Purple Hair

I’ve wanted to dye my hair purple for so long. A friend I met at the start of 2008 said that I’d been talking about it as long as he’d known me. My hairdresser who I’ve been going to for a couple of years reckoned that I’d been talking about it for even longer than that. Well 2008 was the year. I managed to get it done just before Christmas. 

Here’s an impromptu bus stop photo showing what my hair looked like before:

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The longest part of the process was bleaching the hair. The bleach really tingled when it was on my scalp, it actually felt like it was burning, but it wasn’t unbearable. I took a few quick photos of myself as a blonde, mainly for the boyfriend’s benefit, as he once entertained a misguided notion that I’d look alright as a blonde. Here’s the evidence that he was wrong:

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After lightening, it was time for Purple. The purple dye had a pleasant fruity smell. After rinsing the first application of purple, it was clear my hair would need a second hit. This might have had something to do with the girl applying the dye with her fingers in the basin rather than with a brush, but whatever. The second application rinsed to reveal my new lovely purple locks! I soon discovered that the colour is rather difficult to photograph, and trust me, I did try. It appears so deep as to have nearly a reddish tinge, but in light it tends towards fuschia or magenta. 

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The day after I had my hair coloured, I showered with a shower cap. The elastic on the shower cap stained violet and all the little bits of hair that got wet around my neck dripped dark purple water that stained my towel. The next day I washed it, and heaps of dye rinsed out. My hair looked immediately lighter, and I liked the colour better because it was brighter. 

With each subsequent washing my hair got lighter and lighter. A week and a half later, it was beginning to show slight yellow hints of bleached hair, so I went back to my hairdresser to top up the colour. The shade of purple was immediately better after my second visit. Apparently the dye builds up, so after a third application it will be even better. Since my second visit the colour is not washing out as fast, which is good. 

The shade isn’t as violet as I had hoped; it tends more towards the pinker side of purple. However, some strands around my face which were light before I coloured (as per the first photo) are super vivid. Next time, I plan to insist on bleaching my hair as pale as possible. Although we bleached to a fairly light yellow, the yellow tones still show through the violet dye. Bleaching is really damaging. My hair is quite dry now. When the girl was washing my hair of purple dye, her rubber gloves pulled at my newly-damaged hair quite painfully – my hair was actually squeaking, it was that stripped of moisture!

Anyway, I’ve been blathering on about my new hair to anyone who will listen. My poor boy is probably bored to death of me carping on about it. It’s my new favourite thing and I’m intent on recklessly throwing as much money into maintaining it for as long as possible! I’ve also been staining everything my head touches. I’ve switched to a dark pillowcase, and I am using an old towel for my hair. Rubbing from my purple head has also stained a jacket, a bath robe and my boyfriend’s chest skin. 

But goddammit, it’s worth it.

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