I married my husband this year and because of our upcoming nuptials, I decided for the last year and a half to grow out my natural color. Not that we were engaged for that long - ladies you know ;). I had not grown my natural color out in 18 years. I started coloring my hair at 14, much like most of you I assume. The wedding came and went and finally I could color my hair and inspire my clients. I thought I was going to chop it, bleach it and make it metallic. But the thing about growing out your natural color - it's so healthy! Long, soft, shiny - I couldn't let that go. So I decided to have blue hair instead - insert face-palm here.
Now, I had a heavy ombre the previous year and toned it down once I decided to grow out my natural. I still had lighter ends and that made it easy to put a blue tone there. Our salon now carries RedKen City Beats which is a direct dye fashion color line that can be applied to natural color hair and still affect it. It won't be the BRIGHT fashion color you want if you aren't naturally light blonde but it will do something. My natural color is a light, golden brown. When we applied the Blue City Beats on my natural color it looked black. Totally ok with me, it would fade. It was a beautiful blend of the "black" blue tone into a teal blue tone. Cut some bangs and I was a whole new person. Fantastic!
The thing about direct dyes - they come out. While this is a good thing because be honest with yourselves, who wants to have rainbow hair FOREVER. The not so good thing about it is now I have a blue stained bathtub. Every time I showered blue came out and stained my tub. My nails were blue. If I sweat in my sleep the pillow cases were blue and 9 times out of 10 when I woke up in the morning I had blue stains on my forehead and temples.
Yes the color washes off after a bit of scrubbing and the blue did come off the pillow cases in the washing machine. I still have to bleach my tub and I hope it comes out.
After two and a half months of this I was done. My hair faded and my lovely co-worker Rosa helped me lift the color out and make it a beautiful auburn brown. To do this we used a lightner and Wella color afterwards. If you use a direct dye, you will need to remove it from your hair. Some fashion colors like Pink and Purple are friendlier and easy to fade completely out compared to their Blue and Green fashion color friends. The Blue tones just like to hang out, so if you are concerned about more damage to your hair keep this in mind. Also, I already had light ends in the beginning - if you do not have lightened hair you will have to lighten it for direct dyes.
In the end the journey has been quite fun and while I very much enjoyed having my natural hair color - I AM a hairstylist - the color options have not ended for me :). Hope this helps you keep in mind daily living with Direct Dye Fashion Colors if you are considering taking the fun color plunge!