Home Hair Dye; my failures, and successes

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

I know most of us will be rushing for a salon appointment as they reopen, and I recommend the specialists. Do not follow these ideas unless you are as adventurous and stupid as me and can handle the potential outcome. It is impossible for me to predict the result on anyone else’s hair, so if in doubt, please go to a salon specialist. Now that disclaimer is out of the way, I’ll talk about lightening my hair and pastels.

About my Hair

My long-suffering hairdresser of 20 years, Emma has corrected and conditioned my failures and there have been plenty of those. My hair has taken a battering over the years, from blonde to brown on a biannual basis and short to extensions, so I use lots of conditioning treatment (more details later) but I still cannot resist a new look.

Lockdown made me even more adventurous (stupid) as I wasn’t going out, no-one would see the results. I had a go at highlighting my hair, and then using Pastels and here are the ones I liked and some that didn’t go so well.

Lightening my Hair

First discovery, for the pastels to work my hair needed to be very light blonde, if it is not I got little or no result. I lightened my hair in chunky sections to a medium blonde using the Loreal Colorista Effect Ombre kit, painting sections where I wanted them, especially at the front.

After a week I tried L’Oreal Preference 10.21 Very Light Pearl Blonde Stockholm, using the same painting sections technique, this really lifted the colour and my highlights were now very light blonde.


The next important discovery, if your hair is longer than collar length you may need two packs of the pastel dye, they don’t go far at all and the result could be patchy.

Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Bright Steel Silver Semi Permanent

This is a light grey shade, came out similar to the picture, I am sure it will fade in a few washes but has given my highlights the ash tone I like. I’ve had several comments during Zoom quizzes & even my 14 year old son likes it, praise indeed!

Schwarkopf Live Cool Lilac

This is a really pretty, subtle cool lilac, the colour picked up on my lightest highlights which was more subtle than the overall colour picture on the box. The colour tone was exactly as they describe, despite being a permanent colour with lift, sadly it only lasts on me 3 washes, but lovely before an event and my favourite colour, I just wish it lasted longer.

Schwarkopf Metallic Silver

This one is darker and stronger than steel silver and I thought it made me look like I had actually gone fully grey, which was a step further than I wanted, luckily it also faded quite quickly.

I Heart Revolution Rainbow Paste, Purple Wings

This colour made my hair blue, not lilac, great if you wanted blue, again it washed out quickly which was a relief as I didn’t like it.

Knight & Wilson Colour Freedom Metallic Glory – Rose Gold

This colour looked peach when I put it on and the result was quite peachy too. I was hoping for the rose gold colour on the box, but on my hair, it was nothing like it. Luckily again it faded after 2 or 3 frantic washes.

Conditioning Treatment

Many years ago, Emma hairdresser, said Aussie Products were superb (in the absence of buying exorbitant salon products) which I know are brilliant, but beyond my everyday budget and the volumes I use. I love…..

. Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo, smells lovely & seems not to leave residue

· Aussie 3 Minute Miracle I leave it on overnight for an intensive treatment

· Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner for a quick condition

· Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance leave in conditioner after its towel dried

· Aussie Shine On Serum, after I have dried my hair

I have tried other products over time, but always go back to Aussie, it works miracles (excuse the pun) on my hair, which looks like cotton wool without all these treatments and it smells lovely.

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings, apologies there is not a picture of every pastel colour after I did it. I started this blog after some of the experiments. This is really early days in my blog so please do let me know if there is a subject you would like me to research and review or any other feedback.

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