Wednesday, 1 August 2012

How to dye your hair pastel pink - Adventures in Bleaching and Hairdye #2

Although in the last couple of weeks I've gone lilac (and now blue again), I've been dying/maintaining a pastel pink colour in my hair for about 3 months. This post is a kind of sister post to this one I did a while back about dying your hair pastel blue. It seems to have helped a lot of people, so I want to do the same kind of thing but this time with pink!

DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER
While I am not a hairdresser, and have never bleached anyone's hair but my own, I am well experienced in home hair dying and bleaching (I'm pretty sure I haven't seen my natural hair colour since I was 12 years old) and have had black, brown, pink, purple, red, very bright red, blue, green, bright blonde, orange hair. I never go to the hairdresser. That said, don't use this DIY as absolute gospel, and if you think if I've got things wrong or it sounds silly, you can ignore it or go to your hairdresser for advice instead. However, by all means use this as a guide to help or inspire you if you're trying to achieve pastel (particularly pink) hair.

Okay, disclaimer over!
I have to say, pastel pink hair is a lot of fun. You will definitely be noticed with a head full of pretty pink locks, and it's so much fun to brush, curl, straighten and style especially when you pretend it's cotton candy! Pink hair is awesome because you can wear all black for an interesting-yet-sophisticated look, look ridiculously sweet by pairing it with more pastel pink, or you can go all out and wear a bunch of different colours, because it basically goes with everything.
How to dye your hair pastel pink

Step 1: The bleaching.
This is the step that probably claims the most victims. While bleaching, you need to be patient, and expect it to take upwards of a month to get your hair light enough to become pastel if you're starting off with darker hair. You also need to be very careful to not burn all your hair off. If you are scared of this happening, then go to your hairdresser. However, if you're stupid like me and still want to do it all yourself, then read on!

My hair started off a dark brown (hair dyed), but naturally my hair is quite dark anyway.
For this first step, I used a bleaching kit, Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde "Ultimate Lightener L1++". This is some pretty serious bleach, designed to lift your hair colour from 6 - 8 shades. It also has a blonde toner in it, so your hair doesn't go as yellow as you would otherwise if you were just using developer and powder bleach. I highly recommend it, it did a fantastic job for the first bleach!
Before bleaching, make sure you DON'T shampoo your hair for at least a day, and let it get nice and greasy, or your scalp is going to HURT a LOT. The chemicals in your greasy hair will protect the skin on your scalp :) Start bleaching on the ends of your hair, working your way up. DO NOT apply any to the roots until the last 10 - 15 minutes of the bleaching process (I did this, and look how blonde the roots still went!) The bleach will work on your roots really quickly because of the heat raditating from your scalp at this level. The bleach should not be on your hair for any longer than 45 minutes. Really. Your hair will melt off.

Now, don't expect your hair to suddenly be ready to dye after the first bleach. If you have started off with very light hair, then you're probably alright to dye it now. However, this is the process my hair went through:
You should NOT consider trying to dye your hair pink until your hair is at least as light as my hair in bleach no. 3 there. If you still have dark yellow bits, even if its just on the ends, your hair will not look good if you try to dye it.

Between each bleach
Do not bleach hair twice within a time frame of about 2 weeks (unless you want to ruin your hair). Between each bleach, you will need to do a lot of deep-conditioning treatments, which can be done by covering dry hair with conditioner, whacking it up in a shower cap, leaving it for a few hours then rinsing it out. Do this a few times between each bleach.
If you bleach it in excess of five times and it's still not getting to the level of blonde that is needed, then here might unfortunately be a good place to give up :( you can, however, try to get rid of the yellow bits using a Silver toner (I used Schwarzkopf's LIVE Colour Silver Toner) and then see how it looks. If you can't get it light/yellow-less enough, then you can always go a darker colour, like a pretty midnight blue!

Step 2: Dying your hair pink
Okay! So your hair is now finally light enough to go pastel. If it's still a little bit yellow-toned, that's okay for pink. It would only not be okay if you were trying to go blue or lilac. 
So which dye should you use?

