What stuff do I use on my newly blue hair?
December 4, 2013 6:11 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday i dyed my hair blue underneath my regular blonde. I am normally very low maintenance, like wash and go, and didn't really think through how to take care of it. Looking for specific suggestions on products I can pick up today or order online that will keep the blue as blue as possible. Should I try dry shampoos? I honestly have just been using aussie shampoo since the 80s, so trying to find a new product seems oversized. I was told to keep the blonde and blue separate when I wash my hair, like put the blue in a ponytail, wash the blonde and put conditioner on it, and then wash the blue. If anyone has managed to do this, tips for this also welcome.
posted by katinka-katinka to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That looks awesome! The unfortunate part of vivid dyes is that they don't last. Shampoo the blue part as little as possible. I've never tried dry shampoo so I can't speak to it, though I imagine you would have much less fading with it.
posted by heavenstobetsy at 6:28 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Aveda makes a shampoo/conditioner called Blue Malva that is meant for blonde/grey hair, and since you're blonde on top, this is a product that would probably help keep both looking good. I used it when blonde, I've used it when blue. My strategy to keep the bright colors as bright as possible is to not shampoo, just let my hair get really soaked under the showerhead, then use the appropriate color-conserving Aveda conditioner for whatever color I have going at the moment. It looks gorgeous! Good luck!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Back in my youth when I had blue hair I initially used shampoo for dyed hair. Don't remember which brand. I didn't really find it prolonged the life of the dye, so I ended up just using regular shampoo and redying every six weeks or so.

YMMV warning : I have fine dark hair and had to bleach it hard-core. Less fried hair may yield different results.
posted by PMdixon at 6:40 AM on December 4, 2013

The only thing that ever worked for me when I dyed my hair vivid colours like that was to try to wash my hair as infrequently as possible, and just focus on the roots, not the length of the hair.

ps - it looks fantastic!
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:41 AM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've been rocking the blue + my natural color for the last two months. I've loved it, and I've also been talking to EVERYONE about the best strategies for keeping it bright. Alas, the consensus is that there's just no way. I've been redoing mine every two weeks. Wash it as little as you can stand, wash in as cool water as you can stand. Do use a color-safe shampoo, but beyond that there's really nothing you can do to keep it bright.

Keep a towel on your pillow at night, and when you bathe use a towel you don't really care about to dry your hair.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:54 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Use a sulfate-free shampoo for colored hair and wash as infrequently as you can get away with. Using cooler water when washing may help preserve the dye. Dry shampoos can help if your hair tends to get greasy and flat between washes like mine does. I use Tresemme spray dry shampoo. I've used powders in the past. Some people use a bit of baking soda or corn starch. Rub it into your hair near the roots and brush it out. I've had pretty good luck using Lush body powders this way. I think they now make dry powder for this purpose.

You may experience some bleed when you wash. The blue dye may transfer a bit into the blonde, which is why someone told you to keep the two parts separate. If the blonde part of the hair has been lightened, it may absorb the blue more readily than if it hasn't. Using conditioner over your whole head could help the color "travel", so keep that in mind. I guess you could try to keep the blonde up in a separate clip/ponytail while you wash & condition the blue? I've had two-tone hair like this, but my natural color is so dark, I really haven't had to worry about transfer. The good news is that blue tints make light blondes brighter, so a tiny bit of transfer probably won't be that bad.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:58 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ooh, I'm jealous, I never got mine that bright! The dry shampoos I've gone through all boiled down to being talcum powder with stuff added, which always looked odd in my dark hair but would probably do fine just combed through your blonde bits to give you a little more time between washes. You can make your own easily enough, if only to save yourself from product-panic like I always get in the beauty-products aisle...
posted by theweasel at 6:59 AM on December 4, 2013

Listen to BlahLaLa and Kitty Stardust. Wash as infrequently as possible, in cold water. You might try a white vinegar rinse the first time you wash to help "set" the color (I don't know why this works, but it does), or adding a bit of blue dye to conditioner to help refresh it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:31 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

did you dye it or did you have it dyed? if you did it, from many years of mohawks and ois and the like, i can say that putting blue under purple makes the purple last longer on my light fine hair - maybe you can do similar? not sure if blue over purple works the same...
posted by nadawi at 7:31 AM on December 4, 2013

I had hair like this for a while, only I kept my brown hair on top. Right after I bleached and dyed it, I would always use Hask Henna 'n Placenta on it, which makes the hair less porous and seemed to help with color retention. If you didn't need to bleach, this may or may not be necessary. I washed my hair less frequently, and with a shampoo meant for dyed hair. Personally I never bothered to keep the dyed part separate, but perhaps it's different if you're blonde.

Watch out for the collars of your shirts for the next little while, just in case... I ruined a couple white t-shirts the first week I had it dark blue like that!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:38 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

The idea of putting the blue into a ponytail and only washing the blonde part is good. I can get by with washing my (fine, blondish) hair every other day sometimes, but the top part and my bangs look oily and heavy unless they're pretty clean. The lower part of my scalp doesn't seem to be nearly as oily as the top, though. If that's normal, not a personal anomaly, you can probably get by with a daily routine of just shampooing the blonde part with the blue in a ponytail, then rinsing out everything (blue) and calling it good. See how long you can go without shampooing the blue at all.

