The Ultimate Guide to Dying Your Hair Fantasy Colours: Keeping it Healthy, Rescuing it When it’s Damaged & Making the Colour Last!

If there’s one thing I get asked about more than anything else, it’s my hair! Whenever I post a selfie I have at least a couple of questions about how I keep it healthy, what to do when its damaged from bleach and how I make my colours last. While I’ve written a few posts on this individual topics before, I thought it was time for an update (things are changing all the time) and I figured one ULTIMATE post, covering everything might be helpful. I hope you agree!

Keeping Hair Healthy

Bleaching

First of all, unless your hair is naturally super light blonde, you WILL need to bleach it if you want to dye your hair a bright, fantasy colour. The colour simply won’t show up, or will look muddy, on hair any darker than light blonde. This is the one stage I would never recommend that you do yourself! It’s very, very easy to fry your hair if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing so the best thing you can do for your hair is go to a colour specialist for this part.

The brighter and more saturated you want your colour you look, the lighter you hair will need to be (however if you want a pastel look you’ll also need a super light base to work with too). It can be difficult to get very dark hair, light enough in one sitting to get the exact colour results you need. Everybody’s hair is different though so speak to your colourist and take their advice! The texture of your hair may mean you need a few gentler bleaching sessions over a series of months to get to your desired base colour.

I also never, ever bleach my hair more than once. I’ve heard about people doing two or even three passes of bleach over their hair in one sitting and the idea makes me wince! Even using protection such as Olaplex (see below) this just seems like a really terrible idea. When I get my hair bleached, we only ever do the roots. If I need to fade my colour to change it up, I just quit topping up the colour for a few weeks before I go to the salon to get it as light as possible.

Olaplex (or similar)

Olaplex revolutionised the hair care market when their three step system launched a few years ago. So much so that there are now 32 competitor brands producing a product that (claims to) do the same thing! I’m yet to use any of them other than Olaplex, but I’m going to a salon soon that uses Innoluxe so I’ll report back. Using these products not only limits the damage the bleach does to your hair, but it can also help rebuild damaged hair too! As soon as I started using Olaplex, my hair transformed. I can not recommend it enough.

These products are salon-only meaning you have to go to a hairdressers to use them. While you can buy them from places like eBay and Amazon, I’ve heard that due to the popularity a lot of them are fake, so I wouldn’t recommend risking it! The cost is between £30-£50 on top of the usual cost of having your hair dyed.

If you want to read more about Olaplex and my experience you can do so here!

Rescuing Hair When it’s Bleach Damaged

I have written extensively about this before so if you haven’t already, you should definitely read this article first.

My biggest tip for fixing your hair when it’s either breaking off, or super stretchy and springy is to give it time. It WILL take a long while for it to get healthy again so you need to treat it with kindness and have patience. Depending on the extent of the damage you may also need to cut some of it off and start again. I had to do this and it was painful but so worth it in the end!

Restore the protein

The reason hair gets damaged by things like bleach and heat, is because they attack the natural proteins (also known as keratin) in your hair. In order to get it healthy again you need to restore these proteins with treatments such as the Redken Extreme range.

Slather it in moisture 

As well as being deficient in keratin, your hair will likely be very, very thirsty. Healthy hair has the perfect balance of both protein and moisture in it, so you need to make sure you restore both. A lack of moisture is what makes your hair straw-like or causes it to snap off when it gets to a certain length. I love anything by the Moroccan Oil brand.

Avoid heat (as much as possible)

Even though my hair is pretty healthy these days, I try to leave it to dry naturally as often as I can. Intense heat, like bleach, is one of the biggest things that will damage your hair fast. I then style it with straighteners on the lowest setting. Always use a heat protecting spray too! If your hair is in a really bad state, you should avoid heat at all costs, however if, like mine, its in pretty good condition then using heat on it occasionally is OK.

Give it a break

It should go without saying, but if your hair is damaged you need to treat it with care and that means no more bleaching, no more heat and lots of lovely treatments to help it recover. You should also avoid brushing it too often, rough-drying it with a towel or wearing tight hairstyles.

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90s Grunge Meets Disney Wedding Ideas

Well, those are two things I never thought I’d be putting together but, as I’m sure you know, when it comes to alternative weddings nothing is off limits! You know what though, 90s grunge and Disney are both totally my jam!

The mood board for this shoot was based around tartan shirts, Dr Martens,  Kurt and Courtney’s wedding on Waikiki Beach and Marc Jacobs’ Perry Ellis Grunge collection from 1992. “I’ve been lucky enough to have been part of many beautiful, ethereal styled shoots over the past couple of years, but none of them have allowed me to really scratch a more playful, eccentric itch”, explained florist Lisa of Floral Menagerie. “I was just desperate to make floral Mickey ears and put a flower crown on a groom!”

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How to Find a Plus Size Wedding Dress for Under £150

‘Flora’ by Chi Chi London, £74.99

For many brides, the dress shopping experience is one of the most exciting times of planning a wedding. Getting together with a gaggle of girlfriends, swooning over all the pretties hanging on the rails, experiencing that magical moment when you find ‘the one’ and (hopefully) making everyone cry! Brides have been buying their wedding dresses this way for a very long time, hell I even did it, and I loved every moment.

