Today’s video is how to do UV Glow in the Dark Rainbow Hair and Rainbow Eye Make-Up, and it’s probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever done on camera.
It’s definitely the most exciting thing I’ve ever done on camera and then uploaded to Youtube! Stop sniggering at the back, girls (and stop texting in class).
Coming in at around 18 minutes, it shows you how to get the glow in the dark hair trend that’s gone viral on Buzzfeed! I’ve taken it to it’s logical extreme and done it as a rainbow braided effect. The best part? You don’t even need to bleach your hair! Even if your hair is black! Next time I go raving THIS is what I need to look like:
But that’s not all. It doesn’t take 18 minutes to do some braids, make them rainbow then speed it up for Youtube. What else is in the rainbow glow in the dark UV hair video?
You guessed it, there’s this awesome full rainbow eye tutorial as well! That’s right, it’s a double rainbow!! I have wanted to put this rainbow eye tutorial on Youtube since April 2014 when I first came up with it, it’s actually what prompted me to start my blog in the first place because I wore the rainbow eyeshadow look to a party and literally everyone (even the boys) were asking me how I did it.
And you’ll have to watch the video to see how to do it:
To get the UV glow in the dark hair gel back out of the hair, unfasten the braids, gently comb them out (or unravel with fingers – be prepared to get fluorescent UV gel under finger nails and all over the floor so I did this in the shower cubicle because I hate cleaning) and then wash the UV paint glow gel out of the hair with shampoo. Paint Glow UV Gel is 100% safe,* it contains no radioactive ingredients, the glow is caused from the fact that it’s more reflective of UV light (although technically UV hair gel doesn’t have an SPF)! I used Alberto children’s shampoo followed by plenty of conditioner because this hair tutorial can dry your hair out a bit. It did wash straight out in the shower though. I was very disappointed by the size of the Paint Glow UV Hair Gel tubes but each braid used about a toothpaste-on-toothbrush amount of gel, and next time I’m buying anything for a similar tutorial I will buy the more expensive UV hair dyes that last a week or two instead. The UV hair gel is obviously MUCH better if you have a job and don’t want to turn up fluorescent on Monday after partying all weekend.
*But don’t eat it. C’mon. Moisturizer is safe to wear, and we don’t eat that either.
I purposely designed the hair look to be androgynous so anyone with enough hair can do it. The eye make-up, of course, is down to preference. This would be an AWESOME look for a pride march, a rave or dubstep gig, or any other time you want to show that you love glow in the dark rainbows!
What do you think? Do you like it? Next week I’m doing a rainbow UV glow in the dark no-shave mohican because I’ve wanted to try a mohican since I was like 6 and saw my stepdad’s mohican (y’all probably call it a mohawk in the United States but we invented punk so I’m not fully translating this one).
I took some Bleach London semi-permanent hair colours, in Blullini and Rose:
I splortched the blullini on one of the front strands of my hair and wrapped it in some tissue and put a clip over the tissue to keep it in place, so I didn’t get blue dye all over me. Then I separated another strand for the other side:
Next I poured out some pink:
I put it on my hair:
And I rubbed it in:
I wrapped that side in tissue and clipped it down as well. Then I waited about 10-15 minutes.
When I washed it out, it looked like this:
After a couple of weeks of trying to wash it out, the pink had totally vanished, without even a reddish tinge or anything, but the blue still looked like this:
Annoyingly, the blue remained for another seven weeks! It’s a shame because it was a beautiful electric blue colour. I was very pleased with the pink result, it was a delightful shade of pastel pink and was really pleasing to see in the mirror, and I used it again before half term to colour the entire bottom half of my hair, tutorial was done on Youtube and can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAfS6MVLVpw
Have you used any semi permanent Bleach London colours? Let me know in the comments.
This is an explanation as to how color remover works, because I’ve seen a lot of color remover reviews recently that lead me to believe people have unrealistic expectations of their color remover. I am going to get a bit technical in places, read around these bits if you just want color remover tips. I’ve also done a Hair Color Remover FAQ (which is science-free) for my most frequently answered questions. Last updated October 2020.
What is color remover?
Color remover is a product such as Color Oops that removes the dyed color from your hair.
How to make color remover more effective:
1. Don’t use dry shampoo or products between the last time you washed your hair and using color remover.
2. Don’t use “the coconut oil method” – that’s for bleaching, not color remover, and can interfere with the chemicals involved (but do look it up for bleaching, it sounds really good).
3. Do overestimate the rinse time, particularly if your water pressure is low or you have long/thick hair. It’s better to rinse for longer, it’ll make sure more of the unwanted color gets out of your hair.
4. Wait at least 2 weeks after using color remover before using any box dye, bleach, chemical perm or straightening – check the instructions to see if you need to wait even longer.
