I’ve always wanted to try a crazy hair colour and last year I finally did it. I knew it’d require a different kind of maintenance. I lucked out in finding a good shampoo that preserved my colour for as long as it did. I didn’t really take photos to track my hair, so some of these photos will be a bit random. Also, it looks way better IRL, photos can’t quite capture how the colours are.

Doing the deed

I went to Azta Salon in Alabang Town Center with my friend Li-J. She was going for a glamorous long, ashy colour with highlights. This is us before anything happened:

I didn’t want my entire head to be a solid new colour, just some colours mixed in with my actual hair so I asked them to do streaks of 2 colours. It all had to be bleached first and then each streak has to be coloured and foiled again. It took about 5 hours total. A lot of foil was used..

The stylist curled my hair. I don’t think it looks good curled the way they did, but anyway here’s how we looked immediately after. Oh I went to do circuit training immediately after getting my hair coloured. Which, isn’t really advisable, because gym=sweat=salt which isn’t great for hair colour.

Maintenance & colour transformation through time

So this is how it looked on the same day, when I got home and my sister braided it. And then after 1 shampoo.

The salon was recommending I use the Bed Head Dumb Blonde purple shampoo because I have some purple streaks.. But I was worried it would change my pink streaks. So I went to Healthy Options and found this sulfate free shampoo (Alba Botanica Colorific Plumeria Hawaiian Shampoo & Conditioner) which is good for coloured hair. It’s colourless, smells amazing and I think it helped in making my hair colour last for as long as it did. I still did my normal routine of shampooing only my scalp and conditioning only the strands.

It looks best in natural light. Not direct sunlight either. Think bright cloudy day. This is how it looked after 2 days outdoor and in a car, using flash.

After 1 month and 2 months, respectively. The purple has started to lighten and blend in more with the pinks.

After 3 months

After about 5 months the top outside streaks (the ones exposed to sunlight) of purple have faded to a greyish tone and the top outer pinks have turned peach-ish. Underneath though, the layers inside still have pink and purple streaks. Some streaks have turned greenish, too. Which is weird, but it looked great mixed with the grey, blonde, peach, purple and pinks! Very mermaidy!

A lady at the church sat down with me to talk about my hair. Like, she took time out of her life to talk to me about my hair because she wanted to know how many colours were in it and just to say how much she liked it.

6 months

After 1 beach trip (more sun bleaching)

7 months

8 months, no more pinks or purples. It’s mostly blonde, white, grey, brassy tones and some blue-greens.

And now (about 10 months after) it’s like this. I had a cut and the layers revealed more of the colours hiding underneath.

I was thrilled about how the colours changed gradually. Originally, only 2 colours were used for my hair but it looked like a subdued otherworldly rainbow of colours after some months. Up until this week I still get compliments on my hair, eventhough I had just left the colour to fade naturally. It wasn’t that difficult to maintain. Nothing changed in my usual routine except for the type of shampoo used. I don’t really use heat to style my hair, it usually just air dries and I don’t even use a comb at all. I did shampoo less frequently during the first week though, to keep the colour in there.

When I went back to the salon, they told me that they don’t use the brand of hair colour they used on me anymore because they got complaints from clients whose colours faded after 2 weeks. So I think the shampoo really helped, because mine lasted for months and months. It probably also helped I don’t use heat (blow driers, hair straighteners etc).

I think I’d do it again.

The author: Crisel Eslao

Nose in book, bow in hair, pen in hand.