Don't buy an already-pastel  hair dye. These wash out far too quickly. Instead, buy a really vibrant colour and then dilute it with conditioner. This way, the colour will last a lot longer.
For my hair, Directions Carnation Pink has been really good. I use a diluted Carnation Pink. This consists of a mix of 1 part Carnation Pink to every 6 parts conditioner. To dye, I wet my hair, towel dry it (so it is still damp), and spread the mixture through my hair, starting at the roots. I then throw my hair up into a shower cap, and leave it for about 6 hours (the dye doesn't hurt your hair, so you can leave it in as long as you want). Then rinse it out thoroughly (I've been told that if you do this part with cold water it'll last longer, but I refuse to suffer that much for my hair so doing it with warm water is okay too). Hooray! You should have pretty pastel hair!

If it's a bit too bright at first for your liking, don't worry - it should fade to a nice pastel colour with a couple of shampoos.
If it's too pastel for your liking, then you'll just have to dye it again - just use a little bit less conditioner this time.
Step 3: Maintaining the pink
You will have to dye your hair once every 3-4 weeks. If you don't want to do this, then don't go pastel pink. Tips which can help (which I totally ignore out of laziness/wanting to stay warm, but you should follow) are to wash your hair with cold water only, and also to put a tiny amount of your hair colour into your conditioner bottle. Also, it will obviously help if you don't shampoo your hair every time you have a shower - I have pretty naturally greasy hair so I use shampoo once every second day, and on the days I don't shampoo I use dry shampoo (you can probably just find this at your grocery store or chemist), which I spray on just before styling my hair - that stuff is magical.

You will also have to re-bleach your roots often (I do this once every 2 months but I have very slow-growing hair, and am not that bothered by my roots showing, either). Once your hair is very light, you don't need to leave the bleach on for long. I usually put it straight onto my dark roots (not on the ends, which are already super light), put it in a hair cap, and leave for about 20 minutes before washing it out. I use powder bleach mixed with 30 vol developer for re-bleaching my roots. But times and the strength will vary depending on if you have dark or light roots (you may need a stronger developer if you have dark roots, and weaker if you have relatively lighter roots).

I hope this helps somebody out there. If you have any questions, please comment below! Also, if you'd rather go a pastel blue, read this post here.

xxx Annika


82 comments:

  1. this is a perfect post for me..im going pastel pink in a few weeks!
    http://allyisacat.blogspot.com/

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    1. Awesome! I'm glad it came at a good time. Good luck!

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  2. This was really really helpful as I'm planing to go pastel too, although I'm planing mint or babyblue..actually don't you have some tips for those two pastel colors as the carnation pink for pastel pink? I would really appreciate them x)

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  3. Thanks for the kind comments you left on my blog :) You have amazing style! I'm so glad I found you!

    xx Adrian

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  4. I wish I had pink hair so badly <3 I'm natural blond but I've dyed my hair sincce eight years so it's hard to make my hair pink:( such a shame!!!
    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/

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  5. Hooray, hooray! This is amazing! I have been considering pink for awhile. I am actually chopping all of my hair off to shoulder length tomorrow (unless I chicken out, which is highly possible!) But perhaps when I get used the the short I can try pink! :) Definitely favoring on Bloglovin for future use. Thanks girl, your colorful hair suits you so well :)
    xo Hannah

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  6. Oh thanks for the tips!

    Like the others I'm planning on chopping my hair off, and going pastel sometime in the next month, I just need to get the guts to do it! :)

    Lisa

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  7. This has helped SO much! Can no express how grateful I am for this post. THANK YOU! :) you are amazing!

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  8. I love this post, it's so reminiscent of my hair routine! I too haven't seen my natural colour since the pre-teens and never go to a hair dresser. I think it gets to that point where you know if you go to a hair dresser they will just do that thing where they look disapprovingly at you and say "ummm who did your hair last time"... and then they never do what you ask them to do anyway! I just think some hair is too cool for hairdressers to handle. Yours included. Thanks for the great post! x Rachel

    http://pointlessprettythings.blogspot.com

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    1. hahaha oh my god i got exactly that when I last went to the hairdressers. so patronising haha

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  9. Hey, just wondering what it fades to if you don't redye it? Like does it just start looking blonde again? I want to do this but only temporarily! :)

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    1. It gradually fades to a very pastel pink and then to a whiteish blonde on me :)

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    2. Thanks! Might have to give it a go then :)

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  10. Wow, I really like your pink hair!