Here’s a list of things color remover doesn’t do:
1. Color remover doesn’t turn your hair back to your natural color.
2. Color remover doesn’t make your hair blond (read on, and see).
3. Color remover doesn’t remove cuticle staining.
4. Color remover doesn’t remove semi-permanent hair color.
5. Color remover doesn’t get rid of bleaching to restore your hair to a pre-bleached color or condition.
And here’s what it does do:
Color remover removes molecules of artificial pigment from your hair’s core.
That’s it. That’s all it does.
Let’s look at this in more depth
How color works
First you need to understand how color works. The diagram below shows the different ways hair is affected by different types of color. To dye hair semi-permanent, your natural color is not affected, because the color sits between the cuticle (on the very outside of the hair) and the shaft.
With permanent dye, a lot of people think that the dye just changes the color of their natural color molecules (the brown circles in picture 1). That’s not how it works – it’s a Find and Replace job.
What really happens with permanent dye is that you have to get rid of some of the molecules of natural color before any artificial color will fit inside the hair shaft. After the natural colors are removed, the artificial ones are forced inside to take their place. This is why permanent colors (even black) always contain the peroxide/ammonia combo (or something similar that works in the same way). If they can’t get rid of the pre-existing natural color molecules, the artificial ones can’t get inside to change the hair’s color because there would be nowhere for them to fit in the hair shaft.
In the diagrams 1, 2, and 3, color remover won’t work. It doesn’t work on natural hair – there’s no artificial color to remove – it won’t work on semi-permanent (more below) and it won’t work on bleach – again, there’s no artificial color to remove, because bleach is an absence of color.
Color remover will only work on the hair in pictures 4 and 5. It penetrates the hair shaft and “shrinks” the hair molecules – they don’t mean the atoms or bonds of the molecules get smaller (which is impossible due to forces), what they mean is that it gets the oxygen off the color molecules, making them small enough to fit back through the spaces that the developer has already made in the hair shaft when it was colored in the first place. This is why, when you use color remover, you have to rinse your hair for inordinate amounts of time. If the color molecules get left in the hair, they will recombine with the oxygen and make your hair look colored again (oxidisation) and the results can be embarrassingly bad.
If the color you’re trying to get rid of is “semi-permanent” such as in image 2 in the above diagram, the color remover won’t work because the way it sticks to your hair is different.
Semi-permanent color doesn’t go inside the hair shaft so it can’t be removed by the specific action of color remover. It’s in a different place, attaches differently, and doesn’t use the same chemical color compounds. With semi-permanent color, you should theoretically be able to wash your hair enough until it comes out. By this, I mean you have to wash it then dry it fully then wash it again then dry it again etc until the color comes out – rinsing on its own doesn’t seem to have such a good effect, I’m not sure why.
If your hair is cuticle stained, color remover will get rid of the stuff inside the hair shaft but it cannot affect the staining, which is on the outside of the hair shaft. To get rid of cuticle staining, you can either bleach it out (if it’s mild staining) or wait for it to grow then cut it off. There is a fine line between the bleach getting rid of the staining and the bleach turning the insides of your hair to jelly mush, so bear this in mind – you might just have to live with a reddish tinge for a while (I say reddish because strong red is the most common offender in the cuticle staining stakes, although any color can stain your cuticle).
To take my hair from the color in the picture above to the color in the photo below, I used Color Oops which I bought from Amazon (that link will take you there), but I’ve heard that the Scott Cornwall one works just as well, depending on what’s cheap where you live. One of the great things about Color Oops is that you can use it more than once.
When you use color remover, the molecules I’ve drawn as red circles on my diagrams will leave the hair, but sometimes they don’t all leave; it depends how colored your hair is – there might not be enough molecules of color remover to attach to all the bazillions of molecules of color in your hair in cases such as picture 5 where there’s not a lot of original molecules left. In this case, you would need to do a second color remove after the recommended wait time (see the instructions).
You’ve probably also noticed that the more towards the right we go in the diagram, the more the natural color becomes yellow rather than brown. Each time you color your hair, it affects the hair again in the same way, so your natural color may have been affected by the peroxide to make it a blonder base – this is often the case in hair dyes to get a truer color result; think how many of them state they won’t work on hair that is naturally quite dark!
Why is this important? Because if the natural color was affected by the peroxide during the coloring process, and the color has masked the effect, then when you use color remover your hair might go to an orangey color or a mousey caramel color, or even a blond, depending how many times your hair has been colored since it grew out of your scalp, because it has no healing powers and permanent coloring causes a permanent change to your hair (surprising, given the name). If this happens, you can either:
a) Use a semi permanent color to mask that this has happened, and reapply whenever it starts to fade.
b) Wait at least two weeks (see the color remover’s instructions in case they vary) then put a new permanent color on your hair – this can be one that is the same color as your hair or a new color. Be aware if you are doing this that the color on the box is unlikely to be the color you end up with if your hair’s not a natural color to start with. Permanent box dyes are designed to affect natural, complete hair shafts, and there isn’t always enough artificial color to get a good first-time result on peroxide-changed hair, even though it was a box dye that caused that change to your hair in the first place.
c) Do nothing and see what happens. If you just want to get rid of yellow or orange tones in your hair, consider a “silver shampoo” or toner, which is not permanent and might leave your hair looking more natural. Use a blue-colored “silver” shampoo for hair that’s more orange than you’d like, and a purple-colored “silver” shampoo for hair that’s more yellow.
