SHIT YOU’RE GONNA NEED
- Bleach. If your hair isn’t bleach blonde or white, you’re fucked so just forget it.
- Dye of your choosing
- White conditioner
- Mixing bowl
- Tint brush
SHIT YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO DO
- Bleach your hair. Darker hair and previously dyed hair is going to take longer to achieve bleach blonde or white. This may take a couple of times. If you want to preserve the health of your hair, wait in between bleachings. Bleaching is not like coloring your hair. It creates severe damage that you can see and feel. If you have long hair, it’s better to start bleaching your ends first, because your roots will move quickly due to the heat produced by your scalp. If you want a more even bleach job, start with your ends and work your way up.
- Use a toner. After you’ve hit your “pale yellow” or white stage, you will have to tone your hair. You have the option of toner dyes, shampoo toner, and liquid toner. These are purple based, and purple on the color wheel neutralizes yellow and orange pigments, making your hair blonder or white, which is basically essential for creating pastel hair.
- Dilute your hair dye with a white conditioner. Putting dark colors on bleached hair and expecting it to fade to a pastel won’t happen. You must either purchase a pre-mixed pastel dye (which will burn a hole in your wallet due to all the upkeep) or take a very dark color and mix it with conditioner until you reach a shade that you’re comfortable with.
- Apply the color to your hair. You may want to mix more color with the conditioner to make it darker than you actually want it to turn out. Pastels fade quickly, so don’t start with the color you want to end up with. You can leave the mixture on your hair for as long as you want if your color is a “veggie dye,” meaning Manic Panic, RAW, Stargazer, or other dyes along those lines. Dyes that require developer should be left on for as long as the directions tell you to. This includes salon brand hair color.
- Rinse your color out. I wouldn’t use shampoo during the first rinse. In fact, with pastel hair, you want to avoid using shampoo in your hair as much as possible.
- Dry your hair and look fabulous.
UPKEEP AND SHIT
- Use dry shampoo as much as you can. Stay away from shampoos that you would NOT use on colored hair, like head and shoulders. This will fade your hair in one or two washes, and you’ll have to re-color it.
- Keep a bottle of your conditioner/dye mix in the shower with you. Every time you wash your hair, stick this on your hair for the duration of your shower and then rinse. This helps keep your hair color refreshed.
- Wash your hair in COLD water. It’s unpleasant, but fashion does not come without pain.
- Coloring your hair a crazy color may (sadly) prevent you from working at certain places. Keep this in mind. It depends on who you are and what you’re willing to settle for. Personally, I won’t take a job that doesn’t allow me to look the way that I do. It’s up to you.
- Kids are going to stare at you.
- Adults are going to stare at you.
- People will come up to you and ask you about/compliment you on your hair. For me, this is excessive and something I had to get used to in order to appreciate it. At first it was annoying.
Pastel hair is a pain. But if you’re willing to deal with that pain, it might be the best thing you’ve ever done with your hair. Make sure you do it correctly and it should come out fine.