    I would love to do something like this, but I only have the patience to maintain a few highlights-my hair is really dark-almost black- and keeping up with the roots is a nightmare! I am considering a few turquoise highlights, and as I don't really want to pay 20 euros for every time I want to refresh the color, I was wondering if you could recommend a place I could buy Directions dyes online..

    Maybe after I have passed my turquoise phase, I will go on to carnation pink.. :) (or violet-I really like the way it fades..)

    Stavi

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    1. Yep, eBay! EBay is great for hair dye but you can find directions on sale for about $7. Plus you can use the one tub multiple times, especially if you dilute it with some conditioner. And as the dyes are really bright (as long as you don't buy pastel dyes), its usually wise to dilute the colour quite a bit. Good luck!

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  11. I've dyed my hair 3 times tonight, using pink dye and conditioner, my hair comes out completely blonde every time. i have the whitest blonde hair ever, its literally white, why wont the color stick? I've put the pink hair dye on before without conditioner and it is just way too shockingly pink, i don't like it. is there anything else i can use to dilute the pink? or somehow i can get my pastel pink hair?!

    i am using n'rage color dye, I've always used this and it has worked so amazing in the past

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    1. I think you're just going to have to try it less diluted (ie if you're doing a 4:1 conditioner:hair dye ratio, maybe you need to try a 2:1).
      If you really don't want the colour to be too bright you are going to have to just keep making it less and less diluted in incremental steps and see how it goes.

      What ratio of conditioner to hair dye are you currently trying?

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  12. my hair is naturally brunette, and I'm planning to dye it pastel pink tomorrow. If my hair is a little orangey/brassy after bleaching it, will the dye still go over it? or does your hair have to be very light/almost white before dying pastel pink?

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    1. yep, pink works fine over yellow brassy hair - i know because i just dyed my friend's hair pink the other day. Although if it's brassy you might want to start on a stronger pink (it'll fade to a pastelish colour anyway). then after a few weeks you can bleach it again :)

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  13. I have looked everywhere for a post like this. So glad i found you!
    You have convinced me I want to be a pink princess too!
    xxx

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  14. Thanks for posting this! I'm going to my hairdresser to get it bleached and dyed pink, but this is very useful for how to maintain it, as I don't want to have to go in (and pay) every month!

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  15. Hi
    i bleached my hair today. It was already a light strawberry blond.. the manic panic dye/conditioner mix didn't color my roots,but the rest looks Fab :)
    Any tips on getting my roots to take?? Color is a bit bright,but I know it will fade..

    Thanks

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    1. Ahh that happened to me once as well and I ended up with a weird ombre thing going on. I actually don't really know about this one - it confused me why it didn't work as well! It's probably best to ask a hairdresser. Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

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    2. I guess you could try mixing it with a little less conditioner and applying just to your roots.. that may work ;)

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  16. Thanks :) i found manic panic comes out in seconds with bleach.. have almost white hair now, going to give it another try :)

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  17. I have brownish tanish skin and almost black hair, do u think it would fit my skin tone if not what other pastel color do u think would look good. also I have virgin hair how many times would I have to bleach my hair

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    1. Ahhh I'm really not sure about this. Talk to a hairdresser.
      I think that any pastel colour would look awesome on brown, tanned skin though.
      But if your hair is almost black, I actually recommend going to a hairdresser for this. You will need to bleach it quite a few times and if you're not careful you could cause your hair to fall out :\

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  18. Does it really have to stay on for 6 hours? I did a test strand with the mix for about 30 minutes before I saw your post. Of course the pink didn't take at all.

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    1. The longer you leave it on your hair, the longer it'll last and the more vibrant the colour will initially be. I'd recommend leaving it on as long as you possibly can. All day, even.

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  19. Hello :) I always wanted to dye my hair pastel pink!! I even went to my hairdresser last month but unfortunately he told me, if I'd bleach my hair and dye it with pastel pink, it will wash out immediately and I would have blond hair then (which I do not desire) - I was super disappointed :( My natural hair colour is a medium blond. Do you know what I can do about it? (I go to a hairdresser cuz I have 0 experience with dying hair by myself...)

