Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Review: Bleach London DIY Dip Dye & Super Cool Colours

I recently revealed my new DIY dip-died blue hair, and promised to thoroughly review the products I used to achieve this new look. I went for an at-home range (available at Boots) of products released by the oh-so-cool London-based salon of the same name: Bleach London.

DIY Dip Dye Kit (£7):

First things first: bleaching your tips. This kit comes with everything you need to successfully dip dye your hair. If you're going for an all-over bleach or balayage, I'd go for one of their other kits. I've never bleached my hair before but I found the kit pretty straightforward. The most important thing is that you want a smooth transition from your natural colour to the bleach - the ombre part of this equation. For this, they provide a clear gloopy serum that you apply where you want the ombre to start - I imagine this partially inhibits the effect of the bleach so you don't end up with stark lines. After mixing the bleach you apply it below this serum further down the strand and massage the hair where they meet to prevent harsh lines. I found this to be mostly effective, with only 1 or 2 strands coming out a bit harsher than I'd like (luckily since I was planning to put colour over my bleach this has since disappeared). I applied the bleach to 1-2 inch sections and wrapped the ends in foil. I lost track of the total time, but basically just kept checking until it looked done. Had I been keeping my hair just ombre (with no colour) I think this lightened my ends the perfect amount, and retaining some colour in my hair is what gave me the final 'petrol' blue result, but I'd probably want a more platinum canvas if I were to do this again with a pastel dye. The White Toner from the same brand was sold out on my trip to Boots (and unfortunately does not come with the kit, even though I'd consider it essential), so I used a different toner to wipe out the brassiness before moving onto colour.

Super Cool Colours (£5 each)

My first attempt adding in the colour was to use Violet Skies on its own, as recommended, on towel-dried hair. I wasn't too specific about the colour I was going for, but did have a sort of dusty blue-based purple in mind. I figured I'd start off light and could always amp things up. Unfortunately, despite leaving Violet Skies on my ends for nearly 3 hours (!) it had almost no effect on the colour of my hair. A couple tiny strands had a slight pink hue in the right light but overall it was almost totally ineffectual. I would say that if you're going for any of the pastel colours you really need to make sure you underlying bleached hair is essentially a platinum white. I went to bed a bit disappointed and had another go the next morning.

This time I mixed a majority of Violet Skies with only a small squeeze of Out of the Blue. I had seen photos online and knew the darker colour was much more intense and you could tell immediately in the mixed colour that it was going to be bold. I applied it carefully to my ends - dry this time - , trying to start at slightly different points, and more heavily at the tips than further up to get a nice transition (which luckily I managed to achieve). I left it in for 30 minutes and after rinsing was left with a very vibrant purplish-blue that is more 'true blue' in direct sun and more dirty purplish petrol blue in most artificial or low light. And I love it.

Ease of Use: I'm a total amateur and I still managed to achieve something I was happy with. I think starting gradually and taking your time is key. I also think if you have extremely specific expectations it's probably best to get it done by a professional. I'm not particularly fussy with my hair, and was going for something in the realm of a blue-purple so I wasn't disappointed with the result. The product is messy to use, and the bold colour will stain skin and bathroom finishes. I had to use acetone-based nailpolish remover to clean up my skin, and a pretty heavy duty bathroom bleach to clean the shower after rinsing the colour out. It also transferred onto my pillow, but again, came out with a wash and a stain remover. Bar the mess though, the actual application is pretty straightforward.

Aftercare: The packaging says the colour should wash out in 2-10 washes. I imagine the more pastel colours will fade more quickly. My bolder blue has now lasted through 2 washes and you can see in the photos above it has faded significantly, and the purple undertones are now basically gone. I picked up the Bleach London Silver Shampoo and Conditioner when I bought the original kit, and have been using exclusively these to help maintain my colour. My logic is that I'm trying to maintain a blue/purple, but I noticed it isn't sulfate free, so I'm not sure if it's best not have used this. Either way, you can tell that if I plan on maintaining a deeper more vibrant colour it's going to become a fairly high maintenance process. On the other hand, if you're just looking to experiment, this may be the perfect way.

Hope that helps give an overview of this product, how it works, and how it lasts. It's my first time adding vibrant colour to my hair so I can't speak to how it compares to other products out there, but if you can perhaps leave a comment below!

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