Three Downsides To Dyeing You Hair Crazy Colours

I wrote a few months back about how I was looking for a new hairstyle, one that didn’t make me feel so frumpy and, well, mother-ish. I joked about how I totally could not pull off what I called, “My-Little-Pony Rainbow vomit” hair and even made crappy little pictures as proof. Well, if you watched my new Youtube video last week, you will have no doubt noticed that there is a rather vibrant blue in my hair at the moment. It’s the third crazy hair colour I’ve rocked out with over the past few months, with bright red and purple having also called my hair home. In this time I have learned things…things I had wish I had known before embarking on this strange journey into tencho-color gamer girl hair territory, and so I am going to share them with you all in case you too decide to do something COMPLETELY INSANE like dye your hair black with electric blue panels…

“WTF have I done?!”

1. It’s Pricey (If done by a pro)

Going to a hair salon is not a cheap affair at the best of times, especially if you live in the middle of nowhere like I do, but when you’re getting an all-over plus bleach plus whatever radioactive looking colour you’ve gone with, the cost adds up very quickly. Not to mention that if you need hair products — and trust me, you will — your wallet could be about to take a massive hit. That lovely straight blue hair that you see in my last video cost me three hours at the salon and a whopping $215 cold, hard cash, even without getting a trim! The first visit was over $300, since I desperately needed a cut and also had to stock up on products to ensure it didn’t fade out after a few washes.

2. Speaking of Washing…

When I washed my hair for the first time, I was a little alarmed at how much red came out of my hair. All I could envision was money being washed down the drain. The red had nothing on the purple and blue, though. When I washed my purple hair for the first time, my ears, neck and hands were stained purple. That was a bit of a stressful time, since I was going to a formal ball the next day and was wearing a strapless dress! But the blue hair….oh my goodness. My hands were stained, sure, but my shower looked like I had murdered a bunch of Smurfs. Blue was absolutely everywhere, and a lot of it has actually stained the tiles. I can’t wait to explain that to the housing mob!

Also, regardless of the crazy colour, every single one of them will stain any light coloured pillow cases you may rest your beautiful vibrant locks on.

"I survived the bathroom massacre of 2013!"
“I survived the great bathroom massacre of 2013!”

3. It will fade FAST

So this one I was warned about, but speed of which the colour loses intensity really bothers me. The red was my own fault. I was on holiday in a tropical climate with access to a beautiful pool. Chlorine is not kind to hair colour at the best of times but I was melting…

The purple was okay, but I had to move my follow on appointment forward by two weeks because I am about to go on holidays again and my hair had only a few strands of purple left, and the rest was this disgusting muddy brown with a tinge of purple. At $200+ I would have really liked it to last longer than four weeks!

But the blue. Oh, the blue tops the cake. I got my hair done last Tuesday. I fly out to Sydney this Wednesday. The hairdresser said that I can only wash my hair twice between now and then, otherwise it will no longer be blue, but a strange aqua-marine colour. Β Wait. It cost me $215 and has stained my bathroom but will only last two washes?! Sheeeyt. This is why I will never be a millionaire. I make terrible financial (and arguably, style) decisions.

You may be thinking that perhaps I wash my hair too much. I have cut back from washing every day to washing two to three times per week. My hair needs a wash right now, but I am prolonging it until tomorrow to preserve my colour just that little bit longer. I am not sure how I feel about that.

Β Is it worth it?

I have really enjoyed having crazy hair, but it is incredibly disappointing seeing just how quickly it fades and how much damage it can do. As much as I love it, the upkeep and the phenomenal cost of each trip is just too much for even me to justify. I am sure that there are cheaper alternatives out there — DIY jobs and hairdressers that aren’t price gauging monopolies come to mind — but I have a terrible track record of doing my own hair (I ended up orange once. Yuck!) and I won’t be anywhere near an awesome place like Peggy Sues Hair any time soon (My friend Alise tells me that her hair lasts well over six weeks with frequent washing). I suspect that once this lot fades out, I will be returning to my pre-birthday identity crisis colour. It may be boring, but at least it’s cheap.

