Currently my hair is purple, but I'm changing the shade soon (or at least trying to!). Before the purple, I had cotton candy pink hair, which was very light and easy to dye over. Naturally I'm a cool toned blonde.
I've preferred Directions semi-permanent dyes before, but once I tried Elumen, there was no going back. Semi-permanent dyes stain badly and seem to stick everywhere else better than hair. I've scrubbed the bathroom floor so many times! Elumen is also semi-permanent, but acts like a permanent colour. Elumen does stick to skin and cloth, but it does not stain hard surfaces. On my hair Elumen bleeds really light pink for about two washes, then it just sticks. This means no more purple pillow covers, shower hoses or towels ;D
|Elumen VV@all. On the right side you can see a faded black section.|
Elumen purple, VV@all, is very red based and when used alone it dyes hair plum coloured with only very little blue tones. I prefer bluer purple, so I use two thirds of VV@all and one third of BB@all, a dark blue. Elumen does still fade, but very slowly, and I've usually just treated my hair ends and lengths with a regular semi-permanent colour to deepen the shade.
The neat thing about Elumen is that it actually sticks to my natural colour. I had bleached my roots for each touch-up for years (before the cotton candy I had platinum blonde and before that pink hair, for example) and was very delighted to be able to skip that step. Now I have about 1/4 of my hair length done with only Elumen on my natural colour. Without bleaching the shade is a bit more dull, but it's not very noticeable. For some reason Elumen doesn't want to stick to a small part right next to the scalp, apparently the hair is just in too good condition and the dye cannot penetrate it. With my haircut the bangs hide the little bits around my face where the dye doesn't stick, but bleaching first would most likely help with the problem.
The ends that have gone through many a bleach before the purple aren't in the best condition, but my hair is quite strong and can take a little rough love ;)
|With clip-in extensions dyed with Directions purple and Directions Turquoise.|
I've only tried Elumen's purple, but I'd be happy to recommend trying it out for other unnatural colours as well! I order mine from Germany, because in Finland you can't buy the stuff without a hairdresser's degree. I don't use Lock (supposedly for sealing the colour) and the dye lasts fine and sticks well. A bottle of Elumen costs around 20 euros (without shipping) but you get 250 ml of dye so the bottles are quite big. I'd say I need 1/3 a bottle of purple and a 1/6 of blue to touch my roots up properly. Since the dye has no developer, you can always save the leftovers and use then again when needed.
Purple is a pretty easy colour. In low light conditions it looks like brown, and when it fades, it just goes more brown as the blue tint washes off. Unlike green on blue based colours, the purple is very wearable even when faded. My biggest problem has been that the shade is so much darker than my own hair, that when I have 1 cm on undyed roots on a certer part, I look like I'm going bald ;D
|See? Not bald, just growing hair ;P|
Some people say Elumen is hard to apply because of how gel-like the dye is. I myself find it actually easier, since the gel does not run or drip. I always use a tint brush (I think mine will soon have it's eight birthday, so those things last forever!) and a cup to mix the colour in. For mixing I use an old spoon. Elumen stains skin, so I always wear gloves. I've bought a pack of nitrile gloves from the supermarket, they are stretchy and thin so you feel what you are doing, unlike with the plastic bag material gloves that come with most hair dye boxes. Latex gloves work just as well, I'm allergic to latex so I went for the nitrile ones.
If you get Elumen on your skin, the best way to remove it is with alcohol. I usually use a disinfectant, since it's easy to get and quite cheap. When I dye my roots, I always get the dye on my scalp too. It does stain the scalp but comes off in a few days. It does feel a but drying, so if your scalp is very dry, be careful!
My top tips
-Elumen doesn't fade or stain badly
-Semi-permanent dye of the same shade can be used on top of Elumen to brighten the colour
-If your hair is very light, Elumen can be used without bleaching. Bleaching the base always makes the colour brighter.
-When using semi-permanent colours, scrub you bathroom BEFORE dyeing and rinsing. The dye mostly sticks to dirt or surfaces, if there's none, there's less mess after you are done!
-Remove Elumen stains with alcohol (from skin and other surfaces)