My Experience: Dyeing and Maintaining Black Hair

First off, I apologise for the lack of posts this past month. If you follow my Instagram you may already be aware that I have been very busy this month attending parties, events such as Steampunk weekend and The Circus of Horrors, and going to gigs like Pale Waves and The Xcerts. I still have more trips planned and other concerts coming up as March approaches, but I do hope to share some of these experiences with you all on my blog.

Anyway, in this post I wanted to talk you all through my experience with dyeing my hair black, as I know when I first started dyeing my hair (about 2 years ago) I was very nervous that something might go wrong. I had to ask someone who was experienced with box dyes about how to get the best results. I wanted to share my experience with you all, in the hopes I help some people who are planning on using box dyes for the first time.

As a child I always wanted black hair, even before the whole goth-thing began. I know black hair is a very popular colour amongst goths, but remember, you don’t have to dye your hair black to be goth, don’t let people tell you otherwise!

Before I begin I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way a professional or expert on this. This is purely my own experience and for other people it may be different, if you have any concerns or problems through your hair dyeing process, then you are best asking questions to a qualified hairdresser who knows what they are doing.

So I’m going to take a look back at the questions I asked when I was first beginning dyeing my hair and the answers that I have now through my experience.

Which hair dye should I use?

I personally use box dyes because they are cheaper and faster than attending a hairdresser. I have always used Clairol Nice ‘N Easy (Black 83) in demi-permanent, as this has always worked for me. My hair was originally a light brown colour and I find that this covers it.

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Clairol Nice ‘N Easy Demi-Permanent in Black 83 (I thik I should also mention this blog post is not sponsored).

Now this bit is important for me; I use demi-permanent, (not semi-permanent or permanent dye). I didn’t use semi-permanent, because I didn’t want it to wash out quickly. I don’t use permanent, because the dye penetrates more layers of your hair and is therefore more damaging.

The box I use of demi-permanent says that the colour will wash out in ’24 washes’. In my experience this is not the case (so if you want a temporary colour that will wash out, don’t use this!). The colour remains in my hair until my roots have grown out again, and by that time I am re-dyeing it again to cover up my roots anyway.

How do I prepare for dyeing my hair?

  1. Don’t have hair products in your hair, e.g. hairspray, dry shampoo, and so on. You don’t want to risk anything making your hair patchy.
  2. Don’t wash you hair right before you dye it, leave your hair 2-3 days if you can, so the natural oils will protect your scalp.
  3. Dyeing hair can get messy! Be prepared with a wet cloth in case you get any dye on your skin so you can wipe it off straight away. Alternatively, if you put Vaseline round the edge of your hairline this stops the dye getting on your skin. Although usually I find any dye on your skin will wash off in the shower anyway.
  4. Don’t wear your favourite clothes and preferably have a shower cap so that you can put it over your hair while you wait for the dye to work.
  5. Wear gloves so you don’t get it all over your hands, the box dyes come with a pair in the instructions.
  6.  Always do a patch test a few days beforehand, so that you know you aren’t allergic to the dye.
  7. Always read the instructions in the box.
  8. Preferably don’t use a white or fancy towel to dry your hair afterwards.

Should I cut my hair before or after I dye it?

Cut it afterwards. Don’t worry, you won’t see the natural colour on the tips of your hair because your hairs are too fine for that. After dyeing your hair, it can get damaged so getting it cut can give it the revitalising it needs. Every time you dye your hair, the tips are getting more and more dye into the layers, so the tips are more damaged. If you get regular trims this will maintain the health of your hair and avoid split ends.

I’ve heard people say they left the dye on for several hours or overnight? Should I do this?

Definitely not. The instructions are there for a reason. You shouldn’t need to leave the dye on for longer than the instructions say. If this is the case then the dye isn’t very good. The longer you leave it on the more chance you have of getting an allergic reaction, burns or hair damage. The dye I use says to leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse immediately. I do this and it has always worked.

Will I need more than one box to cover my hair?

When I first dyed my hair, I had very long hair and I only needed one box of dye. One box should be enough. However, my hair is very thin and fine. If you have thicker or super long hair and are worried about it not covering all your hair, it won’t harm to grab two boxes just in case.