Have you ever gone a crazy colour? Did anything surprise you about the experience? Share your hair care tips in the comments below.

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  • I haven’t seen my natural hair colour since I was about 18. I’ve also had grey hairs since I was 18. Coincidence? I think not. πŸ˜‰

    When I was a kid, my hair had this nice golden tone. That started to fade to some kind of dark blonde, light brown that doesn’t seem to have a hue in it at all. We call that colour “stray dog’s blonde”. πŸ˜‰ So it started with brown, I think, then quickly moved to aubergine-coloured. I once had blackish-blue, but I looked dead with that colour. Definitely too cold. I need some kind of red in it.

    At the moment, I’m leaning towards brownish-red colours. Or brownish-orange, probably. I’ve always done it myself, because it’s just that much cheaper. My hair suffered a bit lately because I was experimenting with shampoos, deep conditioner and so on, but I have now found a good mix of products from the hair saloon and natural cosmetic that seem to be good for my hair and my scalp.

    I think having it fade that much just after washing it two times is really disappointing! I have no experience with that kind of hair dye, but I know a friend – who had naturally very dark hair – had one strand of hair bleached and then dyed light red and that one stayed in until eternity (or the hair strand was dyed back ^^).

    • That is exactly what happened to me! I used to have a stunning hair colour, and then it turned into what my Nan dubbed, “Dishwater blonde”. With such wonderful descriptive words to describe our hair, it’s no wonder we both dye it!

      My mum is currently visiting and she tells me every chance she gets that she hates my dark hair for the very reason that you mentioned. It’s certainly made my morning make up routine more challenging, that’s for sure!

      I am envious of your friend! I suspect the water here may have something to do with it as well. It seems to be very mineral rich.

  • Spotty

    I used to have a lovely deep red mohawk. I loved it. It was awesome. I had it for about a year or so but I’d have to dye it ever 4 weeks which got hella expensive. Not to mention it really did a number on my scalp. So much bleach and so much dye left my hair looking like a cheap ass weave and my scalp had quite a few burn marks.. I haven’t really dyed my hair since then

    • I imagine my hair is not far off that kind of damage either. I think the only thing that is saving it is how oily it is. It’s acting like a natural protectant or something πŸ˜›

  • Jakyl

    Did you find when you swapped from daily washing to once every 2-3 days your hair was greasy on the second day? I wash my hair daily but if left for even one day without washing my hair becomes exceptionally greasy looking like I haven’t washed my hair in a week.

    • Big time! But, believe it or not, it’s slowly improving as time goes on. I can get to three days before looking like I was dragged out of a gutter now, instead of two! πŸ˜›

      • Jakyl

        Hmmmmmmmm maybe I should start increasing time between washes. I might wait and take holidays before doing so though I doubt the clients that my company has would appreciate the greasy hair look.

  • Deseret

    I have also had very similar experiences here in remote Australia. Thing is (also being a dishwater blonde yuck!) I’ve been dying my own hair or having it professionally done for well over a decade, and I have never had post-dye washouts like I have here! I have had to learn to not wash my hair everyday, for the sake of hair color, but I also have mandatory PT almost everyday. I hate running (or ellipiticalling as my husband calls it) 5km then not being able to wash the sweat out of my hair. The oddest part is, our parents and the generation before that had LOTS of women who only washed their hair 1 or 2 times a week. I’m going to chalk part of that up to our growing obsession with unhealthy weight standards for women, instead of letting us be curvy (or just plain fat and happy).

    I could report back from America (heck yeah!) after we move back there in August. Pretty sure my stylist there (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE God, let him still be there) is going to have a field day with my hair. But my bathroom won’t look like a murder scene when I was my hair the first time after he dyes. 98% sure.

  • Deseret

    Also, I like the black hair on you, Nicole, but you would look less “dead” with coloured lipgloss/lipstick (and maybe some light brown eyebrow pencil). I could see our mums’ generation not going for the nude lip.

