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Showing posts with label DIY Beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY Beauty. Show all posts

9 Sep 2014

How To Highlight Your Own Hair


I did a post about home highlighting a couple of years ago but it was pretty minimal and didn't give too much advice.  The main reason for this was that I didn't want to encourage people to try it unless they felt confident.  I have since realised that people will always give home hair styling a go if they are that sort of person anyway, and it may be helpful to share what I have learnt in the 3-4 years I have been doing this.

It isn't perfect, there is some colour bleeding but I often get that in salons too.
This should take around an hour and half.

Warning.  I am not a trained hairstylist and this is just what works for me and my hair.  Please research thoroughly before attempting.

Products & Tools

This is very important - you must buy professional tools. You can't expect a semi professional job with dye bought from Boots.  The first time you buy all this kit it will be about £40.  But then it will do at least 10 half head highlights so it works out as a complete bargain.  This is what I use, but you could use different bleaches and developers and still get decent results, this is just what I have tried.

Wella Blondor Lightening Powder- around £15
Wella Welloxon Developer 12% 40vol- around £13 - I use 12% 40 vol
Ultrameche Long Box of 250 Sheets- around £12 (I use the generic brand as they are identical, I use around 10-16 a go)
Mixing Bowl and Brush - around £2 (though mine was £1 in Poundland, not always in stock though) any old plastic bowl will work though
Tail Comb - around £2 - try Wilkies, Superdrug or Poundland if you don't have one hanging around at home.

Bleaching Basics.  

You need both bleach and developer which activates the bleach and causes the chemical reaction that lightens your hair.  

Developer comes in 3 strengths
6% or 20 vol - good for toning 
9% or 30 vol - good for beginners or those whose hair is not naturally very dark
12% or 40 vol - for lightening very dark hair, works very fast

You can reduce the strength of developer by adding water, so if it is 40% and you mix equal parts of water to developer you end up with 20.  This is worth remembering if you want to tone later and not have to buy 2 bottles.

12% 40 vol is the strongest bleach available, don't get it on your scalp or it will burn it, ditto your hairline, hands etc..It can lighten hair from dark brown to medium blonde which is a lot of shades to pass through, my hair comes out pretty light with a minimal red tone when I use this, you can see the before colour in the pictures.

Before You Begin

Practise the winding technique to produce even thin strands before you start, there are good videos on youtube for this.  Basically you just weave the tail end of the comb in and out of your hair until you have and even amount of hair on each side.
Get your Easimeche opened before you start to section and weave your hair, just trust me n this, I usually use around 15 or so.
Wear a top that is easy to get off, so a shirt, vest top etc…

To mix your bleach and developer you will need a plastic bowl
The ratio of Blondor to Welloxon is part Blondor to 1 or 1.5 parts Welloxon
So if you use 20mls of Blondor you need either 20 or 30 mlx of Welloxon.  The more Welloxon you add, the slower the reaction time and less strong the mixture. I have always done this by sight without any issues, but I recommend using the measurements on the bowl.

Weaving and Colouring

This is where you need to be pretty dextrous.  You will need to work fast, this is very important as 40% developer works quickly and you don't want the back and front of your hair different colours.

Start by sectioning off the parts you wish to colour.  I am just doing my parting and so I have sectioned it off and tied the rest back, this allows me to see what I have still to do.

Now take a horizontal strip of your hair and weave the comb through. I use sections about 6-7cms wide and around 1cm deep, if I want a super natural results I use only 5mm deep sections. Make sure that the back part of the section gets put behind and then push the Easimeche as close to the scalp as possible. Press the hair onto the adhesive strip to hold it into place.  You can now paint on the bleach.  I use one hand to hold the hair on the strip, so it doesn't budge and the other to paint. Don't let the bleach go in front of the strip near the scalp, if it does wipe it away with a tissue or baby wipe.  This will stop the colour bleeding onto hair that you don't want lightening.

