If you’ve found your way here, you’re at least a little bit interested in dying your hair blue. I get it, there’s something fresh and out there about blue hair of all colours and shades. Maybe you’ll tackle it yourself with a home hair colour session, or you won’t. Or perhaps you’ve made the leap into blue-hair-dom, and you’re looking for tips on maintaining your blue hair colour. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place; this is the second time I’ve worn my hair blue, and this time it’s been over six months. I’ve got your back; let’s get into it. (2022 update, it’s been over two years, and some of my suggestions have been updated).
My first attempt; the home dye job
The first time I dyed my hair blue, I already had washed out purple hair, which had formally been a very light blonde. Although, for blue, you’ll want as close to white as you can get. Don’t be afraid to overtone it! The purple results of an overtone will keep your blue colour from going green. It cancels out the yellow/orange in your hair. So, to start, I added four small packs of washout colours, a combination of BRITE and Live brands and a blonde toner (purple) into a bowl.
This combination of products was enough to get the job done, so I mixed them up and went for it. Thanks to a HEAP of purple undertones, I was lucky to pull off the colour you see in the Instagram post below. Phew. One of the significant problems with blue hair is that when you lighten your hair for maximum impact (don’t try and dye your natural hair blue), it will turn green if there’s any yellow there. I do not recommend.
It’s crucial to mention that blue on natural hair can be a bit of a nightmare. The number of people who contact me say that blue looks terrible on their hair (green, dull, sludge-like) is impressive. For some, adding blue to dark or black hair for more undertones is what they’re after. But if you want vibrant, Hades-style hair, you really can’t escape lightening your hair, a lot. If you want it, get comfortable with it. It’s actually why I recommend having that part of the process, at the very least, managed at a salon.
Getting the perfect blue hair for me!
A year later, I decided I was bored with my hair colour (again!) and decided to go all out with blue hair. This time, as I also needed my hair lightened, some old colour removed and general colour corrections from random colours layers. It’s so important to start with a clean, white as you can get it, base. And in my opinion, the professionals do that best. Get the bleaching part of the process done right and the rest is just so much easier.
So, I went to see my sister Amanda Claire at Codie & Crew Salon. They bleached my hair, doing some correcting of banding etc., as they went. The first time, I left my roots untouched because I wasn’t sure if the blue would be a permanent choice for me. After the correction of the banding, my hair was toned, given a purple shampoo, and they added the Delorenzo colour.
The bonus is salons have access to the best colours that will hold way longer and be more predictable than anything you can buy in a supermarket or online. This blue colour is from the NovaFusion range and is in Mystic Blue. I’ve used many ‘bright’ hair colours over the years, and this is one of the best.
When we did the first consultation, I was pretty concerned that it would go green. I’ve had aqua coloured hair before, and while it was lots of fun, the fade-out colour was dingy, mermaid dragged through the swamp vibe. Not a good look. But, I needn’t have worried. This blue has a powerful purple undertone that counteracts any of the green that is left in your hair. This is also why it fades so beautifully to a pale blue/blonde/purple colour with varying tones.
first full colour
fresh colour feels
What I’m doing now to maintain my blue hair
The blue has been one of the easiest colours to maintain of any I’ve had. When you first have it coloured, even in a salon, the colour will transfer to everything when wet. Literally everything. But, that’s to be expected, make sure your hair is completely dry before heading to bed, and your sheets will be okay. Using the DeLorenzo colour I mentioned above, after a little while, the colour transfer is basically nothing, even when wet. But even with the initial transfer, the colour stays strong, even though it has technically ‘faded’. With this blue, it never really feels ‘faded’ until the blue starts to give way to pale purple tones.
With blue hair, the biggest issue is it going green as it fades and products build up. I always use a clarifying shampoo on blonde hair, but on this kind of colour, it will just fade faster if you do that. So, instead, I use products targeted at blonde hair to keep putting the purple back into it. Right now, I’m using a Nak brand Platinum Blonde shampoo and conditioner and a treatment mask (available here in a trio). Simple as that as far as general maintenance goes.
But, if like me you’re not into too regular salon visits; I’ve only been colouring my hair every 8 – 10 weeks or so. What I do is purchase a tube of colour (or what’s left) from my salon to add to a secondary conditioner to get that length of time out of it. Maybe your salon won’t give you that option, but there’s no harm in asking. If not, this is the colour I use, and they have it for sale on eBay. I haven’t bought from this seller, but do your research, and it could be an option.
Removing the blue
This week I went into the salon to have the blue removed and return to a light blonde/root stretch kind of vibe. Thanks to some consistency with the products I’ve been using, including only salon colours and products, they removed all traces of the blue with a very light bleach wash. Seriously. I was worried there would be some underlying colour that would grab or blue/purple hue, but it was entirely gone. So to take my hair back to blonde (which was under the blue) was a simple process of just applying an ash toner and doing some work around my roots.
Previously, when I dyed my hair a more aqua tone of blue, I had green residue in my hair that was SO stuck even bleach wouldn’t remove it. In the end, we had to cover it with red-based brown and start over for the blonde colour I want. That’s the cautionary tale here. There are a lot of blue dyes in the market. And when you don’t know what’s in them, you can never be guaranteed how they’ll behave in your hair.
If you are looking for a colour you can add and remove easily, stick with brands you know and make sure you use test strips. Don’t let swamp mermaid hair happen to you. Test your colour, or buy something that’s someone has recommended to you. And always, always, prepare your ‘base’ before adding blue.
This post was inspired by my other post, dying my hair grey and maintaining the colour. If you think grey might be more your style after all this, pop over to that post for the down-low. Thanks to the toning tips, it’s also a pretty helpful post if you’re looking to maintain an ash blonde or platinum colour. What can I say? When it comes to hair colours, I find it pretty hard to stick to just one.
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Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.