  • Alena Belleque

    Wow πŸ™ I had no idea it washes out so fast! I’ve been wanting to bleach out the underside of my hair and go white or pink or something, but don’t want to spend the money. My stylist will do it for $40, though, so I’m confused why yours is so expensive? Pretty, btw πŸ™‚

    • I think it depends a lot on the colour, the quality of water, etc. The red was nowhere near as bad as the blue, and I imagine that pastels *shouldn’t* be as bad, since they’re not intense.

      $40?! I would die of happiness if that’s all it costed here. One of the “perks” of living in central Australia is that we routinely pay massively inflated prices. I mean, where else are we going to get our hair done? The nearest city is 1,500km away.

      I think you should do it, especially if you’re going to get a lot out of it (I went purple for a Ball I went to. It matched my dress and looked phenomenal when done up). It sounds gorgeous! πŸ™‚

      • Alena Belleque

        Thanks πŸ™‚ I know, I was really shocked at the price, so low! And $300 is so high, wow πŸ™ Sorry about that! I think I will do it, just have to get past this financial hump, and then pink it is πŸ™‚ And yah, I’m thinking pale colors.

  • SweetlySinister

    I am totally with you with the washing out, i actually top up my bright colour every two weeks (more often if a blue). I am currently black and red and it is holding up ok this time.

    • If I do it again, I will definitely stock up on some DIY stuff so I can keep it topped up. It’s just so disheartening walking out of the salon and it be ruined a few weeks later! Red and black sounds awesome πŸ™‚

  • Rinike

    I have the nonpermanent colours for pink and turqoise at the moment, they fade after like 5 wash (the turqoise stays pretty green/blue shades(ish) till end but the pink goes bit bleh) but sine it’s nonpermanent and it’s veganbased so redoing it by yourself is no big deal for me πŸ™‚ (they are the manic panic colours <3)

    • I’m planning on looking into some colours like this as well. I have the bleach sitting in the bathroom waiting to destroy my hair, and then I want to try some of those gorgeous pastel colours (I’m going to try lavender first, I think).

      I can deal with it washing out if it doesn’t cost a fortune!

      • Rinike

        Those were quite cheap πŸ™‚ Dunno how much they would be in Australia, but I really recommend them. (the bleach was amazing, got me almost white hair!! πŸ˜€ never happened before without hairdresser :P)
        It says it lasts around 30 wash but the colour isn’t as bright after 5-6 wash. Also it doesn’t stain furniture or bathroom while shower o/ πŸ™‚

        • My bleach job has given me yellow roots, a caramel middle and white-blonde ends! Eek! I guess I’ll be re-bleaching next pay! Haha.

          I’m definitely going to see if I can find this stuff. It sounds amazing!

  • Syrco

    I used to color parts of my hair bright red a few years back. The first time was at school when we had a hairdressing course or whatever it’s called. It was to learn some basics about hairdressing so we would know if we wanted to become hairdressers or not. They had some color there which the hairdresser said worked on dark hair. My hair is natural black/dark brown. We tried it and my hair was bright red! It didn’t last very long and my hair looked more brown than it had before.

    Later on I wanted to color my hair again, this time at home, so I had to bleach it first. My aunt and cousin helped me. I had bought a semi-permanent color at a weird shop in the city, I don’t remember the brand. The color looked great the first week or so, then it started to fade and the hair looked more orange and dry. So I colored it over again. And everytime I showered, the water looked like blood and I think the shower still has some red spots here and there this day.. My hair was very dry and broke easily after all the bleach so I decided to cut it. Luckily I didn’t color all my hair only parts of the length and it was really long. I haven’t colored it since then, but I kinda want to try a red/black ombre some day….

    • I absolutely love the panel look! I just don’t have the confidence to pull off a block of intense colour, and I can only imagine how my bathroom would look if I did! (Actually, my housemate dyed her whole hair the red in your picture and she said she would never ever do it again purely because of the mess it made in the bathroom. Eek!)

