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Bleach Wash - How To - Safely Lighten Dark Hair at Home

Sunday, July 23, 2017

So...you have naturally dark hair and you want to wear fantasy hair colors like blue or purple but you don't want to ruin your hair in the process? I'm here to help. First up, big disclaimer, I am not a hair stylist or cosmetologist or have any type of professional training in regards to hair color and hair care. I am simply a stay at home mom with an art degree who loves to color her hair in bright and bold crazy colors. I've been doing this for years (with a few breaks in between) and I ruined my hair about 10 years ago when I over did it with the chemical processes so I'm here to help you not do that.


This is an older pic of me with my natural hair color back in 2015. As you can see I have very dark brown, almost black hair. I wouldn't call it fully black because it tends to have lighter reddish gold highlights in the areas where the sun hits it and it doesn't look jet black in the sunlight.

When I originally dyed my hair it was supposed to be purple and teal but I didn't lighten my natural color enough for the purple to show up. It faded really fast and just looked like a burnt red, which is why I just kept the teal instead. I did a little research and came to the conclusion I would have to be as pale yellow blonde as I could be in order for purple to show up vibrantly. But how to bleach it again without damaging my hair? At this point, I had already bleached it a few times in order to maintain the teal blue. (Check out my Overtone or Arctic Fox reviews to see what that looked like.)


Bleach wash to the rescue! What's a bleach wash? Well, it's quite simple. It's a method of diluting the bleach mixture with clarifying shampoo so it's less harsh. I use a 2:2:1 ratio. 2 parts developer and shampoo to 1 part bleach powder. Mix it up and apply. Wash off in about 30 minutes.  Previously I used a 40 volume developer, but since I didn't want to ruin my hair this time I went with the milder 20 volume and bleached my hair over the course of a week.


1st pic is what my hair looked liked after a few weeks of using a clarifying shampoo to strip as much dye as I could from my hair. This is why I had switched to using Arctic Fox Hair Color (you can read about that here). 2nd pic is the result after about 30 minutes. I then spent a few days deep conditioning my hair. The purple you see in the pic is a strand test which confirmed that I would need to bleach it further.


About 4 days after the 1st wash, I repeated the process. And ta da! Super pale blonde perfect for any type of fantasy hair color I wanted. If I had wanted to stay blonde, I would have had to follow with a toner or permanent blonde hair color to neutralize the blue and purple from the test as well as the slightly brassy tone still left in my roots. But, as it was, it was the perfect base for my next purple and blue unicorn hair color and my hair was still soft and healthy. Do keep in mind that you have to deep condition your hair in between the bleach washes, otherwise your hair will be dried out and more prone to breakage. Next week, I'll show you how I did the hair color in my profile pic (purple/blue).

Arctic Fox Hair Color - Review

Sunday, July 16, 2017
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Today I have another fantasy hair color post! I tired out Arctic Fox Hair Color in Aquamarine, Poseidon, and Transylvania, was it worth the hype? Read on to find out! This really will be a short and simple review as the process was pretty straight forward for me, I didn't take that many pictures. I actually did this way back in March but I didn't get the chance to post it until now. My hair is actually a different color now.

So if you have been following me on Instagram you might remember that I've had teal hair for a while, almost a year. My natural hair color is very dark brown, almost black even, so I do have to pre-lighten my hair with bleach prior to applying the fantasy hair color. I will cover that process better in an upcoming post. I had been using Ion Color Brilliance Bright Semi Permanent Hair Color in Sky Blue and Aqua. They did work great and the color lasts a long time without having to touch it up with the Overtone conditioners, however, they permanently stained my hair blue. No matter how much I lightened it, I still had a greenish-blue tint to it. I already knew I wanted to add some purple and reds to my hair eventually and it wasn't going to work with stained blue hair. So I went ahead and decided to try out Arctic Fox hair color mainly because both of their blues have a different blue pigment than the Ion does (Blue 15), which is the stainer.

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I purchased Aquamarine and Poseidon in the 8 oz size, and Transylvania in the 4 oz size. I mixed equal parts of Aquamarine and Poseidon in a mixing bowl, and then in a separate bowl a small amount of Transylvania and Poseidon for my roots.


Blurry cell phone shots but you can see that I had pre-lightened my roots prior to applying the hair color. I also used a clarifying shampoo for a few days prior in order to fade and strip as much as the Ion dye as possible.

I applied the Artic Fox Hair Color and left it on for about 2 hours. Rinsed it off and styled.

