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September 17, 2012 7:27 PM   Subscribe

How tough/insane is it going to be to colour my hair to look like Dr. Horrible's? How do I go about it? Difficulty level: Never done this before, though my wife has some experience with hair colouring at home, and planning on doing it at home as I can't see spending salon level money on a Halloween costume.

My hair is straight and medium to dark brown with minor grey. I normally sport a 1/2" buzz (though I'm growing it out now for Halloween) so I'm not concerned about damage from bleaching if required or the colouring process as I'll be clipping it short the next day.

Bonus question: I plan on getting it cut professionally. Am I correcting thinking I should get it cut first and then do the colour?
posted by Mitheral to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
Honestly, I'd just get a cheap wig and trim it to look all choppy like the fabulous Dr. Horrible's.

A thought: I don't know how long you've been growing out your buzz, but the longer parts of his hair look about 3", and hair grows on average about 1/2" a month. Do you have the length to make that style work if you don't want to do a wig?
posted by Specklet at 7:40 PM on September 17, 2012

Bleaching from dark brown to that dark blonde is going to take a lot of bleach. While colouring hair at home is perfectly easy, bleaching is another matter, and i wouldn't really recommend doing it yourself. (Bad dye job = ugly hair; bad bleach job = clumps of hair falling out and chemical burns).

I'd recommend a wig.
posted by Kololo at 7:52 PM on September 17, 2012

I also think you could probably pull off that costume with your natural hair colour, but that's just me.
posted by Kololo at 7:53 PM on September 17, 2012

If your wife has experience, I wouldn't worry about this. It's no biggie, and I've gone from brown to black back to blonde all at home and my hair has never fallen out and I've never gotten chemical burns.

You probably want an ash blond to get his hair color. Something like this would work.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:58 PM on September 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've bleached at home multiple times and had no problems at all. I've always done the cut then the color, but there's no reason I can think of that the other way wouldn't work - especially since your hair isn't going to change length significantly.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:07 PM on September 17, 2012

If it's only a half inch now, youu won't be able to grow it long enough to match the shape or style, no matter what color it is.

Fortunately, his hairstyle isn't particularly distinctive or memorable. If you think it's important to replicate it, I agree that cutting down a wig is a better bet.
posted by hermitosis at 8:43 PM on September 17, 2012

Honestly, in the right circles Dr. Horrible is really recognizable and the hair has nothing to do with it. It's all about the coat and the goggles and the finger wave. Unless you're entering a costume contest where accuracy is key, anywhere in the medium brown to blond spectrum is going to be fine. And if that's the case, spend some cash on a wig so you can repeat the costume whenever you want.
posted by Mizu at 9:23 PM on September 17, 2012

Costume stores and some professional beauty suppliers that are open to the public such as Sally's Beauty Supply carry temporary, wash-out color hair gels in crazy colors for cheap. They should have blonde/gold colors!
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 9:46 PM on September 17, 2012

Response by poster: PS: I'm on top of the length thing, my hair is a couple inches now (I've been working on this costume since I dropped the ball last year). I detailed my regular hair cut to explain why I'm not much concerned with any damage the bleach/colour process might do to my hair. Because I'll have all new hair in about three weeks.
posted by Mitheral at 9:54 PM on September 17, 2012

If your wife has colored her hair with the box stuff, you'll be fine. I wouldn't go with straight bleach, get one of the hi-lift brown boxes like PhoBWanKenobie linked to. They're formulated to do exactly what you want to do and are pretty idiot-proof.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:22 PM on September 17, 2012 [3 favorites]

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