Hair Misadventures

Hair dying. I cannot seem to get the hang of it! Thus far I have had my hair dyed four times. The first time was an attempt at deep scarlet red. I bleached my natural hair (medium brown) using a Splat hair dye kit and then applied their "Luscious Raspberry" color...and ended up pinkish orange.
Ah...that picture was a long time ago. :D
This being the first time I dyed my hair, I had no idea what I was doing and probably didn't let the dye set long enough. Also I didn't know anything about aftercare, so I washed it in hot water and didn't really do much to preserve the color. For the second round I once again attempted scarlet, this time using Manic Panic's "Vampire Red" over unbleached hair. It also turned my hair pink, although I was definitely happier with the color results.
Another old picture. That was when I first started wearing eyeliner...
Next I had my hair professionally dyed for Halloween. This was the only time I actually got my hair to turn red.
Please admire my Halloween costume from last year. :)
Once that faded out, my friend dyed my hair with professional salon products. He put all kinds of colors in it, but mostly a burgundy over the reddish-orange that the above color had become.
These colors gradually faded out, and I hadn't attempted to dye my hair since. Professional colors turned my hair the right red hue, but never the ones I tried myself no matter if I bleached or didn't, no matter how long I let the dye set. This summer I finally had some money to spend and I really missed my crazy colored hair. I was also ready for a style change, so I got the undercut I'd been wanting forever and made plans to turn my hair black and turquoise. Currently my hair resembles a Barbie Doll: 

Today I attempted to dye it black using Manic Panic's "Raven" aaaaaaand...well, this: 
It's GREEN! Luckily I did a strand test, so my whole head doesn't look like this. 
Apparently I should have researched a little more before dumping chemicals in my hair. I found out that black dyes are usually blue based. If you put them over blonde hair (which is basically yellow) they turn green! In my case, the "Raven" dye looked very black as it went on my hair, and when I washed it, it had a green tint. Once it had dried it was looking very forest green, and in natural light, it looked like Leprechauns had thrown up all over my hair. Apparently in order to get a good black, one must either have red hues in her hair or mix red dye in with the black to counteract the blue base and avoid green. This is especially saddening since my hair was a faded reddish-brown after my last dye job, and perhaps if hadn't bleached it (and spent the extra money on bleach kits!) it might have actually turned black. I'm not blaming Manic Panic as I'm sure their colors work wonderfully for some, and its probably more my ignorance and poor dye skills than any fault in their color formulas which causes my attempts at hair dying to go so awry. It might have been nice to have a warning about black hair over blonde though, as their dye package specifically says: "For best results, pre-lighten hair to a light blonde using Manic Panic Flashlightening 30 or 40 volume bleach kit." It also says "May stain blonde or porous hair" which I'm a little confused by...isn't that the point of dying one's hair? 
While I had poor dye results over the blonde
hair achieved through Manic Panic's Flashlightning,
I have good things to say about the bleach itself.
I used 30 volume and it considerably lightened my
hair without significantly damaging it at all.
Apparently I chose the world's hardest colors to dye one's hair: really red, and very black. Red dyes are difficult because the molecules that we see which reflect red light are bigger than those for say, blue. That means that more dye must soak into the pores of the hair to make it appear red, and this is rather difficult to achieve without using pure pigment products such as those available to professional salon artists. Reds also fade quickly because of their molecular compositions. Simply put: the bigger particles don't grip the hair as well. As I found out, black dyes are apparently touchy too. There are some that are blue based and some that are red based. I was under the impression that bleaching my hair would make it easier to dye it very dark colors, but dark color dyes are made up of other color dyes, and if they aren't balanced out by hair's natural hues or offset with added color, they can turn wonky. 
I have yet to try the "Atomic Turquoise" I ordered from Manic Panic on my newly bleached hair. Hopefully bright colors like this will work better than the black. If you're considering dying your hair black, please learn from my mistakes! Also, lend me your advice. Does anyone know how to achieve rich black hair? What colors work well on bleach blonde? 

Song of the Day: 
Um...yeah...come on, that video is adorable!