Hair ‘mare: removing Atomic Pink

Recently, I’ve been having a bit of a nightmare. I am a huge fan of ‘fashion colours’ (i.e. any non-natural hair dye) and I pride myself in having worked through most hair dyes on the spectrum.

In September, my amazing hairdresser Ria helped me get me a look I had always dreamed of, rainbow unicorn hair. Amazing as it was, it included a lot different dyes and involved a huge amount of upkeep, so was a rather expensive project. My particular issue with it, was that my root colour was pravana neon pink, which faded super fast, especially due to hair-line sweat from all the gymming. I decided for my next hair project I wanted to go for fewer colours, and a much darker shade of pink so that it would fade over time into a light pink. After a lot of research on my favourite hair forums, I found Special Effects Atomic Pink. This dye had been raved about for being so long lasting, but at the time neither Martha or myself realised just how strong it was.

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my pink/purple/ blue hair f.t. my lovely cousin Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S0 I’ve had this pink/purple/ blue look for a fair few months now, and am pretty sick of it. I am all up for bright colours, but these shades were just too dark and don’t really go with my rainbows and pastel look. Foolishly I thought I would just wait for it to fade out but here’s the thing…it does not fade. I took to the internet and have been attempting different methods to remove this colour, so if you need to get rid of any kind of colour, mainly fashion colours, here are the methods I have tried and tested to get rid of the strongest pink dye I have ever come across (in chronological order).

Clarifying/ anti-dandruff shampoo

My primary reason for hating head and shoulders is its ability to strip your hair. It strips natural oils, moisture and colour and so I thought it would be a good place to start. Anti-dandruff or clarifying shampoo is a very popular option if you’ve accidentally dyed your hair black, or have gone several shades too dark, and does work for some weaker fashion colours like manic panic. But I scrubbed and scrubbed with head and shoulders and…nothing. No colour change, but my hair definitely felt  a lot drier.

The verdict: No colour change, but a hair mask was definitely needed to replenish my hair’s natural moisture.

Shampoo/ bicarbonate of soda mi

Another fairly tame but highly recommended treatment was mixing two parts shampoo (head and shoulders again) and one part bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda and leaving on your head for a short while, I think I left it on for around 45 minutes. Alas, this also made very little difference, but did create a hella nasty smell.

The verdict: no colour change, and made my hair a bit crusty. Might work for other colours but no success here.

after fading and bicarb treatment.jpg
my colour post bicarb/ head and shoulders

Vitamin C treatment 

This treatment was tried upon recommendation from my lovely friend Martha. Like me, she loves bright hair and enjoys regularly mixing up her hair colour, she is the Ramona Flowers in my life. We crushed up a load of vitamin C tablets and mixed with (you guessed it) head and shoulders. I smothered it on my head and it smelt disgusting. I wrapped my head in cling film and left it for about half an hour. This was the first time I actually noticed a change, it was very teeny, but some of the vibrancy had definitely left my hair.

The verdict: I know for a fact this can create marvellous results, but unfortunately it had limited effects on my hair. Also it smells. A lot.

after-vitamin-c

Colour B4 Extra strength hair remover 

By this point I was getting pretty frustrated, and was willing to try something a bit more hardcore in order to shift the dye. So I bought colour B4 Extra Strength Colour Remover. It boasts that it lifts even the strongest of colours and is a best seller. Well, maybe it works on your average box dye but it did nothing. I should probably point out here that I don’t mess around when it comes to colours, I always follow the instructions to a T, so I am not blaming colour B4 for my own incompetence. The before and after photos clearly show that nothing happened, so that was £10 down the drain.

The verdict: I have no doubt that for normal hair colours this works, but I was highly disappointed by how little it did. On the plus side it didn’t damage my hair.

after-colour-b4
post Colour b4 treatment, no difference, as you can tell.

Katie’s fading treatment 

The discovery of this treatment was an absolute God send. It was formulated by someone called Katie Siepierski. She herself developed the fading treatment off the back of trying to remove Atomic Pink. The science behind this treatment is too complex for me to understand all of it, but if you are interested you can read about it here. I have so far performed 3 fading treatments, and although there is a fair amount of resilient dye clutching on to my hair follicles, it has by far given me the most lift in colour. This fading treatment is a mixture of head and shoulders, bleach powder, coconut oil and olive oil.

The verdict: This is definitely the best treatment I have used, it does not have any evidence of damage after using it and creates great results. Futhermore, it requires you to soak your hair in coconut oil two hours prior to using the treatment, which helps nourish your hair. It is also relatively inexpensive, but you may end up with oil stains everywhere.

So now my colour has faded to about this. While my blue and purple have gone to a really nice pale pink, I still have a lot of atomic pink stuck to my hair follicles. Over the next week or so I am going to try a few more of Katie’s fading treatments, and then perhaps bleach or bleach bath it. But for now, this is where I am, and I am hoping that I will fade it enough to start up a whole new look. Fingers crossed!

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