Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Back in November of 2014, I wrote this post on how I treated my scalp after a cosmetology student burnt it with bleach. Even though the experience was painful and nerve-wracking, lucky for me the post became my number one top viewed post of all time. The post has received a whopping 40,000 page views, almost all of them coming from various Google searches. Apparently a lot of people are burning their scalp with hair dye and bleach…and they aren’t afraid to share their feelings about it, either.
When people ask me about my blog, I like to joke that my part-time job is a counselor for people who have burnt their scalps. Every couple of days, I get a new essay from a reader about the damage they’ve done to their scalp. Less frequently, they’ll post pictures of what their scalp looks like after the damage is done, but the few photos shared are enough to confirm in my head forever that it is NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO BLEACH YOUR HAIR WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.
This I cannot stress enough. If my personal opinion isn’t enough to convince you, I present you with exhibit A (NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SQUEAMISH):
Jeremy commented with his story and a horrifying photo:
“Had my hair bleached for the first time. Did 3 treatments. By the third I was shaking and almost about to punch someone from so much pain. My hair isn’t the color I want and my scalp still hurts. It’s been 4 days. Day 2 and 3 I had a lot of what I thought was pus. Now my scalp looks like this. (Sorry my nails are dirty. I just got off work lol) I’m so scared my hair will fall out. It did a little in the front. But I’ve never been through this.”
IF THIS PHOTO IS NOT ENOUGH TO STOP YOU FROM EVER DIY BLEACHING, I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL EVER DETER YOU!!!!!
Maybe another terrifying story and photo from Jen will stop you.
I actually have had chemical burns with bleaching my hair. I recently rebleached my hair because my roots were coming in and I reacted the same way you did with the shaking and grabbing at my face. I had my hair bleached twice too even though I really shouldn’t have like you did. Some parts of my scalp became so raw it looked like it was bleeding.
MORAL OF THE STORY: JUST DON’T DO IT, GUYS.
Your scalp will thank you later.
Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
Back in May, I decided to go back to red after rocking a platinum/pastel pixie cut for about a year. I have been in mourning ever since. I will never stop talking about how much I miss the ability to dye my hair any color of the rainbow whenever I want. If you’re sick of hearing me talk/write about it, TOO BAD. Go find another hip lesbian with a blog.
Even though I don’t have virgin snow colored hair anymore, I still like to layer warm-hued Manic Panic colors over my strawberry blonde base. I’ve experimented with pink, orange, and peach, but I think I’ve found my new favorite color. It’s called Electric Banana, and it makes me feel like a human-sized, talking sunflower. Move over, mermaid hair trend…sunflower hair is about to become a thing.
Why do I love my yellow hair so much? Let me count the ways…
1. I’ve yet to see anyone else with yellow hair. Which is kind of surprising, considering how trendy rainbow hair is these days. I like the feeling that I’m going against the grain but still on trend with this shade.
2. It’s ultra-summery. A darker red will be fun for fall, but for hot-as-balls August days, this sunny shade is perfect.
3. It’s low maintenance. This color lasts surprisingly long, and fades evenly to a more natural gold hue. Even though my roots are pretty long right now, they don’t looks awkward with this color.
4. It glows under black lights. I’m not under black lights on a regular basis, but today I happened to be and it looks really f**king cool.
5. It doesn’t clash with my wardrobe. This color goes with everything. When I had blue hair there were a few pieces in my closet I couldn’t wear, but I’ve yet to have that problem with yellow.
What do you think of my cartoon-yellow hair? Let me know in the comments.
Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
I have to be honest with you, dear blog readers: I really miss having platinum blonde hair. Only because I could change the color whenever I wanted to with Manic Panic, but nevertheless, I miss it. I went back to being a redhead because my hair was totally fried from all of the bleach I’d used to keep it pure as the driven snow, but I miss cotton candy pink, I miss ice queen blue, and I most of all, I miss purple. OHHHHH purple, my long-lost hair color love. How I long for the days you sat atop my head. **SOBS DRAMATICALLY**.
