When it comes to hairstyles, I have an urge to change them every three months. I have been fortunate enough to go back to Korea every 3-5 months, so all I had to do was sit back and relax, and let my hair stylist achieve whatever crazy hairstyle I wanted. However recently because of work, I haven't returned to Korea in almost five months now and have no concrete plans on when I'll be back. And I wanted my hair to be lavender--and I wanted it done now. So I searched through and through the web and YouTube, put on my gloves, and got to work.
Before I begin, I would like to emphasize that I am NOT a professional hair stylist so what I did may not do the same thing for your hair. Also as I said earlier, I wanted this lavender hair done as fast as I possibly could--and that meant hair damage x1000. It is almost certain that you need to bleach your hair to achieve a lavender purple hair color, especially if your hair is dark like mine. And bleaching is sure to damage the heck out of your hair. You could rest your hair for a month or two in between each bleaching session to reduce the damage and meanwhile do whatever treatment you possibly can on your bleached hair. If you are concerned about hair damage and split ends but you want your hair turned lavender fast, going to the salon would probably be the safest option.
That said, I was well aware of the consequences of bleaching, but I could not care less because my hair was already pretty damaged and I had bleached my hair numerous times before.
Let me just go through the kinds of hair style changes I went through for the last year and half prior to turning lavender so you know what's been thrown onto my hair:
February 2014: My hair was overall a medium brown color, but I wanted pink peek-a-boo highlights. I used Clairol Born Blonde, bleached some strips of my hair twice using one box (in one day which I do NOT recommend), and then put Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink all over the bleached parts.
|Considering that this is a drugstore brand, I was really surprised by the outcome. It didn't damage my hair too much, but then again my hair is quite thick.|
|Here's what my hair looked like after bleaching it twice. Clairol Born Blonde didn't make my hair a big hot brassy orange mess--thank goodness.|
|Here's me with pink peek-a-boo strips!|
|These pink highlights really did their trick when I tied up my hair|
|Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink is a super flourescent pink under a flash light!|
July 2014: So I've had enough of Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink by now, and with the roots growing out and all, my hair was a big hot uneven mess. I ran to my hair stylist who, after recovering from the initial shock, suggested that I section my hair into two horizontal parts and bleach the whole thing on the bottom. After bleaching the bottom section (see photo below), he colored the entire hair using an ashy brown dye.
|As you can see, some parts were really light blonde, some light brown, some medium brown, and some black. A complete mess.|
|By this point, I was freaking out and my stylist had to assure me again and again that I will not walk out the salon looking like this.|
|Do I look worried? BECAUSE I WAS!|
|So this is what my hair looked like afterwards--pretty! Loved the ashy brown color...while it lasted!|
|As someone who loves to tie her hair up, this kind of two-tone was awesome. Plus, these colors were so beautiful.|
|The same hair when put down.|
|And the ash color was gone, and I was left with this|
December 2014: My hair is naturally curly and gets messy really easily, so this time when I went back to Korea I got my hair straighten at the top and permed at the bottom. Bleached hair usually cannot take perm, but I begged my stylist and he somehow made it happen!
January 2015: By this time, I realized that I wouldn't be coming back to Korea for some time. So I decided to keep the current hair style, but just dye the roots ombre style so that the roots would no longer look too hideous. Who would've know I would dye my hair lavender!
|Do you see the roots here? As an Asian with naturally dark hair, my roots are the bane of my existence because its so noticeable!|
|The ombre made it easier for me to grow out my hair--especially the bleached parts.|
Here are things I used:
1. Bleaching powder (you can buy the bleaching kit that come with the developer if you do not feel like measuring the ratios and all)
2. Developer (I used developers ranging from 10 to 40. Higher the number, greater the damage, faster the effect)
3. Coconut Oil (this is a MUST!!)
4. Mixing bowl
6. Wella Color Charm T18 (White Lady) Toner
7. Pravana Chromasilk Vivids in Violet and Wild Orchid
8. Conditioner -- any cheap one without sulfate will do.
9. Purple shampoo (optional)
Except for the coconut oil, conditioner, and the Pravana dyes, I got all of them from Sally Beauty Supply.
|Here in this photo I have Pravana Violet and Ion color briliance in magenta, but I highly suggest getting Pravana Wild Orchid instead of Ion.|
Bleaching Round 1:
I read that coconut oil is supposed to help with bleaching (but NOT with dyeing) so before each bleaching session, I melted the coconut oil and lathered it all over my hair for at least 5 hours. And I firmly believe that coconut oil really does reduce hair damage and helps the bleaching process!
