaching it in the evening, I wash it in the morning (you want to make sure you've given your hair ample time to allow its natural oils to settle, if not, you're setting yourself up for breakage and/or scalp irritation).
2. After mixing the bleach, I make sure to work rather quickly and cover the area I want to dye red later on. I make sure not to apply bleach too close to the scalp because once it starts to oxidize it spreads down the hair shaft. I try to bleach mini 1 inch sections at a time. Since this time around I had red tips, I bleached up to the red section remaining and after 40 minutes of wait time, I went back and bleached over the tips and waited about 10 minutes longer. Since the bleached area is going to get dyed, I don't bother waiting for the whole section to turn stark white, I aim for a light orange. You want to avoid re-bleaching areas that have been bleached prior, thus me hardly bleaching over the red tipped section, the more "bleach history" the more damage.
3. While I wait for the bleach to develop I make sure that I clip the section together and layer some hair foil to catch any bleach that might drip. If your ear is starting to turn red like mine is in these pics, DON'T IGNORE IT, you're having an allergic reaction.
4. After getting somewhat of a uniform color throughout the bleached section, I wash it out with my everyday shampoo. Normally I would condition the heck out of it since its freshly bleached, but since the Special Effects dye grasps better onto unconditioned hair, I skip the conditioning until after, plus the Vegan formula leaves it super conditioned. I try to let it air dry, but since I have naturally wavy hair, I speed up the process with a little blow dry with some cool air.5. Once its dry enough, I section it off again and apply a protective layer of either Vaseline or an extremely emollient lip conditioner, this helps you avoid any skin staining in the event any color bleeds or drips.
6. Right after protecting the skin that borders my hairline, I lather the bleached section in Nuclear Red and the rest in Raven. I then section off the panels into buns and clip them in place, again, I encompass each bun in foil to keep things tidy. Since both formulas are Vegan and are semi-permanent, I recommend you leave them in overnight or for at least 4 hours to completely soak through your hair. When I leave mine in overnight I put a shower cap on and bag up my pillow LOL (I don't want to risk making my bed look like a murder scene).
7. The next morning I simply wash my hair out when I shower. I make sure I use cool to room temperature water (think of how you use cold water to wash your dark clothes), that way I'm washing the dye out, not weakening the color. After shampooing I rinse out both sections separately (I tend to rinse out the red, then the black so they don't bleed into each other-this is probably the most annoying part about this process). After, I rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar which leaves hair super shiny, followed up by a DEEP CONDITIONING SESSION! My favorite conditioners are After Color Care by Satin for the black section and I mix it with Glam Street Glazes by Beyond The Zone for the red panel. I usually leave these conditioners in for at least 5 minutes while in the shower, on days where I haven't freshly dyed my hair, I use them as everyday conditioners. They can be found at your local beauty supply store and I love how the one by Satin leaves my hair in perfect shape and is so affordable! The salon size is cheaper than your average sized "hyped up" salon conditioner.
8. Once I blow out my hair using my fave products, these are my results:
Alrightyyy!!! Thanks for staying awake through that one! Now when someone asks where I get my HAIR DID I can direct them here for the deets! haha Its quite annoying in this case to DIY, but trust me, its rewarding knowing you didn't over pay someone else to do it for you. I do recommend that you bleach your hair professionally if you've never tried it before, adding your favorite electric color afterwards is the easy part, Special Effects has so many rich hues!