I've always been fascinated with colouring my hair vivid colours. I admired the people with electric blue or bold violet hair. I was amused by people who changed their hair colour every week or every month. But, the thing is, if I ever let myself spill out that I was planning on colouring my hair, I would have been met with such appalled expressions that one might think I had insulted their family members.
“But, what about your hair? You're going to ruin your hair!”
“All your hair is going to fall off. You have no idea what sort of chemicals are in those hair dyes.”
Once you get over these negative comments you'll come to realise that hair colouring in itself is nothing short of rocket science.
I had been way too familiar with the so-called negative aspects of hair colouring; although I admired the vivid hair colours, I never really thought much about colouring my own hair. Until, I came across this video by Jenna Marbles where she tries to colour her own hair at home and fails miserably. I decided to do the same. Why I decided to colour my hair after watching a video where a person failed in doing so is beyond me.
My hair colouring journey towards failure and frustration started with choosing the hair colour. After a lot of thought, I decided to go for a shade that was just three shades lighter than my own hair because the girl on the dye packet looked quite happy with the colour. I had completely dismissed buying bleach because if I have been taught anything in my lifetime it's that bleach ruins your hair. So, on my pitch black hair I tried applying a dark auburn colour and if you have ever coloured your hair or are familiar with hair colouring you'd know the result already. On this first try, my biggest mistake was that I didn't carry out enough research before embarking on my journey.
Clueless as I was, it was difficult for me to accept that just applying hair colour on your hair doesn't always ensure that your hair will show the colour. But, I was adamant on learning from my mistake and so I decided to try again.
This second time I was smarter. I bought a much brighter shade of hair colour and after a lot of consideration decided to bleach my hair beforehand as well. But, I still couldn't get myself to fully trust bleach and hence opted for facial bleach which was supposed to be less strong and would not destroy my hair too much. This time, although I had done a bit more research on hair colours, I failed to learn more about applying bleach. Since I didn't know much I just applied bleach on wet hair, and the results soon enough taught me that it doesn't work. Wet hair doesn't usually allow much of the colour to lift. Since your hair is already full of water, there is less space for the bleach to fit in. I know all these now because I finally did my homework.
So, now it seemed like I was fully prepared. I knew how to apply both the bleach and the hair colour. But, alas! Did I really? I forgot to take into account that the facial bleach I was using was not even nearly strong enough for a colour lift on my hair. I had set out again and this time I applied bleach on dry hair. But, after keeping it on my hair for about 30 minutes I still found no significant change. Scared of burning my hair, I quickly washed the chemical off and after my hair dried a bit I could see that my hair was a shade or two lighter. But, this was still too dark for the hair colour to set in properly. Regardless, I decided to apply the hair colour because I hoped by some miracle it would still work. The colour my hair ended up with was a dull version of the original shade. In bright sunlight, you could see hints of the original colour but in any other light it seemed my hair had naturally turned that shade due to lack of care.
Soon enough, the hair colour faded and I was left with the dull brown bleached hair. I tried colouring again with some semi permanent dyes to mask the horrible bleached hair but soon gave up. The bleach took more than 6 months and a lot of hair cuts to get rid of.
Now that I know a bit more about colouring let me just say that using bleach did not make all my hair fall off (only some); it has made my hair very thin and frizzy and these are definitely qualities that some people would not want. Looking back at all the torture I made my hair go through and the countless hours wasted on it, would I do it again? Well, since none of the damages done were irreparable and since my hair is back to its original state now, I'm more than ready to be disappointed again and this time I'm prepared with more powerful bleach.
Tasnim Odrika is having an existential crisis at the moment and doesn't really know who she is anymore. Send her compliments at firstname.lastname@example.org