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Check out the 1st pic in the post for the other "after" shot. My final thoughts? The result was definitely much brighter and intense than the Ion colors. I did have to touch it up with the dye about 3 weeks in, and I continued to use the Overtone conditioners to maintain the color in between touch ups. I probably wouldn't buy the 8 oz bottles again, unless you have super thick or long hair. I still have plenty of hair dye left and I've used a lot of it since this post. I still have enough for at least 6 more months of coloring my hair, or maybe even more. Currently I'm not even coloring it as often cause I'm at home all day and rarely go out. The hair dye has a nice smell to it, an Amazon review said it smells like grape Kool-Aid and I would say that's pretty close. It does leave your hair very soft and moisturized as the dye contains conditioners. It's vegan and cruelty free, although it does contain soy protein, which is something to keep in mind if you or anyone in your family is allergic. It does seem to be gluten free though, which is why I'm guessing they went with the soy instead of wheat...I think it's a strengthening and moisturizing ingredient. I don't know much about the chemical composition of hair color, since I'm not a chemist, but I do know that wheat or soy proteins are used in nail polish strengthening base coats.

Anyway, I purchased my bottles at http://www.artictfoxhaircolor.com. I was not compensated in any way for this review. Let me know your thoughts, have you used Arctic Fox Hair Color before? Did you like? Hate it? Did it work for you or fade super fast?

Moonflower Polish - Isla del Encanto - Summer 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017
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Today I want to share with you guys the latest colors from Moonflower Polish. It's a very personal collection that I've been working on for a while. It's gonna be a long post, so grab a cup of your favorite drink and settle down in a comfy chair. I'm inviting you to take a trip down to the tropics, to my home island of Puerto Rico.

Gray & Blue Swirl Nail Art

Monday, June 19, 2017
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*Contains press samples* Today's post is some really easy gray and blue swirly nail art using polishes from INM Nails and Moonflower Polish. This is a type of nail art that is most commonly done with nail vinyls but I find stamping to be much easier!

Delicate Lace Nail Art

Thursday, June 15, 2017
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 *Contains press samples.* Today's nail art is some pretty and delicate lace nail stamping design created with INM Nails Ice Borg, Moonflower Polish Día, and License to be Sexy 01 from Lina Nail Art Supplies.

Orange & Purple Floral Mandala Nail Stamping

Thursday, June 8, 2017
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*Contains press samples.* I wanted to do some nail art with the polishes INM sent me (you can find the swatches for those here), and the easiest way to do that is to use them as the base polish for some stamping after I was done swatching. I'll be sharing the looks I did with each of the polishes in the next few posts! Today's post is some really simple floral mandala style nail stamping featuring INM LeeLoo and Moonflower Polish Violeta.

INM Out the Door - The Future of Polish Collection - Swatch & Review

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
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*Press Samples* Hi guys! Today I have swatches and a review of the latest collection from INM Out the Door Nail Lacquer called The Future of Polish, inspired by The Fifth Element. The collection consists of 6 shades in shimmery finishes.

Moonflower Polish - Spring 2017 Pastels - Swatches

Saturday, May 27, 2017
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Hi guys! Today I have swatches of the Spring 2017 Pastel set from Moonflower Polish. Since these are handmade by me, and I am biased, I can't provide an honest review for them. However, I can show you pretty pics and a brief description of each along with any other info you might need to know!

BBP - Salty Bitch Stamping Polishes

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

*Press Samples* Hi guys! Today I have a review on the latest stamping polish collection from Bad Bitch Polish. Salty Bitch was inspired by the May Indie Shop's candy shop theme, it consists of 6 taffy colored stamping polishes.

BBP - Mom's Brunch Out Duo - Swatches & Review

Thursday, April 27, 2017
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*Press Samples* Today on the blog I have a lovely duo from Bad Bitch Polish for Mother's Day! The Mom's Brunch Out duo features Lavender-tini, a pastel pink leaning lavender with a subtle holo effect; and Mudslide, a light brown subtle holo the color of chocolate with plenty of cream. All swatches shown in 2 types of lights, 1st Ottlite/Daylight bulb combo, 2nd set are the Jansjo LED light from Ikea which shows off the holo flash a bit better but it *not* color accurate.

Moonflower Polish - Smooshy Nail Art

Friday, April 14, 2017
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Hey guys! Nothing special today, just some smooshy nail art using 4 colors from my brand Moonflower Polish and a stamping plate from Bundle Monster. My nails are super short and awkward right now. I haven't had much time to pain them and they are super neglected and breaking all the time. It makes me sad. So I wanted to do some nail art to dress them up a bit. Check below to see what I used!