Now just keep repeating all the way to the front.  I start at the back so I can see what I am doing.  When you have completed it, just clip it all back and now it's time to wait.  One of the reasons I like to do my own hair is so that I can look ridiculous in the comfort of my own home.

Is It Ready Yet?

Patience, wait till the right colour is reached, don't be in a rush to see the results, you want pale caramel not burnt toffee.
Is it the same colour as the rest of your hair and not orangey?

  • Hell yes - then get yourself in the shower
  • Not Really - then sit tight for a few more minutes and watch some Youtube videos

Rinsing Out

  • I just get in the shower and pull the Easimeche out in there, once wet they just slide out.  
  • Wash very thoroughly twice with a good strong shampoo (I use Aussie Aussome Shampoo), taking care not to rub too much and tangle my hair up (wish the hairdressers were so gentle!) 
  • Put on an intensive conditioner and brush through with a paddle brush. 
  • Wait a couple of minutes then I rinse and dry as usual.  
  • I always add oil to my hair after washing, so use something very nourishing like Organix Oil or any of the silicone/argan oil mixes (see post on this here)

It Looks Kind Of Orange

Hopefully this hasn't happened to you if you have left the bleach on long enough and your hair isn't too dark to begin with. If it has though, it is because this is what happens when the colour is stripped from brown hair, the dark tones are removed easily but the red tones remain.  This is the number one problem when people lighten hair, whether in a salon or at home.  I have had orange results whether I have paid £200 or £5 so throwing money at it is no guarantee of success.  

How Orangey is it?

It is just a bit yellower that I would like - Get busy with the purple shampoo ASAP. My favourite colour corrective shampoo is Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, just apply, leave on for a few minutes and rinse.  It usually takes a few rounds to achieve and major difference.

If it’s right up there with Wotsits and Cheetos - You will need to tone it.  Wella Color Charm T18 White Lady is supposed to be very good, you use this in conjunction with a very low strength (20%vol) developer to remove the last remnants of brassiness.  As you are using a bleach this will damage your hair and so follow instructions carefully.  I have not yet had to use this, but I am reliably informed that this will give you the cool tones you are looking for.

My Colouring Routine

I colour the central section of my hair (the pink) and then 4 weeks later, the sides (in blue) this hopefully helps negate damage, and helps keep body in the top (as the highlighting roughens the cuticle which makes the hair appear fuller.)

I don't tone my hair, as I feel it rarely needs it. I do have a full head twice a year at the hairdressers, where I get a 2:1 of blonde:cool brown put through my hair.  This brings the blonde back down and stops me having block blonde hair, it also sorts out the back.  I don't feel the need to have perfect blonde hair underneath as true blondes don't and it would be too damaging (plus expensive)


As you are almost certainly aware you have damaged your hair pretty severely by bleaching it.  You will now need to look after your hair to keep it looking good.  I use Intensive Conditioner all the time (at least twice a week.)  My favourite for price, efficacy and smell is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle, as I have mentioned numerous times on the blog.
It is also unlikely that you will be able to grow your hair super long, mine is usually around armpit length, and it can rarely get longer than this without requiring trimming due to split ends.

Hopefully this is of help to some people.  As I mentioned I am not a hairdresser, but I have done this around 30 times and so I thought it would be fair to share what exact products and method I use.  In the last few years I must have saved over £2000. Please feel free to comment with any recommendations about better products or what works for you.  I am still learning all the time.

27 Jun 2014

How to Whiten Your Own Teeth for under £50

I'll start by saying this is not a guide on how to get that blue/white look, I like mine to look like they are just naturally white (I'm not sure I'm fooling anyone, but anyhow!)  As a rule, if your teeth are whiter than your eyeballs, you have gone too far!

I first whitened my teeth about 3 years ago, using at home kit that I bought from The Smile Place (this has no stopped trading as new laws have come into place.)  It cost £99 at the time, and it took about 2 weeks to get to a colour I was happy with.  I now do top-up treatments every 2-3 months to remove any new marks.

You can now buy the individual parts from retailers on eBay or Amazon and still get the same results.  I did this for my Husband, because his teeth looked bizarrely yellow next to mine , and it is the same stuff.  I get my top-up gels from eBay too.