And that’s how color remover works and how to get the best from your color remover.
If you still have questions, check out my Hair Color Remover FAQ where I answer your questions about color remover.
Box dyes aren’t always very accurate, are they? Sometimes, you can buy a hair dye and it says it’s black but it turns your hair green. What? How did that happen? Let me introduce you to my Doctrine of Colours: How to work out what colours will come out like when you add them to your hair (also if your hair’s gone a weird unwanted colour check out my article on colour remover).
In medieval times, when monks ran apothecaries, and medicine came from plants, and Brother Cadfael wasn’t a character played by Derek Jacobi (although he does a stunning job), there was something called the Doctrine of Signatures. This was basically the way new plants were given uses, in an absence of any other information about the plant. For example, liverwort is a plant that was used to heal the liver because it has liver-shaped bits (liver: a distinctive shape). Heartsease has heart shaped leaves, and this led people to believe it would help the heart. Culpeper, the famous herbalist, wrote about this in his book Culpeper’s Herbal (not light reading). More general shaped plants such as Common Plantain were seen as a cure all because they didn’t resemble any specific part of the body.
Taking this into the realm of haircare, I applied colour theory to come up with a doctrine of colours that can be used to decide whether to put a product on your hair. Products won’t automatically do these things if you use them, it’s more of a “if this product does anything at all to the colour of my hair, it will do this” kind of thing:
Purple: Will neutralize yellow, aka “brassy tones.” Many people try to use it to get rid of orange. It doesn’t work on orange.
Blue: Works on orange tones. Blue will neutralize orange so you can get a cool dark blonde shade. In order to do this, it might make your hair look browner, because that unnatural orange + blue will add up to light brown (also, this is how to get light brown hair – take it to orange then add the right amount of blue).
Green: Works on red tones. Green is unpopular as a hair product colourant but if it was more popular, you could use it to get rid of a bright red if you wanted to turn your hair brown again, or to get rid of a tomato stain, although it will keep the darkness of the red staining.
Yellow: Makes hair yellow. It’s a relatively large colour molecule so it stands out with minimal interference from outside products.
Orange: Makes hair orange. It’s also a large colour molecule compared to purple or blue. Will mostly wash out when added to light blonde hair, meaning you might need to repeat-colour it to make it stick better.
Red: Makes hair red. Use a permanent red or orange before trying to dye blonde hair back to brown it makes the brown stick for longer and the colour comes out better. Will mostly wash out when added to light blonde hair, leaving a reddish tinge, so repetition may be necessary.
White: Will not change hair tone.
Black: Avoid like the plague if you are blonde.
Grey: may add grey tones to your hair.
Are you wondering this: Why do half the colours just go the same colour and the other half go to a different colour?
It’s to do with the base colourings of hair. Inside the hair shaft, all the way up to pure white, there are colour molecules of red, orange and yellow, of varying proportions. The red orange and yellow molecules inside your hair are much larger, which is why it takes more effort to remove them than the blue, green and purple molecules.
By the time you take your hair across to white or silver, there should really only be a bit of yellow left in any visible amount. You can’t get rid of every yellow molecule or your hair would be empty inside, like a drinking straw, which would be transparent and easily squashed (which it is to a fair extent at yellow, but it would be worse than already).
At the point at which there are no colour molecules at all left inside the hair shaft, the hair turns to jelly and dissolves. You need to leave some slight amount of yellow tones in your hair.
Personally I prefer to take my longer layers of hair to a slightly brighter yellow than the internet recommends – I keep it at that day glo yellow, rather than leaving the dye on until very very pale yellow, then I rely on toning to do the rest. Toning yellow hair is the same no matter how much yellow is left – as long as the orange is all gone, it works fine.
The colour result is just a shade of silver that’s slightly duller than it would have been if I left the bleach on for longer, but I feel confident that my hair is safer. I take the top (shorter layers) to palest yellow and it all blends together to give a natural result so I will continue to do this, because the top layers would naturally be brighter than the bottom layers as that’s where the sun would hit if I let my hair anywhere near it without a hat or scarf.
This is all super important because in order to get white or silver or platinum hair, you need to know what colours will do what to your hair, and what products to avoid (for example, never put red, yellow or orange coloured shampoos or products on hair that’s white, silver or platinum).