If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen my rage directed at the mobile hairdresser who arranged to come and dye my hair grey-and managed to leave my house, 3 hours and £45 later, with my hair the same brown it always had been-but with really fine blonde highlights. Erm, yeah, I was not a happy Laura! I still REALLY wanted to be grey-a gorgeous, dark, fake looking grey-the colour of a pair of shoes I have (my colleague Ryan suggested I just wear my shoes on my head which, to be fair, would have saved a lot of time and effort!) and so Robyn offered to help me with mission grey. Colour Freedom also agreed to help me, and kindly sent me two boxes of dye-a permanent in ‘Graphite Grey’ and a semi permanent in ‘Storm Grey’.
Here is a before photo, so you can see what my hair was like. Believe it or not, this is the ‘grey’ my hairdresser did. Can you see any grey in that?
We ended up using two packs of bleach to cover my long thick hair, rinsing this bleach out and heading down to Tesco for a third. Make sure you buy decent bleach (I originally used Bleach London and it was terrible, the one that worked well in the end was Jerome Russell) and make sure you cover your hair properly-I definitely recommend getting a friend to help with that.
The bleach will make your hair go very yellow (or ginger, if you’ve gone from a dark brown like I did) you’re going to need to get that far less brassy and more white/silver before you can go grey. I used a Jerome Russell silver toner which took so much of the yellow out, and got me to this colour.
As you can see from the photos, the bleach really lightened my hair, without the toner it was very ginger, after the toner it was far more yellow than orange-but it’s not at all light enough to take the grey. So…
The best thing to do at this point is cake your hair in coconut oil, and sleep in it. Wash off the coconut oil the next morning with purple shampoo, and then use purple conditioner too. I recommend doing this daily for as many days as you can before bleaching again, as it’s better for your hair to have a break. I waited two days before the next step.
Step four-bleach again if necessary, or just tone again if you can get away with just doing that
I used the Jerome Russell toner again as we were hoping not to have to use anymore bleach, and we managed to get away with it. I ended up using a toner three times in total, which got my hair to this pale blonde. Potentially it would have been better to get it even paler, if I’m honest.
You can see in the second picture that the toner actually dyed the lighter parts of my hair a very pale lilac-which was a bit unexpected. Don’t forget though that I had fine highlights through my hair from my hairdresser, so those bits were lighter than they would ever have been if I’d just bleached the hair from all over brown. The lilac was only there for a day, so it was fine anyway.
Step five-grey dye!
The most important part of this instruction-DO NOT start doing hair at one house and then move to another, leaving the hair dye instructions at the first house. You will then not know whether the dye goes on wet hair, as Robyn thought, or dry, as I did. My hair was damp from having used a toner, so we went for wet. We were WRONG.
We left the dye on for 45 minutes, and then washed it off. I was left with the photo below.
As you can see, the roots are a lilac/grey colour and a bit of the sides are too, but the majority is not the dark, fake grey I was looking for. Fail.
Step six-more grey
Here’s the part where I tell you that, despite this being a collaborative post with Colour Freedom who kindly sent me two boxes of dye, I’d already decided I wanted to be grey before I asked them if they wanted to work with me. So, the first grey I put on my head I’d bought myself. The second lot arrived in the post on the Friday, and I came home from work with my half grey head and decided to fix it. So, I mixed the semi permanent and the permanent, thinking this looked like it would make the colour more pigmented, and covered my whole head in this mixture. I left this on for 35 minutes.
As you can see, this left me with grey hair-albeit with a purpley tint. I presumed this was from my purple shampoo and it did fade over a few days. I decided though that I wanted the hair a bit more pigmented, so I bought another semi permanent colour (this just seems more of a solid grey than the permanent, which is more metallic) and put that on too. My final colour, I love.
You can really see the difference when you look at the original photo, can’t you?
In conclusion-getting to grey is difficult, but you CAN do it yourself. If I were doing it again, I’d make sure I bleached my hair once more so it was a really pale, almost white blonde. I’d tone it more too, and give it a week to recover. (The toners and the greys do not harm your hair, only the bleach does-my hair feels great now I’ve used the Colour Freedom dye, which contains Argon Oil to moisturise) I’d then choose one of their paler greys, as the Graphite Grey was a tad too dark for what I wanted (I chose that colour though, totally my fault) I’d also mix the semi permanent and the permanent from the start as that, in my opinion, makes a better colour. When I have some time, I’m going to strip the colour from my hair, bleach it once more, and then use the paler grey-I’ll do an update post when I’ve done this.
Do you like my new hair? Have you ever tried Colour Freedom’s dyes? What did you think (and which gorgeous colour did you pick? I am loving their brights!)