A Lazy Girl's Guide to Candy-Colored Hair

lazy girls guide to colored hair As you may have noticed, I have pink hair. And while it's quite the trendy thing to do nowadays, I've actually been experimenting with bright hair color since back in high school. I was super proud back then that my driver's license photo displayed my phase of dying the underparts of my hair bright colors ala the Christina Aguilera Come On Over video.

But back in high school, my color whims came easy and free of charge. You see, my mother's a professional beautician. It's only been in recent years, since my move to Chicago, that I've had to face the difficult choice of forking over my hard-earned cash or fending for my own color-craving self. Being the penny-pinching semi-confident DIY-er I am, I chose to go it alone...thankfully with only a few mistakes.

The Perfect Shade


Last February, inspired by Valentine's day and my favorite NYE wig, I decided to dye my hair baby pink. After a little online research and 50 minutes of hair bleach [which was probably too long for my already blonde hair], I mixed Manic Panic cotton candy with virgin snow and a little conditioner to lighten the hot pink color to pastel. I chose Manic Panic mostly because it was clearly labeled as vegan, but also because it was easily accessible at just about any Sally's Beauty Supply. After about 2 hours in a shower cap, I rinsed things off and found that I was totally in love with the results.

The Rookie Mistake

After a few weeks of continuous dying to keep my new color [the secret is to condition daily with a dye mixture & do a 2 hour shower cap session once a week...this is what I mean by lazy], my mother brought up some pink dye tubes that she wasn't using in her beauty shop. They were not Manic Panic brand, but a quick online search implied that at least one of them, Urban Shock, was in fact plant-based. Unfortunately, the bottles came with little instruction so, when I did my usual half dye/half conditioner mixture, the color developed like this:

couch tiara

Alecia Moore circa 1999 wasn't exactly the look I was going for.

The Color Correction

pink redeux

Thankfully, there's a whole wide web full of resources for what to do when you screw up your hair color. My favorite advice came from Kimi Kill Zombie who recommended a vitamin c treatment made from crushed tablets mixed with shampoo. It took a few tries to fade to the perfect shade, but it worked like a charm...no harmful bleaching required.

Other Favorite Candy-Colored Resources: 

Scathingly Brilliant - Bright Hair Care The Dainty Squid - Hair Tips & Tricks. Part Two: Dye. xoJane - How to Get Candy Colored Hair That Still Looks Classy