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At Live & Let Dye we love BRIGHT HAIR COLOURS so there is quite a lot you need to know before embarking on a bright hair colour and we want you to be prepared. Some of you wont like what we have to say in this blog and will have differing ideas but this is coming from our training, literally hundreds of clients of experience and what we have personally experience from taking all those clients on those journeys to achieving bright hair.

It differs depending on which bright hair colour you choose, for example blue, purple, greens (these are called cool colours) and pastel colours are a lot more difficult to achieve and are a lot more temporary than anything with red in it (such as bright red, copper, orange, pinky purples etc).

Firstly, with the cool colours (with the exception of green), we will need to bleach your hair to almost white blonde to get these colours in your hair. This is because it works a little like paint, if there is any gold (yellow) in your hair, it shows through the cool colour, and what does blue and yellow make? GREEN! Not the ideal colour if you weren’t going for it.
Pastels will also have to be lightened to a white blonde because there is only a small amount of pigment in the colour (think of when you mix pastel pink in painting) that it will only show up on very light blonde hair. You can relate it to painting pastel colours over paper that is darker…its not going to show up.

With warmer colours such as bright reds, pinks and oranges, these are a lot easier to achieve. When going a bright red, the red pigment is a strong colour. If put over hair with any yellow in it (from bleaching) it will just cover it up completely. Orange is the same, if you add yellow to orange when painting, it just turns a brighter shade of orange right? It works in the same way on your hair.

Bright orange by Live & Let Dye

How easy is it to go light blonde?
If you have hair that hasn’t been coloured before (and we mean ever, or has grown out rather than washed out), unless your hair is naturally very dark or black, then it is usually achievable. This obviously depends on the condition of your hair, as even natural hair can be too damaged or dry to bleach (for example if you straighten it every day, had another chemical service such as permanent straightening, or are just pretty rough with your hair in general).

If you have box supermarket colour in your hair it is very hard. We find that box colour takes a lot longer to get out, it takes multiple visits to the salon and a lot of patience and looking after. Sometimes it will only lighten one or two shades at a time and not be very noticeable. You will also have to look after your hair with professional strength (and no we don’t mean supermarket stuff that just claims to be professional!) shampoo’s, conditioners and treatments. We will not lighten your hair otherwise. We don’t care if you haven’t bought it from us, we aren’t just after your money, we actually care about the hair and want it to stay attached to your head! It makes our jobs a lot easier and makes your life a lot less painful, not having to spend an hour trying to make your super damaged hair look any good. There are a lot of affordable salon-only products out there and they last a lot longer than watery supermarket products.

If you have professional colour in your hair, it is easier to lighten but still will take time. It isn’t as ‘sticky’ as supermarket box colour and easier to get out of the hair, but you will still have to have patience and look after your hair with professional products.

Highlights with pink by Sarah at Live & Let Dye

Highlights with pink by Sarah at Live & Let Dye

Ask any of our platinum blonde or anybody that has a bright hair colour, that have successfully been taken from dark to blonde in order to go pastel or bright, and they will tell you that professional products make a difference and that you have to have patience.

Your hair will also not look perfect at certain stages. We try our best to make the process easier by toning your hair a nice colour before you leave but unfortunately those colours often wash out fairly fast. They have to otherwise, when we try and lighten it the next time we will just have to get that colour out aswell and be back to square one. The dryer or more damaged the hair is, the less it holds onto bright hair colour. Another reason to keep your hair in good condition. And it is impossible to bleach your hair and it still be in perfect condition due to the nature of how the bleach works.

Bright colours are expensive!
For a start you will need to get your roots re-bleached every 4-6 weeks as regrowth is very obvious. Secondly, bright colours only stay bright for a short time. Depending on your hair and your at home routine, it may be anything from a couple of weeks to around 4 weeks. With reds and coppers, we have take-home products for you to use when it starts to fade but for colours such as blue and purple, there isn’t those products available. You can get it toned for $60 by us, so it stays bright if you wish.

Rainbow Hair by Sarah at Live & Let Dye

Rainbow Hair by Sarah at Live & Let Dye

Don’t use unprofessional bright colours!
Unless you are the colour you want to be already then don’t try and use bright box colours (this includes chemist and ones sold in certain ‘hair shops’) for those in-between times. They contain a waxy coating which is very hard to bleach out. I bleached a girls hair who hadn’t put the certain box blue through her hair for 6 months and had put a couple of layers of black over the top. We got the black out fine but then the blue showed up! Even if they have ‘faded’, the pigment is still stuck deep in the cuticle and will show up once its bleached, even if you can’t see it before-hand.

You WILL need a haircut.
Because bleach is damaging to certain extent and it dries out the hair, you will need a haircut (even if its just a wee trim) after most bleachings. This will keep your hair in a better condition, because there is not point in having hair that is blue…but the ends are so dry and fluffy it looks terrible anyway.

Everybody’s hair is different!
Your hair might lighten faster or slower than the person’s I bleached last week, even though it is the same colour, texture and you do the same thing to it at home as she did. Its just the nature of hair. Everybody’s hair is individual and although we can predict most of what happens when we bleach it, there are still a few things that are unpredictable. The MOST unpredictable thing is box colour. Depending on what brand, how many times you’ve box coloured it and what you have done to it in the past, there are too many variables to predict. So we cannot guarantee a certain outcome when your hair is box coloured, only give you an idea of what it will look like and how long it will take.

We aren’t magicians! We are hairdressers!
As we have mentioned, we can use our knowledge and skills to predict the outcome of bleaching your hair but it isn’t an exact science, everybody’s hair is different and everybody does different things to their own hair at home that we can’t see. We never like to let someone leave without the perfect colour (or at least a colour they like, on the way through the bleaching journey) but sometimes you will just have to have patience and understand that your hair has to go through the process….until the next visit.

Forget about swimming!
The less you get your hair wet, the longer your colour will stay. Some of our friends who are performers who have bright hair (such as bright pink and bright blue or red) only wash their hair once a week. This isn’t a reality for most people so you need to be prepared for this and dry shampoo will be your best friend……
And you can forget about swimming. Chlorine strips all colours out of the hair (why do you think they use it in bleach cleaners?) and dries and damages hair. It also turns blonde hair a nice shade of kaki green.

Bright Pink by Sarah at Live & Let Dye

Lastly, we only use PROFESSIONAL colours so don’t ask to buy them. We don’t sell them for a few reasons….its illegal to sell most of the colours we use, you need too many components to mix it all together which would make it more expensive than just getting it done by us in the first place and most importantly…it dangerous! A lot of them are professional grade and if used in the wrong way can seriously harm you. We don’t want anything going wrong, anybody hurting themselves or anyone’s hair falling off….so we don’t sell them, we won’t give you them to take home. The colours that are available retail (although not easily in this country, we import them from England which is too expensive for most people to buy just a few tubs) we also will not sell as they are too expensive for us to give away to you individually AND we don’t want anyone trying to bleach their heads off at home to try and get yourself blonde enough (see the part about dangerous!).

If you have any questions, just ask. We will tell you the complete and honest truth but the one thing you must do is LISTEN! All too often we find that our more determined clients listen to what we tell them but, as all humans do, are wishing for a different outcome that their hair will somehow be the magically different exception and they will be transformed to box black to platinum blonde in one visit. We want to give you a realistic view of the process so as not to disappoint and make everybody’s lives easier.