Although you have to bleach your hair to get pale pastel colors with Manic Panic, you don’t have to bleach your hair to use it altogether. Desperate to add some flair to my boring strawberry blonde locks, I decided to use a combination of Pretty Flamingo (a peachy pink, orangey dye) and Cotton Candy Pink dye to create some ombre/highlights/color streaks (I’m not quite sure what to call them, really). I’d tried doing streaks and highlights with Manic Panic before, and it didn’t work particularly well. But Pinterest says it’s possible! And everything you read online is true, obviously. So I took a leap of faith by trying again.
Let me take you through my process…
In an attempt to get the purest color possible, I used Shimmer Lights purple shampoo as a toner. The shampoo is supposed to take out red and yellow tones from blonde hair. I put it all over my hair and planned to let it sit for about 30 minutes. Instead, I got sucked into working on this very blog, and it ended up working it’s magic for about 2 hours. And by magic, I mean it didn’t really work. It left random patches of my hair looking gray and dull. This is step is unnecessary. But if you ever ask yourself, “what does purple shampoo do to red hair?”, then here’s your answer:
Let’s move on to the part that actually matters. Before I applied the Manic Panic dye, I washed my hair and blow dried it. You should not use conditioner before applying Manic Panic. Your hair needs to be totally clean and free of product build-up.
After it was clean and dry, I parted my hair down the middle. I separated my hair into sections and secured them into twisty little buns using bobby pins. I planned on dying most of the hair on the very top of my head with the Pretty Flamingo dye and pinned it all together. Then I randomly sectioned off the hair on the sides of my head into twists, with no real visual plan, because I live on the edge.
The hair at the back of my head towards my neck was too short to pin. From past experience, I’ve learned that the hair back there doesn’t soak up dye as quickly as the front. I applied cotton candy dye back there first. Then I pulled the sections on the side of my head out of their twists and applied either pink or peach dye, alternating colors. I finished off the application by saturating the top twist with peach dye, and a little bit of pink in my bangs.
I let the dye sit on my head for a full 2 hours. When I jumped in the shower to wash it out, I saw that the dye remnants were totally white – a sign that all of the pigment stuck to my hair.
After it was dried and styled, it looked like this:
From the front it looks just a tad pink…
…until I turn to the side. WHA-BAM! Peek-a-boo pink realness.
The fade in the back looks even and matches the rest of my hair.
When I part it on the opposite side, you can really see the pink. I really love this vibrant pink shade. The Pretty Flamingo dye definitely made my hair a lot more strawberry than blonde, but the color isn’t stand-out neon like I had hoped. Next time I try this, I’m going to use Electric Tiger Lily dye for a more intense orange, and apply the cotton candy dye more liberally.
Overall, I’m really happy with these results. I’m not mourning the loss of my platinum quite as much as I was before. I’m thinking this color scheme is going to become my signature look for awhile.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Monday, May 18th, 2015
Clay masks are a classic skin care staple. When I was a kid, I thought clay masks were the height of glamour, and that only fancy ladies in movies and stock photos used them. I remember being super excited the first time my mom bought a bottle of clay mask from the drug store, and we even bought a cucumber to slice and put on our eyes for ultimate fanciness. So when I found Freeman face masks on sale for $3 a piece, obviously I had to buy four of them. For research. For nostalgia. For glamour. Because I make impulsive decisions.
While I was trying out the sparkling pear mask, I noticed something on the back of the bottle. The directions said to let the mask dry for 5 to 10 minutes. However, after 10 minutes, the mask hadn’t completely dried.
I was under the impression that the whole point of a clay mask was to let it dry out, then wash off all of the dead skin and dirt clogged all up in your pores. But the clay mask took at least 20 minutes to dry out, and maybe that was because I caked that sh** on until you could not see a single pore…but seriously, was everything I ever believed to be true about clay masks a lie?
