Monday, September 7, 2009

Dyeing Black Hair Blue

This weekend we attempted to put blue streaks in my roommate Adri's black hair.

She had a kit made by Splat which included bleach and the blue dye. First we used the bleach on about fifteen 1-inch chunks all around her head (protecting them from the other hair with aluminum foil), erring on the side of style-caution by not bleaching streaks in the top layer of her hair. We figured hints of blue peeking out from underneath would not only be classy but subtle too. Because Adri's hair is SO dark and she knew from previous experience just how resistant it is, we left the bleach on her hair for an hour and a half instead of the recommended 50 minutes.

Still, what resulted was not the prescribed "pale blond" but rather shades of rust to apricot orange.

Ah, well. We moved on to the dye and coated her entire head with blue (what's to lose? we thought--her hair has a slight blue cast anyway, so we figured it wouldn't show up in the dark parts.)

After 40 minutes, Adri washed the dye out of her hair (it took nine washes!).

Guess what you get when you dye dark on dark? Dark! So dark you can't even tell it is dyed at all! The beached orange streaks did not, in fact, show up a sexy electric blue as we hoped.

Turns out the blue wasn't so "electric" at all. It's a dark blue, which just simply didn't show up in her hair. After 5 hours of separating, bleaching, washing, blow drying, dyeing, and washing again, we've got nothing to show for our trials except a few mildly blue-looking strands, and that's only if you dig and squint your eyes. Boo!

This endeavor was largely unsuccessful, but I discovered that it's fun to learn about and play with other people's hair. I've always struggled over the particular challenges of my own hair and rarely touched others' (as a kid I feared my hair wretchedness might contaminate theirs), but now I want to get my hands on as many heads of hair as are willing. In fact, I'm putting together a Web site on "hair compositions" for my multimodal composition class this semester, so there will be many more hair adventures to come!


Peppermint Patty said...

Let me know when you want to get your hands on my hair! :)

I have EXTREMELY thick hair...and lots of it.

Anonymous said...

Aw, that reminds me of that scene from Beaches where they both dye their hair, but Barbara Hershey's hair is still dark. "You just spent two hours dying your hair exactly the same color!"