    PS: I didn't want to dye my whole! hair, just the bottom/inner layer of it. I'm, to be honest, afraid of the reactions at my school if I go entire pink ^^' Don't like to be bullied.... .__. (ah so stupid >.<)

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    1. I did this to my friend's hair just last month! (dyed the bottom layer). She has brown hair and one bleach was enough to get it to hold the pink. The pink lasted about 2 weeks, but you do have to keep re-dying it. If you're happy with quickly touching it up every 2 weeks, then it's easy to do :)

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    2. Thank you so much for the answer!! Did you also use Directions Carnation Pink as in this post :3? and another question (sorry >.<!) : Since I'm not a native English speaker I don't quite understand what you mean with '1 part Carnation Pink to every 6 parts conditioner.' Does it mean you take i.e. 100ml of dye and add ~16ml (1/6) conditioner? However, I'll go to my hairdresser and tell him what you said ^^ I will have much fun convincing him~

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    3. Yes I used Directions Carnation pink :)

      Yes! That's right. It does not need to be that accurate, but I used about 1 part dye to every 6 parts of conditioner.

      Good luck dying your hair!! And your english is also really good! :)

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    4. However, when I did my friend's bottom layer of hair pink, I actually only did a 1/2 dilution. This means 50ml of dye for every 100ml conditioner (or 25ml dye for every 50 ml conditioner)

      Because it's the bottom layer, it washes out faster so it's better to make it brighter to start with, or you might be disappointed with the colour.

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  20. Absolutely love this post! But just a quick question. After dying it pink and then having the roots grow out and then putting bleach onto the roots only, while washing it out, doesn't the bleach get onto the parts that are already dyed/pink? Also, i don't know if this is a weird question, but while rinsing out the color, do you wash your hair with your head facing down or just standing up like in the shower? >_<

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    1. Hi!
      Well, whenever I was ready for re-bleaching, the bleach did get a bit onto the parts that are already bleached and dyed pink - this is unavoidable. You have to redo your entire hair with pink after each bleaching (but this is okay, because the dye won't hurt your hair).

      Also, you can rinse your hair out in any way you like! You kind of need to do both to ensure you've washed it all out :) It's not a weird question at all. Just make sure that you close your eyes tight if/when you flip your head upside down! You can avoid getting it in your eyes if you have a detachable shower head/a friend to help you out, but I prefer just standing under the shower, flipping my hair over, and kind of scrubbing my hair to really make sure that all the excess dye has washed out!

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  21. I want to dye the ends of my hair pastel pink. I have red hair. Is there another way I can get pastel pink hair without bleaching it ? D:

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    1. nooope. ;) gotta be bleached, unless it's already naturally very light.

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    2. Bright, neon pink could work without bleach but I couldn't be sure..

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  22. Awww I dont want to bleach it , but I guess I have to if I want to get this color. Anyways, thanks for the reply (:

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  23. I hope I don't bother asking this but I thought you would know :3. How can I get this color? http://postfiles7.naver.net/20130401_294/santing_1364814114801WeYnt_PNG/IMG_20130401_10.png?type=w2 I really liked it, but I have no idea. Thank you :3

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    1. well that actually looks like pink which is quite faded, or pink put over quite yellow-toned hair. I thiiiiink. If you want that colour though, I recommend going to your hairdresser :)

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  24. Hi, I am a natural brunette - never dyed my hair before. I'm thinking I'd like to dye it black, but I want a natural looking black, not one of those horrible "scene/emo" looking, flat blacks that look like a wig. Do you have any recommendations? I don't have a lot of money to spend and I'd like to do it myself, at home. Again, I'd like it to look completely natural. Thanks!

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    1. Yeah! I actually did this the first time I dyed my hair black - get a hairdye which is "3" - darkest brown (like this for example http://www.chemistwarehouse.com.au/product.asp?id=61170&source=GS&gclid=CLHqpLWJ3LcCFU0hpQodzwMAig or http://www.orderandsave.com.au/product/loreal-superior-preference-colour-brasilia-darkest-brown-3-4407?gclid=CNX3gbSJ3LcCFQVKpgodUAEABQ). Trust me - it'll look natural black. Particularly if you've never dyed your hair before! Good luck.

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  25. I don't wanna bleach my hair. I'm blond quite this color : http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MAiQ2txmpDU/USLbe9nfGII/AAAAAAAAAfg/pgG3gsV2tYQ/s1600/blonde+brown+hair+color+hair+color+brown+to+blonde+%2812%29.jpg

    and I wanna get pastel pink hair temporary. My question:
    Will I receive the same blond after the pink got washed out?

