Hair color tips

Maria asked in Shadow Self facebook site if I could tell about my coloring ways and give some tips. She also asked particularly about Goldwell's Elumen series. So here we go! :)

My history with hair, short course

My natural color is dark brown. Back in my elementary school days I had my first hair dye. The tone was dark plum. Then for awhile I used henna producst. At the age of 14 I wanted a red hair and sticked with it for several years. Then I wanted black endings. Then the red parts turned pink. Then I tried blue, black and pink. Then went back to pink. Then I had (gasp!) a black hair because of a musical part. And then I went whole blue... and red again! And then foxy orange red! And red with blonde endings. And so on.

1. Chenice, professional permanent color for highlights. Needs oxygen, harms hair but gives a great a bit metallic red!
2. Crazy Color: Cyclamen, Crazy Color: Pinkissimo, Live: Cosmic Blue (Permanent color)
3. Elumen: PK@ALL (Pink)
4. Crazy color: Vermillion red, Crazy color: Tangerine, Crazy color: Fire ...and some random black.

At the moment my hair has icy pale platinum roots, almost blue but not quite. The color slides to turquoise and blue, having some shades of turquoise green. The endings and neck hair is black. I can tell this has not been easy. Achieving this color has taken 3/4 year and I still have to grow more hair to get even more of that completely white part.

5. Crazy Color: Some mess of Pinkissimo, Violette, Burgundy and Pinkissimo.
6. Crazy Color: Cyclamen, Live: Cosmic Blue 
7. Crazy Color: Vermillion red, Crazy Color: Tangerine 
8. Live: Black. This is from a stage when I wanted to go back to red. I've lightened the hair a bit and tried to use red in the roots. Not working easily. You need often several decolorisations to remove many layers of permanent black.

Having a bright color for dark hair means a lot of decolorizations. And yes, it also means that the condition of hair won't stay as good. My hair is forgiving and it takes several whitenings. But I have had friends who'se hair has burned away from too much of color removal.

Always remember that the action of the hair dye color depends on your own hair's quality, condition and previous treatments! You follow the tips of this post at your own responsibility.

9. Live: Black, White and striped dreadlocks 
10. Live: Black, Neon yellow dreadlocks 
11. Live: Cosmic Blue, Fantasy: Don't remember the name of this one. They stopped selling the tone.
12. Fantasy: Same blue than the previous, just more lightened base. This color stayed one wash and after that my hair turned more like some sea monster's mold greenish blue hair.

How often?

My hair grows around the maximum speed, 20 mm/month. The growth is slightly slower on the top of my head. This means that after 2 weeks I have 1 cm of root growth. So, I blonde my roots around twice a month. I avoid lightening my endings unless I have a process like "going to icy blue/turquoise/black" as I have at the moment. I try to give the hair several weeks time to rest, but I must admit I'm not always that patient.

When using black, I usually end up with Live series. They are permanent colors and the only ones I've been fully satisfied. Especially Cosmic Blue is awesome!

If I use red semi-permanent, I add some more of the color around every fourth wash. With green tones it's the same. But with blue... At least every second wash. It is usually enough that I add some color to the conditioner. At least once a month I still need to give the hair a full dye, meaning that I coved the hair fully with larger amounts of the color and let it stay there for several hours.

But. There are options so that one doesn't have to dye as often.

Goldwell: Elumen

Elumen is an exceptional hair color. It works like a permanent color, has the brightness of a direct color and it doesn't contain oxidizer. The color has very high intensity! All this is based on that the color changes the electrical charge of the hair. This also quarantees that the color stays amazingly well, even the shocking bright tones. The lighter your own hair, the brighter the result. The construction of the color resembles jello. The greatest plus side is that Elumen gives your hair an exquisite shine. It kind of fills the hair. Personally, I love it! (Picture: Elumen TQ@ALL, turquoise. More pictures of this style coming later!)

Then why aren't everyone using this magical hair dye color?

Changing the normal electrical means that it changes the hair's reaction to other colors a bit. For example, Elumen cannot be properly removed with decolorizators. They only brighten the hair under the color but won't remove Elumen itself much. Thus, the Elumen series has it's own "Remove" product. Sometimes even remove isn't enough.

