Women, you should be pissed off…

…And motivated to stand up and do something about stuff like this, especially if you’re American. I for one, am a Kiwi ex-patriate living in canada. Yet this still makes me angry how anyone could presume to tell women, or anyone for that matter, what to do with their bodies and reproductive rights. I firmly, and unshakably believe that a person has the right to do as they please with their … Continue reading

Happy International Women’s Day!

Hey Strangekittens. As you may have read, today is International Women’s Day. Some of the younger people among us may not understand why we have such days. These days are in respect to the women that came before us, they built the foundation of the countries you stand in. Without a woman, you wouldn’t even exist. We all have mothers, alive, dead, or ones we don’t like. Some of us … Continue reading

5 budget friendly ways to get your beauty fix

Hey Strangekittens! So, not all of us, (myself included) have much to spend on beauty products. But I get my fix, muhahah! Here are some places that you can get cheap (or free) goodies to play with. 1. The dollar store Yes, really! At nearly every dollar store I’ve been to, they have those Jordana makeup shelves. It’s great stuff to experiment with, if you wanna try a new color, … Continue reading

5 quick tips to improve your skin (and health)

Hey Strangekittens, here are 5 quick tips to improve your overall health and skin. 1. Don’t over wash. I have sensitive skin, so I only cleanse at night with a very gentle cleanser – Burt’s Bees Radiance Facial Cleanser, and with just cold water in the morning. This way my skin texture is pretty awesome most of the time, except some unavoidable PMS breakouts! The cold water also wakes me up quicker and de-puffs my … Continue reading

Eyes Wide -10 minute tutorial – How to make your eyes look bigger

Hey Strangekittens, here’s a quick tutorial on an easy way to make your eyes look bigger. It’s also a really natural looking everyday look. This is only for the eyes, I haven’t included doing your foundation/primer, which I did beforehand. I designed this so you can do it anywhere, even if you just have your make up and no brushes. I used my (clean) fingers! Before you ask, yes, my hair is really … Continue reading

Why we should all have personal projects

Hey Strangekittens, This morning I read an excellent piece on the importance of personal projects on my friends blog, Rookie Designer. (Jake Van Ness & Kitty Florido, both some of the best graphic designers I know and some VERY motivated sorts) He explained how having personal pet projects to do is important as a designer; I think, as any sort of artist too. It keeps your skills sharp, for one. But for … Continue reading

5 beauty, fashion and health blogs I read every day

Hey Strangekittens. Happy hump day! Today is a list post, wooo! Short and sweet. This is the stuff I read every day, when I first wake up. They’ve all proven to be consistent and an excellent source of valuable info for me. 1. Mark’s Daily Apple is about the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. I’ve been living this for a year now and can personally attest to the awesome results. Mark Sisson posts everyday, and it’s … Continue reading

Product reviews: Sugar Rose/Fresh Lip Treatments + JB Lip Balm

Hey Strangekittens, This month I’ve been spoiled with many Sephora visits, courtesy of my Beauty Insider card, and theweejenny giving me a hefty gift card for my birthday! So I thought I’d share reviews of my latest haul with you. I’m actually going to do two separate posts, one for the lip stuff, and another for the eye shadows. Today we’re looking at this year’s Sephora birthday gift for their members – a lip balm duo – … Continue reading

I love thrift stores! Tips for shopping on a budget

Hey Strangekittens! Did you have a good weekend? Mine was pretty nice. Saturday was my birthday, so was was a little bit spoiled. My husband took me to one of my favourite places: Value Village. Yes, really. (He took me other places too. Don’t worry, he’s not cheap lol) I found an awesome leather jacket there, check it out! I love second-hand stores. You can find some of the most awesome stuff … Continue reading

Bleaching your hair without wrecking it

Hi Strangekittens! It’s time to talk hair. I mentioned on FB how i’m bleaching my hair twice. Below i’ll tell you how i do this without my hair turning into cotton candy!

Kids, don’t try this at home. Really. Ask your mom to help if you’re really keen on it. I don’t want angry parent emails :P

I see a lot of ladies try to bleach their hair and wreck it. As a long time hair dying addict, I’ve learnt the best ways to do it without wrecking my hair. I am NOT a hairdresser; this is just through personal trial and error, and research.

1. Is your hair currently healthy? If it’s shiny and strong, carry on. If it’s rough and dry, stop right there! Bring your hair back to good health before you bleach. Give it a break if you want to keep it. A healthy diet with plenty of animal protein and saturated fats loves on your hair like nothing else! The Paleo lifestyle has done wonders for my hair, personally.

It’s well known that bleach does do some damage to your hair. That can’t be avoided. But we can mitigate the damage and not end up with clumps falling out.

2. Ok, so assuming your hair is decently healthy. First thing I do, and yes this is a little gross, is not wash my hair for about 4 days. Yes, it makes it greasy, but that’s the point! You want the natural protection to your scalp and hair that hair grease provides. Meanwhile…learn about ballerina buns :P Because you’re gonna want your hair tied back while it’s looking yuck!

