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It’s that time again! I’m making another post on how I have my best and brightest colored hair. This post is about what works for me and my hair type. My hair is fine, bordering on thin. It’s stick straight. I’ve got 2 minor cowlicks (one in  my fringe, one along my hairline in the back).

This is me with Manic Panic Voodoo Blue, Purple Haze, and a bit of Fuchsia Shock peeking through.

Step 0 – Prepare Your Hair
A day or two before you want to dye your hair, wash with a clarifying shampoo to remove any buildup that’s in your hair from hair products. As I prefer to use Redken Powder Grip or Rock Your Hair Bombshell Powder, in addition to Kenra hair spray, this is a good step to take.

Step 1 – Lightening Your Hair
I use Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer (20, 30 or 40) mixed with Salon Care Prism Lites Blue or Violet Powder to lighten my hair. I’ve used this to lighten all over. I’ve also used this to just lighten the underside of my hair.

I’ve also had a good experience with Manic Panic Flash Lightning Hair Bleach Kit 40 Volume.

To lighten your hair, it’s important that you let the air get to it, do not blow dry it or add heat. You need to let it develop, keeping an eye on it to make sure you’re lightening to the color you want. I typically lighten for between 20 to 40 minutes, watching the color closely.

After I’m sure it’s done, I wash  it out, then wash and condition my hair. Right now I switch between Marc Anthony and Black 15 in 1 sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. It was just suggested that I use clarifying shampoo at this step, too, after washing out the bleach. I will be trying it!

Step 2 – Applying Color
Next, I apply Manic Panic Hair Dye. Right now I’m using Voodoo Blue and Purple Haze. Before I had Fuchsia Shock as well. I left some of the Fuchsia Shock peeking through my hair when I touched up the color. I’ve not really had good results with Beyond the Zone on my hair. I didn’t have good results with Special Effects, either. I’ve had good results with Punky Color. I prefer to stick with Manic Panic. You can see the kaleidoscope of colors that I’ve had here.

You can foil off sections of hair or apply a single color to your hair. However you choose to do it, make sure you put a plastic cap on your hair after the color is applied.

Step 3 – Baking Color
What I do next is to apply heat for 20 to 40 minutes with a blow dryer. You can sit under a blow dryer if you have a salon dryer available to you. You can buy a blow dryer bonnet that you can attach to your blow dryer, too. However you do it, apply the heat. Then wrap your head in a towel to keep that heat in. Do not attempt to ‘bake color’ with a permanent hair dye. These instructions are for semi-permanent hair dyes.

Keep your head wrapped in the towel for 1 to 4 hours, whatever you’re comfortable with. Lately I’ve been doing 2 hours with the towel.

After I’m done with the towel, I unwrap and apply heat again for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 4 – Rinse It Out
Rinse your hair. Rinse rinse rinse! Rinse until the water runs clear. This step sometimes takes me a half hour because some colors just bleed terribly. Fuchsia Shock is a bleeder. That color takes forever to rinse out. In contrast, Atomic Turquoise rinses out right away.

Step 5 – Balance
Wash your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. Condition with a PH Balancer and leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes. I have used TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Reconstructor Conditioner for years and really love it.

Step 6 – Protect
After I dye my hair, I inevitably want to see how it turns out. I use Black 15 in 1 Miracle Hair Treatment spray and comb it through my hair. I then blow dry it.

Step 7 – Aftercare
I do try to go as long as possible from when I first dye it to when I first wash it. I typically wash my hair every 5 to 7 days.

I use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. In addition to having an allergy to sulfates in shampoos, I do feel that sulfates tend to be harsher and rip the color from your hair. So I avoid them. Marc Anthony, Black 15 in 1, Shielo, and Redken are all great sulfate-free, cruelty-free lines.

I do find using a heat protectant before blow drying and UV protectant to be important, which is why I’m really glad that I found the Black 15 in 1 Miracle spray, since it does it all.

If you have oily hair, which I do not, you can always use Batiste Dry Shampoo to help you extend the time between washes. I sometimes do this. For me, I get the best results when I spray Batiste in my hair. Wait a few minutes, sort of rub/massage my scalp, and then use a natural hair brush to brush it out.

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