The Blue Hair How-To

Pictures pending. Also, keep in mind, I am the canvas; my wife is the painter.

Once about every 6 to 8 months, I get my hair bleached professionally. I'm a big proponent of getting bleaching done professionally, because it's easy to screw it up as a do-it-yourselfer, not to mention easy to hurt yourself. I've found a very good (if expensive) salon locally that I go to for this.

My hair ends up being pretty damned porous afterwards, we think, which is why it holds onto this particular dye very well -- I get this to some extent even when there's enough outgrowth of unbleached hair too, so it's possible my hair's fairly porous (or damaged) as a baseline. At any rate, bleaching more frequently than biannually would translate into too much hair abuse, so that's where I draw the line.

The brand of dye I use is Special Effects. Hot Topic once carried it, but stopped for reasons of insanity (near as I can tell). These days I order it in lots of 6 or more off of various internet sites (such as

It's powerful stuff -- uses, I think, pigments similar to what are used to dye vinyl. It's a lifestyle decision to use Special Effects, not a "oh, I'll just color my hair blue for the weekend and it'll wash out" sort of thing.

The shade of Special Effects I use is "Electric Blue". I think it's the best one they have, though they've recently added more blues to their catalogue and I'm interested in giving them a go. Electric Blue has the added advantage that, as it fades, it starts shading towards middling and then light purple, ending in a kind of silvery-lavender when it hits the maximal fade point on bleached hair.

How powerful is the stuff? Well, what you see in those wedding photos is from a dye job two weeks prior followed by daily shampooing. And generally I've got a good blue going for at least a month, and a good purple going for another month or two following that. Then again, I leave the dye in for quite some time, as you'll see below.

Things that are vital in the application the dye:

I leave the dye in for several hours at least (2-3 minimum), and sometimes, I wrap a pillow in several towels and sleep with the dye in (if I'm feeling hardcore about it).

Now, before you wash the dye out, make sure you read these points:

That's pretty much it.

Questions? Email iago AT iago DOT net.