My hair gets greasy pretty quick, yours may not. Don’t worry about it too much; you just want a little bit.

3. Next, with your greasy hair suitably disguised (or do this before and become a hermit for days, lol), go find some good quality hair bleach. Now, if you’ve bleached your hair before, you will have noticed that there’s labels saying 20/30/40% vol on the kits. This is the strength of the developer, basically. 20% being the lowest, 40 being the highest.  You could go for 40% but it’s incredibly strong, and will most definitely wreck you hair if you don’t know what you’re doing. I personally stick with the 30%. It’s strong enough for most people; depending on if you have natural, un-dyed hair, or permanent dye in it. This time I’m bleaching mine twice, because I had blue-black in it, and it’s super resistant!

You may also want to pick up a protein mask for the next step. I can highly recommend Nioxin’s repair masks, they’re pricey but very worth it. Although, if you go to a beauty supply store, they have the smaller tubes for under $10. But anything should help; Pantene makes some nice ones too. LiveClean makes a great Argan Oil conditioning treatment too.

I have used many brands, and most are pretty similar. These days I use Jerome Russell (the brand that makes Punky colours). I’ve also used Manic Panic, and found that they were pretty decent, but ohgawdwhy stay away from the 40% vol. There’s a few good drug store brands, the easiest one to find is a lightening kit called Blondissima, it’s actually pretty strong!

Note: If you’re planning on going white blonde, or silver like me, buy some purple toner. Or silver toner. You can use this as colour corrector after to take the yellow out of your hair.

4. Ok, next! Once you have you hot little paws on some bleach and developer (and gloves, and a plastic mixing bowl. DON’T USE METAL! Bleach reacts badly with metal), we’re gonna prepare you hair for the ordeal you’re about to put it through. You’ll also want a plastic comb.

First, use whatever mask you bought. I generally leave it in twice as long as the pack says; but this is more to make sure it’s soaked into my jungle-thick hair.

Rinse, dry. Be gentle drying your hair. I air dry it after gently squeezing out excess water. You don’t want to rough things up before you’re started, you’ll undo all your good work!

Find an old white shirt to wear. Bleach is gonna bleach.

5. When it’s COMPLETELY dry, get your latex gloves on and start mixin’! If you bought a kit, it will have instructions. If you bought a separate bleach pack and developer like I did, they should still have instructions on them. I basically mix by eye at this point; a good rule is that the mix should not be very grainy, and it should be paste like. Most bleach is white, some have toner in them, it might be bluish or light purple. This just means your hair won’t come out as yellow. Use a plastic spoon, or the provided brush that came with your kit.

Be gentle with the powder. Do not inhale this stuff, it’s toxic! The Jerome Russell one is not as messy as most, and doesn’t tend to fly around.

Once you have this mixed, make sure you’re doing this in a ventilated area, with a mirror. If you have exhaust fans in your bathroom, it’s good to turn those on now :)

6. Working quickly, and from the ends up, distribute and coat your hair evenly. Combing it through helps, but only comb it once, or you’ll take out more than you want.

Personally, I section my hair up to make this easier to get to the back sections. Everything from the ears up gets twisted up in a plastic clip, and I work from the nape of the neck upwards, taking down sections as I go. This bit is pretty self explanatory. You want your hair coated but not drippy. Also, don’t rub it into your scalp! It will burn your skin.  When you’re good, twist it into a bun or roll, and clip it out of the way. You can use a plastic dye cap too, to help it along. Personally, I just use a plastic grocery bag and tie it at the back, because generally I always forget to pick up a cap, lol!

7. Once you’re got this done, you’ll want to clean up a bit. Fetch a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe off any bleach that’s got on your skin. Don’t forget your ears. This stuff burns like a bitch if you leave it on!

8. And now, we find something to do. I usually surf the internet a bit, or so some housework.

Your brand of bleach should have some timer guidelines on it; I’ve found i have to leave mine on for up to 2hrs. But don’t do this if you’re not sure. Check your hair every 10mins or so to see what colour it is. Yes, at some point it may be orange (if you’re going from dark hair). In that case, it’s not quite done yet. You want to get as close to yellow as you can get. But don’t leave it on more than 90mins! I do two hours because I know what I’m doing, and my hair is VERY thick.

9. When your time is up, rise it out gently and condition your hair heavily in the shower. This is a good time to use your hair mask again! You want to help your hair recover.

10. Let it air dry like before, and if you’re happy with how it looks, then WOOOT! Mission accomplished. If you want less yellow, use the toner you bought.

If it’s too dark still, you’ll have to repeat the process from step 4. But wait at least a day for your hair to recover and take to some of that nourishing mask you got!

Better still, give it a week. MY hair can take it. Like I have mentioned, it’s super thick and resistant as steel wire. Yours probably isn’t, so give it a break. Bleaching is harsh on your hair.

After doing this, you’re going to want to baby your hair for a couple weeks. No heat treatments (straightening, curling etc). If you absolutely HAVE to, use a good quality heat protectant.

So, hopefully you did this right, and your hair hasn’t fallen out. I have done this dozens of times and never wrecked my hair. Now go dye :P