    Thanks !!
    Your hair looks amazing!

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    1. I'm not sure. That's a question you will have to ask a hairdresser! If your hair is that blonde it could be left with an orangey-red tinge.

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  26. cant wait to do this in summer hols! great advice, thanks a bunch xx

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  27. Hi, just a quick question. If I put pink or watermelon kool-aid in some conditioner would I get a pastel pink color? Just curious! Thanks!

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    1. I've absolutely no idea, having never tried that myself, haha - sorry! It wouldn't hurt to try, though - neither kool-aid or conditioner would hurt your hair, although you might get sticky(??)

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  28. I was wondering what conditioner you used, and if it mattered which one I used? Thanks x

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    1. Any standard conditioner is fine, just make sure that it's not coloured some weird colour (I had a conditioner that was green - it didn't mix well with pink, haha). Make sure that the colour of the conditioner is white.
      I used some super cheap conditioner that I got for about $1 from a chemist sale ;)

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  29. You mention the type of bleaching kit you used for your first bleach but did you use the same kit for the second and third? Wasn't sure to proceed with same kit or if it's too strong to use to lighten hair further.

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    1. No, I didn't actually. For the second I used the same kit, but for the third bleach (and subsequent bleaches) I used a 20 Vol Developer mixed with a bleach powder. This isn't as strong and I also didn't leave it on my hair as long.
      Be careful with your hair and make sure you've leaving about 2 weeks between each bleach! And if it starts to go frizzy or break off... go to a hairdresser! Some people's hair doesn't take too well to bleach. Good luck :)

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  30. My hair is light brown and I want to go pastel pink. School starts in a month though, exactly 30 days. Would i be able to have it ready by then? If not i'll do it later in the year but I want to make a good impression on my first day. My hair is kind of mousy brown so how much bleach should i use (or how many times should i bleach it) without totally killing my already dry and frizzy hair? Thanks! :)

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    1. oooooh... I think that if your hair is already dry and frizzy, you should probably not bleach it. Or at least talk to a hairdresser! If you put bleach on already dry, damaged hair it's just going to totally ruin it, though :|

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  31. Really helpful, its hard to find photos of how blonde it needs to be before dying pink. Thanks so much!

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  32. Hi! I really want to go pastel pink, but I have a few questions before i do. First off, my naturally medium brown hair is dyed kind of golden blonde at the moment, but I have a lot of dark roots showing bc my hair dresser thinks it looks "natural". Ha. If I were to bleach, would I have to bleach my roots more than the rest? How would that work? . Also, when bleaching new growth after dying pink, What happens when it takes multiple bleachings to get to the right blonde? Because I feel like waiting the two weeks would make even MORE ne growth that would then need to be bleached too and then youre back at square one. Any suggestions?

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    1. You apply the bleach to the roots first, when you're bleaching your hair. And because your roots are close to the top of your head where it's all warm and heat is radiating from your scalp, they tend to go a nice white-blonde really quickly (whereas it's harder with the rest of your hair).

      So I think for you, you would need to do a low-strength quick bleach all over your head, but starting the application on your roots, and leaving it on your roots for maybe ~20 minutes before applying to the rest of your hair. This should make your hair evenly blonde all over. But I still recommend you talk about it with your hairdresser (and tell them that you DON'T want dark roots, haha).

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    2. Oh! And each subsequent bleach after that, ONLY apply it to the roots because otherwise you'll fry the rest of your hair. Again, the roots go blonde reaaally easily when you put bleach on them so it avoids this re-growth problem.

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  33. I've been 'dying' (oh look a pun!) to have pink hair or at least dyed a different color than my boring dark brown. I've tried having my bangs all sorts of colors and I know the dye will hold but my question to you is: would having black/dark brown hair from the roots down to the chin look horrific with pink from the bottom up? I don't mind the re-dying, but the constant upkeep with my roots (dying and bleaching) would drive me insane. My hair gets much lighter as it grows away from the roots so I was hoping to maybe fade into a dark then light pink. Let me know what you think and also your hair looks fantastic!

