Fantasy hair colors and how I keep mine healthy and vibrant

Disclaimer: I am by no means a hair care professional or sponsored by any of the products I list. The things I list are all gathered from personal experience, preference, and research.

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Let’s finally get it straight, fantasy hair colors (non-natural hair colors) aren’t only for the emo/goth/scene kid anymore. It is 2016 and the latest hair trend is what was once seen as an act of rebellion, like getting a bright tattoo that visibly shows or an “unsightly” piercing. “How are you going to get a job with your hair looking like that?”, “Isn’t it damaging to your hair?”, “Do people really think that is attractive or natural looking?”, the answer to these questions are simple: Easy, yes, and who cares? Or maybe you think it is an awesome look but you can’t see yourself wearing it. I have had people come up to me throughout my life no matter what color it is and say they like my hair but they are “too afraid” to do anything with theirs. If there is a time to take a leap to the more artistic side of hair coloring it is now. With the technology out there we don’t have to be terrified of things like bleaching or hair coloring anymore. If you want to learn more about how to look like you are half unicorn half fairy(well that’s how my hair makes me feel at least!) keep reading!

I would like to state that I am by no means a hair care professional, I am just a girl who has done endless research into hair care, hair science, and hair color so I can have the best hair I can possibly have. If you have read anything on hair chances are the things I will be talking about are old news to you. I have adopted a routine for my hair that I’ve put together from research and trial and error. Also, everyone’s hair is different and what works for me may not work for you! If anything this is a good starting point on your path to figuring out what is best for you and your hair.

While all hair color follows along the same path of maintenance and care, fantasy colors take quite a bit more time and patience. Not to mention money! If you don’t think you have the patience and money for fantasy colors you may want to reconsider. I hate to be a debbie downer like that, but getting your hair to be the right color takes a lot of time and multiple hair appointments.

Pro-tip: Do NOT go into a salon and say you want purple hair (or any fantasy color) in one sitting if you are sporting anything other than platinum blond tresses. You will get the most awkward look and pep-talk of your life. If your hair dresser says they can do it in one sitting, RUN. 

I think we have all seen the rebellious kids walking around with crappy bright hair color before right? I say crappy not because the color itself is bad, but because these are the same kids that bleach their own hair. Don’t get me wrong, bleaching hair yourself doesn’t always go badly, but you are really playing with fire if you do go that route. Also if you bleach your hair incorrectly and your hair does get damage you are in a repetitive loop of getting your hair trimmed and buying expensive products to help salvage the damage you’ve done. I have been there before I admit, but luckily I have found a product to help reverse some of the damage done to my floof (code name for my hair).

A little bit of history..

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Perhaps my next blog entry will be about my hair journey. If you knew the crap that my hair had to put up with over the years you’d be shocked it’s still on my head. My hair was severely damaged from 40 volume bleach on black box dyed hair (I went to a “professional” to get it done too) and it took forever to fix. To make a long story short, I wanted my hair a lighter color again so the hair dresser thought it was a good idea to highlight my hair with 40 volume bleach so it will lighten gradually. That is not what bleaching/lightening your hair gradually means by the way. So I was left with the healthy black bits, and the damaged blonde ones. It took a different hair dresser to pick out the black pieces and lighten them individually to get them where I want, but my hair was left severely damaged where it was bleached previously. Over time my hair got healthier, but then I heard of an amazing product from the popular Youtube star, Guy Tang. He kept going on about a product called Olaplex, and described it as “insurance for your clients hair”. He was bleaching Asian hair to platinum blond with no damage in one sitting! What? So I took to the internet to learn about this miracle product. This is what Olaplex’s website says:

“Olaplex is a bond multiplier containing a single active ingredient, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate. Olaplex works by finding single sulfur hydrogen bonds and cross linking them back together to form disulfide bonds before, during and after services. Disulfide bonds are broken via chemical, thermal, and mechanical processes.

Olaplex is the only product of its kind with 8 worldwide patents publishing soon. Olaplex is free of silicone, sulfates, phthalates, DEA, aldehydes, and is never tested on animals.”

To put that in English, what it does is fix the bonds of your hair during or after (depends on when you use it) that are damaged and broken from things like bleaching, heat styling, and hair coloring. Basically if your hair is damaged by whatever damaged it, this product fixes the bonds deep inside with permanent results. Your hair stylist can use Olaplex as a stand alone treatment or mix it in with bleach and/or hair color. It is important to keep in mind that Olaplex, while being a damn near miracle product, cannot fix hair that is already broken or split.

The reason the bleached images look blue and purple is because a toner was put on it. My hair sucked that toner color right up!

So what about me and how do I use it on my hair? Well you probably already guessed that since I found a stylist that offers Olaplex treatments that I request it every single time. The color I had in my hair before purple was a copper red, in order to get my hair white she mixed Olaplex in with bleach and got my hair white in one 6 hour sitting. I wish I could tell you that my hair kept it’s entire integrity throughout the process, but sadly no it did not. Though the thing to consider is that if I didn’t use Olaplex my hair would of definitely become the “gummy” consistency hair gets when it is at the point of no return. You can see in the pictures above how luscious my copper hair was, and what the bleach as done to it. My hair was very “pissed” at me, and it took a lot of tender love and care to calm her down.