How do I care for my hair after I have dyed it?

After rinsing out the dye use the conditioner that comes in the box. I know people who just throw that away, but it really helps. My hair always feels very brittle after putting the dye on it and using the conditioner helps it feel strong and healthy again. I leave it to soak into my hair for 5 minutes.

After dying my hair I try to avoid washing it or using shampoo on it for a few days. However, I will always use conditioner when washing my hair.

I use shampoo and conditioner which says it is ‘colour revitalising’. This is supposed to protect and maintain the colour in your hair.

I also always use heat protection before blow-drying, straightening, crimping or curling my hair.

Note: Hairspray will pull out the colour of your hair, you will notice that more dye comes out in the shower if you have used hairspray. However, it’s never been to the extent that you can see the natural colour through it again. But I tend to only use hairspray when I am crimping or curling my hair.

When should I re-dye my roots?

I leave my hair to grow a good 3-4 cm approximately. This is probably around a month and a half to 2 months of growth before I dye it again. I don’t want to dye it too frequently because I don’t want to risk damage. You can buy root covering sprays for the days you feel you need to cover over your roots. I bought ‘L’Oreal Magic Retouch Black root touch up’ while it was in the sale. I tend to only use this to cover my roots on special occasions or events where I want to look my best, as I feel this stuff is rather pricey for what it is. (It’s more expensive than the dye itself!). However, it does the trick of being a temporary solution until I re-dye my hair.

What do I do when it is time to re-dye my roots?

It is recommended to always test the dye before you redye your hair in case you develop an allergic reaction, especially if you choose to switch brand.

I personally stick to the same dye. Why fix what’s not broken?

You should only need one box, as you only need to cover your roots. The rest of your hair should still be covered as it usually hasn’t washed out.

I start by applying the dye to my roots first. Then, when I have finished I will continue to apply it into the lengths and tips of my hair.

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Just throwing in a photo of my fave lady when she had her black hair, the stunning Katy Perry 

That’s it for my experience with black hair, I have yet to try any other colours.

The first two times I dyed my hair I had my mother apply it to make sure I didn’t miss any spots and that it wasn’t patchy.

After that I find with practise I am able to dye my hair myself with ease and don’t have any problems with missing a spots or patchiness.

However, remember that hair dye comes with risks and I would say wait until you are 16+ years old before you attempt to permanently dye your full head of hair.

Dyeing hair is great for expressing yourself and I personally feel a lot happier and more myself with my black hair, so if it is something you want to do then definitely go for it.

2017: My Gothic Year in Review

So after the soap-opera that my life was in 2016 (if you’re curious to find out about this let me know and I’ll do a few ‘story-time’ posts for you, although they will be verging on all round depressing topics), I hoped for some vast improvement in 2017.

Of course, there were highs and lows to the year (granted there were generally more low points) and I can’t say there was much improvement from 2016. However, I want to look back at the best that came from 2017 and step into the new year with optimism for a better year and greater things to come.

For this post I want to focus on all my favourite experiences and the best things that I lived through in 2017. I know in years time it will be great to look back and see all my best memories.

The Poland Trip:

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I was so amazed at how tiny and detailed the snow was there. I’m used to it falling in big clumps in England.
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January was still Christmas in Poland and it was bitterly cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I kick-started my year off with a trip to Poland with my University. I really recommend people go there, because it wasn’t just a regular holiday. For me it was a learning experience and a really valuable insight into the past. I visited Auschwitz concentration camps, Schindler’s factory, and visited the Jewish Quarter. As well as having a guided tour around Krakow and meeting a holocaust survivor.

 

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Thank you Fed Ex Van for ruining my photo…

 

Mog On The Tyne:

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I visited my first cat cafe in Newcastle! I loved being surrounded by these adorable felines. It was brilliant to see the personalities of each individual cat from the cheeky one trying to steal our milkshakes to the shy one who would hide in a box and peek out at us. It is not just an experience for us, the money goes towards caring for these precious bundles of joy as they now live permanently in the cafe after being brought there from Rescue Homes.