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    1. No, I think it would look cute :) I'm all for expressing yourself, no matter what other people think, so I basically tell people to do whatever they think will look good on them. But I think that kind of colourblocking in hair looks good :)

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  34. I want to go pastel pink extremely bad. My hair is almost white now and its been so hard to get it there. I was wondering if this pastel fades back out completely, or if it fades to an orange-y color like red does or will it go back to the original color my hair is now or some what close to it or?

    Thank you so much <3

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    1. It'll just gradually fade to a lighter and lighter pink, then to the original colour your hair is now. You do need to do a quick dye every few weeks but it's really easy to do - and doesn't harm your hair further.
      A good tip for keeping it pink for longer is to put a little bit of dye into your conditioner bottle!

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  35. Hi,
    I have previously beached my hair with Schwarzkopf Nordic Blonde "Ultimate Lightener L1++
    Which I love (my natural colour is dark brown). I have dyed my hair Turquoise (Directions) and it has almost washed out-although now it's a light green.
    I want to be blonde again and thinking about dying it your pastel pink. My roots are dark brown and my hair is light-yellowish/green.
    Can I bleach it all again with the Nordic blonde L1++ or just the roots?
    Any advice would be appreciated! :)
    B

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    Replies
    1. You can bleach over already-bleached hair, but be very careful. Apply your bleach to your roots first, and for the last 5-10 minutes only, apply it to the REST of your hair. Because it's already so light it only needs a tiny amount of bleaching to remove the old hair colour.

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  36. Thank you so much for your reply :)

    Worked a charm! :)

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  37. Hello, you said try to get lift up as much orange as possible in the post but have said in comments pink will still go over brassy colours, so I was a bit confused.
    I have naturally dark brown hair, bleached, dyed, and bleached it several times, and currently I have bleached it twice to a pale, light yellow colour. Under some lighting it has a orange tint to it.
    Would pastel pink still come out well? Or should I have to use a darker pink? I was just worried it might look more of an orange than pink over yellow..

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    Replies
    1. It'll just go a nicer pastel pink if you can get it as close to white as you can.
      BUT
      it will still go quite pink over a pale light yellow colour. My hair was pale yellow (with a bit of an orangey tint) before I dyed it pink, and it worked well :)
      It may just fade out a little bit orange, but you can re-dye as many times as you like without damaging your hair.

      Good luck!

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  38. When you say to put the bleach on the top in the last 10-15 minutes does this mean you have to start timing as soon as you apply bleach to the bottom of your hair?

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    1. Yes. And don't leave it on your ends for more than 40 - 45 minutes!

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  39. My hair is already mostly platinum blonde, but I'm concerned about achieving the "right" pastel pink... There are so many variations of it, and I can't find any websites discussing the different tones but I'm very particular about the type of pink I'd like to achieve. I think you've nailed it, because yours is more of a cotton candy pastel pink versus an orangey pastel pink. Any advice?

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    1. I reckon you should, on the first go, just DILUTE the crap out of the pink hair dye. Like use a 20:1 conditioner:pink hair dye ratio. Because if it's too faint, you can then bump it up and do a 10:1 or a 5:1 until you get what you want, but if you accidentally put it on too strong, you can't do anything about it until it washes out. Good luck :)

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  40. hi! im planning to make my hair a pastel blue, my hair at the moment is a turquoise but i was wondering if you knew how to make it a pastel? should i use like a lightener or something?

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    1. Well, that's what this whole post is about: http://www.pineneedlecollective.com/2012/01/how-to-dye-your-hair-pastel-blue-diy.html

      Yeah, you definitely need to lighten your hair first.

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    2. Ohh I get your question now! You want to make the turquoise more pastel.

      I'm not sure about that - you might have to bleach over the top of it and get the turquoise out, first! Then go over it with very diluted blue. That's my best guess.

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  41. If I wanna go for a darker blue, not the midnight one, but still dark, do I need to make my hair completely white/silver, I mean, is it going to be green if I leave it a little yellow?

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    1. Ask a hairdresser, I've never had darker blue hair. You probably don't need white hair, though you'd still need to use a silver toner.

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  42. How did you dye your hair the ginger color it currently is?

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    1. oh, my hair now is just a box dye that was a red shade. much easier than pink :)

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  43. I can't tell you enough how perfect this tutorial is — thank you for making this!

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