The other thing is that it's rather expensive. One of the reasons is that the product needs other products to work ideally, a sort of a primer called Elumen Prepare and a color sealer + extra color remover, Elumen Lock. Even the wholesale price is quite high compared to any other color. And one more "but". This product isn't used as a typical hair color. Because of the exceptional dyeing process, this product won't usually be sold for non-professionals, unless you order it from Internet or so. Elumen is also very staining. Whereas you can scrub semi-permanent direct colors at least with chlorite, Elumen just might not leave at all. They actually have their own cleaning product. One must remember that if your hair is more damaged, even Elumen will fade faster.

+ Wide scale or different color tones
+ Makes the hair shine for long
+ Lasts even longer than regular permanent colors
+ Doesn't harm your hair (though might dry just a bit because of containing alcohol - use deep treatments!)
+ Tones can be mixed together
+ Doesn't smell almost at all

- Rather expensive
- Hard to get for your own use
- Best results demand the use of side products
- Might make dyeing with other colors harder afterwards
- Extremely staining!

But, if you have a certain color that you like to stick with, I'd say Elumen is the greatest option.

Semi-permanent colors

Especially alternative style people usually know about "direct colors", or semi-permanent colors. These are for example Directions, StarGazer, Fantasy, Crazy Color and Manic Panic. The idea of these colors is the possibility for fantasy tones that usually won't be possible. These colors work usually as conditioners and won't harm your hair - but the whitenings that you need to do, will. Semi-permanent colors won't stick unless you break your hair texture a bit. Other words, you need to destroy your hair a bit to make it work.

As most of you probably know, direct colors usually won't last long. Some shades, especially blue, needs usually several times before it starts to look well saturated. ...And just when you get the correct result you wash your hair a couple times and the result isn't that bright anymore. In my experience, red and dark magenta will stick the fastest and stay the longest. (Just remember that someone else might have another kind of experience!)

My favourite brand is probably Crazy color. But some colors are better in other series. For example Crazy color has the greaters red (Fire) and magenta (Cyclamen), but Directions has much better blue colors. Then again, Crazy Color's Cyclamen is so bright and saturated that it's even better than Elumen reds. When mixing Cyclamen to any other red color, it seems to give them an interesting kick.

 In this picture (right) I have one of my favourite colorings. There are several different reds and some pink and black, too. I made a color removal three times to get the endings that bright. And the problem was that every time I washed my hair, the darker colors washed over the endings and made them darker, too. To the color was awesome at first but very soon lost its' idea.

There are a couple tips how to make the color stay better:
- When you dye, you usually can see that the bottle tells you to let the color stay about 15 minutes before rinsing. Put a zero after that number and you start to get closer to the real time. If I'm in a hurry, I let the color stay an hour. If I have an average day, I let it stay 2-4 hours. If I REALLY want a good result, I let it be 8 hours. With my schedule, this is rarely possible.
- When washing the colored hair, use shampoo only for the roots, and sometimes don't use it at all, if your skin can take it. Mine can't. Use a lot of conditioner.

And what about now?


Well, yesterday I used Elumen first time in a few years. I tried the new tone, TK@all which is turquoise. I had to torture my hair one more time and I'm beginning to see that my endings won't take much more color removals. So I let them rest for several months before even concidering any decolorizations. I'll also go to Kirsi @ Parturi-Kampaamo Titu to have an oil treatment she recommended for me.

Everyone has a bit different ways of doing their hair color. These are my ways. Feel free to ask anything! I could write about the subject much more, but perhaps I'll save something for the next entries. :) Oh yes: and in the next entry you'll see plenty of pictures of my new hair!

If you want to suggest new subject for posts, you can leave a message to my FB group, or just comment. And every question is welcome, too!



  1. Huh mikä määrä erilaisia aineita, perus blondia heikotti :D Ihailtavaa hiusten värjäämistä, se on sanottava kyllä. Jäin itsekin oikein miettimään, että miten latvasi kestävät, oma hiukseni ei anna niin paljon anteeksi vaan vaatii öljyä (ja saksia). Kampaamoiden öljyhoidot ovat ihania, auttavat niin paljon hiuksia jaksamaan, tosin minä kun olen tällainen kokeileva tyyppi, niin teenpähän kotonakin hoitoja öljyllä. Kookosöljyllä, Cutrinin hiuksiin jätettävällä eikä Maroccon oilia sovi unohtaa.

