Hair dye Shmair dye

Having been dying my hair 'wild' colors (from purple to flaming red) for a few years now, I thought I'd share some of what I the hopes that maybe any of you who read this might be able to return some helpful tips for me?

There are tons of different brands of color to buy. Being where I am, not having access to a lot of places, I've only used three. Manic Panic, Punky Colour and LaRiche Directions (my favorite). Manic Panic is probably the most well-known, number one name in punkness. Started by Tish and Snooky quite a while ago, their business has boomed into a line of cosmetics, along with semi-permanent hair color. (I recommend their white liquid foundation and raven eyeliner, in case there are any goths out there? :)) About a year ago, I was looking for a change and found Jerome Russell's Punky Colour, which worked just as well as Manic Panic and smelled sooo delicious. Not a joke. Only real difference I noticed was the dye itself. Punky was much thicker and easier to apply while MP seemed to be runny. LaRiche Directions was a find! A friend from Boston actually shipped me out a jar and I immediately tried it. Imported from England, this baby did the trick. My color lasted longer than any other dye before, making my hair a beautiful, deep, velvetly purple. I was lucky to run across one in a store not too long ago. And of course, used it within that week.

If you want a vibrant, bright color (no matter what brand you use) definately bleach your hair beforehand. Jerome Russell's Punky Bleach kit works splendidly. It gets the job done and gets it done fast. Only problem I had was the loss of hair every time I used it. Having your hair fall out as you run your fingers thru it is not a great experience. Any bleaching/hair color removal kit will work though as long as you're not picky. I've had my hair turned to green instead of pale yellow and my color still turned out bright. Whether you pick up a cheapo hair lightener at a mart store or a professional kit at a beauty supply store, it should work.

Petroleum jelly is a must. Slather that gooey stuff all over your forehead (yep, good for when you rinse and it drips..), ears, neck and wherever else you think the dye might touch.

Always wear plastic gloves while applying or handling the dye. It will stain your skin and anything else it comes in contact with. You can pick them up at the supermarket or as I sometimes do, steal them from the hospital.

I've heard that if you leave your dye on for hours at a time, even overnight, it's supposed to make your color last longer. It didn't work for me. I believe the only way to make your color last a long time is to not shampoo. Yucky, yes, but it's the only way. Personally I can't do that. That's why I was dying my hair just about every 2 weeks. But if you're a crusty punk, must be great for you! For when you do shampoo and the dye rinses out and stains your shower tile...Clorox Bathroom Bleach works fantastic!

The worst side effect of coloring your hair is the rubbing off, especially with the reds (I've tried: poppy red, rubine, deadly nightshade, flamingo pink, rose red). Not only does it do a number on your skin, but everywhere and anywhere on your body, it rubs off worse than the other colors. Whether it be on your clothes, pillowcases, towels, etc. It's very frustrating.

Always be prepared for comments you'll get from people. There are a few who will compliment you on your hair but a lot will be rude. There will be tons of staring. If you like that, then so be it. If you want it for attention, then you will certainly get it. Otherwise, if you're like me, try not to let it get to you.

Although I'm taking a break this summer from dying my hair (sporting drab black right now :)), I'm hoping to go back at it in the fall. 'Hoping' for 2 reasons: One is if my hair gets healthier over the summer, and the second being that shopping recently I noticed that a lot of shopping malls and popular nationwide chain stores are carrying funky dye. It bothers me that any second now it will be all the rage to have your hair a beautiful wild color. Not that I'm discouraging it. I just don't want to see the clone generation doing it. Blah. I love it when just the few individuality seekers with personality do it to be different. Not when kids are doing dying because so and so is doing it. Takes the fun out of it. Why do you have to be normal?

by sarah

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