Mix and match

Cooking those colours with clingfilm – and the final result, allergy free!

It’s just over a year ago that my hairdressing habits changed for good  after a massive allergic reaction to the hair dye I’ve been using for years.

A couple of days after having all the reds put back in my hair my eyes puffed up, I got spots on my spots, my neck turned the same shade of red as my hair, my arms itched so much I had to wear mittens to stop me drawing blood, plus it was a bit difficult to breathe. This was a great concern as I had a half marathon to run and I couldn’t be doing with anything that would slow me down any more, good grief, I hardly move as it is.

My GP gave me pills and potions which she said would calm things down until it got of my system, of course there was no question of using that dye again. I asked her whether there was any reason I couldn’t chalk up a 90-minutes PB for the trail half marathon, none at all, she said. Brilliant, I said, I’ve never run less than two hours. No-one laughed. Still it was a bit of light relief as I contemplated a grey-haired future as my head would never be covered in foil again. First world problem, I know. I just had to get over it.

But my hairdresser Claire is a genius, she came up with a plan to use a different kind of dye without all the nasty chemicals, which was great. The downside was that it was the nasty chemicals that stopped the colours from running, so lovely though it is, this new non-reactive dye washes out. My word does it wash out, the shower looks like a scene from Psycho after I’ve washed hair. Plus, unless I come up on the lottery, which is highly unlikely because I don’t do it, I’m not going to pay out for a hairdo every couple of weeks, not when I could do it myself, I’m from Yorkshire, me.

So I armed myself with pots of dye, a few old toothbrushes, a roll of foil and a roll of clingfilm and disposable gloves, lots of them. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I just grabbed hunks of hair, slathered them with colour, stuck some foil on then and wrapped my head in clingfilm, very fetching, I was like a 3-D living Jackson Pollock.

When I was a child, I loved mixing all my paints to make new colours, as a big child I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t do the same with hair dye. The colours are eye-hurtingly vibrant, I mixed Dark Tulip with Vermillion Red, Poppy with Flame, then mixed the mixes, the possibilities were endless!  I’ve had plenty of chance to experiment and when I get it wrong, I wear a hat, confident that it will all come out in the wash.

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