Four Day Ombré.
After a long bout of leaving my hair be (i’m not really counting perming though i should), I decided it was time to take a huge step and….colour the ends.
Now, I had been thinking about doing this for a long time but didn’t quite have the means to do it because semi-permanent hair colour is practically non-existent and unavailable in Singapore. While I could order it online, the shops I found on Amazon didn’t seem to ship to my country, and Amazon shipping is ridiculous in the first place.
I then considered going to a salon to get it done when my friend Emma reposted a link from Monoxious‘ Arissa who had gone to Hairloom. At the time, Hairloom was having a one-for-one offer on hair colouring till 20 April and I was very tempted to grab a friend and go, but it didn’t happen.
At the same time, I attended the SDD Vol. 4 Finals where 77th Street was a sponsor. On the programme, it advertised that they were now carrying Manic Panic products! There was hope! The only downside is that the mark-up is crazy.
In the end….I decided to go with the DIY route since it would be way cheaper than going to a salon.
This post is titled ‘Four Day Ombré’ because me, being a hair bleaching/ombré-ing n00b, didn’t 1) buy the right product, 2) follow instructions entirely right. Here goes my description of the 4-day process which could really be done in just one.
Day 1: Tuesday 23 April
Decided to go and buy hair bleach before meeting a friend for lunch, but hemmed and hawed about buying the only box of Gatsby Ex Hi-Bleach at the Chevron House Watsons. I wasn’t sure if it was the best option to go with, but on my way back to the office I figured I would pop into the Watsons at my building and they had the Ex Hi-Bleach version, as well as another one called ‘Natural Bleach’. The latter seemed less extreme but would lighten my hair significantly (just not all the way to blonde), so I went with the “safer” option.
Big mistake. It barely lightened my hair. It just made my reddish ends look a bit more….red.
On hindsight, this is quite a nice look….
Day 2: Wednesday 24 April
Since the “natural” bleach didn’t damage my hair at all, I figured it would be ok to bleach my hair with the stronger one the following day. Again, I followed the ombré bleaching technique (hurhur) – bleach the very ends first, rinse, dry, and bleach a longer section so that the ends get hit twice and turn lighter than the upper section.
Left: Ex Hi-Bleach (correct one), Right: Natural Bleach (don’t even bother)
Tried to be all professional with the foil.
Failed. Everything was pretty much freakin’ ORANGE.
In a last ditch attempt to lighten the ends again, I slapped on more bleach to just the ends while my hair was damp, but guys, don’t bother trying to bleach damp hair unless you’re prepared to wait eons. I just had to live with orange ends from this point on.
Day 3: Thursday 25 April
My initial intention was to leave my hair bleach ombré-ed till I got used to having lighter ends, but by the end of the work day, I got so annoyed with my hair being orange that I headed to 77th Street at Bugis Junction and picked up a bottle of Manic Panic (Amplified) in Atomic Turquoise ($32.90 bloody hell!). I also managed to snag a tint brush from Sasa at Tampines1 for just $1.90
I had a very make-shift set up for colouring my hair. I had to substitute rubber/plastic gloves with just one clear plastic bag (cos i forgot to buy gloves on my way home. so clever).
The instructions said wash hair before applying the dye to dry hair, and while I was tempted to just apply the dye without washing since my hair felt pretty clean, I didn’t want to take any chances. At the same time, drying my hair would be a tedious process so I checked the Manic Panic site to see if they have any clearer instructions.
The site said “wash and towel dry hair” and I was like..okay! I don’t have to dry it entirely. So off I went to apply the dye, wrap it in foil, etc etc.
While I was waiting for the colour to sink in, I went back to the Manic Panic page and realized that on the following page of instructions, it said “apply to dry hair”. Holy. F-
Here I am again telling you guys: BLEACH/COLOUR YOUR HAIR WHEN IT IS DRY. ONLY WHEN IT IS DRY. DON’T BE LIKE ME. *BOOMZ*
I tried to help the process along by blasting the covered ends with my hairdryer, but after rinsing and inspecting my hair, only the front sections really took on the colour well, and the rest looked kinda brown with a green tint (cos the green cancelled out the orange).
Shitty lighting and shitty front-facing cam. The colour was deeper in real life.
Day 4: Friday 26 April
Went to work and got some compliments on my hair, but I still wasn’t satisfied with how uneven the colour was, especially around the back. After getting home from dance (it was already coming to midnight at this point), I made one last attempt to fix the colour.
Here is my even more minimalist set up. I ran out of foil the night before, so this time I had to use a Watsons bag to protect my acrylic container (used to squeeze the dye onto). I also had no more foil for my hair and didn’t have a shower cap either, so I used a Daiso bag to put over my head.
This time, I really washed and blowdried my hair thoroughly.
Conclusion: The results weren’t too much of an improvement, but still an improvement nonetheless. I realized that I hadn’t done a good job of bleaching the back portion of my hair in the first place, so it didn’t take on the colour as vibrantly as the front. Another thing to note is that the colour is more green than turquoise because I didn’t use a toner to remove the brassy tones. I actually like this better since it makes it closer to the teal I was aiming for.
Took a picture before heading to Parkway Parade to catch Cockpit play at Marine Parade Rocks! on Sunday evening:
It’s fading really fast with every wash, and I can’t wait to re-bleach my hair to even it out more. Thankfully I still have some MP dye left for one more round.
I have since put in an order for La Riche Directions dye (heard it lasts longer) with this fb page Pretty Pieces that another friend ordered from a while back. It’s a little bit sketchy because I’ve not received a reply from the seller on my payment confirmation nor when the spree will close though.. Oh well. I’m just hoping that the dye will arrive by the time round 2 with MP washes out completely.
Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post since it was really longwinded (as usual). Let me know if it helped you some. At the very least, you now know that you have to dry the heck out of your hair before attempting this kind of operation.
Happy May Day!