    Se siis mistä tahtoisin lukea, on miten hoidat hiuksiasi? Millä tuotteilla? Niiden suhteen kun olen aina avoimen kokeileva ja uudet vinkit tervetulleita :)

    1. Joo, onhan tämä melkoista säätöä. Tuo uudempi entry havainnollistaa sitä vielä enemmän, kun on läträtty blondilla, mustalla, Elumenilla, syväpuhdistavalla shampoolla, keltaista pois taittavalla suoravärillä yms. :D Toki ihan perushoitoon riittää minulla shampoo, hoitoaine ja suoraväri toisinaan. :) Mutta kyllähän tässä tosiaan kärsii jonkin verran, ja tukka vaatii lepoa aina aika ajoin säilyäkseen jotakuinkin kunnossa. Voisin kirjoittaa tuosta pitemmänkin entryn, mutta vastaan vaikka kohtuunopeasti ensin suoraan tähän! Eli itsekin käytän öljyhoitoja (nyt on XZ:n tyrnimarjaöljyä), lisäksi tehohoitoja. Aussiella on myös 3MinuteMiracle -sarja, joka on ihan mahtava ollut fiksatessa vaalennettuja osia. Kuiviin hiuksiin käytän kuumasuojaa sekä Extraordinary Elixiriä. Nyt on myös Gliziltä suihkutettava hoitoaine. En käytä kaikkea aina yhdessä, vaan lähinnä tarpeen mukaan.

  2. woah! Amazing! Thank you for sharing this. You could be a professional. I love that flame color. And you are SO pretty! :o

  3. very nice hair color I love the burgundy hair color very much I will try this hair color ion my hair. Thanks for this post.

    Cosmetic Surgery India

  4. Wow your hair color is simply super. i love the red color also that pink color suits you more.
    Oncology & Cancer Surgery India

    1. Thank you so much ! Yes, pink was also quite cute and even better with my skin than pure red. :)

  5. Moi, oon etsinyt koko aamun tietoa siitä miten tuo Cyclamen tarttuu punasiin hiuksiin? Kirjoitit, että mikä tahansa muu punanen antaa mielenkiintosta potkua väriin mutta tarkotatko sillä cyclamen ja jonkun muun punasen sekoitusta? Kun minulla itselläni on nyt kirkkaanpunanen tukka (6,66) värjätty kestovärillä, sitä ennen fire red jota ennen vaalensin hiukseni josta johtuen latvat on uuden värin alla edelleenkin tummemmat ja tyvi vaaleampi. Mitä mieltä olet, mahdanko saada kauan himotut pinkit hiukset jos kokeilen laittaa cyc. tämän pun. päälle vai onko vaalennus tarpeellinen? En ole vielä löytänyt tyydyttävää vastausta netin ihmeellisestä maailmasta mutta kokemuksesi shokki-värjäyksista vakuutti :) Kiitos jo etukäteen!

    1. Cyclamen tarttuu oikein mainiosti, mutta alla oleva väri vaikuttaa siihen kyllä. Cyclamen on sellainen hyvin tumma violetinpinkki, eli sellaista "vaaleanpunaisen pinkkiä" siitä ei ikävä kyllä saa, mutta jos tahdot hiukan vaalentaa tulosta, sekoita Cyclamenia ja Pinkissimoa! :) Sen jälkeen, kun pohja on juurrutettu voimakkaan pinkiksi cyclamenilla, niin etsittäessä vaaleampaa tulosta pinkissimokin saattaisi tehdä tehtävänsä. Yksinään pinkissimo ei välttämättä muuta fireä tarpeeksi. Mutta tosiaan, kaikki tämä riippuu paljon omasta tukasta ja sen laadusta sekä alla olevista värikerroksista. Ja juu, tarkoitin juuri Cyclamenin ja jonkin muun punaisen sekoitusta. Esim. omaan kokemukseen pohjautuen:

      Fire + cyclamen - Tumma, räiskyvä, kylmään taittava pinkinpunainen, jossa erittäin korkea saturaatio

      Cyclamen + vermillion red = Erikoinen kylmä verenpunainen, tai sellainen... hyytyneen veren punainen? :D

      Cyclamen + pinkissimo = Välimuoto näistä kahdesta, kuitenkin enemmän tumma kuin vaalea pinkki.

  6. Hi, I just put the elumen turquoise in my hair and my husband hates it and thinks it's too much for work. Could I dye over it with a dark supermarket dye? Or would that not work at all?