Pretty & Polished Spring 2017 - Swatches and Review

Thursday, April 6, 2017
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At some point, I really need to stop apologizing for lack of posts. Anyway, here's my super late swatches and reviews of the Spring 2017 collection from Pretty and Polished. The reason this is late is caused I was almost done swatching these when my son broke his arm. Like..I had literally just snapped a macro shot of Perennial Advisory in transition when the constant giggling I had been hearing coming from my bedroom was suddenly silenced by a loud thump, followed by my daughter yelling and asking if her brother was ok, which caused me to leap from my desk chair to find my 4 year old clutching his arm and crying. I wore that polish on just 4 fingers for 2 days, without any chips, and I mention this cause when I swatch, I don't intend to keep the polish longer than 30 mins and had oiled my nails prior to applying the base coat, since I wasn't intending for it to "stick". So umm, how about some swatches?

BBP Stamps Pt 2 - Pastels - Swatches and Review

Thursday, March 30, 2017
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Today I have swatches and review of the Bad Bitch Polish Stamps Pt 2 collection, the pastels. The BBP Stamps are Bad Bitch Polish series of stamping polishes, the pastels set consists of 6 colors, named after springtime flowers.

Moonflower Polish - LE Polishes March 2017 - Swatches

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Today I have some ultra LE polishes from Moonflower Polish. Story goes...these are essentially oops batches to which I have added extra stuff. I only have a small amount of them because I make my polishes in 5-8 oz batches. One of them I can technically make another 10 oz batch of it, but the other I can't cause I didn't write it down. Basically, if you like them, you need to get them now!

Overtone Review - Fantasy Hair Color Conditioners

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*Purchased by me.* That's my face you guys...with a filter and lots of makeup. Anywhoo, I want to start posting about other stuff besides nail polish so I figured I might as well start with the other thing in my life that's just as high maintenance as mah nails...mah hair! I kid...for the most part my hair is in a messy bun and au naturel. But I did dye it blue back in October 2016, after trying a purple/teal combo in August 2016 that failed (and I now know why so I'll probably attempt it later). It's been blue all this time and I often get asked how I keep it that way, if it's hard to maintain, and if I have to bleach it all the time. Well the answer to that is no, because I use Overtone every time I was my hair.

Moonflower Polish - Rainbow Cremes - Day & Night Duo - Swatches

Friday, March 24, 2017
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So my life got a little crazy the past 2-3 weeks and I am way behind on blogging. It's been over a month since my last post. I have like 5 post drafts just waiting to be finished, so I do have content I just haven't had the time! Anyway, here are my swatches of the Moonflower Polish Rainbow Cremes and Day & Night Duo as promised.

Disclaimer: Since I made these, I obviously think they are great and can't provide an objective review. That's why I suggest you check out the ladies who reviewed these for me in their blogs, for actual opinions. They are Lacquer Expression, Sloppy Swatches, Copycat Claws, and The Dot Couture.

Water Marble Heart Gradient Stamping

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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What's up readers?! I know...I know, it's been forever since I last posted. I promise you I am not abandoning this blog. I've been crazy busy working on the stuff that's on mah nails in that pic above! It's taken months of testing but they are finally ready! Presenting...Moonflower Polish! A 5 Free brand of handmade, small batch, stamping polish! All done by moi. I mix, I pour, I package, I mail it to you so you can make awesome stamped manis and other nail art...except water marble. But you can fake it with a water marble stamping plate like I did! Read on for more info below.

BBP - Eff2016 Swatches and Review

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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Hey online peeps! Today I have the Eff 2016 collection from Bad Bitch Polish. These 6 polishes pay tribute to people we loss and events that happened in what shall be known as one of the worst years in history. (Not the absolute worse, I know my history, there have been worse years, and the worst year of *my life was actually 2013.) Since Britt herself said it so nicely in my info sheet for the collection, I'm just gonna let you guys know what she wrote!

These 6 polishes are named for just a tiny sampling of the memorable (good, bad, and ugly) events of the year. We've said goodbye to many people who touched out hearts and minds, we've lit uncountable internet firestorms, and the US hosted a very...special...election season.

In honor of 2016 getting the eff out of here, here's the Eff 2016 collection. Here's to 2017- at least it's not 2016.

Smooshy Stamped Nail Art with Pretty & Polished - Moonflower Polish - Bundle Monster

Tuesday, January 3, 2017
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What's up my online peeps!? Guys...I'm really determined to do at least 2 posts a week. We'll see. Anyway, for my 1st post of 2017 I have a small break in between press samples so I wanted to do some nail art. I did both hands too! I did these using the smooshy/saran wrap/watercolor technique. I've done this type of nails before but this time I actually used my stamper to smoosh the colors around on my nails. I topped it off with some stamping using one of my Moonflower Polish prototypes. Check below to see more!

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