However the 2017 bride has way more choice and shopping for a wedding dress doesn’t have to be the same experience that it’s always been. In fact recent reports suggest that brides are choosing to spend less money on their wedding dress in a bid to focus their financial efforts elsewhere – on say, buying a house, or starting a family.

The media loves to blast the wedding industry for over-inflated prices and outrageously expensive wedding dresses. Don’t worry, this article is not another one of those! While I have always championed not going into debt for your wedding, and the fact that if you don’t want to spend a lot to get married you don’t have to, I am also of the belief that quality costs money for a reason (higher quality of fabrics, hand made techniques that take a lot of time etc). However if you can’t, or don’t want to, spend a mortgage payment on your wedding dress, there have never been more budget-friendly alternatives available to you than right now!

Another thing I’m hearing more and more from my readers is the struggle that plus size brides are having marrying (boom boom!) a more cost effective wedding dress option with something that fits (and suits!) them. I mean, the Topshop bridal collection was lovely and all, but was pretty much exclusively aimed at women under a size 12 IMHO.

So today, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite plus size inclusive bridal brands that not only make dresses that will look amazing on you whatever your shape or size, but they’ll keep your wallet happy too!

‘Carmen’ by Chi Chi London, £64.99

Voodoo Vixen‘s curve line ranges from 1XL-4XL (UK sizes 16-26) and includes a number of adorable bridal dresses. Unfortunately not all of their occasion dresses are available in their curve sizes, but their prices are incredibly reasonable, starting from just £60!

Chi Chi London have been a Rock n Roll Bride favourite for a while now, and with good reason. Their dresses are cute, great quality and insanely affordable. PLUS, after noticing that more and more brides on a budget were rocking their dresses for their weddings, they have just released an actual wedding collection meaning there is now more choice than ever! While not every style is available in every size, their curve collection does goes up to a UK size 26. 

Vivien of Holloway, one of the original purveyor of reproduction retro style dresses, have been offering a bridal range for many years. Their stunning satin gowns start from £99 and are done by measurements, rather than standard sizing. The largest size they offer is a 46 in bust and a 38 in waist.

Monsoon‘s wedding dress collection might not be priced at under £150 (they’re more like £250-£500, so still a great price!) but did you know they also go up to a size 22 in a lot of their gowns? Perfect for the babe who wants something a bit more bohemian in style.

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Super Mario & Video Game Wedding on a Budget

When a couple meets while playing World of Warcraft, you can all but guarantee that when they tie the knot they’re going to have a video game themed wedding! Hanneke and Duncan were married in Bristol in September.

“We love organising parties and having friends over, and we wanted to do just that, but on a larger scale, for our wedding”, said the bride. “It was very important for us that our guests had fun and felt relaxed. The morning was more formal and dressed up, because we did want to have a sense of gravitas for our actual ceremony, but we had most fun and put most creativity into organising the evening party.”

The day was split into two parts with the ceremony in the morning, and the party later that evening. “In the morning we had coffee, tea and pastries at Hotel du Vin with our ceremony guests, walked to the Registry Office for the ceremony, and then went back to Hotel du Vin for a three course lunch. For our party in the evening, we hired Dundry Village Hall as we live two doors down from it and we got a villagers’ discount! It also meant we could have the after party at our house after the village hall closed at 11.30.”

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Spooky Cemetery Themed Wedding on Halloween

As soon as they got engaged, Morgan and Sam decided that a Halloween wedding would be their absolute dream. They wanted to include the dark horror side and also the warm coloured, Autumnal side of Halloween. The wedding was held at Reynoldston Village Hall on October 31st.

The day began with an intimate, humanist ceremony. “Neither of us are religious and it was really important that we had a simple yet meaningful ceremony, with a dash of humour thrown in”, began the bride. “We wanted to trim out all of the fluff, so no songs or readings – just the two of us declaring our love for one another.”

“My mum walked me down the aisle to a song that Sam and I call ours, Tears for Fears, Head Over Heels. We wanted our vows to be unique to us and reflect the way we love each other, so we wrote them. We both cried the whole way through. We exchanged rings but incorporated the Pagan tradition of handfasting. It was really nice to include an old ritual and I spent quite a while studying the meaning behind each colour of ribbon and assigning it to who I thought that best represented.”

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Kitsch, Vegas-Inspired Wedding in Birmingham

They flew over to Las Vegas to elope, but Sally and Stuart still wanted a party back home in Birmingham to celebrate with their loved ones. “Our wedding was themed around kitsch, Vegas and movies with cheesecake”, said the bride. “We had a Las Vegas elopement on Valentine’s day because we visited the travel agent on a whim during Christmas and found ourselves with six weeks to organise our outfits! We got married at The Little White Wedding Chapel by Elvis. Our friends and family watched over the internet and when we got back, we promised our family and friends a party so we wanted to bring a bit of Vegas to them.”

The party was held at The Bond Company in Digbeth. “It was easy for everyone to get to and we had been to some fun events and food markets at the venue. Digbeth is also very vibrant with constantly changing street art and we wanted our photographs to reflect that. We chose our photographer Lisa Carpenter, based on wedding photos she had done in the area for another wedding and on the day, she had scouted out areas with awesome street art for us to be photographed in front of.”

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