Blue is the happiest (hair) color.

So a month or two ago, I added a couple blue streaks to my hair.

My hairdresser put them in for me… subtle but fun, and they filled my heart with happiness. I had always wanted to do something a little crazy with color and finally did it. And it felt right.

What I didn’t love about the streaks was their longevity, or lack thereof… they faded to almost nothing in about two weeks.

Re: greeningofgavin.com
Re: greeningofgavin.com

With my happiness with blue in mind, and in an attempt to be frugal, I wrangled my friend N into helping me reapply my streaks with some store bought ManicPanic temporary hair color. This being the first time trying that particular product and the “Shocking Blue” tone I picked was intimidatingly intense.

The whole process though was surprisingly easy and surprisingly successful, in my opinion.

Here’s how it went down, Step-By-Step style:

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STEP ONE: Acquire Crazy Color! 

There are TONS of options of brands and colors. Seriously, it’s overwhelming. I just went with ManicPanic because I had heard of it before.

(N was considering adding some fun pink to her blond tresses but we ended up just doing my blue. I still have the Manic Panic Cotton Candy Pink just waiting for her word…)

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Remember, this washes out. And if you wash in hot water, and every day, it disappears faster. So I say get crazy and bold. Yolo? (sorry)

You can also Google Image Search for the particular color you’ve picked and see how it turns out on different people / different hair colors. If you add in “unbleached” to the search, you can get samples of how it might look on your current, natural color.

*Of course, please remember that everyone’s hair is different and reacts different ways, etc. etc.

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STEP TWO: Pick a Spot

You could go seriously crazy town and dye your whole head.

Or a streak Rogue-Style at the front of your face. You do you.

I, however, wanted just a few streaks under the top layer of my hair, an inch or so back from my face. So basically when my hair is pulled half up you see the blue, but otherwise it’s all sneaky. This is because, while I work in a creative field, I still am trying to look sorta adult-y. I wanted subtle.

N helped me also add some to the underside of my hair, right at the nape. I thought this would look cute with my hair pulled up.

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STEP THREE Get a Friend

This isn’t just general life advice, this is specific to this task. (But also get friends in life, in general. Friends are good. )

Is it doable alone?  Absolutely.

Is is MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH easier with a willing friend? Oh my goodness, yes.

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STEP FOUR: Set Up

I purchased decently heavy duty gloves, a color bowl and a color applying brush, all from Sally’s Beauty Salon. For some reason that place makes me think of the early ’90s and I kinda adore it.

I also grabbed a towel that didn’t mind some crazy colors, hair ties/clips, aluminum foil (I’ll explain later), a chair, and easy access to a sink/tub/shower.

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I recommend wearing something easy to take off, NOT over your head. I went with an old tank top. You could do a button up. Or if you and your friend are really, really close there’s no reason you couldn’t just be topless, I guess. Whatever feels right to you.

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STEP FIVE: Put on Some Killer Tunes (Optional)

You are going to hanging in the bathroom for a bit. It’s always more fun if there is good music.

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STEP SIX: Put on Gloves. 

Seriously. You don’t want blue hands. Just wear them.

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Avatar is over. Don’t look like Avatar.

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STEP SEVEN: Do The Thing!

So I got tired of writing the word “step”. So here’s a more informal step-by-step list.

  • Separate off the upper part of your hair that you don’t want dyed. Pull it up as out of the way as possible in a clip or hair tie.
  • Do the same for any of the under-hair (does that make sense as a word?) Basically try and isolate the section you plan to color.
  • Take the nice, thin little strip of hair you have left unclipped and put a piece of aluminum foil under it. This will protect the hair that is underneath from renegade coloring.(If you fold the edge several times on the foil, it gives the top of your “screen” a little more stability)

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  • Using the hair color brush, apply a generous amount of color to the hair, using the foil as a backdrop. Try and make sure you get color on all the hair.
  • Wrap up the foil over the hair like a bright colored, inedible burrito.

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STEP EIGHT: Wait.

I believe the official directions are for 20-30 minutes. Read the box.

You can also add heat to help speed up the process or intensify the colors. I went this route, adding heat and leaving the color in for close to 30 minutes after we did the last color-burrito.

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Handy thing about having wrapped your hair in foil? When you point a blow dryer at it, the heat is retained longer after you shut it off. Just be careful and don’t turn your inedible hair color burritos into scalding flaps of metal pain on your head. Just use common sense, kids.

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STEP NINE: Rinse.

This is where a buddy and a hand-held shower head come in handy. With my head flipped over in her tub, N was able to use her detachable shower head and carefully rinse the blue out of my hair while still wearing her gloves. This gave her tub a lovely, temporary blue haze and more importantly kept her hands from looking like she had a case of Acrocyanosis.

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I cannot emphasis enough the advantages of keeping gloves on. The dye will absolutely turn your skin colors. For reals. You’ve been warned.

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STEP TEN: Look Awesome!

Then bask in how awesome you look.

That’s pretty much it, guys.

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Bonus: This neon blue is surprisingly subtle. It tends to take people by surprise and is only noticeable in certain lighting. (Due in part, I’m sure, to my currently dark hair color and sneaky location of said streaks.)

Stealthy like a ninja… that’s how I enjoy my hair color.

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LESSONS LEARNED:

– Next time, I would put a bit of Vaseline on my hair line, face, ears, etc…  ie: places I thought the dye might come into contact with. That would help eliminate any accidental dying of ears/face. Which can happen.

– Do not apply to the underside of your hair, at the nape, unless you want a blue neck all the time. There must be something in the oil of my skin or something, but I got a slightly blue-tinged neck after having my hair down all day. Never saw any blue on pillowcases, towels or my clothes. The lesson to me is just to not apply the blue to the underside of my hair where it lays on the skin all day.

NOTE ON COLOR:

Please note, if your hair is dark like mine currently is, any color might be VERY subtle. We were primarily placing the blue over the previously bleached areas from my hairdresser which I think helps the color pop.

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I found (especially rinsing in cool water in the shower) that the color lasts at least as long as the blue my hairdresser did, if not a little longer. And it’s fading out to a really nice, almost purple tone. (Must be the natural red undertones of my hair coming through)

Which means it is time to re-up my color! Something that is both easy and pretty darn cheap.

And my stealthy, subtle blue streaks make me ridiculously happy.

There’s still a little punk-rock in this 30-something Business Casual chick after-all.

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