20:52 Jazz Blackwell 0 Comments

If you know me in real life, or if you follow me on any social media, you're probably aware of the fact that I've something of a fondness for dying my hair. You're probably also aware of the fact that I've a great affinity for fucking it up. A stand out example is the time I aimed for a deep, rusty orange and instead found myself at bright lime green (no, I'm not sure either). My most recent failed endeavour, however, saw me attempting a super cool Sweeney Todd black and white 'do and instead arriving at something that closely resembled Pepe Le Pew's strung out and slightly demented punk-rock cousin. While I didn't totally hate it, it was definitely one of the shoddier dye jobs I've done. Still, I stuck with it, as I do all hair colours, be they fab or tragic, until I got bored and decided to put it right;

Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Fawkes the Phoenix

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think it came out looking pretty freaking dope. It was much easier and much less time consuming than I anticipated, too. All of the products I used were from La Riche Directions, a brand I've used for right around six years now and trust more than any other. I purchased all of mine from my favourite online store, Attitude Clothing and my total came to £24.96, including next day postage and packaging. 

To start, I used the Directions Hair Lightening Kit in the 40 vol/12% version. This is where, if I were a responsible adult or any level of professional I would advise against following my lead; 40 vol is the highest volume of peroxide available to the general public (to the best of my knowledge) and as such, is most damaging to your hair. I would strongly advise that you use 40 vol only if you absolutely need to (i.e. if your hair is black/very dark brown, as the majority of my hair was at the beginning of this). I also didn't use any Vaseline on my hairline, neck or ears - something you should always do when using any kind of peroxide bleach product - chemical burns ain't cute, kids. Like most things in life, this is somewhere you should do as I say, not as I do. 

40 volume lightening kit is
£9.99 at Attitude Clothing

The kit comes with the bleach powder, cream developer, mixing tray, tinting brush, sachet moisturising shampoo plastic gloves and developing cap. It's a very simple process to get the dye to the point it's ready to be on the hair; simply tip the entire sachet of blue bleach powder into the mixing tray, add the cream developer, and stir with the tinting brush until it becomes a thick, paste-like substance and no powder remains (I forgot to take a picture of it in this state!) 

I mixed it on my toilet lid because I'm classy and
my bathroom is tiny. Don't worry - it's clean. 

The blue tint of the powder means that it tones
as it dyes. 

I would tell you what the cream developer looks like
to me, but my mother reads this blog. 
Now, I'll take a moment here to say that I understood going into this that there was no way that this bleach - or any peroxide bleach product - would lift my hair from black to light blonde. That would require several rounds of bleaching and toning and, while doable, can be very damaging to the hair if not done professionally. However, as the look I was going for is all reds and oranges, there is no need to get the hair super platinum or pale blond; a gingery/russet tone will do the trick. 

I didn't take any photos of the process of applying the bleach as my phone is near impossible to operate at the best of times, let alone whilst wearing plastic hair-dying gloves/ However, I didn't do anything different or special; simply used the tinting brush to 'paint' the bleach onto my hair then used my (gloved) fingers and a hairbrush to ensure that the distribution of the product was as even as possible. I then pulled it all back into a low bun and let it sit under the developing cap for right around 30 minutes. 

A sexy look for anyone, I'm sure you'll agree.
The result of the bleaching was actually a lot better than I'd anticipated; the roots lightened nicely to a pale yellow-blond colour and the rest to varying shades of dark gingery brown. (Note: in the photos, it still looks black in some places. I attribute this to the harsh lighting in my bathroom - apologies, this was the best I had to work with). I wasn't put out that it wasn't a solid colour; if anything, I preferred it. It allowed for more dimension and depth in the hair once the dying was complete. 

Honestly couldn't tell you why I look so afraid 
Please do not be alarmed, it's only eczema on my arm

This shot took more attempts than I feel it should've

After drying my hair, I went on to applying the actual colours. First thing I did was slap Directions' Apricot on the bottommost layer of my hair. As a side note; I already had a tub of Apricot on hand, which I hadn't used in a previous dying endeavour. I decided to block-colour the lowest layer with this as I often like to pull my hair into a top knot on casual days and I felt the neon orange would look fantastic in contrast with the bright red and darker rust of Fire and Flame. Next, on the upper layers, I applied Fire, a bright true red, on the bottom two thirds of my hair and coated the roots with Flame, a stunning orangey-russet. For the roots, I washed off the tinting brush from the lightening kit as I felt like brushing it on would give a better 'fade' or 'blend' than using my fingers. As a side note; it is totally safe to use Directions dyes with your bare hands. Brighter colours will stain your hands a bit (as you have probably seen if you follow me on Instagram), but there are no chemicals that will harm your skin - and I speak as someone whose skin is baby-sensitive. 

Fire - the bright true red - can be found at
Attitude Clothing for £4.99 
Flame - the deep orange root colour - is also
£4.99 at Attitude Clothing

Apricot is, again, less than a fiver on Attitude Clothing

When you're metal AF but need to get your
five a day: Through The Fire and The Flames
(And the Apricots)

Coated t he lowermost layer with 'Apricot'

Added 'Fire' to the bottom two thirds of the next layer

No, I don't know why I made this face either.

Finally, covered the roots with 'Flame'

A top view of the roots. Something strangely
satisfying about this picture. 
After letting the three colours sit on my hair for another half an hour, I hopped in the shower and rinsed it off. I'd advise simply rinsing the hair, rather than washing it as washing can deplete the pigmentation of the dye. It's also a good idea to wash your hair as infrequently as you can manage and only ever with cold water if you have red hair, as frequent washing and hot water tend to make the colour fade faster. 

Overall, I'm beyond pleased with how this hair turned out. I'd definitely say one of the best hair looks I've ever achieved. All Directions products are vegan and are not tested on animals. The Directions sit states that their semi-permanent hair colours last up to eight washes, which totals out to about eight weeks for me. 

The finished (slightly damp) look again because
I honestly can't get over how much I love it. 
Happy reading, 
Jazz xo 

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