Thursday, 28 August 2014


So my previous efforts to make a return to the auburn side were something of a flop (to put it gently). An inhaler, some antihistamines and a self imposed ban from box dyes later, I was left with a shade I struggle to describe - copper, but not, but kinda ginger, but also just like a really unhealthy shade of urine. Like, the kind that gets people hospitalised.

And so, FUCK YO BOX DYES I said, did a vast amount of Googling, and wound up purchasing a couple of tubes of L'Oreal Majirel hair colours and some 20vol cream peroxide. Good choice, me.

DISCLAIMER! These are professional products, and I am very much not a professional. If you give it a go and it all goes Pete Tong, I ain't hearing none of it. Soz.

In the end I settled for a combination of two shades to get the colour I was after - 7.44 (very close to what I'd used previously, but more intensely copper), and 6.46 (a darker copper with more red/mahogany tones). I opted for half of each, and hoped for the best. Tres scientifique.

The Majirel colours work like most standard box dyes in that you mix your colour with your developer, only allowing you the option of a) mixing colours,  and b) choosing your preferred strength of developer. As a guide, 10vol is fine for depositing colour only (so if you're going darker than your current colour), with 20, 30 and 40vol providing increasing power of 'lightening'. Going too many levels lighter than your natural colour tends to look a bit bizarre anyway (as well as being more damaging), so 20vol is often sufficient. I'd definitely recommend reading up about the numbering system for determining hair colours however - it'll make choosing your dyes considerably easier.

So, what do I need? Nothing particularly flashy. Here's my little set up;

A plastic tub (never metal! And your mum might not appreciate you using the china. If you don't still live with your parents though, GO MENTAL). A tint brush. Gloves (no shitty freebies here). Something to measure your peroxide in. TOWELS. GRIMEY OLD TOWELS. A source of entertainment while you paint your head (if in doubt, Archer).
Don't forget your colour(s) and peroxide - I grabbed both off of eBay (cheap, cheerful, trusted sellers, VERY quick delivery).

The colours in question. Each tube is 50g, and half of each for a 50g total was enough to cover my head. So if you're just using one colour, go ahead and use the whole tube. If you have long or thick hair, purchasing more than one might be pertinent. The ratio of colour:developer varies between brands, but for Majirel that ratio is 1:1.5 - so if you're using 50g, you'll need 75mL of developer.

Mix that baby up in your tub and get a somewhat concerning colour..

No, I didn't make a completely balls up of my colour choices. Once it makes its way on to your head you'll notice if goes orange fairly quickly. The left pictures shows the colour after first mixing the colour and the developer; the right shows the colour after 15 minutes. I have no idea why, but you're supposed to leave the mix to stand for a while before slapping it on. Like I said, definitely not a professional.

Beyond this point it's all just slapping some dye on and making a right mess of the white tiles. Apply the colour to the lengths first and roots later (the heat from your scalp will cause the colour at your roots to develop faster). The processing time for Majirel is 35 minutes, so keep an eye on the time, watch some daytime telly (#noshame) and then get rinsing. As usual, don't use shampoo. Rinse until the water runs clear (ideally with cold water if you can bear it), and then liberally condition. 


HOOOO-FUCKIN'-RAY! A non-disaster! This is definitely more the colour I wanted in the first place (maybe a little less red but this is a HUGE improvement), and I'm no longer embarrassed to leave the house. EXCELLENT. So how much does it cost? The initial investments are minor (assuming you have some old tupperware kicking around, all you need is a tint brush and some gloves), and the dye and developer are better value than you'd think. I paid £8.95 per tube of Majirel, and £3.75 for 250mL of developer. Considering I'll get two full applications out of the Majirel tubes, and three (and a bit) out of the developer, that puts my per application cost at £10.20. While it's slightly more expensive than most box dyes (though the Feria was definitely the worst £5.89 I've spent in a while), it's vastly cheaper than having it done professionally, with a full head colour often costing upwards of £40. So if you have a little faith in your ability with a tint brush, I'd certainly advocate giving it a go.

