It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and, in many places, that means highlights and streaks and trying to avoid the dreaded “chlorine green.” It also, of late, has meant more heads of hair sporting colors not usually found in nature.
Fun as these colors look, and as much as I wanted blue hair to match the dress I was wearing for a weekend house party, I was reluctant to commit. To get the vibrant brights or pastels requires pre-lightening (bleaching); this makes the color a permanent change.
Yeah, not really ready for that. I like being a dark redhead.
A trip to Sally Beauty led me to a selection of semi-permanent colors. Most include a note to the effect of “for best results apply to light of pre-lightened hair,” but also include directions for applying to darker or untreated hair. After reading scores of reviews and being generally indecisive in the aisle, I eventually decided on Ion Color Brilliance Brights in Sky Blue.
The color comes in a tube and you do not mix it with anything — apply directly to hair. In retrospect, I should have sectioned my hair and used a bowl and brush to put the color on. Instead, I gloved up and did it all by hand.
Because there’s no ammonia or peroxide the instructions say to leave the color to process for 40 minutes. The majority of the reviews I read suggested leaving it for an hour and adding a little heat from a hair dryer. Well, I figured, what the hell?
Let’s just say … if you aren’t used to putting color on your hair, or putting it on without an applicator bottle, it gets a little messy.
See what I mean? Messy.
The only upside? The color will come off skin easily. Soap and water got most of it and baby wipes got the rest.
So after waiting an hour, rinsing til the water ran clear and my bathtub had turned from green to blue, this was the result:
Don’t look too happy, do I?
Overjoyed, I was not. That said, it could have turned out much worse. In low light my hair looks black; the blue isn’t visible without strong light.
Most of the friends, acquaintances and random people I saw over the weekend liked the color. A few thought I should make it permanent. Others thought I should go the “lighten, then color” route for a more vibrant shade.
I think I like being a blue head, but … hmmm.
I’m still on the fence.