I am an old-school goth and I color my own hair. After spreading my amazing wisdom with a friend today, I thought, what if I was hit by a bus tomorrow, and this wisdom is lost to the ages? So here’s tips on weird hair color.
Buy bleach, creme developer (stays put better than liquid, 20 for darker colors, 30 for lighter), a plastic bowl and a little brush, gloves, tinfoil, and SPECIAL EFFECTS color. NOT Manic Panic. You might have to order it on the computer if you don’t wanna go to a lot of goth stores or headshops, but believe me. It’s worth it. It’s a lot longer lasting. Some of them glow under black light!
The above brands of vegetable dye are cruelty-free. Vegan bleaches are by Manic Panic (I KNOW I SAID THAT BUT THAT WAS JUST FOR THE COLOR) and N’Rage (both available at Sally’s Beauty Supply, where you can also get nail charms and Kolesteral.)
For allover color, do the following:
1. Make sure you’re not yet 30. You know that scene in the movie where a guy runs up to a girl with cute punky pink hair, and he touches her shoulder, and she turns around and she’s 50 and everybody GASPS? You don’t want that.
2. Bleach your hair all over, and in general, do the below but everywhere. The directions below are specifically for spot color.
Start with clean-ish hair. If you’ve got a lotta junk in your hair, wash and dry first.
1. Work out what you want colored. Comb around and pick out a section. Pin everything else back. Put conditioner where you don’t want to bleach. 2. Bleach your desired area(s) and wrap it/them in tinfoil. If you need a really light shade, throw a hair dryer on it for a minute, or until your head gets hot and you can’t stand it. 3. Watch one episode of 30 rock without commercials. Check your hair. If you are going for a really LIGHT color, you’ll need to use a HIGHER VOLUME DEVELOPER (30/40) and you’ll need to process LONGER. Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy Pink particularly won’t do SHIT until you are PAPER WHITE. DON’T ASK ME HOW I KNOW. If you’re using a darker color, you don’t need to bleach out white to get the color to grab. Yellow/blonde will be fine.
4. GODDAMNIT, I TOLD YOU NOT TO USE MANIC PANIC. A note on color: PURPLES, DARK REDS, PINKS are GREAT for longevity and for fading down to attractive colors. BLUES and GREENS tend to slip early, and not to nice colors, they get a little sickly. You’re the boss of it, but you’ll need to touch up more often with the cool/blue tones. There is a BLACK MANIC PANIC, but you’d have to be a crazy person to use a no-lift BLACK when you can do Henna BLACK or regular chemical SUPERMAN BLACK? What, you want to rub off on your sheets? Do you hate your Mom?
Good. I hate her too.
A real Goth will have dark sheets and towels because of our hair. But if something happens and you’re bleeding out, it might take you a little while to tell.
5. Wash your hair and dry it, bone dry. Really dry. If your regular hair is light, you might comb conditioner into the immediate areas you don’t want to color. If it’s near your hairline, smear some vaseline on the hairline to keep it from turning colors.
6. Wear gloves for this part. Nobody wants to shake your weird purple hand. You’re already an outcast.
7. Brush dye onto the bleachy part, use one of them little brushes from Sally’s, comb it through, get it good and saturated. Wrap it in tinfoil. Put a showercap or plastic cap on.
And now we come to The Part that separates the girls from the women. This is The Secret. The package will tell you to process with hot dryer for 30 minutes and wash out.
This is bullshit.
It will not give you the eye-popping, long-lasting saturation that makes people wonder “is that a wig?”
8. Sleep in it. I put a plastic cap, then a do-rag or gypsy scarf or whatever on and go to bed, and wash it out in the morning. The color dye is vegetable dye and will not damage your hair, it has no lift of its own (which is why you bleach separately), and I sleep in it, and it pretty much stays pink until it grows out. And then I do the same thing eight weeks later, except concentrating on the new hair with the bleach!