Frolicking about in a pink skirt

A Tree of Life opened in Rundle Mall. I went in yesterday and acquired this skirt:
Tree of Life pink skirt

It’s made of rayon, which is probably the cheapest fabric known to man, and prone to wrinkling, but I don’t think it’ll matter in a skirt so flowy. I did, however, recently buy a pair of rayon shorts from Urban Outfitters. They haven’t arrived yet. I’m a bit worried about wrinkling, and the care of it. This is a lesson to me not to impulse buy.
Tree of Life pink skirt

This is one of those slightly ridiculous, obnoxiously bright outfits that is my trademark.

Also, I got my hair dyed. It’s meant to be a little lighter. I can’t decide if I like it yet, or not! Also, there’s a shitload of serum and shine mist in there, but I think my hair is bleached beyond saving.


Alfaparf Jean’s Colour Violet

I’m sorry that this blog is practically turning into a huge advertisement for Alfaparf. And I’m sorry that I’m posting about my hair. AGAIN. But I am sooo thrilled with this result:

FINALLY I’ve attained the shade of purple that I had imagined all along. This was the shade I envisaged when I first planned to go purple. Alfaparf, you never fail me. I left the dye in for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The resultant colour is so deep that it almost looks black in low light. I foresee it staining everything much more than the magenta. Rinsing the colour out stained my fingernails violet and the water never really ran clear.

Quite excited. My band is having our photos done for our debut album at the end of this week. Now my colour is ready, I just need a hair cut and then I’ll be all ready to go.

Special Effects Blue Haired Freak & Purple Smoke… and Stuff

More gratuitous hair posting. Ah, yes:

Taken about a day after colouring with Special Effects brand dye. A mixture of Blue Haired Freak and Purple Smoke. Widely touted on the web as the best unnatural dye out there, I found Special Effects rather disappointing on both occasions I tried it. This time, I thought the dye was rather more transparent than the Jean’s Colour I normally use. When applied, I could still see through it to the magenta underneath. I left it to process for about three hours, but the end result was not punchy enough. You can still see the magenta tones quite clearly through the violet. Oh yeah, and I used a mix of blue and purple because the place where I ordered the dye from had run out of Wildflower, and suggested the combination of colours to achieve a similar effect. I reckon I got a better purple from Manic Panic Purple Haze.

This is my pocket watch that I bought from the Vic Markets in Melbourne. I asked the man to put it on a chain to wear around the neck rather than the pocket clip it was originally attached to. It’s a good watch for teaching because wrist watches are annoying when I’m playing the piano.

Here are some root vegetables:

I only like carrots when they are cooked. The other night I cut up some raw carrots to dip in hommus and remembered that yes, I don’t much like raw carrot. It’s kind of bitter.

Hello dog:

Bye now.

Alfaparf Jean’s Colour Magenta….. Fresh. Plus colour maintenance tips.

Freshly dyed hair, for your consideration:

Lighting is not the best. Gotta get myself a decent camera one of these days. Mine’s good for a point and shoot.

These pics are kind of old now. More than a month old I think. I’ve since had my roots done and my hair cut. Note to self. Hair is too short in these pics. Grow, grow, grow.

How I Maintain Bright Colour

  • Invest in a decent colour-safe shampoo and conditioner. Pick something up from a salon or Hairhouse Warehouse. I’ve found supermarket brands don’t cut it.
  • Don’t overwash. If your hair doesn’t get that oily, try conditioner washing instead of shampooing every time. Alternatively, dry shampoo is really good to use occasionally. It doesn’t replace real washing though.
  • Avoid rinsing your hair with hot water. Turn the hot water down so it’s just mildly warm before directing the shower head at your hair. It makes a huge difference. When I use hot water the colour runs out a lot more than when I rinse with cooler water.
  • Top up your colour. Initially, my colour rinsed out quite fast, but the more you dye, the more the colour builds up. Alfaparf Jean’s is vegetable based, as are most bright semi-permanents available, so it will build up and it won’t damage your hair. Also, when your hair’s a bit faded, you can mix a bit of dye with your conditioner to enliven your colour.
  • Bleach before you colour. It’s the only way to achieve a vibrant shade.
  • Use a colour protectant spray with UV filter. I used to do this a lot in summer. The one I have gives a nice sheen as well.
  • Experiment with dyes. I’ve found some brands and shades are longer lasting on my hair than others. You can find reviews on the internet, but the best bet is just to experiment. Special Effects is reputed to be the best brand, but I haven’t been impressed so far.

Yesterday I coloured with a mix of Special Effects Blue Haired Freak, Special Effects Purple Smoke and just a little bit of Alfaparf Jean’s Colour Magenta. Pics to come, although like I said, I’m not heaps impressed. On the agenda is to try a blue colour, but I’m not expecting it to have much staying power as there are no blue tones naturally occurring in the hair.

Okay, bye for now.

Alfaparf Jean’s Colour Magenta

After four weeks.

