Split and dye: a hair affair

How many of you have ever felt personally victimised by split ends? I know I have. I’ve tried shampoos and conditioners that promise to repair the damage, hair serums to keep it from further breakage, and I even went through a phase where I convinced myself that if I could just find every individual split end and cut that bit off, I could save the length of my hair.

That, of course, is an impossible quest. So after many years, I have finally found the solution…


Yup, I’ve finally accepted that split ends are dead hair and cannot be salvaged. But even in accepting this, I’ve had some trouble letting go. I have always wanted to dye my hair but because I have extremely dark hair, I was worried about the damage that bleaching would do to it. Now that I am going ahead with cutting off my damaged ends, I thought well why not bleach the bits that I am going to cut off anyway?  SO I BLEACHED AND DYED MY HAIR!

For someone who has had the most boring hair ever my whole life, this was pretty exciting.

I went from thisIMG_1541  

to thisIMG_20150814_140314

to this  IMG_20150820_133750I don’t for a moment regret doing something different, but these are some of the things I wish I had been told before going ahead.

  1. Your hair won’t feel like hair any more, but more like straw. I knew bleaching dried your hair, but this much was quite a surprise. I’ve heard only good things about a treatment recently made available in South Africa called Olaplex, which allows you to switch between light and dark quite easily with minimal damage and hair that isn’t dry and brittle. Unfortunately, Olaplex is beyond my budget, so I will have to eventually cut off my dyed hair.
  2. You have to be very careful when brushing it afterwards because the dry hair is more prone to getting knotted and then breaking off if you are not gentle enough. I usually run my fingers through my hair and then comb through it.
  3. When you’ve just dyed your hair, you can’t wash it too often or the colour fades. So you have to find a way to keep your hair looking fresh and bouncy rather than limp, despite the greasy roots. This is much easier to do if your hair is short.
  4. The colour will fade and won’t look like the way you intended it to for long, so you have to think in advance about how you will manage faded locks. You can have it constantly redyed, or if like me that’s a bit too pricey, you can take advantage of the fact that it’s already bleached to top it up with other hair colourants like henna, home hair dyes or even food colouring!
  5. It takes ages to complete! I only dyed about a third of hair, which my hairdresser estimated would take two hours. It took five. Five hours of staring at myself in the mirror, trying to move as little as possible so as not to mess it up. I suggest you take a good book.
  6. You’ll get some pretty strange stares when it’s done. While more and more people are colouring their hair vibrant colours, it’s still quite a strange thing for more conservative people. After I dyed my hair, I felt extremely self-conscious and awkward, but after a few days I grew to embrace it and it has actually helped a lot in improving my confidence levels.

My personal experience was obviously affected by the fact that my hair was already quite damaged to begin with, but with a healthy head of hair, you can have some pretty amazing results.

Let me know if you have ever dyed your hair a unique colour, and what the experience was like for you 🙂

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