As it turns out, which I now know thanks to this Allure article, you aren’t supposed to let a clay mask dry completely on your face. In fact, when you let a clay mask dry all the way, you could have potentially negative side effects. The “wet” phase of a face mask is when your skin soaks up all the good stuff (like sparkling pear, I guess). Then when it starts to dry, the mask “stimulates blood flow” as it gets tighter on your skin. But if you let it get too dry, it starts sucking up natural oils, and that’s bad news. Nobody wants a flaky face.
This should be obvious, but wash your face before you use a clay mask. It’s not a face wash, and you don’t want to end up sealing in nasty sh** from your makeup with a mask. Exfoliating is also a good thing to do before using a mask. When you’re done with your mask, make sure to moisturize and replenish any natural oils that have been soaked up by the clay. You also probably don’t need to use quite as much mask as I did. You only need a thin layer to utilize the mask’s purifying qualities. But it is a lot less fun to use only a little, fyi.
Monday, May 4th, 2015
About a year ago, I was obsessed with platinum blonde hair. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be a hip girl with a platinum pixie cut, or someone with pastel purple fairy hair. I had been dyeing my hair red since I was a freshman in college, and decided it was time to switch up my look. I headed to a beauty school and crossed my fingers that my hair would come out white blonde and beautiful. And it did! For 10 months I had Marilyn-Monroe-esque locks, sometimes pink hair, occasionally blue hair and more often purple hair. But this past weekend I decided to hang up my toe head hat. I’m back to my red tresses, and if you’re curious why, it’s your lucky day…because I WROTE ABOUT IT BELOW! Betchya didn’t see that coming!
When I get my hair done, because I have a short crop, the hairdresser tends to tell me “come back in five weeks for another haircut.” To which I nod and smile, but think in my head, “yeah right. I am not shelling out $50 a month so my hair looks perfectly pixied at all times.” This is also what I thought when I was told I’d need to get my roots done every five weeks with blonde hair. I was wrong. You really do need to get your roots done every five weeks, unless you want big patches of brown hair that match the color of subway rats on your head. Next to the blonde, my natural light brown color looked nasty. And the roots grew so quickly, it always felt like I could see them only a week out from a dye job. Not only is scheduling a hair appointment in my already busy schedule frustrating, but it also brings me to my next point:
The first time I bleached my hair, everything was fine. The second time, I had the most painful experience of my life. After that chemical burn nightmare, I decided that hair schools were not quite good enough for my sensitive scalp. This meant instead of paying $55 every time I wanted my roots done, it was at least $120. I tried my best to go to different salons each time so I could take advantage of new customer deals, but shelling out that much cash for my hair was cheap bitch blasphemy. Now I can spend that money on more important things, like unlimited mimosa brunch or nacho cheese covered hot dogs.
I loved having the freedom to dye my hair any shade of the rainbow, but after being bleached for 10 months, I was finished with pastel hair. The last color I dyed my hair was blue, and it took two months to completely fade. At the end, there were little bits of green, blue, silver, and yellow in my hair. I had a good inch and a half of grown-out roots on top of my cranium, and I was so sick of having patchy blonde, brown, and blue locks. I’d set out to do the pastel hair thing, and I did it many times over. It was time to move on.
Okay, for this reason I’m half serious, half joking. Have you seen how many people are dyeing their hair pastel colors now?! Hilary Duff. Kylie Jenner. Even Julianne Hough, a.k.a. the most boring and occasionally racist celebrity ever, went pastel. Obviously I am a unique snowflake work of art that follows the lead of no one, so, bye basics. LOLZ JK, sort of.
From bleaching my hair so often, my hair was dry and brittle. I was shedding like a labrador, and no products could make my hair feel healthy again. I decided having unmanageable, straw-like hair was not worth it. Now that I don’t have to bleach my hair every five weeks, my locks will have a chance to recuperate.
I’m glad I went blonde and I may do it again someday. In fact, It feels weird to be a redhead again, because I dyed my hair blonde at a very defining time in my life. It was really representative of being comfortable with myself and letting go of things from the past that were holding me back. The red reminds me a bit of days where I wasn’t so sure of myself, and it’s making me feel some feelz. But I’m looking forward to revamping my style around the color, keeping it vibrant, and moving forward.