From temporary coloring to semi-permanent hair, a guide to at-home dyeing

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Want a change just to feel something? Leave a fleeting peach-haired Vogue editor attests: Temporary hair coloring can help.

“If you’re in the mood for a change at the start of the New Year, but don’t want to commit to permanent hair color, using a temporary or semi-permanent dye is a great way to experiment,” explains Alex brownsell, co-founder and creative director of the British show Bleach London. Plus, a brighter or more whimsical color wash will not only remix your look, but make you feel like a whimsical 17 year old again. “During the lockdown, people started bleaching and coloring their hair on their own like a desperate teenager with a box in a bathroom,” says Douglas Cornwall, also known as Bleach, master colorist at the Treehouse Social Club. “The Zoom-based realities that have replaced many areas of work and school no longer contain restrictions on appearance. This feeling of freedom ushered in the desire to be colorful while the rest of the world is in turmoil.

Whether you’re looking for a subtle fit or, as Cornwall puts it, in ‘fancy seeker for a day’ mode, here’s an expert guide to temporary color at home.

Start with the type of temporary dye you want

Broadly speaking, there are two main categories: temporary hair dyes, which come in many forms, from gels to conditioning masks, and semi-permanent hair dyes. “Temporary colors are your quick wash and wash colors that fade after a few washes,” says Brownsell. “Semi-permanent hair dyes require less maintenance and last around 6-8 weeks depending on the sheen of the color you choose, how often you wash your hair, and the condition and condition. porosity of your hair. For beginners, direct dyes are easier to understand because generally “what’s in your bowl will look like what’s going to be in your hair,” says Cornwall, adding that another advantage is that they’re often formulated with built-in conditioners and shine, plus a base color that adds a “smoky or dusty element” to give it a more lived-in feel.

If you want to take a lower risk approach, consider henna hair dyes or softer pre-diluted tones and color kits. You can also prick your conditioner. “Adding a drop of the direct dye you choose to a bowl of regular conditioner is a great way to put a toe in the water,” says Cornwall. “It will dilute the intensity and give a slight hint of tone. For those a little scared of guns, Brownsell recommends trying a semi-permanent pastel dye (Bleach London’s Rosé and Awkward Peach are the most popular) or a toning shampoo for more subtle results.


Semi-permanent hair color and deep conditioning dpHUE Gloss +

Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Full Coverage Hair Color

Consider what’s realistic given your base color

As a general rule, the lighter your hair, the brighter and more vivid the color will be, that is, it is easier to achieve brighter colors for blondes than for those who are brown, red or raven haired. “For shiny, pastel semi-permanent shades, you’ll need to apply over a light, faded blonde,” says Brownsell. “If you have dark or virgin hair, these colors will not develop faithfully to the color or be visible at all. You need to lift the hair with bleach first and then apply toner to create the perfect canvas for the color.

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For beginner dyers, Bleach London offers comprehensive home application guides to help decode the process and protect the hair from damage. This is especially important for curly and curly hair, which is more delicate and therefore more vulnerable to the drying effects of bleach. If you don’t want to bleach your hair, there are plenty of products out there that can help you work with what you have. “For so long only bleached heads or natural blondes could play in the realm of fantastic colors, but some brands like Harmonic offer colors specially formulated to appear on brown and dark hair, ”says Cornwall. “Dark purple for brown hair and orange for brown hair are two epic shades to give those who are nervous about letting the bleach touch their hair a chance.”

Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color


Curlsmith Hair Makeup Temporary Color Styling Gel

Good Dye Young Poser Paste Temporary Hair Makeup

Choose a flattering shade

Think of your base color as the basis for your end result. “It’s like a fabulous canvas to enhance with whatever you want, like makeup on gorgeous skin,” says Cornwall. When selecting a color for a client, he considers which colors and tones will be the most flattering for his skin and eyes. “A shade of pink with lavender will create an alluring appeal to blue eyes, while a sunset pink adds a touch of warmth to the skin like your own golden hour filter,” says Cornwall. For a more natural effect, an essential Bleach London salon tip is to use a touch of gold color, like that of Bleach London’s Just like Super Cool Color honey with dye to add a more diffuse filter effect. “If you use it on its own, Just Like Honey creates a soft golden color on blondes, but you can try mixing some Awkward fishing with three parts for a subtle peachy filter on blonde hair, ”says Brownsell. Another thing to consider when choosing a shade is that warm colors (pink, red, orange, yellow) fade better and faster, while cool colors (blue, green, purple) will stay on longer.

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While it is natural to feel apprehensive, do not be afraid. Remember, it’s not forever! “Even with a temporary hair color, people fear that it will still be aggressively bright and punky,” says Cornwall, noting that a litany of brands have softened the direct dye tones into sophisticated blends. “You could see these tones worn in any setting, with any costume, from jeans to a dress,” says Cornwall. “They almost reflect the natural shades of gemstones.”

Overtone Pink hair color conditioner for brown hair


Christophe Robin Temporary Coloring Gel Golden Blonde

Leonor Greyl Nourishing revitalizing care with natural copper repigmenting

Bleach London Awkward Peach Super Cool Color

Preserve and boost your color

After using a semi-permanent dye, you’re going to want to keep your color as shiny and saturated as possible. The most effective way to do this is to use color-safe hair products. “As with all delicate hair colors, the detergents in your shampoo are the culprits of pigment fading,” says Cornwall, who recommends clients avoid more harsh soapy products and opt for a hair cleanser. natural, like Act & Acre Hair Cleansing Shampoo, which effectively banishes dirt and grime and keeps the soft tones intact. Another thing to keep in mind is that water can interfere with hair color as well, and reducing washes will help prolong color. “You would be amazed what a simple chlorine filter on your shower would do for your hair and skin,” says Cornwall. “I recommend it especially for older buildings or anywhere with heavy minerals in the water.” For Brownsell, another big step is toning up your hair color to get rid of brassy highlights, especially for naturally blonde or bleached hair. “Even if you’re already a light or bleached blonde, toning will remove the copper or yellow hues to create a clean blonde for your color,” she explains. “If there’s a lot of warmth in your blonde, the undertones will turn peachy pink, or add a green tint to blues and purples. “

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If things aren’t going perfectly, don’t be discouraged and persevere. As Cornwall puts it: “There is this notion of rebellion connected with the supernatural hair colors and a certain confidence comes with that spirit. We all love a rebel!


Bleach London Slime Light Color Super Cool

Bleach London Violet Skies Super Cool Color

Rock N Roll Manic Panic Hair Dye

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