Well, that was quite an adventure! I decided to dye my hair last Wednesday, kinda mostly on a lark. This is my story. With pictures. Lots of pictures.


My hair was pretty dark, with some stubborn, much-too-dark dye in it. Here's my starting point:

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I have a hard time judging these "level" things that people who actually know what they're doing go on about, but if I was forced to put a number on it, the ends of my hair were damn near a level two, and my natural hair is, IDK, six? Seven? Whatever, YouTube had me on a high, convincing me that Revlon HiLift for Dark hair was going to do the trick. I used a volume 30 developer.


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Much orange. Such intense. Wow.


Alas, DangerTits was right, even though I did what YouTube told me to do and did a second application on the lengths.

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Uh oh, that's not going well.


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Lookit those hot roots!


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That's not even.


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Huh. So that's how it is, L'Oreal. I thought we were cool.


The fainter of heart and sounder of mind among us may have just given up at this point and gone to a salon, in fact, that's exactly what I should have done, but my pride wouldn't allow it... I rescheduled my haircut for next week and steeled my reserve to combat this situation on my own steam. I was going to get it done by the NJ meetup and that was just the way it was going to be.

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I bleach washed my hair. (From this point forward I'm going to tell you guys exactly what I did, but it's very important to keep in mind that I had no idea what the fuck I was doing.) I bought these little packet things from Sally's and dumped one ounce of bleach, one ounce of volume 20 developer, and two ounces of clarifying shampoo in a plastic bowl and mixed it the fuck up. I weighed everything, btw, because that's how I do. Then I wet my hair, towel dried it, and went for it. I sectioned my hair (actually, I sectioned it before I mixed the bleach, forethought!) and glooped it on (avoiding my roots), covered with a shower cap, and rinsed after 30 minutes (I checked it every ten). Wear gloves. This is how it turned out:

Now we're talking!


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Challenge accepted.


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Now it was time to put my thinking cap on and figure out how the hell to deal with those roots. After much consulting with the all-knowing internet, I came up with a game plan. I used Ion Color Brilliance liquid permanent hair color. I like to use liquid color with cream developer and vice versa, I find that I get better coverage and use less product this way. I used straight up Dark Red Blonde (6R-6.6) on the length, mixed with some Colorful Protein Color Filler in #10 Red Red, but I had to come up with a clever blend to handle the root situation. I decided on a 2:1:1 ratio of 6R-6.6, Light Red Brown (5R-5.6), and Dark Blonde (6N-6.0), respectively, with the protein filler. I applied the length solution from one inch from the scalp to three inches from the ends, processed for 20 minutes, then applied the root solution to the roots and the rest of the length solution on the ends and processed for 10 more minutes. The reason I didn't apply the dye to the ends at the same time is because they'd been through the wringer and I didn't want them to end up darker (I'm sick of that reverse ombre shit). I used a volume 20 developer this time around.


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Bam. Challenge completed.


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The roots don't look too bad. And please, no pictures.


The only problem? Whoa. Jenny, this is what clown hair looks like.

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Ariel got nothing. No-thing.


One problem solved, another arises. That's a little much, so I decided to tone it. And on and on it goes! I used a 1:2 mix of Medium Ash Blonde (7A-7.1) to volume 10 developer.

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Here goes nothing!


Because not enough had gone wrong, I didn't mix enough toner and didn't have enough color left to mix more. Fortunately, I noticed in time and made an executive decision:

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This is totally going to make it look purposeful... right? And are those missed spots on the roots? Yes, yes they are. No worries, this is a learning process!


And you know what? It worked. As Bob Ross used to say, we don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. And the hair is just toned enough to look less escaped-from-the-circus, but the front keeps the overall look brightbrightbright! I think it's mermaid-y. I'm going with it.

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Finally! Done.

I'm going to do something different next time, but I'm damn proud of myself. I think I got pretty great results consider my starting point and my hair doesn't even seem damaged at the end of the day. I think I can live with this:

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(All of these pics were taken in either natural light or under a full spectrum bulb.)