I used 40 volume developer to mix with the bleach powder and bleached about 3-4 inches from the scalp to create an ombre effect. I only did this because I already had that ombre effect from the last time I visited hair salon and did not want to deal with black roots again and again. Also, this allowed for some room to spare in case I needed to chop off everything.
However, I do not recommend using the 40 volume developer. From my previous experiences, I knew that my thick hair takes in bleach pretty well and that I don't get any serious reactions and whatnot (Please remember to do a patch test!). Using a 30 volume developer or lower would get you slower results, but your hair will not be as damaged.
Another note: I used Wella Color Charm T18 White Lady toner afterwards hoping it would make the orange go away--but other reviewers were correct when they said T18 only works on really really bleached hair. You are supposed to mix T18 with 20 or lower developer, but I was stupid and desperate enough to use 30 (DO NOT recommend), and as you can see in the photo below, some parts that's been bleached numerous times turned almost platinum white, but others just stayed orange.
Bleaching Round 2:
I was being impatient so after a week, I decided to bleach my hair one more time--this time using a 30 volume developer. Then I got my Pravana violet and lathered it on what I thought was pretty blonde hair. Well guess what, you need an almost platinum white hair for lavender purple to show, or else you get something like the photo below where some parts turn salmon and pink and God knows what.
Bleaching Round 3:
So I made a mistake here. If your hair is dyed purple and you put bleach on it, there's a chance that your hair will immediately turn green. Mine did, so I freaked out and left the bleach on a little bit longer (using a 20 volume developer this time). Just to make sure, I used Wella Color Charm T18 using a 10 developer to tone down the brassiness, and then used the purple shampoo to rinse it all out. Fortunately when I washed out my hair, the green was gone--and my hair was pretty much a silvery white color. Before putting your purple dye, make sure your hair is pretty platinum so as to not risk turning your hair green with bleach.
|Mixing Pravana Violet and Ion Color Brilliance Magenta in a 1:4 ratio and a whole lot of conditioner, I achieved a color that looked something like this. I wanted more of a pink based than a blue based lavender.|
|Pink based lavender purple dye|
|Immediately after shampooing all the purple dye. If you do not want your dyes to bleed on to your clothes and pillows and what have you, you must shampoo your hair after bleaching.|
Some other tips on dying hair lavender purple:
1. If you want a blue based purple, use only the Pravana Violet dye. Also you will only need a QUARTER size of this or else your hair will turn almost black--and this is coming from my own experience. I cried myself to sleep, washed my hair about three dozen times in one week using baking powder, vitamin C tablets, and dandruff shampoo, only to make it a shade or two lighter. Pravana lasts a looooooooonnggg time, so beware of the color you are depositing into your hair. And if you think the color came out too dark, do NOT bleach your hair again as that may leave you with green hair.
2. If you want a pink based lavender purple, mix the Pravana Violet and Wild Orchid in a 1:4 ratio, starting with dime sizes. It is easier to darken your dye mixture than lightening it up with a conditioner. So add little by little.
|This is what my hair looked like using only the Pravana Violet dye.|
|After 5 washes -- color still going strong, and more silvery and pastel|
|Prava Violet after one month--indoor|
|Pravana Violet after one month -- the color looks more vibrant outside!|
I personally like the pink based lavender a little more, so I've been mostly dyeing my hair by mixing Pravana Violet and Wild Orchid. I've found Wild Orchid to be less pigmented and to fade faster than Pravana Violet, but the color is too awesome to pass!
|Freshly dyed Pravana Violet and Wild Orchid|
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a professional so do research thoroughly! Because everyone has different hair color (I mean just scroll down the first half of this post and see how I did not just start out with a jet black hair), what I did may not work for everybody. If you really want your hair lavender or platinum blonde, just take the risk, don't fear split ends (they are after all my lifelong companion), and worst case scenario, get a hair cut.
I hope this post was helpful to those who are thinking about dyeing their hair lavender or even bleaching it platinum blonde. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and I'll try to do my best to help! :)
Have a wonderful day everyone!