Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Pastel Hair Tips&Tricks - Ooh La Lilac! | ft. BLEACH London

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (yeah, I was feeling super hip and cool and got one of those things for my blog, link here) then you probably already know that I recently redyed my hair a silver/lilac pastel colour. I've had my hair a similar shade numerous times before and it's one of my favourite colours - especially in the summer time. 

What prompted me to do this post was the fact that I had used a different brand to colour my hair, one that is pretty readily available in Ireland/UK and so I thought I would do a (hopefully) short post on the process, the brand/colour itself and some tips and tricks I've learned along the journey to My Little Pony worthy locks! With Longitude and every other festival around the corner, it's a fun way to add something different to your look, whether you decide to do a dip dye or your entire head!

BLEACH London - Violet Skies.

A few important things to note about these semi (very semi) permanent dyes, especially the pastel ones is that it is crucial to have already white/platinum blonde hair in order to achieve the best pastel results. Some of the crazier pinks and blues will take to 'yellow' blonde hair, but pastels need a clean white base to go over for the purest result. So, unfortunately, bleaching is a must. Luckily for me, my hair has been this colour for ages so I can whack a pastel colour on knowing that it will soon fade and go back to my platinum colour easy peasy. Another thing is, these colours are temporary which is both a blessing and a curse. Think of them as fashion colours that you can switch up without having to commit to cotton candy coloured hair. You can't really complain when they fade after 2 washes - but that does make it a nuisance for those who want to keep up the pastel trend (definitely not the cheapest hobby anyway!). I have definitely found that some brands fade quicker than others, though. These colours are generally vegetable based dyes - no developer or peroxide needed and cause no real damage to the hair other than the necessary pre bleaching.

This time around, I used BLEACH London which I will be focusing on later in the post. However, for reference, I have used Crazy Colour, Directions and Fudge previously. If you're curious, I found Crazy Colour to be absolutely awful (both Lilac and Marshmallow... Marshmallow didn't even take to my already white hair, there was NO difference!) but Directions and Fudge were both great for temporary colours. Directions have such an amazing shade range - I've used lavender, teal, several of their pink shades, their silver toner and lilac several times and have been really happy with the results. However, I've always ordered these online as they're not the easiest things to get a hold of. 

So, back to BLEACH. I heard quite a lot about this brand and was delighted to find out that they were readily available in larger Boots stores/online for just under €7 a bottle. They have a good mix of more vibrant bright shades and pastel (lilac, rose, peach, blue/green) which is great to see on the highstreet. I picked up the shade Violet Skies which is a pretty standard pale lilac shade. You get 150ml in the bottle which is nice and for reference, one bottle did my whole head with a little left over to do some slight touch ups where the colour faded after the next wash. If you have very long hair or wanted to dye extensions, you would definitely need at least 2 bottles (like I said, not the cheapest hobby). I applied this to pre washed, towel dried hair. Now, I believe it says to leave it on for about 20 minutes but I got distracted by Netflix and left it on for 2 hours (whooooops). It really doesn't matter though, so leave it on for however long you like! I simply rinsed it in the shower - no shampoo needed et voila... pastel lilac hair. Violet Skies is definitely more of a grey lilac, but I also think that might have something to do with the fact that I left it on for 2 hours. Either way, I LOVE the colour. I've washed it about 3 times since I've coloured it and have found the fading to be minimal and of a slightly better lasting power than Directions. I was delighted to see that the lilac didn't brush off onto my pillow case like a lot of those colours have done in the past. 

In terms of keeping up pastel hair, its definitely difficult, time consuming and costly. I know that BLEACH sell shampoo and conditioners for some of their pastel shades (I've seen rose ones to keep up the pastel pink) which will prolong the colour. For grey/lilac shades, I've found silver/purple shampoos and conditioners to work really well. I shampoo my hair normally, then shampoo with the toner shampoo and let it sit for 2 minutes then rinse which helps the colour last and keeps any blonde bits peeking through looking as white as possible. 
Another thing I love to do with pastel shades to save money is to dilute brighter colours. So, I would take a dab of a bright neon pink/dark purple and mix it with a lot of white conditioner to make a pastel version of that colour. You only need a small amount of the bright colour with plenty of conditioner to make a pastel shade and you can mix them for a custom colour. I leave this on for about an hour and the conditioner being left on acts almost as a treatment for the hair. This creates like a hue/tint effect and can be done with pretty much any colour. Experiment by mixing different ratios and shades until you get your preferred look. I have used this tip to fully dye my hair but I think it works best when I use a whole bottle of an actual pastel shade, and then use this trick in between colouring to maintain the pastel hair... did that make sense? It definitely made sense in my head. This really makes the tub of colour last and will save you a lot of money in the long run if you want to keep a pastel shade.

I think that covers just about everything to do with lilac hair and my overall review of Violet Skies itself. If you have any other questions feel free to tweet me for a quick response. I definitely can't wait to try more of their colours (I'm thinking rose next!) and their products in general.. I have my eyes on the silver shampoo/conditioner and have heard amazing things about their mask. If you have tried any of their products before/have any BLEACH recommendations then please let me know - I'd love to hear them. Similarly, if you have/have had pastel or brightly coloured hair before, what shade have you gone? If not, let me know your opinions on pastel hair and what your favourite colour would be! x