The reason I didn't get them done in a salon or dentist was firstly the cost (you need to pay every time you need a refresh) and secondly I wasn't keen on getting the TOWIE look.


The most important part of this to get right is the moulds, they will help you get professional results and not burn your gums.

You will need

  • Decent Sonic Toothbrush - I have an Oral B one (actually my Husband does, and I steal it and put my own head on it)
  • Teeth Moulds £30 ish (you WILL need to the technician-made ones, don't get the DIY ones)
  • Peroxide Gel £10
  • Sensodyne Toothpaste £2 (you will almost certainly need this, so keep a look out for an offer on it)

I recommend making sure your teeth are as clean as you can possibly get them before you start to bleach.  If you don't do this, you will get an uneven result and the gaps between each tooth will look yellower, so spend a few days getting busy with your best vibrating toothbrush and floss first.  You can get your teeth descaled by your dentist if your feeling super motivated (I hate dentists so I skipped this)

Teeth Moulds

Now you need to order some custom made teeth moulds, Amazon and Ebay both have suppliers who sell these.  Mine was a little kit that came in the post with some playdoh-like substance that you knead to create the dental putty and then you bite into it to create the mould.  The most important pointer here is that don't exceed the time kneading or the putty will set before you get chance to imprint your teeth.  Once I had made the imprint I then posted them back to the technician and they made the mould and sent it back to me.  This is what they look like.

Mine are the 1ml version to make them comfy to wear, though I am told they won't last as long, but mine have been going 3 years so far.

Can I wear them whilst going about your day?
I regularly wore these out on the school run, no-one seems to notice, though I felt so odd wearing them, I couldn't help but mention it.

What happens if they are uncomfortable?
You can trim any protruding bits, you don't want the mould to go above your tooth line, or you won't be able to easily remove any excess bleach.

Whitening Gel/Bleach

There are other gels that you can use, but I am only recommending Carbamide Peroxide as I have had good results with it and it isn't expensive.  I use 22% which is a mid strength gel.  I wouldn't touch the high strength with a barge pole as I got quite sensitive teeth with the 22 and so I wouldn't want it any stronger.  Basically the stronger the gel the quicker the results, it doesn't affect how white they eventually get, just how many sessions it takes to get there.

The bleach can burn your gums, so only apply a small amount and immediately remove any that squishes out onto your gums with a tissue.  It won't stop it working by applying less, but it will help you not get the side effects which might make you stop before you get the right shade for you.

How long does it need to be on for?  
I always do a minimum of an hour but no longer than 2 as the bleach looses power after this time so it is pointless carrying on wearing them.  It takes at least 15 mins for the carbamide peroxide to convert into hydrogen peroxide on your teeth and start to work.

Does it hurt?
Nope, but after 5 or so sessions you may (I say may, everyone I know who has done this has suffered from this) develop sensitivity.  I just switch my toothpaste to Sensodyne for the duration of the whitening.  Another clever friend just applies some Sensodyne to the tooth mould and wears it for a while to reminerlize her teeth.    The sensitivity doesn't last, but can be a bit annoying when you try to have a decent hot cup of tea or an ice cold G&T.

How many times will I need to do this for, and how much gel will I need?
My teeth were probably about average and mine took about 6-8 goes.  I reckon a 5 ml syringe will do you about 4-5 sessions, I don't bleach all the way to the back, just the ones that can be seen when I smile.

Can I eat while I am wearing the mould?
NO, don't be ridiculous!  I use it as a good way to not snack for an hour or so.

Hopefully, this is of some use to those of you who want brighter teeth, but don't want to blow £200 on it.  This method is the same products that you would get if you asked your dentist for at home whitening.

Feel free to follow me on Bloglovin if you want more bargainous beauty hacks.

Disclaimer : I am not a dentist, I am just saying what worked for me, Please use caution when following any advice and if it seems stupidly cheap, perhaps skip it as I doubt it will be safe.

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