My hair has been through the most. From having dreadlocks post-matric to being bleached within an inch of its life, over the years I have put my poor tresses through a lot and, after chopping off about half of it when I got home last week with a pair of paper scissors to get the dead ends off, my strands were actually starting to looking pretty healthy for the first time in well over a decade. You would think that I would leave it alone for a while, but no such luck. When the opportunity to have my hair dyed pink – one of my favourite colours – presented itself, I jumped at the chance. Because apparently I don’t learn from my mistakes.
The talented Shelene Shaer, co-owner of Tanaz Hair and L’Oréal Professionnel ID Artist, offered to take my fairly drab mousy-brown hair to next-level ‘pretty in pink’ using the latest range from L’Oréal Professionnel – due to be released in SA salons next month, called Colorful Hair. Using this, and a whole lot of bleach, Shelene took me from drab to fab in a matter of, well, eight hours. No-one said beauty was easy – or quick!
First Things First
The last time I was in a hair salon was last year, so most of the hair I had left after cutting it was virgin regrowth, my natural colour being a light brown. In order for Colorful Hair to take, it needed my hair to be much lighter and my hair cuticles open, so bleach was applied to my hair and I sat with long strips of foil on my head until I was blonde enough. After the bleach is rinsed out, toner is added to eliminate any yellow and brassy tones and then, finally, the colour can be added.
The Road to Pinkdom
This process was painstakingly precise – my hair was divided into sections, each one with a large piece of foil over it until said section was ready to be dyed to make sure that the darker roots didn’t touch what would become the lighter ends of this pink ombre look. To create this effect, the darker dye was added to my roots down to around the middle of my hair and then, using her fingers, Shelene worked the dye into my hair by rubbing the small section between her gloved fingers. Conditioner was then added to the bottom so that a gradual fade could be created. Did I mention that this was painstaking?
After the lengthy colouring process was complete, I waited for 20 minutes for the colour to fully take. Because the Colorful Hair range is a direct dye, it doesn’t need to be mixed with any other solution in order for it to dye hair, so it can essentially be left for longer than 20 minutes without it causing damage to your hair, and it conditions it as it takes. Bonus hair nourishment – we like! A quick wash later and my hair was ready to be cut and straightened.
I never thought of myself as someone who would be willing to rock a pink do but, even though I wouldn’t say I’m exactly ‘rocking’ it, it’s my new hair and it definitely wasn’t as scary as I had anticipated. In fact, you could even say it’s growing on me!
Want Pink Hair? Here’s What You Need to Know
* Unless you have platinum locks already, you will need to bleach you hair so that it’s light enough for the colour to be visible. Sad but true.
* Bleach can take its toll on your hair. Use products afterwards that will give it a surge of moisture. In fact, skip the conditioner and just use hair masks when washing your hair.
* These sort of bright colours are not permanent, and will eventually wash out. How quickly they fade has everything to do with how often you wash your hair and what kind of haircare products you use, sulphate- and paraben-free being advisable.
* Not everyone will appreciate it. While piercings, tattoos and bold hair colours are becoming more and more accepted in society, if you work in a client-facing corporate firm, you might get a few stares, or worse, for your colour choice.
* These kinds of treatments don’t come cheap. Because of the cost of the products used, the time it takes and the labour intensiveness of the process itself, you are going to be forking out quite a bit of your hard-earned cash.