What a difference! 

After a few weeks of thinking my hair would never be soft again, I went to see my talented hair stylist and she totally had my back. She did a muted purple like I’ve always dreamed of, mixed with Olaplex of course! I know I am giving Olaplex all this praise, but I gotta give credit where it is due. My hairs best friend is coconut oil, and without it I don’t think my  hair would of lasted like it did.

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While my hair faded I made a concoction of conditioner and hair dye to keep the color from fading as quickly

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Looked fuchsia in different light!

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A great way to keep hair color looking fresh no matter what shade you choose is to mix semi-permanent hair color in with conditioner so when you shower instead of it fading you deposit some color. Showering tends to be the kryptonite of hair color, especially if its fantasy colors. Fantasy colors come in two different dye types, demi-permanent and semi-permanent. Demi-permanent hair color requires a developer to use to lift up the hair cuticle and deposit color. Demi-permanent hair color can last through 20-40 washes depending on your shower routine. Semi-permanent hair color can be used alone without developer and acts like a stain on top of your hair cuticle. Semi-permanent hair color doesn’t last as long, but doesn’t damage your hair and is perfect to mix with conditioner. Semi-permanent hair color is what I use because I can use it as often as I want without worrying about damage.

The reason why you’re reading this…

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My second hair appointment blessed me with this dream color! My stylist used Pravana Chromasilk Vivids and I will go ahead and say that so far it is my absolute favorite hair color as of right now! However, in order to keep this color from fading I mix Arctic Fox hair color in “Purple Rain” in with conditioner. It has been one whole month since it was colored and my hair is still brighter than ever. I would say PCV and Arctic Fox are by far the most impressive semi-permanent hair color brands I have ever used. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

When it comes to washing my amethyst locks, I will douse my hair in coconut oil overnight to soak into my hair. All hair oils are different, but coconut oil is special because it is strongly attracted to the hair due to it being a triglyceride of lauric acid. Coconut oil has a high liking for hair proteins and is able to penetrate into the hair shaft instead of just sitting on top of it. If used 12 hours or more before shampooing, coconut oil protects hair from protein loss during the shower and even post shower styling.Triglycerides are also humectants and help moisturize your hair. With that being said coconut oil is very beneficial to my shower routine. Another interesting fact about coconut oil is if it is left on the hair for an hour, the hair can absorb up to 15% of its weight in coconut oil and if left overnight it absorbs up to 20-25%. I also routinely use coconut oil even after I shower to keep my hair soft and protected from heat and weather.

Then there is all the good stuff I put in my hair while it is damp. Here I will make a mini list of the products I use as well as a description on why I used it.

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It’s a 10: Miracle leave-in product: A fantastic leave-in conditioner that I strongly believe helped my hair return to it’s pre-bleached state. It isn’t heavy on my hair and has 10 hair benefits including heat protectant.

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Olaplex No.3:  Olaplex all day every day! Not really, but I do use the number 3 sometimes as a leave-in conditioner when not deep conditioning with it. No.3 is said to be a watered down version of No.2.

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Tressemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave-in Spray: I have only read good things about this heat protectant. Plus it is cheap and protects up to 450 degrees!

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Grapeseed Oil: I am a heat protectant junkie! Anything that keeps my hair from getting damaged is a great product in my book. While doing research, I learned that oils all have different smoking points. The key is to pick an oil that has a high smoking point since burning oil is not good for your hair (obviously). Grapeseed oils smoking point is 420 degrees making it safe to use on my hair with heat as long as I don’t surpass the smoking point. Not to mention grapeseed oil has many benefits for the hair like preventing moisture loss.

That’s all folks..

With that being said I can refer back to my original comment saying that none of my methods are unique by any means. Many people have their hair routine similar to mine and none of this information is new. All I can say is in order for your hair to look beautiful with fantasy colors (or any colors) you must start with healthy hair to begin with. Your hair will most likely get damaged there is no way around that, so there is some sacrifice you must go through in order to get your dream shade. Most importantly, it is one thing to hold back because you are afraid of damage, but never let what anyone else says sway you from doing what you want with your hair, your body, your ANYTHING. You won’t let someone else tell you how to dress, why let them tell you how to do your hair?

A huge pet peeve of mine is someone asking me, “So when will you go back to your natural shade?” Are you kidding me? I spend X amount of time and Y amount of money to get it this brilliant color, and you are asking about natural colors? NEVER! I will be purple forever dammit! DOWN WITH THE SYST- *Ahem* a bit carried away there.  Follow your dreams yada yada yada and wear your hair however you want.

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I hope this blog has helped you on your journey to bright and beautiful hair! Here are some helpful links:

http://www.olaplex.com/pages/faq-public

https://www.reddit.com/r/HaircareScience/

https://www.reddit.com/r/HaircareScience/comments/1m014r/info_about_natural_hair_mask_ingredients_pt_1_oils/

http://science-yhairblog.blogspot.com/2013/06/oils-which-ones-soak-in-vs-coat-hair.html