Friday, 27 April 2012

To dye for.

Whilst the transition to vegan food has been, on the whole, simple for me with the abundance of vegan replacement foods (soya, almond, oat, hemp and coconut milks, vegan mince, vegan sausages and burgers, vegan margarine etc etc) and so many tasty recipes out there, the cosmetic side has been... challenging.

I never realised how many evil companies there were out there in the world.  And what a hold they have over so many products.  So many!  And the power of marketing to make them look 'good' and 'natural'.  I had been so blind.  I will delve into the nasty companies another time, but this essentially paved the way for my latest vegan challenge - dyeing my hair.

As an unnatural redhead, I had experimented pre-vegan with many hair dyes and bleaches and semi permanent tints.  My fullproof combination was Smart Blonde bleaching kit, various red dyes from a range of animal testing companies and top ups of Crazy Colour Bordeaux hair tint. 

All of that is off the menu now.  Whilst Smart Blonde says on their box "against animal testing", I really couldn't find out any information.  I will have to contact them and ask them directly, if they are both vegan and cruelty free.  See, 'cos here is the thing.  I don't feel justified in making these changes in my diet and clothing - no leather, wool, silk etc, without taking it into the world of cosmetics.  The transition is slow, so I still have non-vegan items in my cosmetic arsenal, but I will replace them with non-vegan items once they run out.  It is an ongoing dilemma and one I struggle with.  The hair dye was one struggle I wasn't fully prepared for, until I spent ages googling and researching, reading forums etc.  In the end I came armed with a pretty reliable list of vegan and cruelty free companies.  They are as follows:


Manic Panic
La Riche Directions
Special Effects
Naturtint
Herbatint (though their Flash Fashion range is not vegan).
Jerome Russell
Fudge

Naturtint and Herbatint are your 'bog standard' permanent hair dye/semi permanent dye that comes in a box. 
Jerome Russell, Manic Panic and Directions all offer bleaching kits.
Manic Panic, Directions, Special Effects, Jerome Russell and Fudge all offer semi permanent, funky bright coloured tints. 

Prices vary between these different products - another factor to consider. 

Manic Panic:  Bleaching kit is around £10 depending if you want 30%/40% vol. 
Directions: Bleaching kit is around £8.50 (offers both 30% and 40%).  In each kit you seem to get one 25g sachet bleach powder, 75ml cream peroxide.  You also get little tools like a brush and a mixing tray and development cap and gloves. 
Jerome Russell:  Can buy the components of a 'bleaching kit' separately.  I personally opted for this brand.  The peroxide cream I used was 40% vol, 75ml and was in Superdrug for £1.52.  I bought 3 of these.  The bleach powder comes in a box containing 4 x sachets at £3.56.  My hair is reddish brown with black roots, and comes down to my bra strap.  I used 3 bottles and 3 sachets (ratio 1:1).  Altogether it cost £8.12 and bleached my whole head.

Manic Panic:
Semi permanent tints in crazy colours and tubs of 4oz range from about £7-8. 
Directions: 
Semi permanent tints are between £4-4.50.  88ml bottles.
Special Effects: 
Semi permanet tints range from about £9.50-£10.  In 118ml bottles.
Jerome Russell Punky Colours:
Semi permanent tints range from about £8-9 in 3.5oz tubs.
Fudge Paintbox:
Semi permanent tints range from £6-£9. 

Naturtint:
Permanent hair dyes from about £7-£10.  I bought mine from Holland and Barrett for £9.99.
Herbatint:
Permanent hair dyes from about £7-£10. 


In the end, I decided that what was most cost efficient and best for my hair (ish.. minus the bleaching) was to use Jerome Russell Bblonde bleaching kit and Naturtint.  I am just too lazy and poor to afford the upkeep of semi permanent colours over bleached hair once they fade sadly - as lush as they will look.  I have been red for about 8 months now so feel a change is necessary.  I opted for Mahogany Chestnut (4M) after reading great reviews and seeing the colour on the box in store.  Looking at colour charts online frustrated me no end as the resolution of your screen can make all the difference! 


Really washes my complexion out :(

I bleached my hair last night - nightmare.  But it has come out relatively even, even though the ends are more orange than the yellow roots.  I had to leave the house like this!  Praise the universe for hats! 
As I stated before I used 3 sachets: 3 bottles of Jerome Bblonde product.  As I bought the products separately and not in a kit, I had to provide my own mixing bowl and application brush, though the box of sachets does inclue some gloves.  Fortunately, I had kept a brush from previous dyeing endeavours, and just used an old margarine tub for the mixing bowl. 

If you have never bleached before, it is not the same texture as regular dye.  It makes your hair very, very dry and difficult to work with.  You also need to consider that the roots will develop quicker than the rest of the hair due to the heat from your head, so it is advised to apply to the roots last.  Despite this, they always end up going lighter than the rest when I've tried, so don't worry too much!
The bleaching kits come with instructions too, just don't panic if/when your hair tangles and feels dry whilst you're applying the mixture - that's very normal. 

I left the dye in for about an hour and washed it out with water, and applied some conditioner to it.  In some of the bleaching kits you get a shampoo or conditioner - but I just worked with what I had.  I let it dry naturally, not wanting to dry it out further by applying heat.  And as you can see it's come out pretty well!


They say to leave it 2 weeks before dyeing over bleached hair... but I honestly cannot deal with having a thatched cottage atop my head.  So I left it about a day before dyeing it with Naturtint Mahogany Chestnut 4M.  I had not used this particular dye before.  In fact, not only did the price originally put me off pre-vegan but the packaging did make it look to me not as professional as the L'Oreals and Garniers out there.  But having made my choice to have a permanent dye, and the quite frankly awesome reviews of Naturtint, off I bimbled to H&B to make my purchase.  The choice was between Mahogany Chestnut (4M), Light Mahogany Chestnut (5M) and Iridescent Chestnut (4I). 
In the end I found the 'this is what your hair may look like' pictures a bit too 'pink' with 5M, and nowhere seemed to stock 4I apart from online, so 4M it is!

Pictures to come..... //Stay tuned!










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