What if I would dye my dark hair a weird color, let’s say light blue, for instance? At first I thought it was just one of those absurd ideas I sometimes get, and that after a while I’d simply forget, not convinced enough to take action. But I’ve been thinking about dyeing my hair a peculiar, original color, to add a really cool touch to my usually quite basic look, since January. At first I thought of gray: very chic, and definitely on trend, and quite neutral to match my entire wardrobe. But then I saw this photo of a girl on Pinterest: from the back, very long hair, dark like mine at the roots, but gradually taking on a blue tone until it became a clear light blue, like the sky. Marvellous. I definitely wanted it.

So: the hairdresser. I needed a specialist in unique colors (I went to Roots Milano, following the advice of a friend with extravagant hair) so as not to end up with a disaster on my head. I booked an appointment and arrived at the salon buzzing with excitement…then I was hit with the harsh reality. IT CAN’T BE DONE. But how? Why? Very simple: because if like me, you have very dark, or moreover black dyed hair, you can never dye your hair light blue – or lilac, or pastel pink, or any other cool shade that you can think of. At least if you don’t want to ruin your hair by bleaching it several times, stressing it to the point that the fibers die and you find yourself with straw-like hair. Sure of the color you wanted. But is it really worth it?

– Keep on reading after the gallery – 

I decided that it wasn’t. But I didn’t want to give up on dyeing my hair a special color, especially considering that I would be leaving in a day for Coachella and I truly had the desire to try it. So? The first thing to do is to try and understand how far we can push when bleaching: before dyeing, in fact you need to have a white base, but it’s a very aggressive process, therefore you need to be careful, especially if you have already dyed your hair: I, for instance, am naturally dark, but I also dye my hair to cover those first grey hairs. This could compromise the results of the bleach: artificial dyes always leave residues on the hair that won’t turn white. The consequence? A potentially lethal mix with a color that we’d like to achieve. Let me explain myself a bit better: each color is the result of a mix, and if the base is truly white, (and trust me it never will be unless, as we said, you bleach it a lot) but a yellowish white or even reddish, by combining this with blue for example, you risk having red or purple instead of the light blue of your dreams.

Based on how white the hair will be after bleaching you can then decide on the final color. To achieve the turquoise that I finally chose, given that the light blue was out of the question, I had to bleach my hair twice – and I had a pretty clear base on which I could apply blue without it turning grassy green, something I absolutely did not want. But I didn’t dye all of my hair: on advice from the hairdresser I limited myself to the lower section behind the neck, because if I had bleached everything it would have caused too much damage and the contrast between the dark and health risked being too noticeable. The result is beautiful: subtle, but impactful, and my hair has stayed soft and silky, thanks to the keratin conditioner that I apply diligently with every wash. My advice, try it at least once in your life. It will make you feel wild and free without radically changing your look. But instead of choosing a dream color, put your trust in a specialized hairdresser and together choose the shade, based on the color of your hair. And after that, take very good care of it.

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14 Responses to “What happens when you have dark hair and you want to dye it a weird color”

    I’ve had the same problems, even without the crazy colors. I always dyed my hair black and wanted to go back to my light brown roots. Oh boy, 7 hours of bleaching later and I barely had any hair left. It would NOT get white enough so I just had to go over it with a dark brown.

    http://www.thepinkperfectionist.be

    Reply to Amy
  • You can also start with a dark and wild colour and gradually go lighter so you don’t have to bleach, but you still have to be careful.
    My natural hair is almost black and I wanted a silvery-purple colour, but first my hair stylist gave me very dark purple/blue and then we gradually went lighter. It still damaged by hair though so I switched back to a more natural colour and also a keratin shampoo/conditioner and am healing my hair.

    Reply to Maria | Looking Glass
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