It looks stunningly great, by the way!

posted by aimedwander at 7:39 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

When it needs to be done again, can you get something like Goldwell Elumen put in? My funky hair dying days are in the past, but it's the only thing that ever kept purples and blues super bright. No other dyes (and I've used most of them, either in a salon or off the shelf) ever came close. Might be something to think about if you want to rock this long-term (which you totally should - it looks fantastic!)
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:45 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have a purple streak in my hair that is still going bright and strong after 3+ months. I NEVER shampoo my hair, although I do get it wet every day in the shower. Instead of shampooing I use a big glob of sulfate-free conditioner (I am fancy and like the Pureology line) which I scrub pretty vigorously into my roots to lift out any styling product and oil from the previous day.
posted by joan_holloway at 8:05 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks people! The blond on top is just natural color, but I had this done in a salon and they bleached the underneath part twice before the put blue on.
posted by katinka-katinka at 8:54 AM on December 4, 2013

Cold water for your hair, not hot. IIRC the blue molecule is pretty large and also this is likely vegetable dye, right? What brand did you use? Unless it's permanent, hot water is your biggest enemy, along with washing it, so dry shampoo is good - I also get another day out of my hair when I use a sea salt spray. Dry Shampoo doesn't do anything for me, but the sea salt spray seems to make my hair happier to go for a 2nd day.

Also, bleaching your hair twice before putting in dye like that is not really necessary if you are actually that blonde. My hair is about your color and I've been doing pink/purple/red for five years now and 1) my stylist only bleached my hair once for any dye treatment; 2) after awhile it really was clear it wasn't making much of a difference with the color so we stopped. I don't know how well you know this stylist but . . bleaching twice sounds like a lot to me for natural blonde hair. Be careful; damaging your hair is . . . really not fun. I speak from very stupid experience.
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: We'll, to be fair to my stylist person, I work outside all day so the top of my hair is really bleached out already.
posted by katinka-katinka at 12:46 PM on December 4, 2013

Yes to wash as little as possible, and water as cold as possible. You can also get Punky Color/Special FX or whatever matching blue seems right and put a dollop in your conditioner (for the blue part only). You may want to wear gloves, but this will help keep it blue.

Also: wear a hat. I am also an outside worker, and my hair has been purple for years. The color lasts much longer if I keep it out of the sun. I also use this KMS shampoo and conditioner for colored hair, but my whole head is magenta/violet.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:29 PM on December 4, 2013


I had teal tips on my short hair for a long time, and I found that the dye mattered a lot more than any other products. I used Ion Brilliance, which I had heard was the best, and it lasted WAY longer than blue-green dyes are supposed to. Dry shampooing every other day is a good idea in any case, though; I've tried a lot of them (a lot are sort of... greasy?) and my favorite is this one from Target.
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:49 PM on December 5, 2013

It looks great! As others have said, but I just want to emphasize again: cold water. I hope it's not too cold where you are, because it is not the most pleasant showering experience. However, you can always wash the hair in cold and then put on a shower cap and take a warm shower.
posted by freezer cake at 4:37 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Sorry to chime in late. That looks so incredible! I'm jealous--I've never done anything funky with my hair, and I'd really like to try. But I have very long black Asian hair and I think I'd have to bleach it until it broke and then it'd still be fried and orange. (Although, the white hairs are coming in hard and fast. Maybe that won't be a problem for long!)

Your hair looks short enough that you might consider washing it in the sink, if you have a sink that would work for that. My mom used to wash mine that way when I was a little kid. You just bend and put your head under the faucet, washing it under the stream like you would in the shower; make sure to have your shampoo, conditioner, towel, comb, etc. set up so that you won't have to hunt for them when your head's under. I'm envisioning you ponytailing your blue hair at the nape of your neck, then carefully washing just the blond part from the top of your head toward the neck, stopping before you get to the blue part. You might try keeping a towel over your neck in case you splash a bit the first few times, but it'll get easier with practice. (You could even keep the towel over the blue part, maybe?) When I used to wash my own hair in the sink I could usually keep my neck and the rest of me dry, so I bet you could eventually get to the point where you could keep the blue part unwashed while getting the blonde part nice and clean. Then when you took normal showers to clean your body you could just use a shower cap and not have to wash your hair. This would also mean you could use cold water while sink-washing without having to freeze your body.

Some people find that scrubbing the scalp and hair with silicone-free conditioner is sufficient to get it clean, and that it does a better job of not stripping color. You might search for "conditioner only wash" or "CO wash" for tips--make sure to do a trial run, maybe with shed hairs, in case your chosen conditioner and dye don't play well together if you want to give this a try.
posted by spelunkingplato at 5:43 PM on December 9, 2013

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