      It’s definitely not kind on your hair, that’s for sure. I’ve just gone and bleached the absolute life out of my hair in preparation for a pastel purple, but the bottoms are now this manky orange and my poor hair (Which is a bit shorter than yours in this pic) feels like straw in some places. I don’t want to cut it, either, but I think I may have no choice πŸ™

  • Hi! I am a WOW gaming mom myself and I happen to have wonderful hot pink hair. It has already lasted me 2 months now and I wash my hair daily. Here’s my secret: I am a dog groomer and I have access to products that most human hair people don’t know about. I use Top Performance dog hair dyes and they last much longer than human ones! The Screaming Pink is one of my favs because it lasts until you CUT IT OFF! You can’t even bleach it out! (I’ve tried before) The other colors still last longer than human products. Oh yeah, and they have no smell and are better for your hair. If it is rated safe for my dog, I’m more comfortable with it! Their skin is much more sensitive than our scalps. Hope this helps! You can buy it at

    • That is a fantastic colour! I never even thought of thinking outside the square like that and experimenting with completely different products. I was in the process of dyeing my hair platinum blonde in preparation for some fun with Fudge pastel colours, but I had so much build up from other dyes that it went about 4 different shades of orange, as well as with roots and tips that were white. I’ve been growing my hair for too long to chop it off, so I ended up going with some boring Ash brown colour. Yawn.

      Thanks for the tips!

  • Guest

    Hmm. Something doesn’t sound right here. I think you need a new salon, although I toooootally get it if you don’t have a lot of options.

    My ex boyfriend is a hairdresser and I rocked a gradient of purple, blue teal from front to back in a block designed for my hairstyle for quite a while. I’m no stranger to the woes of the blue water for sure, but 2 washes? When I had mine done, it felt like I would never get to that point where you could see the gradient as well as I was hoping. I washed and washed and washed. I must have had my hair like that for 4 months before it started looking weird and that was mostly due to my hair growing out so quickly.

    I decided the upkeep wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t really expensive for me to get it redone and it had been 4 months after all. But the time in the chair… ugh. I can’t believe I used to get my hair highlighted every 6 weeks as a teenager!

  • Hmm. Something doesn’t sound right here. I think you need a new salon, although I toooootally get it if you don’t have a lot of options.

    My ex boyfriend is a hairdresser and I rocked a gradient of purple, blue teal from front to back in a block designed for my hairstyle for quite a while. I’m no stranger to the woes of the blue water for sure, but 2 washes? When I had mine done, it felt like I would never get to that point where you could see the gradient as well as I was hoping. I washed and washed and washed. I must have had my hair like that for 4 months before it started looking weird and that was mostly due to my hair growing out so quickly.

    I decided the upkeep wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t really expensive for me to get it redone and it had been 4 months after all. But the time in the chair… ugh. I can’t believe I used to get my hair highlighted every 6 weeks as a teenager!

    This is what it looked like a couple of months in…

    • Talking to a few people, it sounds like the harsh, heavy water Alice has may have had a lot to do with it, as well as the no permanent product they used for the panel (Fudge Paintbox I think it was called). We’ve since moved back to the coast, and I did my tips pink with a DIY pack and it lasted much longer than anything I ever got done in Alice.

      Oh wow, that colour is fantastic! And after four months?! I am insanely jealous! Totally hearing you when it comes to time in the chair, though. I now have a three month old baby and there’s absolutely no way I could justify sitting there for so long.

  • Jessica Leanna Taft

    I suggest dying your hair at home at using arctic fox dye … it last months… order it online from their site is 100% vegan with conditioner in the dye.. i leave it in for 4-6 hours then rinse out.. it doesnt stain my bathroom and i love the purple rain and violet dream shades when they do eventually fade out 4-5 months fades a mageneta pink.. so your never out color.. i will tell ya you will see your roots tho! lol .. i agree with the first comment FIND A NEW SALON… no color should wash out 2 weeks later unless your using really crappy dye. as a mom of 3 i understand rocking it out while you can still get away with it πŸ˜‰ (nevermind my husband who keeps telling me im too old..)