I've had pink hair for six months now, and I must say that I've had a lot of fun (and frustration!) experimenting with different brands and shades of pink hair dye! I've varied between hues - from magenta to bubble gum, schiaparelli to fairy floss, and the purpley-pink that comes from a Twilight bath bomb - so I think I have a pretty well-rounded experience when it comes to pink dye, and I thought I would share my thoughts and tips with you guys!
Schwarzkopf Ultra Brights in Shocking Pink
This was the first pink dye I used, and it's probably more of a dark magenta than a 'shocking pink', but for $5 a box a little goes a fair way and it's good for quick touch ups - I always keep a box in the bathroom cupboard. It lasts quite well and it doesn't fade to the salmony, orange pink that a lot of pink dyes tend to do. It's a nice, thick consistency so it doesn't drip everywhere, mixed with some conditioner it makes a great hair mask!
Dare Hair Colour in No. 5, Neon Sherbert
This tube doesn't lie, it's definitely neon! I only used it once because it was pricey ($20) and didn't last long at all. The consistency is quite thin, and I needed to use the whole tube to cover my head, which in my opinion isn't the greatest value for money.
Special Effects in Cupcake Pink
This is the pink hair dye holy grail for many of my fellow pinktops so I was very excited to try it, but honestly I was pretty disappointed with it. The colour is very bright and I think for a pastel shade you could definitely make one bottle last a long time, but it didn't take well to my hair and it faded out within a couple of washes. The only Australian retailer that I've been able to find is Beserk, and at $22.50 per bottle plus postage, it definitely ended up costing me more than it was worth.
Fudge Paintbox in Pink Moon
Fun fact: the first time I ever dyed my hair an unnatural colour was when I was about 7 years old, and it was streaks of this very shade! Fudge cops a lot of heat for being expensive and not very well lasting, but I don't mind it; if you can get it on sale it's definitely worth a try! This shade is the perfect purpley-pink, and it fades out to a nice, soft pastel pink.
Brite Organix in I Love Pink Candy & Pastel Pink
I've saved the best until last. Brite Organix is my very favourite hair colour brand, I used the purple shade almost the entire time I had purple hair and loved it - and the pink is no different! I Love Pink Candy is CRAZY pigmented, it comes out of the tube looking almost red. For my pastel shade I use the tiniest drop of colour mixed with a whole heads worth of conditioner to dilute it, the tube I've got now has lasted me well over three months, and it's still three quarters full! I've only used the Pastel Pink shade once so far, but I love it already. It comes out of the tube looking almost neon, so I dilute it a little bit and it gives a colour very similar to pink moon; a lovely lilac-pink. Brite Organix is very well priced, full price it's $10 a tube, but it's often on sale for $8 or two for $16 at Woolworths. They also make a pink shampoo and conditioner which I'm busting to try, so when I do I'll add my thoughts to this post.
You're Going To Have To Bleach
The amount of hair colour reviews I've read that complain about how the dye was a terrible product because it didn't do anything to the reviewers hair, only to find out that they didn't pre lighten it beforehand, is just ridiculous. If you want a vibrant, unnatural hair colour, you're going to have to bleach it. If you're not comfortable with doing this yourself then by all means, go to a hairdresser! I've been colouring my own hair for over seven years now, and I've had enough bad bleach experiences to know what not to do (eg. don't bleach it three times in two days because it never, ever ends well). I lighten my roots with Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde's Ultimate Lightener and it works perfectly, it leaves my hair feeling soft and includes a purple conditioner to combat any brassiness.
Conditioner Is Your Friend
Bleach doesn't just suck the colour out of your hair, it also sucks out the moisture. When I colour my hair I mix one part dye to about three parts conditioner, and then leave it on for about six hours to give my hair a big drink. Heck, sometimes I wrap it in cling wrap and an old t-shirt and leave it on overnight. I'm a fiend for conditioning, and that's why my hair is crazy soft - it's a crime not to condition!
You Still Have To Wash It
When I was a teenager and I had dead, split, dyed red hair I could get away with not washing it for over a week at a time, and it's something that I look back on and shudder at the thought of. Just because you've got a semi permanent colour doesn't mean you can get away with having dirty hair! I like to use pink Fun from Lush because it makes my hair smell like lollies, but I also use a purple shampoo every second wash to ward off any unwanted orange/yellow tones. To keep your colour bright and your locks clean, squirt some of your dye into your shampoo and conditioner so that every time you wash your hair you put some pigment back into it - this also stretches out the time between dyes and seriously, who can argue with that? I wash my hair two to three times a week, depending on what I've been doing/product build up/if I rode my bike and got super sweaty.
Look After Your Head
I've had mild psoriasis on my scalp for as long as I can remember, and sometimes it gets crabby with me for constantly smothering it with products. Last year I discovered the Superbalm scalp treatment from Lush and now I don't think I could live without it. Once a month or after I've lightened my regrowth, I rub it into my scalp, leave it overnight, wash it out with a tea tree shampoo in the morning, and my head feels like it's been given a new lease on life! The minty tingly treatment gives my roots extra bounce and makes my scalp extra happy. The Marilyn hair treatment is a wonderful treat, it's designed for blonde/lightened hair and also contains chamomile to soothe upset scalps like mine. A good budget friendly treatment is straight coconut oil - drench your hair with it, sleep with your saturated hair wrapped in an old t-shirt, and wash it out in the morning for a super smooth, hydrated mane. I like to do a coconut oil soak every couple of months, and I've read that if you do it consistently enough it can encourage hair growth.
Some Things To Remember
♡ Getting and maintaining pink hair can be a drain on your time and your money, especially when you're experimenting a lot. Like a puppy, it's a big commitment, so be sure you're ready for it and you understand what to expect!
♡ Do your research, and if you've never coloured your own hair before, do double the research. Bathroom chemistry can go very wrong, very quickly. Always be sure to test new products before you slap them on your whole head in case you have a reaction to them. Pink hair is supposed to be fun, not dangerous to your health!
♡ If you're not comfortable with strangers staring at you or commenting on your appearance, bright hair may not be for you. I've had something odd about my appearance, whether it was stretched ear lobes or unnatural hair, since I was 14 so I'm a bit oblivious to most of the looks I get on the street now, but there are some days where I will wear a natural wig because I just don't feel like standing out. It's not all uncomfortable attention though, little kids reactions are almost always positive and heart warming.
♡ If you're not careful, everything will end up being pink. To get around this I dry my hair with a pink towel and sleep on a pink pillowcase, but hair dye will still stain bathroom fixtures. If you drop a gloop on your bathroom porcelain, wipe away the excess, cover the mark with toothpaste and leave it for about an hour - when you wipe away the toothpaste the stain should come off with it.
♡ If you decide you've had enough of the pink life, it's quite easy to remove. Crush up some high strength vitamin c tablets into a fine powder (or just buy powdered vitamin c, but I can never find it) and mix it with some anti dandruff shampoo, apply it to your hair, cover with cling wrap or a shower cap and blast it with the hairdryer, go and clean your room or put on an episode of Mad Men and wait about an hour. When you wash it out the colour should come right out with it depending on how much pigment has built up! Be sure to do a conditioning treatment afterwards though as a vitamin c mask can be very drying on lightened hair.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will try and help as best I can, now go forth and set your inner pink lady free!