    1. I think that a darker market color will do quite fine. Might insist two coloring times but I'd say you'll be able to dye them darker. :)

  7. Hi, I just tried the elumen turquoise for some of my hair. My husband hates it and thinks it's inappropriate for work. Could I dye over it with a darker supermarket colour or not?

  8. Thanks for this awesome blog entry. I have used Special Effects exclusively for about five years. I used purple in the summer, and now the blue we placed over it (after lightening the purple with bleach) always fades back to the purple. I'm wondering if this Elumen is the answer I've been looking for. I would ask my hair stylist to buy it. Any advice? Do you think the turquoise will cover the blue/purple streaks?

    1. Hi! Purple is very strong and when it comes to me it has been harder to cover it, but what I would probably do is a gentle color removal (if a deep wash shamoo doesn't help) and then dye at first with blue a couple times (inside a short period) and then put turquoise. I'm not sure if Elumen helps in this case but you could ask your your hair stylist.

      One very good blue color is Directions Midnigh Blue. That's quite strong and covers very well. :) I used it when I had difficulties covering yellow tones of my bleached hair when wanting blue.

      The thing with blue is that it needs constant re-dye. It usually isn't a color one can put once a month, since it fades very fast. If your hair stylist does the base work, you could ask some instructions how to help to maintain the color longer. :)

  9. Kauanko tuo elumen pysyi sulla ja värjäsitkö sitä uudelleen kertaakaan? Itselleni olen harkinnut myös Elumenin turkoosia väriä, joten olisi hyvä kuulla vähän mielipidettä/neuvoja. :)

    1. Täytyy myöntää, että siirryin lopulta aika pian takaisins shokkeihin. Elumenin turkoosin paras sävy (juuri sellainen kuin halusin) ei kestänyt kuin pari pesua ja sitten se kallistui dramaattisesti vihertävämpään. Ja se sävy sitten taas pysyikin ja pitkään. Mutta se alkutulos ei ollut niin pitkä kuin olisin tahtonut. Väri itsessään on todella kaunis, mutta totesin jonkin ajan kuluttua, että hinta-laatusuhde käy inan tyyriiksi.

      Mutta tietty on muistettava, että kaikkien hiukset reagoivat eri tavoin. Itsellä voimakkaimmat vihreät tulivat hiukan vanhempaan hiukseen, jossa on ihan inan jäljellä pohjaa vanhasta, vaalennetusta mustasta.

  10. Hiii :3 Love ur Hair :3 , did u bleach ur hair alone , I mean by yourself ? .. if u do .. can u give me some advises ... I just got a Twisted teal dye , but my hair it's kinda blond-brown right now D: ... andd I saw on a pic that u have magenta contact lenses *_* can u tell me where did u get them ? please ;w;

    1. Sorry it took so long to answer! I didn't notice there was a new comment here.

      Yeah, I do it myself. :) The most important thing is that when you need to dye your roots at some point, don't bleach your whole hair again. Take a suitable hair dye brush and add the bleach only to your roots. Monitor closely the results and don't bleach too often. If you need to brighten up the color (like crazy color, directions etc), don't bleach in the first place but try first deep cleansing shampoo (leave it there for some hours, rinse and do it again! Repeating this a couple days already makes the hair lighter if it has been dyed with temporary colors - but there won't be damages. After this you can decide whether you need a quick bleach or not. If yes, monitor closely when to rinse. If the hair looks like "Yeah, this is how light it should be!" just rinse it and don't wait any longer. :) The longer you wait the more damage the bleach will do so minimize the use! : 3

      Those lenses are crazy lenses, if I'm correct. :) The UV pink version! At least Cyber Shop sold them in Finland but I guess they are quite easy to get! It's quite a common color/model. :)

  11. This is great. You explained everything so well. I'll give Crazy Colors or Directions a shot. Haven't decided yet. Thank you.

  12. Could you tell us how to get hair no. 7? Crazy Color: Vermillion red, Crazy Color: Tangerine? I love the combination. I'm getting these two colours right now. :)

    1. Yes! My own hair is quite dark so the base after bleaching was quite copperish. After that I used vermillion red to the endings and middle, then mixed tangerine towards the roots and very near to the roots I only used tangerine (that's why it looks like it glows :D)


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