Not looking too bad. I’ve used Alfaparf a lot but this is the best the colour has held. I’m attributing this to the fact that I left the dye in for aaaaaaaaages (about an hour and a half if I recall correctly. According to the instructions you need only leave it in for fifteen minutes. The intense magenta hue that resulted when I rinsed off was amaaaazing). Also Magenta seems to hold better than Violet. 

I was actually intending these photos for the “before” part of “before and after” shots, because I was planning to re-dye the magenta tonight, but seeing as it’s still looking quite okay, I might leave it for a time longer.

Hair Horror

The hair adventures were going so well until recently! Weeks ago I went into a hair shop and found a colour-depositing shampoo with violet tones. It’s by De Lorenzo and it’s called Nova Colour Fusion. Little did I know that the ingredients must have contained what is known as “metallic salts”, which react badly to bleach. Henna has metallic salts, which is why you shouldn’t colour over henna. The metallic salts in this shampoo caused my hair to turn GREEN when I next went in to get my regrowth seen to. 

It was pretty shocking. Picture yellowy blonde hair, with green and some faded purple left in the ends. Actually I’ll show you. Refer below…



The images were taken with my mobile and then crunched down in WordPress, so the quality’s not great, but you get the idea.

We coloured over the whole lot in a violet composed of blue mixed with red (I had exhausted all of their violet dye) and it didn’t look too bad, but the green was still a little visible. It showed through as a brownish tinge, and got worse as the colour faded. Meanwhile, the roots had been bleached quite a pale yellow blonde, so in places like the top of my head the colour was bright violet blue. 

SO, yesterday I took matters into my own hands. I bought some 20 vol bleach, and lightened my hair, all but the roots. Then I rinsed and shampooed, and coloured with a mixture Special Effects Blue Haired Freak and Purple Smoke. I cling-wrapped my head and left the colour in for ages – well over two hours. When I finally rinsed, I found that the water ran fairly clear straight away, and the hand that I used to run through my dye-soaked hair did not come away stained in purple. It was really strange. The colour didn’t seem to take hold, and when I dried off, I found the end result was a faded grey violet. I felt like an aged anime character with lavender grey hair. 

I’m not sure what happened but I suspect it was something to do with either the bleaching process or the state of my hair. I’m sure it wasn’t the Special Effects. I did notice as I rinsed away the bleach that my hair felt strangely smooth and silky – almost slimey in fact. And when I applied the purple, I saw straight away that it didn’t seem to be taking hold. Even after I had saturated my hair in dye, I could still kind of see through it. Strange. 

I didn’t have time to do anything more to it yesterday though, so I just went out like that, wearing all black I might add, because I didn’t have any clothes that went with my hair colour!

Should have taken a picture. It didn’t look half bad, but it wasn’t really the shade I was after. 

Currently as I sit here typing, I’ve got Alfaparf Jean’s Colour in Magenta waiting to be rinsed. I’m hoping this will work this time, I think it will because it was soaking in a lot better than yesterday.

Purple Haze

Maintaining an unnatural hair colour sure is hard work! But like they say, anything worth doing is worth doing well. I am especially keen on not letting it get faded and ratty because of work. I’ve been asked how I get away with my hair colour at work (I have a teaching position and I work in food retail) and I reckon the answer lies in keeping it neat and presentable, i.e. not faded/dirty/punkish and by making sure the rest of me is neatly presented. 

The colour in this photo is Manic Panic Purple Haze, with a teensy tiny bit of Alfaparf Jean’s Magenta mixed in, for good luck. I was amazed and thrilled to discover that Hairhouse Warehouse stocks Alfaparf Jean’s, the very same dye my hairdresser uses on me. Needless to say, it was much cheaper to purchase a bottle of it than to pay for getting my hair done professionally. I also picked up a plastic mixing bowl and a tint brush for a pittance too. 

The Manic Panic dye was bought by my sisters for me in America. I asked for Special Effects because it’s widely reputed to be the best unnatural hair dye out there and it’s not available in Australia. It took them a while to find the SFX, but in the meantime, they bought the Manic Panic and I ummed and ahhed because I’ve heard it’s just not as good. 

I guess the dye proved me wrong because I am really happy with it, and it’s staying power is impressive so far as well. This could also be because I coloured my hair myself, I did a few things differently this time. I left the dye in for about 45 minutes with head wrapped in cling wrap and blasted my head with a blowdryer twice to heat it up. After rinsing out most of the dye, I rinsed through one cup of vinegar and water. This is supposed to raise the pH of hair, closing down the follicle and ensuring a longer life for colour. It’s actually a tip from Manic Panic’s own website

For maintenance I’m using De Lorenzo Nova Fusion Colour Care Shampoo in Violet. It comes out dark, dark, purple, nearly black. Fudge Conditioner for coloured hair, I can’t remember it’s exact name but it’s on the cheaper end of professional hair care products and has a UV filter and a lovely shea butter smell. When my colour fades, I’ve got a tiny bit of Manic Panic left that I intend to mix with conditioner and apply for a few minutes after washing. Another shampoo and conditioner that is really great for coloured hair is Alfaparf Splendore Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner, it smells gorgeous and it’s really effective, but it’s a little expensive and I figure that if I’m topping up my hair colour every few weeks I should try to cut costs where I can.