Climbing Roseberry Topping:

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Seems like a simple task, but when you have the elements against you it’s a challenge. I had a really amazing day, my friend drove us all the way there and for a little while we thought we were going to be lost when we took a wrong turn and ended up on some farm land. It was a laugh trying to get up the hill, as it was so windy we thought we might die up there. My friend was freaking out saying “Lets go back down!” as even some big tough jogger gave up halfway. We did manage to make it to the top eventually, and rewarded ourselves when we got back down with some tasty parmo burgers.

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Still smiling even though we feared for our lives!
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Parmo Burgers

 

First Publication in the University Newspaper (Tside):

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I was pretty pleased with my article getting published and also creating awareness for the Gothic Subculture and Sophie Lancaster Foundation. It’s a great feeling to know someone enjoys your work and that it will be shared with others. Hopefully there will be more of my content getting publish as I continue towards finishing my Journalism degree and life as a student, and move on to finding a career.

 

 

New Piercing: 

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I was happy to get a new conch piercing. I had been debating it for a while and I can say that I’m happy I did. For those who aren’t aware the conch is the inner shell of your ear. This is my seventh ear piercing, I’ll go into more detail about the piercing and healing process in future posts.

 

 

 

Whitby Steampunk Weekend:

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My brother and I
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A renovated Volkswagen Type 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the second year that this event has been run, however it was the first I had attended. I usually go to Whitby Goth Weekend every year, so I was interested to see how the Steampunk weekend would differ. I was surprised to find that there were a lot more photographers taking my picture. I felt more dressed down than usual and as a goth girl I didn’t really own anything I would class as ‘steampunk’. However, my style did seem to grab the attention of a lot of people as we developed quite a crowd round me and my brother as we stopped to pose with people. There were plenty of interesting stalls and although steampunk isn’t really my style, I would definitely attend again as I felt really welcome with other alternative people.

 

My First Goth Club:

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Celebrating with friends: James, Luke, Zack, myself, and Jade.

As my teenage years ended and I turned 20, there was conveniently a goth night called Contagion in one of our local clubs. I attended it with a bunch of friends to celebrate my birthday. This was the first goth club I ever attended and it didn’t disappoint. I was so pleased to finally be able to dance to my type of music and to be surrounded by beautiful like-minded people, who were welcoming and happy to start up a conversation with us. It was a great first experience and something that has persuaded me to attend more goth clubs in the future.

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I’m not the best of dancers but I try haha
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My friend Jade and myself

 

More Travelling:

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Pork Of Cork

I took a cruise with my Mam and Nanna visiting France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Gibraltar and Ireland. I loved visiting new towns and cities and it was fun spending quality time with my family. I made an amazing new friend on the ship, who I still keep in contact with through video calls. If you want to see many places in a short space of time then I recommend taking a cruise. It’s so exciting to wake up to a new destination everyday. By far my favourite place was Ireland, I loved seeing Dublin and Cohb and it’s somewhere I’d love to go back to and explore for longer.

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Dublin
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Me in the caves on Portimao beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Hairstyle:

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I’ve had a few hair changes the past couple of years and I never expected to do this, but I did. I decided to get a full fringe cut in. A lot of people were telling me not to do this as its hard for this hairstyle to suit people. But I can say that I do love the way it looks on me and I’m planning on keep my fringe this way for a while as I continue to try and regrow the rest of my hair long again. I think with all the changes made to my life, it’s nice to see a change in myself too.

So there we have it – some of my favourite moments from 2017!

Of course, I cannot forget all the new friends I have made. For a long time I was feeling lonely and, as cheesy as it may sound, they came into my life and helped to brighten it. I want to thank them for sticking around through my struggles, making me laugh, and helping create new experiences and happy memories throughout this year.

Also, the fact that 2017 was the birth of this new blog! It’s only in is early stages, but I’m loving sharing my opinions and stories with you all and I love the interaction I get from you, so thank you to all the people who read, comment and follow my blog, it means a lot to me.

If you have any experiences from 2017 that you want to share then please leave some comments, I’d love to hear your stories too.

Here’s to 2018, hope it’s a Spooktacular New Year!

 

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