Despite what your parents said all the time when you were a kid, being an adult is awesome. If you want waffles, cheese and beer for dinner, you can have it. If you want to stay up until 4am on a work night watching Pretty Wild on Netflix (totally hypothetical), you can. It's great.
However, it comes with a few pitfalls too. Like, I can't just dye my hair purple because I want to, because I have a job where I have to fool people into thinking they hired a grown up, not this waffle-eating impostor. But when I got a little extra vacation time approved, I started obsessing over having unnaturally colored hair for my week off. I've chalked my hair before, but it looks, well, chalked and gets all over everything.
This Water Color hydrating hair mask seemed like the solution to all of my problems. Temporary, non-damaging, fun colors. The only thing is, it was $24, and for it to arrive before my vacation, shipping would have been another $15. Plus, I couldn't find any good reviews online of people who had used it, or anything that said if it actually came out in 1-5 washes. Back to the drawing board.
I talked it over with some colorist friends, who mentioned that those Water Color masques were really just pigment and conditioner. So instead of spending $40 on one jar, I could probably whip up my own at home for under $10, right?
I decided to go with a lavender color, because I figured it would compliment my blonde best as it started to fade, since my hair can get brassy and I use purple shampoo to tone it. I picked up a jar of Manic Panic Purple Haze and a $1 bottle of Suave conditioner. Make sure you get a conditioner that is white, not one of the ones thats blue or green or whatever.
The first time I tried, I was too conservative on how much purple I would need, and I added about a teaspoon to a half-bottle of conditioner. It was enough to tint the conditioner, but not my hair. I left it on for about 15 minutes and rinsed, and while it was soft, there was no color change. So I ended up doing a ratio of 2 tablespoons of dye to one half-bottle of conditioner, mixed together in a little tupperware. (When you are buying the dye, make sure to buy gloves as well!) It looks shockingly bright and a little dark, but the conditioner really dilutes it more than it looks like. Do a tiny test strip first, to see how it shows up on your hair and how long to leave it on for.
My hair is bleached, so I left it on for literally about 3 minutes, just enough to stain the hair while I was running the hot water for my shower. However, on my roots where it is naturally blonde, I had to go back and let it sit for about 15 or 20 minutes, so again, test to see what works for you!
If you need it to come out quicker, take hot showers every day and use a clarifying shampoo. I was doing this to ensure it would be out before I had to go back to work in a week, and the purple was completely gone in three days. Perfect for if you want fun hair for this long Memorial Day weekend! To make it last longer, you can add a little more every day before you shower, just put a lid over the tupperware and keep it in your bathroom, it will store well.
The jar of Manic Panic was $7 at Sally's, bringing this whole project to $8, which is way better than $40. Plus, Manic Panic has a wide range of colors, so you can make your own instead of being limited to the six colors Watercolor offers. This shows up best on bleached hair, but would be fun to play with if you have darker hair that is ombre-d, or just want a very subtle tint.
And there you have it. Long-weekend friendly passes from adulthood.