I also went a small step further.. given that my eyebrows are quite a dark, ashy brown, they look vastly out of place with my new colour. So what did I do? Slap some leftover dye on them, of course! This is almost definitely not recommended (probably), but I saw it on YouTube so WHATEVZ. You can see the result in the above pictures (filled in with UD Buck eyeshadow as well) - I left the colour on for about 7 minutes in total, checking the progress every 2 minutes or so. They're not an exact match for my hair - still a little darker, which is good since matchy matchy hair and eyebrows doesn't look quite right on most people.

I have every right to look worried - this could've gone so much worse.

Excuse the length post, but thankfully that marks the end of my two-part quest for ginger. To summarise:
  • fuck Feria
  • hooray for Majirel

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Poor bloggy, you've been somewhat neglected lately. Life's been hectic, but it's paying off - I've gone and got myself a new job! Hopefully once I'm settled in a routine with that, blogging will make a return to the foreground of my life again. But for now: HAIR.

Hairdye and myself have a somewhat turbulent history. My first foray started during the school holidays, aged 13, armed with a box of purple dye. Surprisingly my mother didn't object, and even more surprisingly it looked good - or at least I thought it did, but regardless I still look back on it fondly. I moved on to some 'subtle' streaks - turquoise, and later blue, which again I loved. Late high school and early college saw a return to brown, and an ongoing journey in red hair started around age 17.

Oh, red hair.. you and me have had some times. Some ups, some downs. Red hair is tough, because while it's a hard colour to maintain anyway, finding the right shade is more difficult than you'd anticipate. The pinnacle of my red haired adventures came during university, first year, when I started sporting the most startling postbox red barnet known to man. See posey Facebook profile picture of times gone by:


Pictures don't do it justice, it was RED. I would never sport it again now, but it was obviously the look I was going for at the time and whatevz, I clearly loved it. Loved it so much that I kept dying it even though a concerningly large quantity of my hair dropped off my head. lolwhoops.

For that reason, the adventures stopped circa 2012, and since then I've been varying shades of light brown with distinctly ginger undertones. Following an extended period of my natural mousey brown and a really shitey "ombre" (never let your hairdresser charge you £50 for what is quite clearly a dip dye), red is making a return. Not so bright this time, but the more auburn end of matters. Hopefully, anyway - the start has been a rocky one. 

I opted for L'Oreal Feria in Mango Intense Copper (7.4) on the assumption that since my hair was darker in the roots and some of lengths, it wouldn't be quite as intensely copper as the box - because as anyone who's ever dabbled in hair dyes probably knows, the results are usually somewhat darker than the colour on the box.
Yeah, to my dismay (and horror, really), this dye lifts reeeeeally well. On the downside, while my hair is light the colour is dull, so the result is me looking pretty washed out and icky sicky.

WHAT HAVE I DONE. The horrors of this outcome are not damped by the fact that I'm desperately overdue for a haircut. Ick, ick and thrice.. ick.

So what about the dye itself? It's not my fave. I'd always recommend the John Frieda Precision Foam Colour dyes because I feel that they're hassle free with pretty true to colour results, but unfortunately their range is limited. This L'Oreal offering seemed very well reviewed, so a whimmy trip to Boots commenced, and 30 minutes later I was back home slapping dye on willy nilly.

Consistency - weird. Runny, but a slightly jelly like texture?
Colour - Purpleish when it's first applied. DON'T PANIC! This is no reflection on the final colour.
Extras - Good conditioner. Shit gloves. I always use a separate pair of latex gloves because those freebie ones are like trying to work with mini bin bags on your hands.
Smell - On this basis alone, regardless of your desired colour, I would NOT recommend this dye. I'm well accustomed to the smell of dyes - that delicious waft of ammonia - but this BURNS. My eyes burnt, my nostrils burnt. I persevered but after about 20 minutes I had a lot of tightness in my chest, so grabbed my inhaler, popped a Piriton and washed that shit off. I have an inhaler anyway for some mild hayfever related asthma, but this was considerably worse than anything I've previously experienced, and unlike anything I've felt from other hair dyes. It was a little scary to be honest - a tight chest, palpitations and general panic all in all amounted to a fairly unpleasant hair dying experience. Weirdly, I didn't experience any tingling in my scalp which I find pretty common with most dyes - it is feeling distinctly itchy today however.

So, an unpleasant colour and an uncomfortable experience. I'll be colouring over it soon (following a patch test of course!) with some better researched colour options, so an update will be due in the near future hopefully.