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YOUR GUIDE TO GETTING AND MAINTAINING BRIGHT, COLORFUL HAIR

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Hey to all you badass SD babes! I'm Lulu, aka @esprvsso on Instagram, popping in for a quick guest blogpost. One of the things that most people remember me by is my vibrant blue hair. It's how strangers recognize me at events when I've only communicated with them via email, and how my friends find me on the crowded streets of SoHo when we meet up for brunch.
  
Unsurprisingly, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "How do you take care of your hair?" I'll be the first to say that I'm no hair expert and I don't dye it myself (go see Gabby at Studio 34!) but here are some of the basics of what I *do* do. (Ha)
Getting the color you want:
 To get a vibrant color, your hair either needs to either be light enough naturally, or you'll have to bleach it. The more pronounced you want the color to be, the lighter your hair has to get. My natural color is black so it goes without saying that I needed a LOT of lightening. I've been coloring my hair (brown, red, purple, pink, blue, everything in between) for years so to get the blue, I didn't need to do as much to get down to a golden blonde. There are tons of bleaching kits out there, but if your hair is already damaged or fine/thin, I highly recommend going to a professional (at least for your first try). I keep at least 2 inches of roots at the top, use "Voodoo Blue" by Manic Panic for the next tier and "Atomic Turquoise" by Manic Panic for the rest. 
  
Maintaining the color:
 I think the most frustrating thing about coloring your hair is KEEPING IT. Since most (or all?) of the dyes for unnatural colors out there are temporary/semi-permanent, they'll fade out a bit with each wash. The voodoo blue turns into a shade similar to atomic turquoise after around 3 washes, and it becomes a minty sea green by the 4th wash. To keep the color looking fresh, I mix some dye in with my conditioner and rinse with it each time I wash my hair. The more conditioner relative to dye that you use, the lighter / more pastel the color will be. Sometimes I'm super lazy and just slather the dye right onto my wet hair (but that's sloppy and I don't think you're supposed to do that.....) You don't need any special tools or supplies for this, although Ricky's NYC has you covered. I just use a plastic container to hold the dye+conditioner and a plastic butter knife (for mixing). And you don't need to use a ton of product each time! It all depends on how much color you need to add back in and how much coverage you want. Another tip -- washing your hair less frequently keeps your color longer, but I know that can get kind of gross, especially in the summer. If you don't already use it, try dry shampoo. It comes in a can like hairspray, goes on dry and disappears when you massage it through your roots. I've tried a couple of brands and the one I love the most is Batiste. I use the original, but you can opt for different scents too.
  
Taking care of your hair:
A big downside of coloring, bleaching and using heat on your hair is that it can damage it so much :( I try to avoid going to the salon to re-dye my hair too often. One reason I leave my roots untouched is that it allows me to dye it once every several months without looking too insane. If you're going to color your roots as well, I wouldn't recommend getting them touched up sooner than once every 2 months.
     
An awesome gift from the hair gods is Olaplex. They have a few different products, none of which I own, but my colorist uses it on my hair before bleaching, to help dramatically reduce the amount of damage that comes out of it. I'm a pretty lazy person so I unfortunately don't put as much time or effort into taking care of my hair as I should, but of the few products I do use, I bow down to the OGX brand. I use their renewing argan oil of morocco conditioner, as well as the intensive deep-conditioning treatment  from the same line. I use their healing + vitamin E penetrating oil  to smooth out and moisturize my dry ends. They have tons of different lines of products for all hair types so when you have some spare time, it's worth checking out everything they have to offer to find the ones that work best for your hair! I personally have oily roots but dry ends, but I'm also dandruff prone (literally how is all of that possible at the same time....) so I use Head & Shoulders original formula for my shampoo.
   
With regard to heat, I rarely blow dry my hair or use styling tools (mostly because my hair is already straight and it defies curling irons). When I do attempt to use a blowdryer or curling iron, I use Tresemme's Thermal Creations Heat Tamer spray  to protect my hair from the heat.
   
Not sure if a color is right for you?:
The good thing about semi-permanent / temporary dyes is in the name. They aren't forever! If you have light-colored hair to begin with, you don't need to sacrifice your hair by bleaching it to try out a color. And if you're like me and have hair darker than Satan's eyes, you can always try out hair chalk or spray-on hair color (tons of drugstore brands). Beware though, I've heard both success and horror stories about those products. They easily stain skin and clothing, and often times the color isn't what the box promised. But!!! Even better is using hair that isn't your own! Try extensions--Manic Panic has hair strips called Glam Strips of the colors they offer in dye. Many extensions out there can get kind of pricey, but the Manic Panic ones are super affordable and easy to use if you just want to see how a small bit of the color might look on you.
  
And that's a wrap! If you guys ever have any other questions about hair care (another reminder that I'm neither an expert nor a professional stylist) or anything at all, you can always find me on my Instagram!
   
Peace,
Lulu

1 comment

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